Photo Credit: Facebook
Drexel Hillel Rabbi Isabel de Koninck (Left), with Noam Chomsky (center) and Drexel President John A. Fry (2nd from Right)

Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania bestowed an honorary degree on one of the U.S.’s most infamous anti-Israel, anti-American public figures this month. And on her Facebook page, the Hillel rabbi at Drexel posted a picture of herself with Chomsky and Drexel’s president at the ceremony.

“A representative of the Jewish community should probably not be in a photo op with him,” said one former Hillel student. “It is a bit disturbing that a figurehead of the Jewish community would allow herself to be next to him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some students felt alienated and more hesitant to be involved in the organization after seeing such a photo.”


Drexel awarded 14 honorary degrees this year. The recipients of seven, including Chomsky, spoke at various graduation ceremonies.

Chomsky is one of the best known and most outspoken American critics of Israel. He has called the Jewish State such a consistent and extreme violator of human rights “that you hardly have to argue about it.” For that reason, he claims, U.S. military aid to Israel is in direct violation of U.S. Law. He also contends that peace proposals made by Hamas have been more “forthcoming” and sound than any proposed by Israel.

At least Chomsky rejects (sometimes) the claim that Israel is an Apartheid state. But that’s because he thinks Apartheid is too gentle a term for Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs.

“To call it apartheid is a gift to Israel, at least if by ‘apartheid’ you mean South African-style apartheid. What’s happening in the Occupied Territories is much worse,” Chomsky said in an interview last year. Chomsky said that the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs is totally different than that of South African whites to blacks. He said that the “South African Nationalists needed the black population. That was their workforce. … The Israeli relationship to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is totally different. They just don’t want them. They want them out, or at least in prison.”

Although he is distressed that the BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement has not yet been successful, he is very supportive of it.

Perhaps that is why it was so extraordinary to see a Hillel rabbi providing what would appear to be tantamount official support for Drexel’s decision to honor Chomsky.

Isabel de Koninck is Drexel Hillel’s executive director and campus rabbi.

A 2004 graduate of Brandeis University, de Koninck was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from which she also completed a graduate certificate in Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies. Dee Koninck is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and serves on the board of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

At the ceremony at which Chomsky received his honorary degree, de Koninck, wearing an academic gown, posed with Chomsky and Drexel President John A. Fry. De Koninck’s official status as Hillel director and rabbi could be seen by the university as the official Jewish imprimatur for its awarding the honor to Chomsky.

De Koninck posted the picture on her Facebook page, underneath which she wrote: “That’s me with Chomsky and President Fry!”

In addition to being virulently opposed to Israel, Chomsky is also extremely harsh in his denunciations of the United States. For example, he publicly stated that the 9/11 attacks on America were not any worse than President Clinton’s use of cruise missiles against Sudan in retaliation for bombings in Nairobi.

Chomsky also denied there was proof of Osama bin Laden’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks, and said the U.S. attack on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan would justify a retaliation scenario in which “Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.”


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:


  1. chomsky is such a firbisin self hater that if he were the opposite, frum he would say that only his kashrus is correct. i am very reluctant to call any yid a j h j(jew hating jew) but chomsky’s obsessive , misguided unending attacks on eretz yisroel makes it hard to believe that he is not a j h j. on yom kippur he has plenty of alchates.

  2. Noam Chomsky is not a critic, he’s a psychopathic, obsessed hater. Decades ago, he was a great scientist, however his propaganda work for worst totalitarian ideologies and regimes in the world must totally disqualify him from any institution or community that has little respect to itself. Academy hunt down best scientists for things like sexist jokes, while this friend and supporter of mass murderers awarded with honorary degree? Sick, totally sick.

  3. Rabbi should be fired immediately. If you are anti Israel and you are a self hating jew, you have no business being a rabbi and certainly no business around jewish college kids who hear enough of that bs on campus already. They need a Rambo rabbi, an adult, a teacher, a leader, who will have their back, support them, defend them, and roll up his sleeves and fight back. ..not a wimpy sell out, self hating jew who wants to stab these kids in the back.

