Anti-Semitism — Important Changes at Yale

June 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm Leave a comment

Dear Friends,

This morning, after reading the New York Post article, “Yale’s latest gift to Anti-Semitism,” we promptly contacted Professor Neil Kressel, author of the 2010 Yale Anti-Semitism conference paper entitled, “Muslim Demonization of Jews as ‘Pigs and Apes: Theological Roots and Contemporary Implications,” asking for his expert opinion. His response is shown below.
“Dear Bill and Harriet,
Here is a letter I sent to the Post.  Feel free to use it and to identify me if you wish.  Keep up the good work, and best wishes,
Neil Kressel
Dear editor 
 Re: “Yale’s Latest Gift to Anti-Semitism” 

As a former Visiting Associate Professor at the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), I see the decision to close the center as a disgrace.  YIISA brought to the campus almost every notable scholar studying contemporary Jew-hatred.  The collection of presenters gathered at the August 2010 conference had credentials that were impressive even by Yale’s august standards.  The center was also well-funded.  

Let there be no misunderstanding:  Yale has surrendered to those regressive forces in academia who deem it offensive to mention, let alone study, anti-Jewish bigotry in the Muslim and Arab world.  People affiliated with YIISA covered the entire political spectrum – left, right, and center; many affiliates and guests of YIISA criticized Israeli policies frequently.  Yet the members of the Yale review committee – who perhaps felt that Yale’s other institutes and centers were all 100% free of political agendas — judged that one major American research institute dedicated to the study of contemporary Jew-hatred (especially if it had somewhat pro-Israel leanings) was one too many.  Yale was a source of hope for those of us concerned about one of the world’s longest-lasting and deadliest forms of bigotry.  Now, Yale’s decision-makers have become part of the problem, either because of misguided ideology or cowardice. 

As I argue in my upcoming book, for many self-designated members of the antiracist community, Muslim Jew-hatred has become an unmentionable prejudice. No matter the context, as soon as one brings up the topic, one is denounced by some as a right-wing, reactionary, Zionist flack. And Yale’s rocket scientists are apparently unable to see through the ploy. History will not judge them kindly.    

 Neil J. Kressel, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology and Director of the Social Sciences Honors Program , William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ
Former Visiting Associate Professor at YIISA, Yale University, 2008-2009.
Author, Mass Hate:  The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror
Author, Bad Faith:  The Danger of Religious Extremism “

CLICK HERE to read Professor Neil Kressel’s paper “Muslim Demonization of Jews as ‘Pigs and Apes: Theological Roots and Contemporary Implications,” presented at the 2010 Yale Conference, “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity.” 
CLICK HERE to read Professor Neil Kressler’s Biography. 
CLICK HERE to read the New York Post article, “Yale’s latest gift to Antisemitism”. 
CLICK HERE to see Yale Antisemitism Conference Videos
All the best,

Harriet and Bill

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