US Professor Claims Israel Murders Teens, Harvests Organs
Gender Studies Professor Jasbir Puar made several extreme and unsupported claims about Israel’s supposedly violent policies regarding Palestinians.
Correction: When this story was initially reported, news sources incorrectly stated that the Professor was employed by Vassar College. This is incorrect; Professor Puar is the Rutgers’ Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies, and was invited to Vassar College to give the speech discussed in the article.
Eight academic departments invited the Rutgers’ Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies Jasbir Puar to Vassar College last week to give a speech titled “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters,” in which she expressed a litany of complaints against Israel, including that it “assassinates” teenagers, harvests organs, and deliberately prevents resources from reaching Gaza in order to “maim” and “stunt” the growth of Palestinians.
Legal Insurrection reports that the speaker who introduced Professor Puar requested that people in the audience not record what the talk “in the spirit of congeniality and mutual respect.” Despite this, members of the campus group Fairness to Israel (FTI) attended and recorded the speech in an effort to counter Puar’s claims.
Puar made no attempt to hide her biases. She began by encouraging the college to boycott Israel and saying, “We need BDS as part of organized resistance and armed resistance in Palestine as well.”
During her talk, Puar made numerous exaggerated and false statements about Israel’s actions, often without any sources or by using vague wording to introduce conspiracy theories.
In particular, she accused the IDF of causing “more than 120 deaths by field assassinations of young Palestinian men, largely between the ages of 12 to 16” since October. While acknowledging that there were “stabbings” (though without mentioning who perpetrated the stabbings against whom), she strongly implied that the youths were murdered simply for being opposed to Israeli control.
It was not clear what she expected Israel to do in response to terrorism. She called shooting a terrorist who is in the middle of murdering civilians a “field assassination,” but also criticized non-lethal methods of subduing terrorists. “The [IDF’s] policy of shooting to maim, not to kill, is often misperceived as the preservation of life… It is [really] used to achieve a tactical aims of settler colonialism.”
Using numerous ambiguous phrases, including “purportedly” and “some speculate that,” she claimed that Israel refused to return the bodies of 17 terrorists because it wanted to harvest their organs for scientific research. This is a popular form of blood libel that Israel has frequently denied and for which there is no proof.
Continuing the theme of Israelis as perverse medical practitioners, Puar accused Israel of carefully monitoring the food, water and power that goes to Gaza in order to give just enough to survive, but not enough to properly sustain Palestinians. She said that Israel’s “targeting youth, not for death but for stunting… is another aspect of its biopolitical tactic that seeks to render impotent any future resistance… This is the epigenetics, the weaponized epigenetics.”
She did not mention that Israel only started its blockade against Gaza in 2007, two years after Hamas came to power and refused to end its rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. She also did not comment on Hamas’s use of hospitals as military centers or the organization’s policy of coercing medical patients to carry out terror
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