  4. "If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked."……..i'm surprised and disappointed that would place this disclaimer at the bottom of one of their articles. to be a public advocate of ANY kind of violence is irresponsible and takes away from "meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner." which were also called for in the disclaimer… sad

  5. There is nothing more to say here. Another self-loathing Jew. He should have resigned and he should be fired. There is no other people who turn on themselves at the rate our people do. When will they realize that as much as you try to be loved, to “fit in,” when the next Holocaust comes, Noam Chomsky will be on a cattle car next to the most right-wing Israeli?

  6. What a disgrace to the Hillel community know wonder Jewish students don’t feel safe on campus df this fraud of a Hillel whoever is funding this particular Hillel close it and fire this person who does not dignify the title Rabbi

  7. Chomsky is a tummler and knows it. His line should have been" landing at Barack Obama's compound, assassinating him and dumping his body into the Atlantic" ; but Chomsky is careful not to offend what he believes is part of his audience. Many would be shocked by the Obama parallel . Many , if not most, happily applaud anything painful Chomsky imagines being done to George W. Bush.

  8. I do not really know how many people know the names of mamzerim that Chomsky openly supported. He has been a big fan of the late Pol Pot, the Cambodian dictator that slew more than a million intellectuals in his country. Chomsky also supported Mao Tse Tsung's slaughter of 35 million Chinese in the "Great Leap Forward." Chomsky has never met an anti-Zionist that he does not like. He is a disgrace to the very designation of being called Jewish. By the way, his theories of psycholinguistics have been largely discredited. Do not bury him in a Jewish cemetery.

  9. You must understand that psychologically this is a person who has never grown up and is living out the anger in his subconscious mind. He is not aware of it and dismisses this but it is a fact and so in rebellion as an expression of his anger, he does the opposite of what he grew up in. Like any child ages 2 or 3, they will try out their parents by doing the opposite. Here he loves the world renunciation of his mouth as it expresses for him what his subconscious mind has repressed. Those who support him do him no favor because they do not allow this deep anger to surface and play along with the game. Most self hating Jews such as these, function at that level even though they may have a PhD. Being intelligent and having a high IQ and getting degrees etc have nothing to do with one another. Here we have those who have good IQ's but lack intelligence. So in a nutshell they are all pre-kindergarten kids playing but capable of a lot of damage to those who watch them unless those observing make their own choices in life and separate from really screwed up people such as these.

  10. Nauseating. Who on earth can support or fund Hillel on campus when they have someone who supports the destruction of Israel mentoring Jewish students? Are American Jews that stupid to not realize that, just like the assimilated German Jews who thought they were safe because they were not like the "bad" Jews Hitler talked about and landed up just as dead, they are identified as Jews and will suffer the consequences of aiding in destroying Jews, because they, themselves, will be destroyed. How the American Jewish leadership has been utterly useless, hiding in their million-dollar houses while the Jewish community is under extreme threat, and has been allowed to get away with inaction, tells me how in twenty to thirty years, there will be no American Jewish community left. The decent ones will have made Aliyah or moved to another country, and the rest will have joined the Christian community or more likely, the Muslim one. Sheer self-hatred.

  11. It is very interesting that as I troll through many different comment pages, I notice that all the typical zombie haters have Anglo-Saxon names. There are no Italian names, nor Spanish or Chinese, just Anglo-Saxon. Well, Disraeli stood up in the British Parliament after some racist comments were uttered and did mention that you Anglos were still living in caves trying to figure out how to make fire and dancing naked to the gods, while his ancestors had prayed in a city with the Great Temple of Jerusalem. The description certainly fits even today when Anglo-Saxons feel the desperate need not to think but to follow the racist chanting of the sand people.

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