UPenn BDS Conference Round-up

UPenn BDS conference organizers exposed their darker side Friday by revoking the press credentials of the Jewish Exponent, accusing it of engaging in “polemics” and “crafting a political narrative” after a story appeared reporting the anti-Israel records of some of the slated speakers. The Exponent‘s executive editor, Lisa Hostein, said: “It is ironic that a group that purports to be interested in open dialogue, is operating under the cover of free speech and insists it is not anti-Semitic, is barring the only Jewish news outlet in town from covering the conference”.

Meanwhile, Penn President Amy Gutmann and Chair of the Board of Trustees David L. Cohen addressed the upcoming BDS conference in the Daily Pennsylvanian and reaffirmed their strong disagreement with the conference but willingness to allow it to preserve freedom of expression. The Jerusalem Post outlines here the different activities undertaken by pro-Israel students in the context of the UPenn BDS Conference, underlining the initiative and organization of the students. Alan Dershowitz praised these actions by in his talk the day prior to the conference and he also saluted the reaction of UPenn’s President. Meanwhile, the UPenn BDS Conference is called a “Conference of flasehoods” in an article by Sarit Catz and its agenda – How to dismantle Israel – is presented on the website Stonegateinstitute.


3 responses to “UPenn BDS Conference Round-up

  1. Dear Editor, 

    Just as the Jewish Exponent was barred access to this weekend’s BDS conference at the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Jewish Voice’s Lori Lowenthal Marcus also requested press access to the conference and our request was immediately refused. We can thus sympathize with the sentiments reflected in your article “Philadelphia Jewish Exponent Blasts BDS Group For Barring Reporter” (Feb 5, 2012,  http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/breaking_news/philadelphia_jewish_exponent_blasts_bds_group_barring_reporter ); this group is interested in bashing Israel, not as they claim in opening a meaningful dialog. 

    Still I must correct an important misstatement. The Jewish Exponent has not been “the only Jewish news outlet in town” since at least 2005. The Philadelphia Jewish Voice has been in continuous publication as an alternative source of local and national Jewish News for the last six and a half years. We are proud members of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association which has recognized our online presence with a 2nd place award in their 2011 Newspaper of the Year Contest. (Stars of David, Jan. 11, 2012,  http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/25074/Stars_of_David/

    We do not look for recognition from the anti-Israel groups on campus, but we would hope that our big, older brother in Jewish journalism would remember us.


    Dr. Daniel E. Loeb

  2. Dear Dan,
    We apologize for quoting from the Exponent’s executive editor that it is “the only Jewish news outlet in town”, it was an unfortunate error.
    We hope you forgive us and keep reading our blog!
    Best regards,
    BDS Global Digest

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