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Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to ‘rabid pit bull’ ignites protest on CT campus

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With all the recent press about allegations of anti-Semitism on American campuses, the news of an outrageously racist Facebook posting by a faculty member at a private college in New London, Connecticut, has thus far escaped national attention. But it’s causing a “firestorm of controversy” at Connecticut College, a small liberal arts college with a mission of “inclusive excellence,” emphasizing commitments to diversity, community service and global citizenship.

A thousand students were packed wall to wall on campus last Wednesday night to attend a forum on free speech sparked by a philosophy professor’s dehumanizing words, described as having “severely impacted students in the community“.

Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, left, and Kaitlyn Garbe, writers at The College Voice, converse before the Connecticut College forum on free speech begins. March 25, 2015  (photo: DAVID DESROCHES/WNPR)

1000 students attended a forum on Free Speech after Connecticut College philosophy professor Andrew Pessin’s racist Facebook post was exposed. Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, left, and Kaitlyn Garbe, writers at The College Voice, converse before the forum begins. March 25, 2015

The controversy erupted after a student lately busted professor Andrew Pessin, who is the author of several books of philosophy for the general public, over a Facebook post he made during Israel’s slaughter in Gaza last summer in which he characterized Palestinians as “rabid pit bull[s]” chained up and owned by Israel. Here’s the posting:


When the post came to light in February, the student contacted Pessin. Pessin initially apologized and removed it from his Facebook page, perhaps hoping it would all be swept under the rug — but that didn’t happen. The storm has been raging for weeks on the pages of the student newspaper, The College Voice. Michael Fratt and Katilyn Garbe wrote in the school paper:

We discovered information that put [student] apathy to rest; it made us sick. It came to our knowledge that Andrew Pessin wrote on his Facebook page a rant on the nature of Palestinians.  Professor Pessin compared Gazan Palestinians to “rabid pit bulls” who need to be caged.  He described the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a cycle of letting the “snarling dogs” out of their “cage” and then beating them back into it.  One person named Nicole commented on the post suggesting the “dogs” be put down.  Professor Pessin responded, “I agree.”  Professor Pessin directly condoned the extermination of a people.  A member of our community has called for the systematic abuse, killing, and hate of another people.  This post came to the attention of students as well as faculty members and has thus far only been spoken of privately.  It is clear that the imagery used is not only incredibly offensive, but also particularly damaging within the culture of Islam, which has a potent conceptualization of dogs.  We vehemently believe that this deserves the attention of the Conn community: students, staff, and alumni.

So: the dogs should be put down.

Local news has now picked up on the story. Pessin, who is on medical leave for the remainder of the semester, in part due to stress caused by the accusations against him, has now taken the posture of victim, alleging he’s been targeted because of his support for Israel. Students have rejected this charge.

“I in no way hold and do not condone the terrible racist views” attributed to him, Pessin says, according to Connecticut public media WNPR . And New8 WTNH has since picked up the story too, with an accompanying video:

 “At this point it feels to me not a matter of assuaging wounded feelings, but a matter of deliberately trying to silence and even threaten pretty much the only Jewish professor on campus who openly advocates for Israel,” said Pessin.

No wonder he calls the occupied West Bank Judea and Samaria.

For weeks students reached out to the college administration seeking an official statement of condemnation or an acknowledgement of hate speech from administration officials. After WNPR reported the story three days ago, pointing to a lackluster letter from Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron that failed to “address the nature of Pessin’s post” but referred to the free speech issues raised by the controversy, Connecticut College’s history department and Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity issued harsh condemnations of Pessin’s posting.  The departments’ statements knocked Pessin’s

dehumanizing language as a means to justify brutality and lull otherwise “well intentioned” people into silence and, effectively, complicity in racism, sexism, discrimination, colonialism and the numerous genocides throughout human history.

In this report on WNPR, journalist David DesRoches reports that Bergeron’s address to the students expressed “solidarity” with their concerns, but refused to condemn the professor’s language.

Connecticut College students await their turn to speak. (photo: DAVID DESROCHES / WNPR)

Connecticut College students await their turn to speak.

DesRoches suggested that Pessin’s invective may have “crossed the line” when he endorsed putting the (Palestinian) dog down. “That’s where the lines over protected speech become fuzzy, according to the ACLU,” says DesRoches “The First Amendment, which protects free speech as a Constitutional right, “doesn’t extend to… speech that incites imminent violence or law-breaking,” the organization states.”

Andrew Pessin plays "The Genius" on Dave Letterman

Andrew Pessin plays “The Genius” on Dave Letterman

Pessin is the author of several philosophy books, and has written a novel under a pen name. He says on his website that he is “most popular with his students for his appearances as ‘The Genius’ on the Late Show with David Letterman,” evidently some time ago. Not so sure those students will be buying that persona much longer.


Lamiya Khandaker is the Connecticut College chair of diversity and equity for this school year. She wrote of the incident:

I have had several email exchanges with Professor Andrew Pessin regarding my concerns as an underrepresented student on campus. And each time, his response was more of a, “I’m sorry you misunderstood what I said.” On the contrary, I did not misunderstand. I did not misunderstand his contribution at the Charlie Hebdo panel when he posed indirect, yet problematic questions such as, “How do we tolerate cultures of intolerance?” only to end his portion of the Q-and-A session with an emphasis of hate crimes perpetrated by Muslims. I did not misunderstand the content of this public Facebook post that insinuated Palestinians (NOT Hamas) as “rabid pit-bulls.“ I did not misunderstand when he told me that, “Muslim terrorists were at the top of the totem pole as perpetrators of violence.” Tell me, what part of all this did I misunderstand? The fact that I may be a “liberal animal rights activist” sympathizing with this “rabid pit bull?” Oh no wait, perhaps, I am the “co-specimen” who sympathizes. Because my people are breeds of dogs, and not human beings? Or, perhaps I misunderstood his floods of articles that specifically talk about the failure of addressing “Arab and Muslim terrorism.”

Just imagine if he substituted Gaza for “Ferguson.” Imagine if he spoke of “Ferguson thugs” as “rabid pit bulls” needing to be “caged,” by its “owner” who provides it with “government assistance, affirmative action, and welfare.” But when giving these “Ferguson thugs” a little bit of space to “breathe;” they start “snarling” and “aim for the throat,” and as a result need to be “put down.” And if you sympathize with Ferguson thugs, you’re either one yourself, or a liberal animal rights activist. Just imagine if all his postings were about Black crime. Would you raise an eyebrow?

DesRoches interviewed three students on their reactions to Pessin’s Facebook post before the forum on free speech at Connecticut College Wednesday night. Listen to the interviews here.

Thanks to Marge Fouda


Correction: Previously the article stated the timing of Prof. Pessin’s leave of absence was coincidental. We’ve since updated to reflect his medical leave was in part due to stress caused by the accusations against him. 


About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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137 Responses

  1. Mary T
    March 28, 2015, 6:26 pm

    I’m staggered by this. My son went to Conn College; I certainly would not pay tuition to Conn College now if it does not take a strong stand against this. The students, at least, seem to have their heads screwed on straight; the administration, not so much. If Pessin wants to see a rabid animal, he should look in the mirror.

    • Kay24
      March 28, 2015, 6:57 pm

      True, he would then see a rabid zionist barking like a mad dog. You can see how he loses any credibility when he mentions the word “kind hearted”, which really shows how delusional he is, being brutal occupiers, does not qualify one of having “kind hearts”, in fact it is an oxymoron.
      He seems to have forgotten about the fact that no living thing wants to be kept in chains, and that setting it free might end the problems faced by it’s prison guards, make that rabid prison guards.

    • Guytano
      March 30, 2015, 7:58 am

      What’s the concern? I thought it was a pretty fair analogy, and in any case, it’s not something he said in class.

    • truth2power
      March 30, 2015, 12:51 pm

      Indeed, Mary – he should! How utterly shocking that someone with views like this is in the teaching profession anywhere – he should be hospitalised and receiving medical and psychological treatment. Well done the young students for taking a stand! There is hope for the future when that happens – the young must show the way ;)

  2. Blownaway
    March 28, 2015, 6:41 pm

    The test for hate speech is easy, substitute Jew for Muslim and Israeli for Palestinian. What would the good professor say then?

