Student groups held a three-day national conference advocating a boycott of the Zionist entity at the University of Pennsylvania on February 3-5, 2012 against protests from pro-Israel academics at the Campus, local and national Jewish groups lead by Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Several dozen promonent scholars and activist spoke at the conference attended by over 400 people. The conference focused on strategies for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Zionist entity.

The keynote speakers, included Dr. Salah Sultan, president of Michigan-based Islamic American University (IAU), Philip Weiss, Jewish founder of pro-Israel Mondoweiss website (I was banned there for criticizing Jewish occupation of Palestine), Ali Abunimah, the founder of Electronic Intifada website, Polish American Kristin Szremski, director of Chicago-based American Muslims for Palestine, Helena Cabban, an American writer and publisher, professor J. Kehualani Kauanui (Weslyan University). Ahmed Moor, an US-Palestinian journalist, Nancy Kricorian, author and campaign manager for the Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott, professor Noura Erakat (Georgetown University), Bill Fletcher, editor Black Commentator website, Jewish American writer and author Max Blumenthal, Jewish American author and activist Anna Baltzer, Susan Abulhawa, founder of Playgrounds for Palestine, Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, Rev. Graylan Hagler, Jewish professor Sarah Schulman (City University of New York), etc.

Penn’s professor of psychiatry, Ruben Gur, likened the organizers of the conference to “Nazis” and conference’s Jewish participants to “Capos” in a column published in the Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn’s student run paper. The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia responded to the BDS by hosting America’s top defender of the Zionist regime, professor Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz recently blasted fellow Jewish professors Richard Falk and John Mearsheimer for endorsing the book The Wandering Who?, written by Israeli-born Jew Gilad Atzmon.

Before Alan Dershowitz’s Hasbara lies about Muslims, Arabs and Iran – Chairman of Penn board of trustees, David Cohen, read a message from Penn President Amy Guttmann, saying: “We are unwavering in our support of Israel. Let me say in the clearest possible words: we don’t support the goals of BDS“.

Israel’s Reut Institute has called on Israeli government agencies and its Hasbara organizations like Campus Watch, NGO Monitor, DPWatchdog, etc., in the West to sabotage and attack BDS activities.

The ADL website has listed some of the keynote speakers as “Israel and Jew haters”. Dr. Salah Sultan tops the list for blaming Israel for the bombing of Alexandria church.

The PennBDS reached out to Jews at the Campus and in Philadelphia but due to anti-conference campaign by the pro-Israel Jewish groups, the response was negative. “We are deeply disappointed that the Jewish community of Philadelphia has responded with condemnation to an open discussion on campus of legitimate tactics in pursuit of democracy and equality,” says statement issued by the Jewish Voice for Peace.

“The insane hysteria about the conference tells us something about the moment we are in. In terms of battle of ideas, we are in the end game,” said Ali Abunimah.

Penn BDS 2012 conference irks Israel Lobby | Rehmat's World