(Chicago, IL - May 29th, 2019) -- StandWithUs is extremely disturbed that Steven Thrasher, who has spread antisemitism on social media, is joining the faculty of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications on June 1, 2019.
Thrasher, whose virulently anti-Israel speech at an NYU graduation ceremony in May, shocked and disturbed many attendees, sang high praise for the NYU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, whose leadership has called to "dismantle the entire state of Israel". He urged others to accept the “duty... on every campus where we serve” and “every place where we work” to support discriminatory boycotts against Israel.
We question if objective journalism will be taught in a class whose professor has a record of promoting hate and one extremist point of view on a complex issue such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We fear that his students will become recipients of propaganda rather than nuanced respectful discourse. Furthermore, his firmly entrenched anti-Israel dogma will likely make his classes inhospitable for Jewish students who support Israel and support peaceful and safe resolutions to the conflict.
While we agree with the statement made by NU President Schapiro that Thrasher’s “academic freedom assures his right to hold offensive opinions," this principle does not require universities to issue professorships to individuals who promote hatred based on their race, religion or national origin.
StandWithUs (SWU) is an eighteen-year-old, international, non-profit Israel education organization. Through fellowships, conferences, materials, social media, educational films, and missions to Israel,StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their campuses and communities about Israel.
Based in Los Angeles, SWU has chapters throughout the United States, in Israel, Canada, and the U.K.