  3. joemowrey
    March 28, 2015, 6:46 pm

    The good professor would probably be out of a job if he used this kind of dehumanizing rhetoric in reference to Jews.

    • pabelmont
      March 29, 2015, 7:59 am

      “Out of a job” is what happened on a very similar occasion to our friend Steven Salaita. I don’t think we should call for that, even here. But hold him up to responsibility for what he said and what he thought and so forth? Absolutely!

      This is an educational opportunity and Conn College students are doing a fine job of that. The picture makes it appear that this is a very general (not only a Muslim or Palestinian) uprising.

      Keep up the good work, students! Avoid his classes! See if CC will continue to pay a salary to a professor who has no students! (But don’t call for it. Maybe he’ll get a job in the administration?)

      • just
        March 29, 2015, 8:28 am

        Point taken, pabelmont. I was thinking of Professor Salaita when I wrote that Pessin should be fired.

        There are some similarities, but not many.

        Kudos to these CC students who are demanding accountability. As you wrote:

        “Keep up the good work, students! Avoid his classes! See if CC will continue to pay a salary to a professor who has no students! (But don’t call for it. Maybe he’ll get a job in the administration?)”


    • truth2power
      March 30, 2015, 3:06 pm

      Guytano – maybe you need to go to hospital, too?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 30, 2015, 3:24 pm

        truth to power, on second thought i trashed that comment. we don’t need that sentiment here.

  4. just
    March 28, 2015, 6:56 pm

    I have lots of acquaintances there… I guess they’ll remain “only acquaintances”, because not one told me about this. They know my pov on Palestine. Thanks so much, Annie. I’ve got some phone calls to make.

    This Islamophobe/”Palestinianophobe” named Pessin needs to be further exposed and yes, FIRED! Short of that, public humiliation works, too. Claiming victimization b/c ” “At this point it feels to me not a matter of assuaging wounded feelings, but a matter of deliberately trying to silence and even threaten pretty much the only Jewish professor on campus who openly advocates for Israel,” is just pathetic! David Letterman should take a long shower at the very least, and denounce him on his show. He’s got time (it runs thru May 20, 2015)

    Good for the students who have not let this fade away, and shame on Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron.

    (It’s so freaking strange that Lena Dunham’s bs gets attention from Foxman, and he still manages to take a stab at Muslims… and the New Yorker:

    “Humor is a matter of taste, and people can disagree if it is funny or not. Some will certainly find Lena Dunham’s stereotypes about cheap Jews offensive. Others will take issue with the very idea of comparing a dog and a Jewish boyfriend. The piece is particularly troubling because it evokes memories of the “No Jews or Dogs Allowed signs from our own early history in this country, and also because, in a much more sinister way, many in the Muslim world today hatefully refer to Jews as “dogs.”

    We doubt that Ms. Dunham had any intention of evoking such comparisons. While we understand that humor is its own special brand of expression and always try to give leeway to comedians, we wish that she had chosen another, less insensitive way to publicly reflect on her boyfriend’s virtues and vices. We are surprised that the New Yorker chose to print it.”

    Not a word about Pessin from Foxman, though.)

    • Dutch
      March 28, 2015, 7:51 pm

      Wow – this is truly disgusting. I wonder why the College Board hasn’t acted. It’s obvious that a person like this cannot teach – play a public role – anymore. In Holland the guy would be fired instantly and brought to justice.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 28, 2015, 9:02 pm

      for just:

      • just
        March 28, 2015, 9:18 pm

        Powerful and to the point, Annie. Thanks for that.

        I look forward to the response~ any response.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 29, 2015, 12:33 am

        don’t hold your breath. if it doesn’t get picked up by the msm there will be no statement. this is likely slated for an early burial.

        a story like this is prime time. bigger than some students asking a jewish student if her affiliations might effect her ability to be unbiased (which made headlines in the nyt). so if it doesn’t get past local news, there’s an effort to make it disappear.

        he’s got tenure tho which could create some issues for the school. what student will want to sign up for his courses? only certain kinds of ideologically bent students (racist zionists like himself) could respect him. not so sure there are a lot of those types on diversity focused liberal arts colleges today. it remains to be seen.

      • Abierno
        March 29, 2015, 1:15 pm

        Tenure can be lifted for moral turptitude. Hate speech such as this more than qualifies. Inquiring minds might wonder what pressures are being brought to bear on Katherine
        Bergerson, president, to simply make this go away, with no repercussions for Dr. Pessin.

      • jsinton
        March 29, 2015, 5:39 pm

        Two wrongs makes a right argument courtesy ADL.

    • RoHa
      March 29, 2015, 12:59 am

      I have heard of “No dogs or Chinese” signs in pre-WW2 Shanghai. I’ve never heard of “No Dogs or Jews” anywhere. Is this just made up for effect?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 29, 2015, 1:33 am

        for what effect? for the effect of adding it to a list of tropes that jews have allegedly been accused of over the last couple thousand years which immediately catapults the status of the speaker (or writer) into an historical catch 22 style conundrum?

      • RoHa
        March 29, 2015, 2:18 am

        To bolster the “Jews are always victims” claims.

        But, I ask again, were there any such notices anywhere? I’ve never heard of them, but there are lots of things I’ve never heard of.

      • eGuard
        March 29, 2015, 6:54 pm

        I faintly remember it was “No dogs or Irish allowed”, seen in England. I won’t spend time googling it. Already I spend more time on this than ADL did. Q: Who said: “The Arabs”

      • Philemon
        March 29, 2015, 8:14 pm

        Annie, I think that Roha is doubtful that there were any signs about “No Dogs or Jews” anywhere historically. He’s probably right.

      • Philip Munger
        March 29, 2015, 10:25 pm

        Never seen nor heard of “No Dogs or Jews” signs, but somewhere, sometime, there probably has been one. Or more.

        When I first came to Alaska in 1973, a couple of the bars in Cordova had their old “No Dogs or Indians Allowed” signs tucked away back in the storage rooms. I saw my first one, when I went with a bartender and my deckhand back to look for a fresh bottle of Bushmills on St. Patricks Day.

        By the time I moved there, none of the businesses in town still displayed them, but they had been common in many Alaska towns into the early 1940s. Perhaps later.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 29, 2015, 11:09 pm

        i don’t know Philemon. i think horrible stuff has been said about lots of people throughout the centuries. some people make lists, some don’t. some bury it, some keep it fresh.

      • tree
        March 29, 2015, 11:52 pm

        An important point to be made about Foxman’s statement: the exact quote is

        “The piece is particularly troubling because it evokes memories of the “No Jews or Dogs Allowed” signs from our own early history in this country.”

        One must logically assume that Foxman is talking about the US, since that is where he is speaking and where he is a citizen. Jews have been in the US since its very beginnings in the late 1700’s and some were here before that time. I doubt Foxman has a memory of that time, and even if he did, I seriously doubt that such signs in the US were prevalent or even existent. He isn’t talking about thousands of years ago in the whole world. He’s talking about the US over a few hundred years and he’s making shit up. Totally unsurprising. It may not be long before we hear about the shackles of slavery that poor persecuted Jews in the US had to suffer. And the camps! Don’t forget the camps they were forced to live in! I’m sure Mooser (or at least Allan Sherman) could elaborate on those.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 30, 2015, 12:43 am

        maybe he’s confusing fiction and reality:,_No_Jews,_No_Dogs

        No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs (2000) is an American play by John Henry Redwood. Set in Halifax, North Carolina in around 1949, the play dramatizes the unfortunate times of an African-American family, the Cheeks, and their encounter with a Jewish writer, Yaveni Aaronsohn.[1][2] The title refers to a placard said to have been put by the road at the entrance to a town in Mississippi.[3]

        and here’s the reference to the last sentence:

        3. Sarah Blacher Cohen, Joanne B. Koch, Shared Stages: Ten American Dramas of Blacks and Jews, SUNY Press, 2007, p.5.

        (my bold)

      • Annie Robbins
        March 30, 2015, 1:46 pm

        philemon, tree, roha, i spent a little time doing a search on google last night wrt to this allegation and came up with nothing concrete regarding this saying or signs like this here in the US. not on google images (which were limited to the playbills of the play) or text. one chat room discussion came up of a person asking if anyone had heard of this and one person (only) said their grandmother told them there were signs like this on apartments for rent in nyc when she arrived in the US at the turn of the century. but that’s all i could find.

        presumably abe foxman has more info on this, if it ever happened. but all indications lead one to believe most all “evidence” leads to the title of the play circa 2000.

        the hasbrats are noticeably silent on this question. perhaps retroactively some new evidence will appear online sometime soon.

      • Mooser
        March 30, 2015, 4:41 pm

        ” Don’t forget the camps they were forced to live in!”

        Allan Sherman was the only man who could describe the horror of the camps.

      • Philemon
        March 30, 2015, 9:45 pm

        What tree said! And thank you Mooser, that was perfect. And thank you, Annie for taking the time to research it.

        Part of the problem I have with the “No Dogs or…” signs is that they are claimed to have been posted in the most dog-loving places, and, for some reason, no one has seen fit to preserve them. Whereas, I’ve seen numerous, supposedly original, “Irish need not apply” signs.

        As for Alaska, as Philip Munger points out, there might have been a slight prejudice against dogs after someone brought his team of huskies in and stood them a few beers. The bars in Cordova were obviously prejudiced against the poor Indians looking to drown their sorrows. But, somehow, the dogs got top billing.

        Well, you can imagine what a team of huskies are like after they’ve had a few.

    • Angel
      May 1, 2015, 6:13 pm

      With good reason. He is correct in his assessment.

  5. a blah chick
    March 28, 2015, 6:57 pm

    What I take heart from is that such statements will no longer go unchallenged.

  6. talknic
    March 28, 2015, 7:52 pm

    Brainwashing works! It’s so ingrained the Liebermans and Pessins don’t even realize it’s blatant racist hate speech.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 29, 2015, 1:00 am

      exactly. did you listen to the DesRoches interview w/students (last link)? i mean..think people. these are young kids. you can’t teach them one thing and then take actions and make words diametrically opposed ~ they are not stupid! and from a philosophy professor no less. pllleeease.

    • ritzl
      March 29, 2015, 4:53 pm

      Bingo, talknic. Rhetorical gasoline (don’t realize) and ignition source (therefore say it) all in one.

    • JWalters
      March 29, 2015, 7:25 pm

      Bull’s eye! This gigantic blind spot is caused by emotional manipulation as a child, we know. For readers who haven’t seen it, an excellent, first-hand account is here.

      A key delusion indoctrinated is that this ethnic group is inherently superior to all others. This is what enables members of any ethnic group to treat other ethnic groups with extreme cruelty. They believe this is what God wants to happen, and they are doing God’s will. Ultimately, they believe their ethnic group is destined to rule the others. In the case of Judaism, a core element of the founding story tells them this is so.

      This syndrome crops up in virtually all ethnic groups. It reflects human nature, not any spiritual truth. It’s what the Civil War was fought to defeat. Let’s hope it doesn’t take an equivalent war today.

  7. ritzl
    March 28, 2015, 8:03 pm

    Once, just once, somebody needs to do a side by side reversal of Pessin-type comments and gauge the difference in the CC administration’s reaction (if any) to calls for Israeli Jews to be “put down like dogs.”

    No hypotheticals or speculative thought experiments. Just DO it and see what happens.

  8. Citizen
    March 28, 2015, 8:05 pm

    Some philosopher, he is, eh? Zionism really does infect the brain, as Nazism did big time back in the day….and to think how it colors main media story lines and our culture; while neo-Nazis are banished to the fringe of society, Zionism colors our whole government and its policies.

  9. Pixel
    March 28, 2015, 9:52 pm

    This is the third time in the past week that I’ve read “Palestine/Israel”
    vs (the hopefully former) “Israel/Palestine”.

    It’s a small but significant change in the narrative that everyone so-moved can make.

  10. piotr
    March 28, 2015, 9:59 pm

    Prof. Pessin, know for explosive rhetoric and explosive bathroom…

    That from the quoted report of Connecticut College. I must admit, it is not the first time that I have seen explosive pro-Israel rhetoric, but exploding bathroom turning a guest into a human catapult?

    • ToivoS
      March 30, 2015, 1:08 am

      Good catch Piotre Poor Andrew has been the victim of a terrorist attack. Somebody managed to figure out how to ignite sewer gases in a backed up toilet in his bathroom. Obviously the antisemites.

  11. Pixel
    March 28, 2015, 10:01 pm

    Katherine Bergeron, President
    Tel: (860) 439-2666
    Fax: (860) 439-2101

    “Petitioning President of Connecticut College Katherine Bergeron”

  12. TwoRedDogs
    March 28, 2015, 10:04 pm

    Steven Salaita got his job pulled for a lot less.

    • Qualtrough
      March 29, 2015, 12:41 am

      Excellent point. My only quibble would be that I would say it was for a lot, lot less.

      • ritzl
        March 29, 2015, 4:59 pm

        A lot, lot, Lot, LOT less!

        Not even close.

        No legitimate comparison is there ro be made.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 29, 2015, 1:20 am

      oh yes. believe me, did we ever think of him time and again contemplating how to cover this event. it’s worthy of an article all on it’s own.

  13. eljay
    March 28, 2015, 10:33 pm

    Like all Zio-supremacists, Mr. Pessin has it wrong. The “image that essentializes [sic] the current situation in Gaza” is that of a rapist who, months ago, kidnapped a woman and chained her in his basement and who has since then repeatedly assaulted her both physicially and sexually. Every now and then, she attempts to harm him so the rapist – heeding on Bill Maher’s advice – holds her wrists and slaps her around. And then he rapes her some more.

    Justice and accountability demand that the woman be released and that the rapist be held accountable for his past and on-going crimes. Mr. Pessin’s advice to the woman is to lie back and accept – and perhaps even enjoy – her fate.

    • piotr
      March 29, 2015, 9:17 am

      I would quibble here. Prof. Pessin’s does not give ANY advise to the woman, after all, to him she is a rabid dog. Instead, he totally misunderstands the situation and ponders why the rapist didn’t dispose of the unruly female: after all, whatever the risks (which are modest), the rapist enjoys the situation.

      Supremacism is no fun if there are no folks to subjugate. In a rough outline, while Israel nourishes dream of grandeur, replicating the feats of Alexander the Great who turned the Persian Empire into dust, it enjoys Gaza as the shooting gallery and West Bank as the arena for contact sports.

      Pessin’s advise is directed solely at “well-meaning liberals” who object to what is going on.

      • eljay
        March 29, 2015, 9:48 am

        || piotr: I would quibble here. Prof. Pessin’s does not give ANY advise to the woman … ||

        Point taken. Perhaps I should have said: Mr. Pessin seems to think that the woman should simply lie back and accept – and perhaps even enjoy – her fate.

      • pabelmont
        March 29, 2015, 12:52 pm

        Testing weapons in Gaza for its major export of weapons. Maybe testing helps USA’s military also, because USA sure does support Israel and it’s not just because of AIPAC. Big-defense (MIC) could stop the support if it wanted to. At worst a lot of Oligarchs in USA support Israel. At best, they tolerate AIPAC and Israel — at least until they demand an unpopular war.

      • Keith
        March 29, 2015, 7:29 pm

        PABELMONT- “Maybe testing helps USA’s military also, because USA sure does support Israel and it’s not just because of AIPAC.

        Right you are, Peter, there are extensive US/Israel linkages. Below, a quote and a link.

        ” The US and Israel are more like a very sophisticated high-tech partnership that collaborates on the frontiers of physics and other sciences in order to yield the gee-whiz weaponry that now define modern warfare. Back in the 1980s, the two nations were sharing and cross-pollinating their defense research at a very advanced level.” (William Greider)

  14. Zaghlul
    March 28, 2015, 10:35 pm

    Wow, Gaza is in a cage because it’s people are pit bulls…it has nothing to do with Israeli’s ethnic cleansing in 1947-48. The fact that 3/4 of Gaza’s population hail from 1948 Palestine (descended from those ethnically cleansed from their homes) is irrelevant, right? They were born angry dogs, end of story, end of history…which, by the way, began with terrorist bus attacks in the ’90s, right? And pay no attention to those 500+ dead children, those weren’t beautiful young children running on the beach playing soccer, they were dogs. Utterly disgusting. I can’t imagine what type of philosophy this monster teaches.

