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Princeton University English Department to Host ‘Blatantly’ Antisemitic Speaker for Memorial Lecture

Members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UC Berkeley. Photo: Ariel Hayat.
Members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UC Berkeley. Photo: Ariel Hayat.

Mohammed el-Kurd, a controversial pro-Palestinian activist whom Jewish groups have accused of “blatant” antisemitism, will speak at Princeton University on Feb. 8, according to announcement by the university’s Department of English.

Currently a columnist for the left-wing magazine The Nation, the 24-year-old el-Kurd has trafficked in antisemitic tropes, demonized Zionism, and falsely accused Israelis of eating the organs of Palestinians. Over the past two years he has toured American university campuses, heightening concerns about rising antisemitism and harassment of pro-Israel students. During stops last year at Duke University and Arizona State University (ASU) el-Kurd insulted students and told the audience at ASU, “if you heckle me, you will get shot.”

At Princeton University, El-Kurd will deliver the Edward Said Memorial Lecture, titled “Perfect Victims and the Politics of Appeal.” The lecture is part of an annual event commemorating Edward Said, a Palestinian-American public intellectual whose major contributions included the founding of “postcolonial studies” and publishing of the widely read 1978 book Orientalism, which argued that Westerners, consciously and unconsciously, subject Arabs, Palestinians, and Muslims to stereotypes that depict them as culturally inferior and primitive.

“For the Princeton English department to sponsor an event with a notorious antisemite is immensely disappointing,” Jared Stone, the outgoing president of Princeton University’s Tigers for Israel chapter, told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “The whole department needs to take a moment to reflect on why its hosting el-Kurd during a time of unprecedented Jew hatred.”

Princeton University did not respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.

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