Jewish Legislative Caucus ‘deeply disappointed’ by inclusion of some speakers at Penn-hosted ‘Palestine Writes’ festival

Lawmakers cite speakers with history of antisemitic statements

HARRISBURG, Sept. 22 –The Jewish Legislative Caucus issued the following statement today regarding the Palestine Writes Literature Festival being hosted by several groups on the University of Pennsylvania campus this weekend:? 

“While our caucus embraces and celebrates diversity of culture, artistic expression, and freedom of speech, we are deeply disappointed to learn that the event includes speakers who have been clearly identified with antisemitic statements and tropes, such as Roger Waters, who recently dressed in a Nazi-like uniform at a concert and has made antisemitic statements in the past, Randa Abdel-Fattah, who recently called Israel ‘a demonic, sick project’ and said she ‘can’t wait for the day we commemorate its end,’ and others.

“The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – known as the Days of Awe – are some of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar and are marked by humility, self-reflection and the repairing and forging of bonds. It is a time in which the many Jewish students, educators, neighbors and others in the University of Pennsylvania community will seek peace, understanding and reconciliation with those around them.

“We support and encourage creating spaces for the discussion and celebration of Palestinian art, literature and culture. We simply believe that this celebration should not include individuals with a history of divisive, antisemitic rhetoric, which is antithetical to the mutual respect, understanding, and healing we all need to move forward.”