This weekend, New York University’s program in American Studies will host an Israel-bashing conference. The two-day, one-sided propaganda fair is fully supported by the American Studies Association (ASA) and its president-elect Lisa Duggan, a professor in NYU’s department of social and cultural analysis.
Just don’t tell anybody!
According to the AMCHA Initiative, a Jewish group that stands athwart anti-Semitism, Duggan wrote a now-deleted Facebook screed begging potential attendees to keep their mouths shut: “PLEASE DO NOT post or circulate the flyer. We are trying to avoid press, protestors and public attention.”
The radically anti-Israel confab — called “Circuits of Influence: U.S., Israel, and Palestine” — will feature 21 anti-Israel activists spewing invective about Israel from groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine. Speakers and attendees will address the “convergence between international justice movements and emerging scholarly directions within the increasingly transnational field of American Studies.”
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a spokeswoman for the AMCHA Initiative, told The Daily Caller that she expects much talk of “a boycott intended to hasten” the demise of Israel.
“All of the conference participants are anti-Israel pro-boycott activists and the schedule is a compilation of workshops on how to boycott Israel, given by representatives of virulently anti-Zionist organizations,” Rossman-Benjamin said. “No wonder Professor Duggan wants to hide this event from public scrutiny.”
Philip Lentz, NYU’s director of public affairs, curtly refused to address the charges of anti-Semitism or the zany semi-secrecy surrounding the event when TheDC contacted him.
“This weekend’s American Studies Program Annual Conference is an annual academic conference that is organized by graduate students in NYU’s American Studies Program and designed for faculty and students in this and related disciplines,” Lentz said in a statement. “Given the purpose of the conference and space considerations, it is not open to the general public or the press.”
Though it remains unclear outside of the militant leftist hothouses of academia exactly what American Studies and Israel have to do with each other, the ASA has dedicated itself to a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The activist academic group first voted in favor of its boycott back in December. Since then, roughly 200 universities have publicly denounced the political maneuver.
NYU is certainly no stranger to controversial happenings. As of last year, convicted murderer and bumbling, laughable failure of a getaway driver Kathy Boudin was the Sheinberg Scholar-in-Residence at NYU’s law school. Prior to her campus stint, Boudin was a longtime Weather Underground radical—and then a longtime prisoner. (RELATED: Weather Underground killer Kathy Boudin now works for two Manhattan universities)
The total cost of undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board and expenses at NYU easily exceeds $60,000 per year.