    • just
      March 29, 2015, 12:02 am

      Who can forget that Israel uses dogs to attack Palestinians~ children and even a centenarian?

      “Video of Israeli soldiers using dogs against Palestinian boy sparks outcry

      …..Hashem’s father is cited by Haaretz as saying that the teen was treated for dog bites at a hospital before being transferred to a prison.

      “We, his mother and I, watched the video, and we couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” he said. “My wife almost fainted. I don’t know if there’s a mother or father in the world who can be indifferent to such pictures.

      It pained us very much, especially the fact that the boy was helpless and the soldiers rejoiced over him.”

      Israeli human rights group B’Tselem however says the footage doesn’t show anything out of the ordinary, noting that it is “standard” army practice. The group documented several similar incidents over last year.

      Dogs are being used as weapons – activist

      A projects coordinator for Breaking the Silence, a former IDF soldier leftwing organization, has condemned the attacks but confirmed that such incidents are not unusual.

      “While you are a part of the army, those kind of events happen. It’s not unusual. When you use an army to control a population, when you create an occupation, that’s the kind of reality that comes out,” Achiya Schatz told RT.

      He also said that he had little hope that the investigation would lead to any changes to army procedure.

      “The investigations don’t lead anywhere. If we don’t end the occupation incidents like that are just going to rise again and again. As a soldier you’re being told to make your presence felt to frighten the population,” he said. “It’s very easy to cross the line and many times you don’t know where the lines are.”

      Schatz said in this case the dog was not merely used to restrain a criminal but rather as a weapon to breed fear.

      “This specific dog is an attack dog. It’s trained to attack. Here we see a dog used against a 16 year old kid. What you see here isn’t the dog being used to restrain but the dog being used to terrify,” he said.”

      video and more @
      “Israeli defends dog attack on 99yr old Palestinian man”

      video @

      You have to wonder what this Professor teaches his own children.

      • bintbiba
        March 29, 2015, 5:05 am

        “You have to wonder what this Professor teaches his own children.”

        Beautifully said, ‘Just’ ! I pity the children, and consequently, their victims !

      • piotr
        March 29, 2015, 2:38 pm

        Frankly, the exploits of canine units of IDF are the mildest of all atrocities there. Apparently, the dogs are trained properly and do not inflict grave injuries, which is more that can be said for humans shooting “less lethal munitions” and the frankly lethal ones, deployment of skunk water, etc.

    • RoHa
      March 29, 2015, 1:02 am

      I seem to recall that terrorist attacks on buses started in the 1930s or 40s with Zionists throwing bombs into buses full of Arabs.

      • BethlehemOlivesRedeem
        March 29, 2015, 5:49 am

        See Mike Davis, The Buda Wagon, I believe chapter 2, he documents that Zionists of Irgun, Stern and even Haganah, used terrorist bombing in marketplaces, including barrel bombs on vegetable trucks, to mass murder and terrorize hundreds upon hundreds of Palestinian civilians, and only the honest few Zionists admitted it was their own doing when Palestinian freedom fighters adopted the tactic years later to try to even the very uneven power imbalance, which included the British putting Zionists in charge of administering all arenas and levels of Mandate Palestine, and also in 1937-9 systematically massacring Palestinian leadership and middle-level activists of nonviolent civil society — at the same time, thousands of Jews were being trained in the British army and securing underground contacts through out the Western military buildup gaining access to arms as well as tactical and strategic planning skills for military conquest. Not to mention Churchill being a Zionist and racist against Arabs.

      • ToivoS
        March 30, 2015, 1:00 am

        Not to mention that the introduction of car bombs to the mid east wars were first carried out by the Zionist terrorist in Palestine during that period. Also, few realize it but the first use of a terror bomb on a civilian airliner was carried out by Cuban expatriates employed by the CIA against Cubana Flight 455. These terrorist tactics were introduced by the colonialist themselves.

    • bintbiba
      March 29, 2015, 5:01 am

      Ya Zaghlul , (love the moniker, by the way)

      It really makes my blood boil …and I am a very mild, easygoing person !!
      What is it about these people ? “Shoot and cry ” over and over and over . Philosophy teacher……my foot !!
      “Darabni wa baka….. sabakni wa shtaka” !! (In Arabic it has to rhyme or else it lacks character ) !!

      • bintbiba
        March 29, 2015, 8:48 am

        correction : I mean to say ‘(in Arabic it has to rhyme or else it lacks impact)’ !!

  15. Zaghlul
    March 28, 2015, 10:53 pm

    Israel isn’t starving the people of Gaza, it’s putting them on a diet.
    Then mowing the lawn.
    Then caging the rabid pit bull.
    Then putting the Palestinian dog down.
    Where does this insane, dehumanizing rhetoric end?

  16. JLewisDickerson
    March 28, 2015, 10:59 pm

    THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: Would Andrew Pessin’s conduct have violated Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise’s ‘civility standard’ for the University of Illinois, thereby disqualifying him from employment at her institution?

    “What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them.” ~ Phyllis M. Wise, Chancellor

  17. bopfromthedarkside
    March 28, 2015, 11:20 pm

    Pessin may have been confusing Palestinians in general with the late, great General Moshe Dayan, famous for his exhortation to Israelis, “we must become like mad dogs, to dangerous to bother.”

    • eGuard
      March 29, 2015, 5:28 am

      Mad dogs with nukes, he meant

    • pabelmont
      March 29, 2015, 12:58 pm

      bftds: “too dangerous to bother” has indeed been Israeli policy since 1947. All the horrible attacks on Gaza and South Lebanon including Sabra and Shatilla were far more horrible than needed — they were terrorist attacks pure and simple and way over the top. Israel is perhaps trying to teach a lesson to its own people — we must be unreasonably tough in order that we are sufficiently feared that no-one will ever attack us. They’ve forgotten that no-one attacks them (much: just ineffective rockets out of Gaza occasionally) and keep up the over-the-top horror anyhow. (And the rockets always followed terrorist provocations out of Israel.)

  18. Qualtrough
    March 29, 2015, 12:53 am

    What he said is a perfect example of the common Zionist trope, often unspoken but implied, that there is something intrinsically wrong with either Palestinian culture , the people themselves (at the DNA level?), or both. The very last thing Zionists can do is to admit that perhaps the white hot rage felt by some elements of this out of control population of untermenschen might have its origins in anything the Zionists did.

  19. echinococcus
    March 29, 2015, 2:45 am

    He just said in so many words what Zionists think.
    Whatever their degree of il/liberalism, all Zionists have to confront their essential problem: what to do with the owners of the land.

  20. Accentitude
    March 29, 2015, 3:01 am

    All I needed to read was “Judea and Samaria” to know exactly where he stands on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

  21. eGuard
    March 29, 2015, 4:04 am

    Pessin, who is by coincident on leave from his teaching position

    Not “by coincident”, but by choice. Inside Higer Ed interview Pessin, published on March 25. It says:

    He [Pessin] decided this week to take a medical leave of absence for the remainder of the semester, partially due to the stress the accusations against him have caused.

    Note: The article is also interesting for the full set of lame excuses Pessin lists. Some were even proven false in the same article. Lamiya Khandaker’s exposing letter was published March 3, at the start of the ConnColl Spring holiday (March 3 – March 22).

    • eGuard
      March 29, 2015, 4:17 am

      The link to Inside Higher Ed is in the article, under “official statement of condemnation”.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 29, 2015, 9:54 am

      thank you for catching that eguard. “by coincidence” was added by my editor and i thought he had read something i had not – wasn’t quite sure why that was slipped in, perhaps because i had not mentioned a reason why pessin was on leave (because i didn’t know, although i assumed it was related). i had read the higher education article prior to publication (and linked to it) but i must have been remiss in reading all the way to the end of the article because i missed that part. again, thanks.

      • eGuard
        March 29, 2015, 7:02 pm

        All fine, Annie. Glad I can add. The post is great (1000 students showing up +picture!). It’s just my way to get a grab: reconstruct the timeline, who-said-what-when. I also ‘found’ the January/February activities that initiated this stuff.

    • Accentitude
      March 30, 2015, 4:34 am

      It must be so stressful being a racist. What with Pessin deleting his racist facebook post and then pretending like he didn’t say it, then admitting he said it but then saying that it was taken out of context or misunderstood (I fail to see how one could take out of context or misunderstand what was clearly and specifically written out with very deliberate intention). Oh woe is the life of a racist.

  22. eGuard
    March 29, 2015, 4:55 am

    It’s not just the August 11 post by Pessin, and not just a “misunderstanding” (misunderstanding of “co-specimen” of dogs, and “I agree”?)

    It was student Lamiya Khandaker who initiated the public row, publishing her letter on March 3 (see last large quote in the article). Why only six months after?

    On January 22, ConnColl had a panel discussion Making Sense of the Charlie Hebdo Attack. Pessin was in the panel.
    Khandaker quoted him saying: “How do we tolerate cultures of intolerance?”, “his emphasis of hate crimes perpetrated by Muslims.”. She then contacted him privately (only about or not only about his August post), which left him replying “you misunderstood me”.

    It was after this insufficient replies that she went public (after private discussions from February 25, the other March 3 letter notes), and included more hateful quotes. What about “his floods of articles that specifically talk about the failure of addressing “Arab and Muslim terrorism””?

    • just
      March 29, 2015, 9:55 am

      Thanks for all of that information, eGuard.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 29, 2015, 10:06 am

      Why only six months after?

      eguard, i don’t think she was aware of the FB page until recently. from everything i have read thus far, it’s not clear who first person to read the professor’s FB post from august. there are several references that just say “a student”. it occurred to me it is possible that another student brought the FB posting to her attention because of her position as chair of diversity and equity at the college and in her capacity as chairperson she first contacted the professor.

      it also could be that after the charlie hebdo panel, and inspired by his words at that panel, students began reading his FB posts during the attack last summer.

      • eGuard
        March 29, 2015, 7:28 pm

        Yes Annie, all plausible. It’s more subtle that I wrote. (More about Feb 25 anyone?). First hypothesis is that the Jan 22 panel discussion triggered a research.

        Still, there must be people who have read the Aug 11 post on Aug 12-Jan 21 and who did not faint or complaint. Weird.

        Another thread to research: in the Higher Ed interview, about Pessin: He [Pessin] posted it [on Aug 11] after a series of 10 other comments written between July 23 and Aug. 11 about Hamas and the group’s tactics and goals. Reading those preceding posts would have made it clearer that he was using the metaphor of a pit bull to describe Hamas, he said.

        Well: then bring those 10 other posts to us, Pessin! To your own defense! Or else, Khandaker, do you have screenprints?

        And this lesson for all PR/journalists: making it two ‘independent’ March 3 publications simultanously in the Voice is professionally great: killing the opposition’s option of blaming one!

  23. Kay24
    March 29, 2015, 9:57 am

    Boehner during SOTU/CNN interview, said that what Obama/WH did to Netanyahu was “reprehensible”. Not surprising, but always shocking to hear them make such strong statements, and watch them talk as if they live in another dimension, another world. I mean scoundrels like him and McCain, seem to have take the facts, twisted it completely around, and blamed is squarely on Obama. Not a single blame on chickenshit, who started it all.

    Also it seem Ted Cruz and Boehner came for their interviews with the same hasbara talking points. Cruz rewrote history by blaming Hamas for the deaths of the three kids and when asked if he supported 2SS, you could have wept, for he said THAT was Israel’s business and we cannot interfere in Israel’s affairs (oh now I know they why they did not interfere when UN shelters were bombed last year in Gaza, it was “Israel’s policies) which begs the question, WHY ARE THEY ALLOWING NETANYAHU TO INTERFERE IN OURS? This country has no hope with such delusional and dishonest leaders, who keep running with zionists policies in our nation.

    Question to Cruz, about one example of working with the Democrats, his answer was unbelievable…it was an example of how he joined forces with MENENDEZ TO FIND THE HAMAS TERRORIST WHO KIDNAPPED AND KILLED THOSE THREE KIDS, NOT A WORD ABOUT A POLICY THAT WOULD BENEFIT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE! THEY HAVE COMPLETELY GONE MAD.

  24. OyVey00
    March 29, 2015, 10:41 am

    Isn’t that just Steven Salaita in reverse?

    I don’t believe that anyone should lose their job for something they write on the internet, unless it violates their employment contract. Pressuring private employers to fire people for their political beliefs or for insulting someone on the internet is simply Orwellian.

    That being said, I don’t feel bad for this guy. But remember that if you condone this practice it’s likely that it will hit YOU next.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 29, 2015, 11:18 am

      it’s not my understanding the students are pressuring the administration for his termination. i think they were looking for a condemnation of his words by the administration — and for something more from him. an acknowledgement he understands his words were wrong and immoral.

      he seems to think the excuse he gave, that it was about hamas, makes it understandable or ok. it doesn’t. dehumanizing your adversary is wrong. i would not call kahanists rabid dogs or think that was excusable under the circumstance.

      • echinococcus
        March 29, 2015, 3:51 pm

        What’s the use of all the apologizing? Even if you force the guy to “admit it was wrong” he clearly isn’t thinking it. Let’s cut the comedy. Of course he shouldn’t be fired, but no apology should be accepted either and he should be boycotted to the max. He can have all the Zionists and Nazis he want attending his lectures.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 29, 2015, 5:39 pm

        he said he realized he made a mistake and apologized profusely.

        then, he stated he was not a racist :

        It’s essential for me also to remark that I in no way hold and do not condone the terrible racist views that have been ascribed to me on the basis of the language of this post. I hope that my past actions and words already demonstrate that I am not the person some now think I am; I know that my future actions and words will. Let my first such action be the reiteration of my deepest apology for causing such wounds.

        but, he didn’t say what he did was wrong. therefore, it doesn’t quite cut it. saying i made a mistake stealing from you or killing you or your family or lying or any number of things and that you are sorry is not the saying as saying you now realize it was wrong or a bad thing to do. and the president didn’t say that either.

        if your husband cheats on you and says “i made a terrible mistake” it should be followed up with an acknowledgement is was wrong. ‘a mistake’ could be simply for the fact one got caught.

        now the history dept and the The Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Connecticut college, they said more:

        The “CCSRE would like to clearly state that we do not condone speech filled with bigotry and hate particularly when that speech uses dehumanizing language and incites or celebrates violence and brutality,” an email read.

        From the history department:

        To the Campus Community,
        The history department would like to clearly state that we condemn speech filled with bigotry and hate particularly when that speech uses dehumanizing language and incites or celebrates violence and brutality. In response to the many events that transpired on campus prior to and during spring break regarding a Facebook post by a member of our faculty, we join the CCSRE in condemning hate speech.
        The history department would like to note the particularly salient tactic of dehumanizing language as a means to justify brutality and lull otherwise “well intentioned” people into silence and, effectively, complicity in racism, sexism, discrimination, colonialism and the numerous genocides throughout human history.
        We make this public statement with particular attention to those students, staff, and faculty whose identities and affiliations position them as the targets of such speech. We feel a public statement is essential to supporting the well-being of various members of the Connecticut College community, their right to educational opportunity, and their right to work in a non-hostile environment. We will continue to play our part in creating spaces for productive engagements around inclusive excellence. We look forward to collaborating with others to help move the College forward in achieving our goal of full participation.

        he didn’t even acknowledge what he said was racist. he was just sorry he cause hurt.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 29, 2015, 11:39 am

      But remember that if you condone this practice it’s likely that it will hit YOU next.

      unless pessin has a blind spot, he knows what he did was wrong. and according to the students (listen to the last link interview in the article), the students are taught at that school that genocide begins with dehumanization (one student says this is what the nazis did, and rwanda, as examples). so how does the excuse of “hamas” make what he said not dehumanization?

      in the video below, the guy reads text from pessin’s book “The 60 Second Philosopher”. there are a series of these on the internet. this one is about tolerance:

      “if you believe a given practice is morally wrong, then you shouldn’t tolerate it, for that would be to condone it. and if you believe that practice is morally acceptable, then you’re not tolerating it, you’re agreeing with it. so if you really think a practice is wrong, you should think of it as wrong for everyone.”

      there is more at the end of the video that pertains to this exact situation. listen to this and see if applied to israel, he would tolerate the nakba, or the colonization of palestine.

      he says at the end “you ought not to tolerate the tolerators.” well, the students are not tolerating it. and they want the administration to not tolerate it either. but they are not asking for him to be fired.

