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Susan Abulhawa’s Palestinian Struggle… With Hiding Her Antisemitism

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports how the University of Pennsylvania is planning a review of its policies following the backlash it received after hosting the Palestine Writes Literature Festival – which featured many organizers and speakers with histories of antisemitism, terrorism and terror support.

The report contains this response from Susan Abulhawa, the festival’s executive director:

Susan Abulhawa, executive director of the festival, which attracted more than 1,500 people, was heartened by the students and faculty who supported the event, but characterized Penn’s response as caving “to racist pressures because that’s the side of power and donor money.”

She said they are “easy targets” because they don’t “have the same connections and highly funded networks.”

Tell me you are a Jew-hater engaging in antisemitic tropes of Jewish money and power without saying you are an antisemite.

Not that this is her first time doing this. You may recall the letter that the festival organizers sent to the university’s President, denying accusations of antisemitism and terror support while attacking its detractors – by engaging in the same antisemitic tropes:

While we are not surprised by such a campaign to discredit and denigrate us, we are compelled to respond. Our initial impulse was to do so in an open document, because, unlike our detractors, we do not operate in the shadows nor among elite decision makers and funders. Rather, we value transparency and public access, accountability, and scrutiny. We are also acutely aware of the power disparity between these highly funded, connected and organized Zionist organizations versus our small cultural institution run by volunteers and student organizations, most of them Penn students.

The antisemitism of people like Abulhawa is so entrenched, they cannot hide it even when claiming to have been unfairly maligned as antisemitic.

Or perhaps they just realize that so many people believe that as long as they don’t use the word “Jew”, they don’t mean to disparage Jews, but rather “Zionists” – without actually knowing what a Zionist is and how Zionism and Judaism are linked.

Not that Abulhawa hasn’t made it clear she means Jews:

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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