EVENT: Susan Neiman to deliver the 59th Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture, "Racism, Antisemitism, and Rethinking Historical Reckoning" on March 9

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Susan Neiman will deliver the 59th Annual Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture, "Racism, Antisemitism, and Rethinking Historical Reckoning," on Thursday, March 9, 2023, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, in Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Brandeis University, and streaming live on Zoom. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required for Zoom.

Susan Neiman is an American philosopher and writer, and the director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany. She has written extensively on the Enlightenment, moral philosophy, metaphysics, and politics. 

The Simon Rawidowicz Memorial Lecture is named for Simon Rawidowicz (1896–1957), one of the most innovative Jewish thinkers of the twentieth century and a founding member of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.

Sponsored by the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry with the support of the Robert and Valya Shapiro Endowment, the Center for German and European Studies, and the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Could someone from the Tauber Institute, Brandeis University provide background on the decision to invite Susan Neiman to deliver this memorial lecture? As noted in the invitation, Neiman "has written extensively on the Enlightenment, moral philosophy, metaphysics, and politics" but it appears to me that with respect to antisemitism, her ideological activism in a specific German political context stands out. She has echoed and avoided confronting the East German regime’s legacy of universalizing the Holocaust (largely erasing the genocide of the Jewish people) as well as the DDR’s demonization of Israel and support for Palestinian terror under the label of “antifascist" global solidarity. Neiman has been active in legitimizing the BDS movement in Germany, and most recently, her activist ideology was highlighted in the highly problematic "Hijacking Memory" event. Neiman (via the Einstein Forum that she heads) was among the organizers, along with Stefanie Schüler-Springorum and Emily Dische-Becker. The ostensible objective was to “combat right-wing appropriation of Holocaust memory,” again highlighting the narrow agenda. One of the main speakers, Tareq Baconi — a Palestinian —repeated the tendentious claim that European Holocaust guilt is behind support for Israel, and therefore responsible for denying Palestinians freedom and equality. Baconi also launched a fierce attack on the IHRA-WDA. Jan Grabowski and Konstanty Gebert posted a strong criticism of these expressions of antisemitism at a conference ostensibly on “Holocaust memory” and the “thunderous applause” from the German audience.