Months later, Pessin, driven off campus by the stress of the two-minutes hate, still has not resumed his teaching duties. The Connecticut Jewish Ledger recently published an update on Pessin, which asks pertinent questions, including the following:
1. Given that the attacks on Pessin turned out to be the product of a hoax, “why has Conn College not removed online statements from academic departments and campus programs denouncing Pessin’s language as racist and bigoted?”
2. “Students and administration claimed their actions [criticizing Pessin] were not intended to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Why, then, was so much of the interim deans’ programming [announced in response to the Pessin and other incidents] geared toward this topic? And, why was it heavily skewed toward a pro-Palestinian bias, with an occasional left-leaning pro-Israel viewpoint? Why was there not a single Israeli among the many speakers and panelists?”
3. Given that Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron based her statements critical of Pessin on misinformation, why has she not publicly apologized?
Allow me to add two more questions:
4. Why was no investigation commenced, much less any disciplinary action taken, against the students who libeled one of their professors and brought the college into international disrepute? The College Honor Code pledge states, among other things, “We will never, by any selfish or other unworthy act, dishonor this our College.”
5. Why were both the Hillel director and the Jewish chaplain on campus unwilling to publicly defend Pessin against false charges? Worse yet, why was the Hillel student leadership (from what I heard from knowledgeable sources) discouraged from coming to Pessin’s defense?
It strikes me that the college’s playbook has been to ignore the controversy and hope it went away over the summer without any consequences for any of the bad actors. It didn’t.