Posted 27 days ago
The head of Harvard’s antisemitism task force, Derek Penslar, reportedly claimed it would not be "appropriate" for him to speak at an antisemitism panel.
Penslar was previously scheduled to appear at a Center for Jewish History panel titled, "What is Antisemitism? Definitions and Debates" in New York City on Sunday. However, once the panel began, moderator Gavriel Rosenfield announced that Penslar would not be attending and instead read a statement from the Harvard professor.
"I am mindful of my role as co-chair of the Harvard Task Force on Combating Anti-Semitism," Penslar reportedly said in the statement. "And since at the symposium I would invariably be asked to speak about the goings-on at Harvard, and since the task force is only now just being put together, and its plan of action is being formed, it would not be appropriate for me to make public comments at this time."
The panel was intended to address "difficult challenges such as identifying the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, determining the differences between free speech and hate speech, and deciding the proper role universities should play in navigating these highly-charged issues."
Earlier this month, Interim Harvard President Alan Garber announced Penslar, a professor of Jewish history, as the co-chair of a "presidential task force" intended to combat antisemitic acts across campus in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack against Israel.... (Read more)