A professor who believes the Jewish National Fund is a racist exploiter has announced the upcoming schedule of speakers at her college’s Holocaust center, and – wouldn’t you know it – the schedule features a prominent anti-Zionist and an outspoken Holocaust radical.
Amy Weiss – director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at the College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey – recently wrote an article in which she accused the Jewish National Fund of seeking to “erase” Arab villages as part of a sinister “politicized land reclamation project to secure land” for Jews. Incredibly, this article was published in the official journal of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
But it gets worse. The recently-announced spring schedule at Weiss’s Holocaust center makes it clear that Weiss is doing everything she can to promote like-minded extremists. First up among Weiss’s chosen speakers is NYU Professor Hasia Diner. After years of disingenuously portraying herself as pro-Israel, Diner came out of the closet in 2016 and announced, “I [can] not call myself a Zionist, any longer.”
She denounced the Jewish state as both “colonialist” and “racist” and said, “[Israel is] a place I abhor visiting.” She also said she won’t step foot in a synagogue that has a “We Stand With Israel” sign on its lawn. She even declared that she is “not surprised” when Arabs massacre Jews, “after so many decades of occupation.”
The College of Saint Elizabeth is just a few miles down the road from the home town of Alisa Flatow – the Brandeis University student who was brutally murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists in 1995. I wonder if Diner will tell her audience that she was “not surprised” that Alisa Flatow was murdered, since, after all, the murderers were victims of “occupation.”
Next on the speaking schedule after Diner is another outspoken extremist, Rebecca Erbelding. She’s a young historian at the U.S. Holocaust Museum who has become notorious for publicly taking radical positions on various issues.
In tweets over the last few years, Erbelding has repeatedly compared economic immigrants trying to cross America’s southern border to Jewish victims of the Holocaust. “The parallels to the 1930s-1940s refugee crisis are so obvious,” she declared in one tweet. “The echoes keep coming,” she wrote in another. And: “Someday we’ll wonder why the heavens did not darken” (which is the title of a very well-known book about the Holocaust by Arno J. Mayer).
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez publicly compared U.S. border detention facilities to Nazi-era “concentration camps,” Erbelding sent out multiple tweets sympathizing with her. In one, Erbelding gave “a Geppetto checkmark” to Cortez’s defense of her declaration. That’s the designation the Washington Post’s fact-checker awards when a statement is found to be “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
Erbelding’s managers at the U.S. Holocaust Museum were so embarrassed by her tweets defending Ocasio-Cortez that they issued a statement disavowing them, saying her position “does not reflect the position of the Museum.”
Erbelding has offered free copies of her book to anybody who donates $50 to the American Friends Service Committee, despite the fact that the Committee openly compares Israel to Nazi Germany. When confronted with that information by a reporter, Erbelding claimed she was unaware of the Committee’s positions on Israel and “disagrees” with them. Yet, she failed to retract her offer to reward those who contribute to the Israel-bashing committee.
Obviously, extremists such as Weiss, Diner, and Erbelding have the right to express their radical views – on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth or anywhere else. This is America. We have free speech.
But the donors to Saint Elizabeth’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education have a right to know what their donations are being spent on. The center’s promotional materials for the Diner and Erbelding lectures do not mention their extremist views. That’s not fair to the generous men and women whose checks keep the center’s lights on.