Salem on the Thames: Moral Panic, Anti-Zionism, and the Triumph of Hate Speech at Connecticut College, with Richard Landes

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BDS Monitor Live Speaker: Richard Landes, PhD

This collection of essays, edited by Richard Landes, focuses on what happened to Connecticut College Philosopher Andrew Pessin when he posted remarks on his Facebook page during the Israeli attacks in Hamas-run Gaza in the Summer of 2014. Distorted by hostile students into a repugnant statement – “the professor has directly condoned the extermination of a people.” – the post became the occasion for faculty and administrators to publicly denounce Professor Pessin for views he never expressed, nor did he hold. In the moral panic that ensued, virtually everyone, down to his friends in his own department, turned on him, and drove him from campus. Thus did this alleged grove of academe, violate rule after rule of its Honor Code, and sacrifice a first-rate professor and a genuinely progressive liberal, in order to appease radical groups that stigmatized as “hate speech” the very criticism of the hate groups they supported.

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Salem on the Thames: Moral Panic, Anti-Zionism, and the Triumph of Hate Speech at Connecticut College, with Richard Landes

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SPME

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is not-for-profit [501 (C) (3)], grass-roots community of scholars who have united to promote honest, fact-based, and civil discourse, especially in regard to Middle East issues. We believe that ethnic, national, and religious hatreds, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, have no place in our institutions, disciplines, and communities. We employ academic means to address these issues.

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