      • seafoid
        March 29, 2015, 11:25 pm

        Zionist coherence is very hard now. Philosophy has been road tested over millennia but Zionism was cobbled together in a few years last century and the stresses are really showing.

    • pjdude
      March 29, 2015, 2:18 pm

      advocating the commiting of crimes is an illegal act one someone can be fired for. i’m sorry but anyone who calls for genocide like he did needs to be fired post haste

      • ritzl
        March 29, 2015, 5:19 pm

        Yep. PDQ.

  25. Sulphurdunn
    March 29, 2015, 12:11 pm

    The professor should be invited to defend his extended metaphor in the arena of historical fact.

  26. MHughes976
    March 29, 2015, 12:17 pm

    I agree that this is Salaita in reverse and I don’t want this man to lose his job or to be told that he must address us with civility. I want our side to behave better than theirs. I want him told he’s wrong and crushed, as Socrates would have wished, solely under the weight of argument directed to his argument. I’ve sometimes lost arguments – we are the better for the experience.
    We might pursue his analogy. If I chose to take responsibility for a pit bull – purchasing one, breeding one – I would of course be expected not to treat it cruelly, not to lash it or lock it in a maddeningly confined space, which come to think of it are quite good images for what Israel does with scarce a second thought to the people of Gaza. If some of its behaviour was due to my cruelty I should lose custody of the animal and control of its situation: what else? Pit bulls are by nature ferocious, I understand – certainly human beings become angry and seek to retaliate, some times to excess, in the face of casual violence and incessant humiliation. That’s how we are. It’s not reasonable to expect pit bulls to be lapdogs. It’s not reasonable to expect human beings to put up with being incessantly and seriously wronged.

  27. DoubleStandard
    March 29, 2015, 12:32 pm

    Finally — one professor with his head screwed on straight.

    • just
      March 29, 2015, 5:01 pm

      “Professor of Philosophy” Pessin’s head is “screwed on straight” toward Tel Aviv!

      btw, there’s no “Finally” about it!

    • pjdude
      March 29, 2015, 6:15 pm

      what a suprise your condoning calling for genocide. maybe this why every decent hates zionists their just a bunch a criminals.

    • Qualtrough
      March 30, 2015, 12:01 am

      DoubleStandard: I haven’t the slightest doubt that you would be calling for this man’s head and branding anyone here who defended him an anti-semite if he had likened Jews to rabid dogs that needed to be put down. When you first appeared here I thought that your user name was a dig at Mondoweiss readers, suggesting that they had a double standard when it comes to Israel and Palestine. I now realize that it refers to your own views.

    • talknic
      March 30, 2015, 2:59 am

      @ DoubleStandard “Finally — one professor with his head screwed on straight”

      DS agrees with a hate spewing idiot. Who’d have thought ….

  28. gracie fr
    March 29, 2015, 1:22 pm

    ….Connecticut has been on the front lines when it comes to defending the quest for Palestinian justice, but it is more than hypocrital that Pessin has now taken the posture of victim, alleging he’s been targeted because of his support for Israel, even as Protestant Chaplin Bruce Shipman was forced to resign from Yale when he criticized the Gaza War in a New York Times op-ed….

    • eGuard
      March 29, 2015, 8:08 pm

      The Day writes, you link to: a professor’s Facebook posting which was regarded as anti-Palestinian

      Tell reporter Colin A. Young: “NO. Not anti-Palestinian. Racist“. Then fire Colin A. Young.

  29. oldgeezer
    March 29, 2015, 1:48 pm

    What a nasty little git that professor. And he has the gall to call Palestinians rabid dogs. He is certainly a masterI’m of projection.

    Amusing that he expects people to not only believe he doesn’t know the difference between saying Palestinians and specifying Hamas (which would still be a wrong) but that he hides behind his supposed religion to claim victim status. I am not saying Judaism is a supposed religion. I am saying he is devoid of any moral or religious values.

  30. Interested Bystander
    March 29, 2015, 2:33 pm

    Agree with the Salaita comparison, made by several above. I think what we felt with Salaita, is that Wise (who was not) should have stayed out of it. That is, more less, what UCT is doing here. The student community has managed to bring appropriate attention to this–and opprobrium on Pessim.

    The false analogy he made is reflective, of course, of the AIPAC view. That is to say, it is widely held. It’s not so different from the equally false analogy made by Amos Oz last summer: “What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?”

  31. The Hasbara Buster
    March 29, 2015, 7:57 pm

    Says Prof. Pessin: “Gaza is in the cage because of its repeated efforts to destroy Israel and Jews.”

    Maybe he needs to be shown the videos of Israeli skunk trucks sadistically spraying putrid liquid on houses and schools while not being under any destruction attempt at all from the people living and studying in those buildings.

    • seafoid
      March 29, 2015, 11:20 pm

      Gaza rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again

      Put the fucking lotion in the IDF basket, Gaza
      Pessin is the dog barking in the background

      • ritzl
        March 30, 2015, 4:00 am

        Good one, seafoid. For people who don’t play the “Silence of the Lambs” scene, the actual movie lines are even more apt and reflective of Pessin’s psychopathic, dehumanizing[ed] mindset:

        ‘IT’ takes the lotion and ‘IT’ puts it in the basket…”

    • JeffB
      March 29, 2015, 11:55 pm

      @The Hasbara Buster

      Maybe he needs to be shown the videos of Israeli skunk trucks sadistically spraying putrid liquid on houses and schools while not being under any destruction attempt at all from the people living and studying in those buildings.

      No he doesn’t because that isn’t happening in Gaza.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 30, 2015, 12:33 am

        No he doesn’t because that isn’t happening in Gaza.

        just jerusalem!

      • ritzl
        March 30, 2015, 4:35 am

        “No he doesn’t because that isn’t happening in Gaza.”

        Maybe its just me but whenever I read these extremely convoluted/non-sequitur, rationalization comments, I keep hearing ethereal Jack-in-the-Box music.

        You all seem to be winding your incoherent masking arguments tighter and tighter into a straining, spring-o-truth. Pretty soon, POP! A hundred million mental switches flip on Israel and what they’ve been spoonfed all these decades. Switches of people supremely exhausted with having their or their neighbors’ kids sent off to war and the constant centrality Israel occupies in the never-ending chaos that is used to justify that sacrifice.

      • Mooser
        March 30, 2015, 12:52 pm

        “You all seem to be winding your incoherent masking arguments tighter and tighter into a straining, spring-o-truth.”

        Can you blame him? He says he has a daughter starting college.

  32. Krendall Mist
    March 29, 2015, 8:45 pm

    Don’t understand the fuss–at least, I would not understand it if it did not appear on a site dedicated to saving essential Zionism from the fate it otherwise deserves. What this fellow wrote was an eloquent expression of the heart and soul of Zionism, the essence of the spirit of Israel, without the euphemistic vocabulary, without Frank Luntz-like manuals of style to conceal and distort — Pessin does us a service: he, at least on this one occasion, was honest– Ecce Zionist

  33. scott9854958
    March 29, 2015, 8:59 pm

    I can’t believe people are comparing this to the Salaita case. There’s no comparison! Read Salaita’s Tweets as I did — his attacks are aimed almost exclusively at the deplorable actions of the Israeli government and their hired killers, the IDF. In other words, he’s criticizing a foreign country’s government–totally fair game! This Pissin, er Pessin guy is demonizing everyone in Gaza of Arab descent, the very definition of racism and intolerance. What he’s done is far, far worse. I hope Conn College does the right thing and discharges him, like they would a feral pit bull.

    • JeffB
      March 29, 2015, 11:49 pm


      Bull. Salaita attacked Israeli society and Israelis. [….] You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not: I wish all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing.

      If it’s “antisemitic” to deplore colonization, land theft, and child murder, then what choice does any person of conscience have? That’s against the IDF that’s against Israelis generally. Calling their developments “land theft” is a call for the reversal of this theft.

      if you’re defending #Israel right now, then “hopelessly brainwashed” is your best prognosis. An attack on essentially the entire Jewish population and their supporters.

      The cases are very comparable except for the fact that in one case you had one facebook post in the other a a multiyear career of trafficking in hate.

