Mandatory Lecture At University Of Michigan Compares Netanyahu To Hitler by the Forward

Mandatory Lecture At University Of Michigan Compares Netanyahu To Hitler

Updated 3:00 p.m.

A presentation that required mandatory attendance to receive credit for a class at the University of Michigan featured a former Black Panther leader comparing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

Michigan student Alexa Smith shared on her Facebook an image from the lecture, part of the Penny Stamps Speaker Series, which is part of the curriculum for art students.

During the presentation by speaker graphic artist Emory Douglas, an image was projected of both Netanyahu and Hitler giving speeches, with the words “guilty of genocide” superimposed over Netanyahu’s forehead.

“As a Jew who is proud of my people and my homeland, I sat through this lecture feeling targeted and smeared to be as evil as the man who perpetuated the Holocaust and systematically murdered six million Jews,” Smith wrote.

The lecture series also forms a one-credit course, which is required each semester for students pursuing a BA in Art & Design. A curriculum for the course acquired by the Forward states that students are required to attend (or watch online) 11 scheduled lectures, including Douglas’s, though it also says they can choose pick from a list of four other lectures to help them make up the 11 required events.

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald noted in an email to the Forward that the introduction given as part of the series, which he called “intentionally provocative,” warns listeners that the event may be provocative or upsetting.

“The menu of speakers is diverse and dynamic and we do not control or censor what they say,” the intro says. “You may find that you discover even more about yourself and the world around you from that which you debate or those with whom you find conflict in view. Discovering what you do not agree with will help you find your voice as much or more perhaps than the things you find resonance with.”

Douglas, a graphic designer renowned for his political depictions of African-American life, is also the Black Panther Party’s former Minister of Culture and a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

Smith noted that graphic novelist Joe Sacco, who has written multiple books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, also spoke at the Stamps Speaker Series year. His presentation, she wrote, “made references to Israel being a terrorist state and explicitly claimed that Israeli soldiers were unworthy of being represented as actual human beings in his artwork.”

The school was also the center of controversy last month when professor there, John Cheney-Lippold, refused to sign a letter of recommendation to help a student study abroad in Israel because the professor supports BDS. The university condemned Cheney-Lippold, saying that they have “consistently opposed any boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education.”

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

Author

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink is the Deputy News Editor for the Forward. Contact him at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink .

University of Michigan Lecture Ties Netanyahu To Hitler

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Mandatory Lecture At University Of Michigan Compares Netanyahu To Hitler

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close