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Cornell University Hosts Antisemitic Professors During Yom Kippur

Cornell University is set to host a panel—on the holiest day of the year for Jewish students—featuring a professor who compared the Jewish state to Nazi Germany, claiming that Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip are living in an “extermination camp, run by Jews.”

The Cornell Institute for Comparative Modernities panel, which is titled “Palestine and Indigenous North America,” is the final event in a series about “Settler Colonialism, Sovereignty, Apartheid.” The panel includes Cornell American Studies professor Eric Cheyfitz, who has compared Israel to Nazi Germany, and University of Kansas professor Robert Warrior, a vocal proponent of the anti-Israel boycott movement, who claimed that Israel “illegally confiscates Palestinian lands, it literally blows up Palestinian homes, house by house.”

StopAntisemitism, a U.S. based watchdog group, tweeted about the speaking panel, stating Cornell was attempting to exclude Jewish students from attending.

The event comes as Jews on college campuses are facing increased incidents of antisemitism, with the federal government investigating allegations of anti-Jewish harassment at multiple schools, including the University of Southern California and the University of Vermont.

The event will take place on Oct. 5, which falls on Yom Kippur—precluding many Jewish students and community members from attending. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jews during which they are required to fast and refrain from working.

“The terrible ironies of history: Gaza has become an extermination camp, run by Jews,” Cheyfitz, the Cornell professor, wrote on Twitter in 2014.

Cheyfitz equated Gaza, the Palestinian territory that Israel withdrew from in 2005 and which is controlled by the Hamas-led government, to the Warsaw Ghetto under Nazi Germany.

He also described Israel as a “terrorist organization, projecting its crimes on the defenders of human rights,” and claimed“Apartheid Israel is in its death throes. The symptoms: Violence, in its desperation, is all Zionism can offer the world.”

The panel seeks to draw comparisons between Palestinians and colonialized groups, while discussing “settler colonialism and the comparative context of Palestine,” according to an event description. It is part of a yearlong series of panel discussions.

Cornell did not respond to a request for comment.