Historians caught up in the controversy over BDS, as this example shows

Historians in the News
tags: Israel, BDS, boycott divestment sanctions, Andrew Pessin

Students liked Connecticut College philosophy professor Andrew Pessin. Earning a 4.2 ranking out of a possible 5 at ratemyprofessors.com, Pessin drew praise from students, who called him passionate and helpful; one declared him the best teacher at the institution.

Then Gaza happened.

At the height of last summer’s eight-week war between Israel and Hamas, Pessin, who is Jewish and an outspoken supporter of Israel, wrote a Facebook post, comparing Hamas to “a rabid pit bull.”

Six months later, one of Pessin’s students, who also belonged to Students for Justice in Palestine, complained, calling the message racist. Pessin quickly deleted the post, which he insisted referred only to Hamas, not all Palestinians. And he apologized.

Not good enough. Academic colleagues jumped in, with the history department condemning Pessin’s “speech filled with bigotry and hate.” Administrators at the liberal arts college canceled classes and required all 1,900 students to attend a one-day racism workshop. Pessin has since been on medical leave, reportedly due to stress. ...

Read entire article at J Weekly

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