UMass Amherst to host anti-Israel event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 23, 2019

CONTACT:
Evan Lips, communications director
617-523-5005 ext. 245

The Massachusetts Republican Jewish Committee and the Massachusetts Republican Party wish to call to attention and condemn an upcoming anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, forum hosted by the UMass Amherst.

On May 4, UMass Amherst is slated to host the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, forum, “Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights.”

The title is deceptive. The event is premised on the anti-Semitic narrative that Israel is a racist, oppressive state intent on inflicting genocide on Palestinians. Scheduled speakers include Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd, and divisive activist Linda Sarsour. Both are notoriously anti-Israel. Both are prominent spokespersons for the anti-Semitic BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement being waged against Israel.

“This event marks a new low for campus anti-Semitism,” said Massachusetts Republican Jewish Committee Vice Chairman Marty Lamb. “Both Waters and Sarsour have a long history of preaching revisionist history and calling for the destruction and elimination of the Jewish State of Israel. 

“Such hatred should not have a home at UMass Amherst.”

Activist Marc Lamont Hill will be joining Waters and Sarsour at the event. On Nov. 28, 2018, while speaking at a United Nations event, it was Hill who called for a “free Palestine, from the river to the sea,” a remark identified by the Anti-Defamation League as being used often by the Hamas terrorist network in its calls for the annihilation of Israel. 

The May 4 event marks a clear violation of UMass Amherst’s own policy governing diversity, equity, and inclusion — one which states the university “must show that we reject all forms of bigotry and hatred.”

By hosting this event, the University of Massachusetts state-financed network of schools, its President Marty Meehan, and UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy are also in violation of the federal government’s guidelines regarding anti-Semitism, specifically, “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” and, “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

The Massachusetts Republican Jewish Committee and the Massachusetts Republican Party call on President Meehan and Chancellor Subbaswamy to adhere to federal, state, and University of Massachusetts guidelines prohibiting anti-Semitism.

We condemn this event in the strongest possible terms.

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