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College of Arts & Sciences
Jewish Studies Program

Andrew Pessin Lecture--"You Have the Right to Remain Silent: Campus Anti-Zionism’s Assault on Free Speech and the University"

Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 7:00pm

Location: Columbia Jewish Community Center 


Andrew Pessin is Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College and Campus Bureau Editor of The Algemeiner.

Author of numerous academic articles and books, a philosophy textbook, several philosophical books for the general reader, and one novel, his current research is focused on philosophical matters relevant both to Judaism and Israel. His 15 minutes of claim include appearing on the David Letterman show as "The Genius" and being the author of a controversial Facebook post at the center of a campus controversy in the spring of 2015. 

Abstract of Andrew's lecture:

In this talk I explore the growing campus hostility to Israel, Israeli Jews, and Jews in general by looking at the forces and tactics of anti-Israel campus activism, with particular emphasis on the BDS movement. I present a brief history of the movement, an exposé of its organizers and funders, and look carefully at its actual goals: while it portrays itself as a “peaceful social justice” movement on behalf of Palestinians, in fact it aims to delegitimize and destroy the lone Jewish state. I argue that its primary campus tactics—including harassment, disruption, and most generally “anti-normalization”—are profoundly at odds with the traditional norms of the university, and show that, as a result, the anti-Israel movement as it currently manifests itself is having a profoundly deleterious effect on all aspects of the academy: scholarship, teaching, professional organizations, student government, campus cooperation and civility, etc. The assault on Israel has become, in short, an assault on the university itself. 

For more information on his work, please visit


Co-Sponsored by the Columbia Jewish Community Center, Department of Philosophy, Department of Religious Studies, and the Jewish Studies Program


PDF icon Link for download of Pessin Tabloid Poster