by Micaiah Bilger
Two students said Yale University barred them from an “anti-Israel” event this week, prompting them to listen through the door to “two hours of denial, lies and incitement” against Jews like themselves.
Sahar Tartak, a sophomore, said in a post on X that she believes her school “has become a campus without care for its Jews.”
In an opinion piece Tuesday at the Wall Street Journal, Tartak (pictured above) and Netanel Crispe, a junior, said organizers refused to admit them to the campus event, “Gaza Under Siege,” but they heard “lies” and “sanitized language” justifying terrorism through the doors.
The event, which took place Monday, featured guest scholars Nadia Abu El Haj, of Barnard College, and Amahl Bishara, of Tufts University, who discussed the “historical and contemporary trajectories” of the Middle Eastern conflict, according to the university website.
Tartak and Crispe said they passed out fliers about Hamas’s recent atrocities ahead of the event, including how the group uses “Palestinian civilians as human shields,” and later were refused admittance.
“Organizers refused us entry because we weren’t registered but waved others through who also weren’t on the list,” they wrote. “The lecture hall was filled, and we resorted to sitting outside and pressing our ears against the door to listen.”
In a post on X, Tartak said they heard speakers describe Hamas as a “resistance group” and accuse Israel of “trying to inflict as much harm, damage, and death as possible.”
Today, my friends and I sat outside of an anti-Israel event at Yale (we weren't let in), listening.
"Israel cannot remain the state of the Jewish people."
"[Hamas is] a resistance group"
"[Israel is] trying to inflict as much harm, damage, and death as possible" pic.twitter.com/Fggi4CNdME
— Sahar Tartak🇮🇱 (@sahar_tartak) November 7, 2023
“What we heard was two hours of denial, lies and incitement. Speakers referred to the atrocities of Oct. 7 in the sanitized language of ‘civilians killed,’ not beheaded, raped or kidnapped,” Tartak and Crispe wrote at the Wall Street Journal.
The student said some things they heard were outright lies. For example, they said one panelist told the crowd, “The one most important part of our conversation here today is that Israel is still occupying Gaza,” but Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005.
After the event, the students said they asked “the moderator and two of the speakers if they were willing to denounce Hamas unequivocally,” but none would.
The students said they feel like Yale has turned its back on Jewish students, noting how the event received “broad institutional support.”
Co-sponsors included the Yale Ethnography Hub, Department of American Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of Religious Studies, Center for Middle East Studies, Program on Ethnicity, Race & Migration, and Program on Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, according to the event announcement on Yale’s website.
Tartak and Crispe said their university feels “hostile” toward Jewish students because of the recent event, as well as “anti-Israel” protests, a petition signed by staff and students accusing Israel of genocide, and the student group Yalies4Palestine urging the campus community to “celebrate the resistance’s success.”
Since Oct. 7 when Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, killing more than 1,200 civilians, there has been a wave of attacks targeting Jewish students and Israel supporters at U.S. higher education institutions.
At Tulane University last week, a pro-Palestine protest turned violent and three students were assaulted, The College Fix reported. And at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, a Jewish student’s door was set on fire.
Meanwhile, this week, the University of Pennsylvania announced an investigation after several Jewish staff members received “vile, disturbing antisemitic emails threatening violence.”
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Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.
Photo “Sahar Tartak and Friends Sitting Out of ‘Gaza Under Siege Event’” by Sahar Tartak.