Did a campus conference on Gaza feature anti-Semitism?

Categories: Anti Semitism

JTA — “This is my anti-Semitic song,” Tamer Nafar, a Palestinian-Israeli rapper, said at the opening of a conference on Gaza last month at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I know it might sound [like] R&B stuff, but don’t think of Rihanna when you sing it, don’t think of Beyonce,” he continued. “Think of Mel Gibson. Go that anti-Semitic. Let’s try it together because I need your help. I cannot be anti-Semitic alone.”

Nafar then launched into “Mama, I fell in love with a Jew,” a joking song about a Palestinian who becomes infatuated with an Israeli woman soldier while stuck in an elevator. (Sample lyric: “Was it meant to be? Could she be the one?/Her name is not Janie but she’s got a gun.”)

Was the performance anti-Semitic? Was Nafar just kidding? Even if he was kidding, is it still anti-Semitic?

Let’s back up: In late March, the Middle East Studies departments at Duke University and UNC co-sponsored a conference called “Conflict over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities.” Much of the conference consisted of panels and speeches by academic and policy experts.

Read More: Times of Israel