Lannan Foundation – Anti-Israel & Anti-Semitic?

Since at least 2001, when the Lannan Foundation sponsored Edward Said, the notorious anti-Semite (and later found to be distorter of his own background to puff up his anti-Israel resume), the Lannan Foundation has sponsored at least 12 speakers and moderators who have profound antipathy to Israel. They have sponsored zero balanced or pro-Israel speakers – not even speakers who will provide historical accuracy to the audience.

Some of these notorious speakers include:

Edward Said, 2001
Amy Goodman, 2002 and 2012
Noam Chomsky, 2005
Amira Hass, 2005
Chris Hedges, 2006 and 2011
Mohammed Omer and Dahr Jamail, 2010
Ilan Pappe, 2010
Norman Finkelstein, 2011
Phyllis Bennis, 2012
Omar Barghouti, 2013
Max Blumenthal, 2014

This year (2015) there are two anti-Israel speakers: Richard Falk and Juan Cole, “moderated” by equally anti-Israel radicals Ali Abunimah and Phyllis Bennis.

In 2013 the Lannan Foundation held an artwork exhibition entitled, “AGAIN: Repetition, Obsession and Meditation in the Lannan Collection”.  Though they claim to be “dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity,” apparently this doesn’t include promoting understanding of the diversity about Israel.

By choosing only virulently anti-Israel speakers who could easily be judged anti-Semitic by their double standards and demonization of Israel, the Lannan Foundation could also be considered to be supporting and spreading anti-Semitism as well.[1]



[1] The US State Department defines anti-Semitism related to Israel as follows:
What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel?
EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis
  • Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
  • Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist
However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.
Eric R. Mandel, in an op-ed piece in the Jerusalem Post (7/7/14), “Is the United Nations anti-Semitic?” states:
The Inter-Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (ICCA), composed of 140 parliamentarians from 40 countries, affirmed the definition of anti-Semitism by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). It states, “Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” is anti-Semitism.