In the wake of opposition by some Jewish leaders to Professor Derek J. Penslar’s appointment as co-chair of Harvard University’s new Presidential Task Force on Combating Antisemitism, the New Israel Fund of Canada released the following statement:

We are proud to call Professor Derek J. Penslar—a Canadian and a member of our Advisory Council—our friend and colleague. The unwarranted and frankly outrageous attacks on his character, his politics, and his academic integrity are infuriating and absolutely baseless.

False and trumped up charges of antisemitism such as this one – frequently made by extremist voices within the Jewish community – undermine the real fight against antisemitism.

We echo the statement made by NIF international CEO Daniel Sokatch: “Professor Penslar is an outstanding scholar—a widely recognized leader in the field of Jewish and Israeli history. Indeed, a list of hundreds of academics recently wrote a letter in support of Professor Penslar’s appointment that included the line ‘It is hard to think of many North American academics who have contributed more to the development of the study of Jewish history and of Israeli society over the past few decades than Derek Penslar.’

“We at NIF stand proudly in support of his appointment. He is just the kind of thoughtful expert and compassionate leader we need in the fight against antisemitism on campus and throughout our country.”