UPenn reportedly sponsored Palestinian writer who joked about Hamas burning baby in oven after it allegedly ignored warnings
Refaat Alareer participated in the University of Pennsylvania's 'Palestine Writes' festival in September, which donor Ron Lauder warned university President Liz Magill was an anti-Semitic event.
Palestinian writer Refaat Alareer took to X on Sunday to mock the Jewish baby that Hamas terrorists cooked alive in an oven during the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks.
On Sept. 18, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported that Alareer was set to participate in the Palestine Writes Literature Festival at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) later that month, noting that in 2018 the writer tweeted, “Are most Jews evil? Of course they are.”
UPenn mega-donor Ron Lauder effectively withdrew his financial support from the Ivy League school after issuing a letter to college President Liz Magill in which he criticized the institution for not addressing anti-Semitism on campus.
Lauder suggested that Magill dismissed his concerns that the festival would “tarnish” UPenn’s reputation.
Though Magill stated that the university does not “endorse these speakers or their views,” UPenn did pay for them. The UPenn Arts & Sciences website states:
The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) is sponsoring a session celebrating the work of the late Arabic literary critic poet, Salma Khadra Jayyusi (1926-2023). Sponsors of other sessions within the festival include the Cinema and Media Studies Department, Kelly Writers House, the Middle East Center, the Wolf Humanities Center, and Philadelphia-based Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture and the Slought Foundation. The festival has also benefitted from the generosity of the Sachs Program for Art Innovation through their Community Partnership Grant. NELC faculty member Huda Fakhreddine has contributed to planning literary events from which students in the department’s Arabic program may benefit.
Image Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons and National Archives and Records Administration, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons