The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 traditional Rabbis in American public policy, today condemned the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) for granting an award to a book “rife with anti-Semitic smears and demonization of moral conduct.” The NWSA this year co-awarded its annual Alison Piepmeier Book Prize to The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability, by Jasbir Puar.

Puar, an associate professor of women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University, writes that the “Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have shown a demonstrable pattern over decades of sparing life, of shooting to maim rather than to kill.” But rather than commending this humane policy, the author calls it a “purportedly humanitarian practice” and asserts that its true intent is to maintain “Palestinian populations as perpetually debilitated, and yet alive, in order to control them.”

“The book quite literally inverts morality and barbarism,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, East Coast Regional Vice President of the CJV, “censuring the world’s only Jewish-led military for trying to avoid killing even those coming to murder children. It is difficult to imagine how that could be seen as anything other than raw anti-Semitism, which has always sought ways to demonize Jews and ascribe sinister motives to appropriate, moral conduct.”

The CJV compared the book’s theory to that of an essay published last year, which similarly claimed that the lack of rapes committed by IDF soldiers against Arab women was due to racism, rather than noble restraint and respect for human rights. Rabbi Pruzansky pointed out that “any other army would receive high praise for either of these behaviors.”

“Yesterday we witnessed the tragic murder of Ari Fuld, an American citizen and IDF reservist, killed simply because he was a Jew, leaving behind four orphaned children” noted Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the CJV Rabbinic Circle. “It is precisely the sort of demonization the NWSA honors that leads to claims that Jews are to be blamed for their own murders — as has already transpired in this horrific case. With this award, the NWSA has effectively encouraged further acts of barbarism, by endorsing a vicious and patently unjustifiable condemnation of those who seek to prevent them.”

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