Bucknell University is hosting a controversial activist this week who has compared Jewish people to “sleazy thieves.”
Miko Peled, a critic of the State of Israel, is scheduled to speak at Bucknell University in February 2019. Peled holds an assortment of offensive views, but none perhaps more offensive than his views on Jewish people. In a 2016 tweet, Peled argued that no one should be surprised that “Jews” have a “reputation 4being sleazy thieves.”
Even The Guardian has written about Peled’s anti-Semitism after he seemingly denied the Holocaust. “This is about free speech, the freedom to criticise and to discuss every issue, whether it’s the Holocaust: yes or no, Palestine, the liberation, the whole spectrum,” Peled said according to a Daily Mail report. “There should be no limits on the discussion.”
— Miko Peled, (@mikopeled) September 14, 2016
Peled was invited to speak at Bucknell University by English Professor Michael Drexler, who has tried to downplay Peled’s disturbing remarks. In a comment to the Haym Salomon Center, Drexler argued that Peled is not an anti-Semite.
Miko Peled is not an anti-Semite. He is not addressing the issue of free speech nor was he invited to push the boundaries of acceptable speech. He is offering his perspective as an Israeli citizen who is committed to ending the Occupation and supporting Palestinian rights.
Bucknell University Chief Communications Officer Andy Hirsch published a statement in response to the critics of Peled’s scheduled lecture. In the statement, Hirsch downplayed Peled’s blatant anti-Semitism by oddly highlighting the fact that Peled’s bigotry might not rise to the level of Holocaust denial.
Miko Peled is scheduled to speak on campus on Feb. 7. While we are aware and highly sensitive to the fact that some members of our campus community find Mr. Peled’s views offensive, in keeping with its mission to educate students for a lifetime of critical thinking and strong leadership characterized by continued intellectual exploration, Bucknell is committed to the exchange of diverse viewpoints. That includes viewpoints with which members of our community might disagree, sometimes vehemently. (Given your questions, it is worth noting that Peled has publicly condemned the Holocaust and referred to it as a “terrible crime,” calling those who deny it “foolish.”)
It is a strange play for Hirsch considering that university administrators don’t typically defend controversial guest speakers, regardless of their viewpoint. Given Peled’s “sleazy thieves” tweet, it is also concerning that Hirsch believes the Jewish community at Bucknell should be somehow more comfortable with Peled because he might not be an outright Holocaust denier (even though the Daily Mail report suggests that he is).
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more update on this event.