Plattsburgh State gender and women’s studies Professor Simona Sharoni has received a slew of online threats after making comments about feminism and the conflict between Israel and Palestine, particularly in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, BDS, movement.I tweeted to her exactly once in April, which is not exactly starting an entire Twitter campaign, and certainly I have nothing to do with any alleged threats of rape against her:
The threats were received by Sharoni through both her PSUC and personal email accounts, as well as tweets directed to her Twitter handle.
“The vast majority of of the messages were sexist in tone and incoherent in substance. They consisted of attacks on my character and academic reputation with several messages that included threats to my career and job security and two messages, which included direct threats to my safety,” Sharoni said in a letter addressed to PSUC colleagues. “One threatened me with rape and the other with both rape and physical violence.”
The initial twitter campaign against Sharoni was initiated April 19 by user @ElderofZiyon, whose bio on the social media site states he is a “International man of mystery, who just happens to run the world. Zionism, Israel, the Arab world, Palestinians, all from a different viewpoint.”
Twitter user @Mrvigilante tweeted to Sharoni, “may be [sic] you should try rape and terrorism to see the difference. Can be arranged.”
Idiot professor @simonasharoni pretends to link campus rape to Israel https://t.co/ohpUH8xnBo #AcademicFraud pic.twitter.com/tJXdeUf8SN— ElderOfZiyon (@elderofziyon) April 20, 2016
I wrote to the newspaper and asked why they mischaracterized my role.
The answer I received is that Sharoni herself is the one who accused me of starting this campaign in the letter to her colleagues!
(The editor says that she will correct the article, although that hasn't happened yet. Her characterization of two alleged threats as a "slew" is more sloppy reporting.)
After the initial threats were received in April, Sharoni said she contacted University Police.
She said she “was fairly satisfied with the response of campus police and IT specialists,” though she still felt vulnerable on campus.
The example from @MrVigilante of a "rape threat" does not strike me as that at all, either. While I don't condone it, he is saying that Sharoni's linking of Israel to rape is less credible than linking Palestinian terror to rape, and crudely offering to help her research the topic. Again, I don't support that statement nor did I have anything to do with it, besides publicizing her own words.
If Sharoni felt threatened by him or any other tweet, she should have gone to the actual police or the FBI, not the campus police. This was not even remotely a credible threat to her.
But Sharoni decided to make an issue of her being "threatened" and "harassed" by Freedom of Information Law requests because she simply cannot defend her absurd positions linking Israel to campus rape via "intersectionality." She claims that she is being persecuted because of her support for BDS, but in fact she is being criticized for this tendentious linkage which she admits is an anti-Israel strategy she made up to inflame passions.
Essentially, Sharoni does not have the ability to defend her slanderous and false accusations against Israel, and to divert attention from her own failings in logic and truth, she is claiming victimhood because people are now asking questions about how an academic can so easily make such false statements.
It is not unreasonable to ask whether someone entrusted to teach students is trustworthy herself.
What is sad is that her colleagues, her college newspaper and some media are accepting her version of events without even bothering to check her accusations. Even this incident shows that Sharoni has no academic rigor as she lashes out at her ideological opponents armed with nothing but false accusations and lies.
I invite her colleagues at Plattsburgh State to read my critique of her words and to agree - or argue -with me. It is something that Sharoni clearly doesn't welcome herself.