      • pjdude
        March 30, 2015, 12:40 am

        so in your mind Salaita calling Israel warcrimes and terrorism and the people like you who defend them is the same thing as this jewish professor calling for genocide against the palestinians? my bad you think speaking out against Israel’s crimes is bad but calling for genocide of your victims is ok in your book

        Salaita wasn’t trafficking in hate. most of the jewish orgs you support however do. what Salaitawas trafficking is accountability some you yourself as a zionist wouldn’t understand.

      • JeffB
        March 30, 2015, 5:46 am


        Salaita wasn’t trafficking in hate. most of the jewish orgs you support however do. what Salaita was trafficking is accountability some you yourself as a zionist wouldn’t understand.

        He was trafficking in inciting towards the slaughter of hundreds of thousands to millions just like Pessin. In every genocide between X and Y, Y did things that X doesn’t like. If genocide is acceptable towards groups that have ever done a wrong than that’s an argument for making it acceptable towards all groups. The reason you don’t see the difference is because you agree with Salaita’s genocidal rants.

        Let’s not forget the Palestinian blockade you all, and Salaita in particular, object to was a sanctions regime imposed with broad agreement for Gazans selecting Hamas, a terrorist organization. Even if there weren’t rocket fire but some other way to break it, it would be accountability.

        you think speaking out against Israel’s crimes is bad but calling for genocide of your victims is ok in your book

        No I don’t. I said nothing of the kind in the above. You are simply lying.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 30, 2015, 12:20 pm

        jeff, wishing someone would just disappear is not incitement for their slaughter no matter how you’d like to spin it. after all, how many times have we heard israel wants the land but not the people on it. i’m sure there are many many people, both israeli and palestinian who’d wish the other would just disappear but it simply doesn’t mean they’d wish to slaughter them or are calling other to do just that. you’re really out on a limb here. whereas saying someone or a group of people should be “put down” like an animal, everyone knows what that means.

        hasbara #FAIL

      • Mooser
        March 30, 2015, 10:52 am

        “Bull. Salaita attacked Israeli society and Israelis.”

        The West Bank is part of Israel? I don’t think so.

      • eljay
        March 30, 2015, 11:05 am

        || JeffBeee: Salaita attacked Israeli society and Israelis. ||

        Salaita attacked Zio-supremacists and Israeli colonialists.

        || That’s against the IDF that’s against Israelis generally. ||

        Colonization, land theft and child murder are immoral and unjust actions, even when Zio-supremacists commit them.

        || An attack on essentially the entire Jewish population and their supporters. ||

        An attack on the Zio-supremacist population and their supporters. Not all Israeli Jews are Zio-supremacists.

      • JeffB
        March 30, 2015, 12:36 pm


        jeff, wishing someone would just disappear is not incitement for their slaughter no matter how you’d like to spin it. after all, how many times have we heard israel wants the land but not the people on it. i’m sure there are many many people, both israeli and palestinian who’d wish the other would just disappear but it simply doesn’t mean they’d wish to slaughter them or are calling other to do just that.

        The context here remember was following the deliberate murder of some Jewish kids. Yes he was calling for that. And in his later posts he most himself contextualized this within the anti-colonial movement. So absolutely Salaita was a call for genocide in some vague sense. Moreover his books elaborate on this theme.

        Rwandan calls for genocide were often against individuals XYZ is a a bad patriot who deserves to die followed by the village they were associated with being wiped out.



        Approving for genocide on people preceded by some reason you don’t like them doesn’t change anything. Every people that was genocided had some group that had a beef with them and others who agreed.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 30, 2015, 12:54 pm

        The context here remember was following the deliberate murder of some Jewish kids.

        prove it. as i recall the only ones aware the teens had been murdered at that point were the gov of israel, their intel and who ever murdered them. remember, netanyahu lied about it and used it as a pretext to carry out a month long pogrom on palestinians in the WB. when the tweet was made they were just missing.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 30, 2015, 1:13 pm

        Moreover his books elaborate on this theme.

        what theme? a call for genocide? by all means what book at what passage. i am not going to let you continue spamming the thread with this allegation until after you substantiate it beyond these hypotheticals. so show me this passage from the book w/a link.

      • eljay
        March 30, 2015, 1:11 pm

        || JeffBeee: @Eljay Approving for genocide on people preceded by some reason you don’t like them doesn’t change anything. ||

        Who’s approving for genocide? I’m not. Salaita – as far as I can tell – is not. (And if it can be proven that he is, I’m prepared unequivocally to condemn him for it.) That leaves you.

        || So absolutely Salaita was a call for genocide in some vague sense. ||

        It says a lot about you that you’re more offended by your interpretation of Salaita’s comments as “genocide in some vague sense” than you are by Israel’s actual past and on-going (war) crimes.

      • ritzl
        March 30, 2015, 1:57 pm

        LOL! JeffB: So absolutely Salaita was a call for genocide in some vague sense.”

        Beyond its humor, that sentence is the perfect nutshell illustration of why Salaita and Pessin are not comparable. Your strange statement summarizes the “case” against Salaita. and shows how it was fabricated with nonsense.

        Pessin’s statements are simple, direct, unambiguous calls for killing groups of people.

        Btw, may I borrow that statement? Such archetypal examples of weasel-wording really don’t come along that often. Well done!

      • scott9854958
        March 30, 2015, 3:39 pm

        Jeff, shouldn’t you be spreading your good cheer over at Little Green Footballs?

        You do know your absurd talking points don’t work here. Right?

        Yeah, Israel has a problem with pit bulls. It purchased the kennel in June 1967 in a pre-emptive military strike. It made a choice to go to war & take land. And it’s been whining to the world ever since.

      • justicewillprevail
        March 30, 2015, 6:19 pm

        ‘Calling for genocide in a vague sense’ – lol. I take it you mean there is no evidence that he is calling for genocide, but you are going to accuse him of it, nevertheless, in a ‘vague sense’. Well, at least you out yourself as unconcerned with any details like what people actually do or say, and just make stuff up about them, in order to satisfy your deeply held prejudices. You are deliberately misleading and deceptive about the context for Salaita’s tweets (which were about the slaughter of helpless people in Gaza, and the state sanctioned racism inherent in the occupation and dispossession of Palestine); and you are clueless, or mendacious, about his books. No doubt you hope no-one will check, but readers of Mondoweiss will already know, having read Phan Nguyen’s excellent takedown of the affair. Perhaps you should make more of an effort to read this site, instead of trolling the threads, issuing pontificating evidence-free comments which are straight from the hasbara handbook – accusations you can’t support, except ‘in a vague sense’.

      • Mooser
        March 30, 2015, 11:06 pm

        “Bull. Salaita attacked Israeli society and Israelis. [….] You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not: I wish all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing.”

        So the “West Bank settlers” are “Israeli society and Israelis”?

        Oh for Gawd’s sake, JeffyB, do West Bank settlers even have residency permits for Israel proper?

      • pjdude
        March 31, 2015, 12:14 am

        thats a load of crap. there is not one single instances of salaita calling for genocide like pessin did. you lying jeff plan and simple. salaita was inciting or trafficking toward genocide. typical of you though to attack someone who is against warcrimes and defending someone who is

    • Qualtrough
      March 30, 2015, 12:08 am


  34. Brewer
    March 30, 2015, 4:56 am

    If for nothing else, this character should be denied tenure and sacked for just cause, that being incompetence in his field.
    No-one competent in the Queen of all Sciences could possibly think, let alone utter, the venomous illogic contained in his statement.

  35. ritzl
    March 30, 2015, 5:05 am

    Connecticut College on Twitter: @ConnCollege

  36. MHughes976
    March 30, 2015, 5:45 am

    I absolutely don’t want our side to behave like theirs with threats and boycotts and demands for apologies. And we can’t have moral arguments in universities unless moral mistake is not treated as livelihood-threatening incompetence.
    Let me try to put Pessin’s argument without the animal stuff and then respond to it.
    1. It is widely presumed that it is a normal right for people to live as enfranchised (so not imprisoned) members of a sovereign state, as Israelis do.
    2. However, there is a major exception: if people have a record of seeking the destruction or dismantlement of another legitimate polity or of attacking its population their own normal rights lapse and they may be kept in a degree of imprisonment, as the people of Gaza are.
    3. The ground of this exception must be that to have rights is to accord rights: not to accord, or even to intend not to accord, all due rights to others is to lose rights oneself.
    In reply, I would say that
    a. Rights subject to such strict conditions, reaching even into thoughts and intentions, may scarcely be recognisable as rights.
    b. Israel, which has never proclaimed even the intention of setting up a fully sovereign Palestinian state, with control of borders: externally controlled borders are a form of imprisonment for those inside. Moreover Zionism always embodied the intention to dismantle whatever polity prevailed in Palestine before their was a Jewish majority.
    c. Thus the argument, even were it acceptable, would not serve its purpose. On the contrary, it would go against the legitimacy of Israel and imply that the curtailment of normal human rights in Gaza was not the justified self-preservation of a legitimate state but the ever-compounded cruelty inherent in imposing unjust forms of power.
    So let us, Professor P, approach the question of rights differently, with less readiness to think of lapses and exceptions.

