Annual Psychology Conference Invites Bevy Of Anti-Israel Commentators
- A division of the American Psychological Association is hosting a conference with a bevy of speakers that have expressed anti-Israel views, including praising terrorists and accusing Israel of organ harvesting.
- Lara Sheehi and Puar are speaking at a roundtable talking about “State Violence, Debility, and the Embodied Struggle,” and Stephen Sheehi is the keynote speaker for a discussion “On the Dread of Psychoanalytic Repair.”
- “Supplementing its right to kill with what Puar calls the right to maim, the Israeli state relies on liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies,” a book summary by Jasbir Puar, one of the speakers, read.
The American Psychological Association’s Division 39: Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology (SPPP) invited several speakers who have a history of anti-Israel comments to its upcoming spring conference, according to an event program.
The conference titled “Our Beautiful Struggle” will take place in New York from April 26th to the 29th and discuss”destruction, creation and psychoanalysis,” according to the event program. SPPP invited George Washington Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology Lara Sheehi, her husband Willam and Mary College’s Professor of Middle East Studies Stephen Sheehi and Rutger’s Gender and Women’s Studies Professor Jasbir Puar to speak despite all three having a significant history of anti-Israel rhetoric.
Lara Sheehi is speaking at a roundtable talking about “State Violence, Debility, and the Embodied Struggle” along with Puar. Stephen Sheehi is the keynote speaker for a discussion “On the Dread of Psychoanalytic Repair,” which explores racism and colonialism, according to the event itinerary.
Sheehi, who is also the president of the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Society, is currently under investigation by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for allegations that she discriminated against Jewish students and encouraged anti-Israel rhetoric. Sheehi reportedly told one student that it wasn’t “your fault that you were born in Israel” and invited a speaker to one of her classes that accused Israel of testing its weapons on innocent Palestinian children.
GWU conducted an internal investigation and claimed that it found “no evidence” of discriminatory conduct, but students that filed the initial complaint accused the university of punishing them for reporting Sheehi.
Sheehi’s husband, Stephen Sheehi, has also made his fair share of anti-Israel comments, including appearing to praise members of Palestinian and Lebanese terrorist organizations, according to several recorded interviews. In one panel discussion with the Institute for Social and Health Sciences at the University of South Africa in 2022, Sheehi said that ” As Arabs… we pay deference and honor our ancestors and our martyrs, but also our living elders like Leila Khaled and the imprisoned Georges Abdullah.”
Khaled is one of the leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which was designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization in 1997, according to the Canary Mission. Abdullah is a Lebanese terrorist that killed an American military company and an Israeli diplomat in 1982 and is also believed to also be a member of PFLP.
Sheehi has also been a supporter of multiple boycotts from the Jewish state and called Israel a “Jim Crow state … an explicitly apartheid state,” according to Canary Mission. He has also expressed his belief that the U.S. is a “settler-colonial society” that was “built on racism and racial hierarchies.”
Puar is the author of a book titled “The Right to Maim,” which claims that Israel purposefully targets Palestinians with the intent to maim.
“Puar’s analysis culminates in an interrogation of Israel’s policies toward Palestine, in which she outlines how Israel brings Palestinians into biopolitical being by designating them available for injury,” the summary of the book reads. “Supplementing its right to kill with what Puar calls the right to maim, the Israeli state relies on liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies.”
In 2016, Puar gave a lecture at Vassar College where she reportedly accused Israel of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and claimed that Israel purposefully plans attacks that maim and “stunt” their victims, according to the Observer. Puar defended her comments in an article for Jadaliyya, a media outlet produced by the Arab Studies Institute.
“I shared some of my ethnographic research from a recent trip to the West Bank, integrated with a published article on the generational effects of maiming and stunting of children in Gaza; these are confirmed medical diagnoses,” Puar wrote. “Amidst other details of my visit, I made an effort to convey the affective distress and pain of families whose children’s bodies were held for months before being returned. In doing so, I relayed a simple ethnographic observation: “Some speculate that their bodies were mined for organs for scientific research.’”
An APA spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation that it “had no role in developing the program or recommending or inviting speakers.”
Sheehi, Puar and SPPP did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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