The U.S. representative of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the political authority in the Palestinian territories that answers to President Mahmoud Abbas, wrote a letter to University President Richard Levin on Monday accusing Yale of hosting anti-Palestinian extremists at a recent conference on anti-Semitism.
The conference, “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity,” took place Aug. 25-23 at the Loria Center and included presentations from 110 scholars, three of whom PLO representative Maen Rashid Areikat in his letter called conservative radicals: a former Israeli military officer, the legal representative of an organization that monitors human rights organizations, and the founder of a media watchdog organization.
“It’s shocking that a respected institution like Yale would give a platform to these right-wing extremists and their odious views,” Areikat wrote.
Two of the presenters named in the letter said it was inaccurate to characterize their politics as right-wing. The third could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Jonathan Fighel, the former military officer, said he spent much of his career in the army helping to coordinate the Oslo Accords of 1993, which sought to lay a path for future peaceful negotiations between Israel and Palestine. He added that he has worked as an academic since he left the army in 1996.
Levin said Tuesday that he would respond to the letter personally on Wednesday.