  37. just
    March 30, 2015, 9:14 am

    “Connecticut College is closed Monday as administrators lead a college-wide conversation after some concerns about racism and hate-related issues on campus.

    The action comes a day after racially charged graffiti was found in the bathrooms on the first floor of the Crozier-Williams building at the New London college. Photos shared with NBC Connecticut show writing on a bathroom wall that says “No” followed by the “N” word plural. The graffitti has been removed and administrators are investigating, trying to find the person(s) responsible.

    That was after another controversy on campus that led at least 500 people to sign a petition on calling for Connecticut College president Katherine Bergeron to condemn philosophy professor Andrew Pessin’s Facebook post stating in part that Gaza is like a pitbull kept in a cage “because of its repeated efforts to destroy Israel and Jews.”

    “By now, there have been many opinions expressed about the original Facebook post, as well as about subsequent comments on Yik Yak and elsewhere. But one thing has become extremely clear: the level of harm that incendiary language can have on a community. The post caused an outpouring of anger and pain among many different groups of students, faculty, and staff. The groundswell of reaction makes it clear that the issue goes far beyond the effects of a single post. It is about who we are as a community,” Bergeron wrote in a letter to the students on Sunday. “Earlier today, as I was writing this letter, I learned of another incident of racist graffiti in the restrooms of Crozier-Williams. We must take action immediately to expose and eradicate this ignorance and hatred. I have decided to cancel tomorrow’s classes to ensure these events receive the proper attention.””

    (FrontPage Magrag, which I won’t link to, has done a piece defending Pessin and attacking some of the students~ ho hum.)

  38. joer
    March 30, 2015, 9:47 am

    I was trying to remember what the good professor’s essay reminded me of…then it hit me: George Lincoln Rockwell, the head of the American Nazi Party in the 60s, wrote a children’s book about an evil chicken that looked very Jewish, who all the animals kicked off the farm. The essay and the children’s book are similar both in the use of the animal metaphor, and in the way they torture the metaphor to death, dragging a dumb idea out in a way they they think is clever, but actually makes the authors seem a little crazy, besides being hateful and a bad writer.

    I think a better comparison than the ordeal over Dr. Salatia’s tweets would be the fraternity from Oklahoma who were chanting about how they would like to “hang a nigger from a tree”, with the only difference being that the Palestinians are actually being caged and put down, while those frat boys were just being nostalgic about days gone by. I wonder if they claimed their chant was political speech, as the professor claimed, they wouldn’t have been quarantined from the campus like they had ebola.

    All this being said, if he is a good professor and can get his students interested in philosophy, then he should be able to keep his job-although there is a good chance he will have a lot of free time in the near future he will have a lot of time to put all that philosophical training to good use.

  39. hophmi
    March 30, 2015, 10:32 am

    Yet again, you’re applying a double standard.

    When Steven Salaita posted on twitter that he wished all West Bank settlers would go missing, among a number of other tweets that both dehumanized Israelis (the man said Israel has a “dead soul,” for G-d sakes) and made Jewish students at UI feel uncomfortable, you defended what he said and pooh-poohed the feelings of those students who said that his comments made them feel uncomfortable, and you parsed his statements to suggest that he didn’t really mean the plain meaning of what he said.

    Not only did Salaita not take the offensive tweets down; he stood by them, said he didn’t have a damn thing to apologize for, and received a national speaking tour from his academic colleagues.

    Here, you’re condemning a professor who said nothing more offensive than Salaita did. The professor’s comments have turned out a thousand students to protest – on what basis? In the Soundcloud excerpt you posted, students said that Professor Pessin’s comments MADE THEM FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE GOING TO CLASS because they were dehumanizing. Unlike Salaita, Pessin actually took the post down when a student told him that he felt offended by it. You can’t have it both ways. Either you’re for free speech on campus or you aren’t. Either you’re for making students confront uncomfortable, disconcerting ideas, or you aren’t.

    Posts like this show what you’re really for – making sure your political viewpoint is heard on campus, and that the political viewpoints of those who disagree with you are censored.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 30, 2015, 3:16 pm

      you defended what he said and pooh-poohed the feelings of those students who said that his comments made them feel uncomfortable, and you parsed his statements to suggest that he didn’t really mean the plain meaning of what he said.

      yeah, lots of mean things get said when israel was carrying on their pogrom in the WB that lead to the slaughter of lots of other people.

      i’m just so sorry hops, but while israel was massacring palestinians in the thousands i wasn’t very concerned about old tweets expressing the wish settlers would just all disappear from the WB.

      in fact even today with no massive slaughter going on i for one would be very very grateful if all those settlers in the illegal colonies would go missing, preferably back to israel or russia or brooklyn or wherever it was they came from!!!

      and if that make you or students or anyone uncomfortable i could give an F for heavens sakes. it’s been decades of an illegal occupation.

      it’s a far cry from expressing the wish they’d be put down like a dog. we’re looking at a false equivalent here, no doubt about it. one statement is subject to interpretation, and easily conflated to be the wish most of the world has (including europe) , that the illegal settlers would leave the WB. one is not and clearly implies a call for execution.

      Here, you’re condemning a professor who said nothing more offensive than Salaita did.

      actually, i have yet to condemn pessin. and your second allegation is preposterous.


    • just
      March 30, 2015, 3:40 pm

      Hey hophmi, I have a question. Whatever happened to Yoseph Ben David and his fellow “hunters” who kidnapped, tortured, and then burned to death 16 y. o. Mohammed Abu Khdeir ?

      Are they still free?

      • eGuard
        March 30, 2015, 3:55 pm

        They went missing in the Israeli Justice system for sure.

    • pjdude
      March 31, 2015, 12:21 am

      bullshit. your boy Passin committed a crime by inciting for the commition of a war crime genocide. Salaita did know such thing. and at no point actually called for harming Israelis and jews. the two aren’t comparable. one( saliata) was someone who was expressing his anger at his people being illegally harmed and never adovocating harm to anyone. which you condemned. the other (passin) called for the genocide of another people with zero provocation and was merely expressing his own blind hate and bigotry.

      • yonah fredman
        March 31, 2015, 11:42 am

        pessin’s statement was quite explicit, whereas salaita’s statement was ambiguous (or more precisely a double entendre). that is the essence of tweeting 140 characters, saying something half humorous half bloodthirsty and sounding like a comedian. those who pretend that he was only being humorous and not bloodthirsty are liars. to deny a tweet its essence by saying, but it can be taken both ways, is disingenuous. but all for the cause, so that’s okay. not. honesty is the best policy, even when there is a cause involved. why do people lie? because it’s easy and convenient and because it’s habit forming.

      • pjdude
        March 31, 2015, 11:08 pm

        @ yonah

        i’m not denying it yonah. but unlike you i’m willing to take the time to understand. as i stated one there was zero overt call for harm and was clearly coming from a place of anger. ie the guy in anger and grief making a statement beyond what he would state normally is the one your attack the guy who literally called for the commiting of a war crime dispassionately coming from a place normality is the guy your defending. honesty is the best policy. you should try it. instead of lying about Saliata debacle to defend a criminal.

  40. RobertB
    March 30, 2015, 1:49 pm

    Connecticut College

    Katherine Bergeron, President
    [email protected]

    Bonnie Wells, Secretary of the College
    [email protected]

    Wendy Mahon, Executive Assistant to the President
    [email protected]

  41. eGuard
    March 31, 2015, 5:47 pm

    This is how he got the Genius part in 1993 with Letterman.

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