Another Professor Punished for Anti-Israel Views

Until two weeks ago, Steven Salaita was heading to a job at the University of Illinois as a professor of American Indian Studies. He had already resigned from his position at Virginia Tech; everything seemed sewn up. Now the chancellor of the University of Illinois has overturned Salaita’s appointment and rescinded the offer. Because of Israel.

The sources familiar with the university’s decision say that concern grew over the tone of his comments on Twitter about Israel’s policies in Gaza….

For instance, there is this tweet: “At this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised? #Gaza.” Or this one: “By eagerly conflating Jewishness and Israel, Zionists are partly responsible when people say antisemitic shit in response to Israeli terror.” Or this one: “Zionists, take responsibility: if your dream of an ethnocratic Israel is worth the murder of children, just fucking own it already.”

In recent weeks, bloggers and others have started to draw attention to Salaita’s comments on Twitter. But as recently as July 22 (before the job offer was revoked), a university spokeswoman defended Salaita’s comments on Twitter and elsewhere. A spokeswoman told The News-Gazette for an article about Salaita that “faculty have a wide range of scholarly and political views, and we recognize the freedom-of-speech rights of all of our employees.”

I’ve written about a number of these types of cases over the past few years, but few have touched me the way this one has. For three reasons.

First, Steven is a friend on Facebook, and we follow each other on Twitter. I don’t know him personally but I’ve valued his unapologetic defense of the rights of Palestinians. Often he posts articles and information from which I’ve learned quite a bit.

Second, I have no doubt that an easily rattled administrator would find some of my public writings on Israel and Palestine to have crossed a line. If you’re in favor of Salaita being punished, you should be in favor of me being punished. And not just me. On Twitter, many of us—not just on this issue but a variety of issues, and not just on the left, but also on the right—speak in a way that can jar or shock a tender sensibility. We swear, we accuse, we say no, in thunder. That’s the medium. Though I’ve never really thought twice about it, it’s fairly chilling to think that a university official might now be combing through my tweets to see if I had said anything that would warrant me being deemed ineligible for a job. Or worse, since I have tenure, that an administrator might be doing that to any and every potential job candidate.

Third, Cary Nelson, who was once the president of the American Association of University Professors, has weighed in in defense of this decision by the University of Illinois Chancellor.

“I think the chancellor made the right decision,” he said via email. “I know of no other senior faculty member tweeting such venomous statements — and certainly not in such an obsessively driven way. There are scores of over-the-top Salaita tweets. I also do not know of another search committee that had to confront a case where the subject matter of academic publications overlaps with a loathsome and foul-mouthed presence in social media. I doubt if the search committee felt equipped to deal with the implications for the campus and its students. I’m glad the chancellor did what had to be done.”

Asked if he feared that the withdrawal of the job offer could represent a scholar being punished for his unpopular political views, Nelson said he did not think that was the case. “If Salaita had limited himself to expressing his hostility to Israel in academic publications subjected to peer review, I believe the appointment would have gone through without difficulty,” he said. Nelson added that harsh criticism of Israel is widespread among faculty members. “Salaita’s extremist and uncivil views stand alone. There is nothing ‘unpopular’ on this campus about hostility to Israel.”

Once upon a time I wrote an essay for an anthology Nelson edited on unions in academia. When I was the leader of the grad union drive at Yale, he came to campus and spoke out on our behalf. I thought of him as not only a champion of academic freedom but as an especially acerbic—some might even say uncivil—commentator willing to throw a few elbows at his fellow academics. One time, he even compared a fellow English professor to a vampire bat, and proceeded to make fun of his bodily movements and facial gestures. In an academic publication subject to peer review.

But in recent years Nelson has become an outspoken defender of the State of Israel and a critic of the BDS movement. A man who once called for the boycott of a university now thinks boycotts of universities are a grave threat to academic freedom. A man who serially violates the norms of academic civility—urging fellow academics to “give key administrators no peace. Place chanting pickets outside their homes. Disrupt every meeting they attend with sardonic or inspiring public theater”—now invokes those same norms against a critic of Israel. A man who once wrote that “claims about collegiality are being used to stifle campus debate, to punish faculty, and to silence the free exchange of opinion by the imposition of corporate-style conformity,” now complains about an anti-Zionist professor’s “foul-mouthed presence in social media.” A man who once called the movement against hostile environments and in favor of sensitive speech on campus “Orwellian,” now frets over a student of Salaita’s fearing she “would be academically at risk in expressing pro-Israeli views in class.”

I bring this up not to pick on Nelson, but to ask him, and all of you, a simple question: Should Nelson be deemed ineligible for another job at a university simply because of these statements he has written? Should l be deemed ineligible for another job at a university simply because of some “foul-mouthed,” perhaps even intemperate, tweets that I’m sure I have written?

But I bring up Nelson’s case for another reason. And that is that his hypocrisy is not merely his own. It is a symptom of the effects of Zionism on academic freedom, how pro-Israel forces have consistently attempted to shut down debate on this issue, how they “distort all that is right.” Nelson’s U-Turn demonstrates that we’re heading down a very dangerous road. I strongly urge all of you to put on the brakes.

In the meantime, do something for Steven Salaita. Write a note to University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise (best to email her at both and, urging her to rescind her rescission. As always, be polite, but be firm. Don’t assume this is a done deal; in my experience, it often is not. We’ve managed through our efforts, on multiple occasions, to get nervous administrators to walk away from the ledge.

Update (3:30 pm)

Here is a third email to add to your list; it’s actually a direct email to the chancellor. It is Also, when you write your email, please cc Robert Warrior of the American Indian Studies department at the University of Illinois. His email is Also cc the department:


  1. hophmi August 6, 2014 at 11:24 am | #

    “Though I’ve never really thought twice about it, it’s fairly chilling to think that a university official might now be combing through my tweets to see if I had said anything that would warrant me being deemed ineligible for a job. ”

    Wow, really? You mean that you have to be accountable for the stuff you write on social media? Like, the rest of the world is? You mean that academic institutions don’t just hand out highly competitive jobs to people who say nasty-ass things about other groups that become headaches for their institutions and contribute zero to their mission, which is to TEACH? That they actually take a stand when people frequently post things that are playground-worthy rather than befitting academic discourse?

    Your complaining lays bare just how spoiled people are in the academy. The truth of the matter is that the notion that pro-Palestinian personnel have trouble finding employment is so ridiculously laughable that it’s amazing any thinking person could actually suggest it. The humanities are full of pro-Palestinian professors with tenure, from Rashid Khalidi at Columbia to Joshua Schreier at Vassar to Charles Smith in Arizona to Mark LeVine at UC Irvine to Joel Beinin at Stanford to David Palumbo-Liu at the same institution. And to you at Brooklyn College. The list goes on and on. It’s exactly the opposite. Left-wing departments collude to keep out professors with other points of view, including on Israel. And it’s no secret.

    Vassar is a perfect example. Schreier actually tells students in his syllabus for the campus Israel-Palestine conflict course that his course will not be “objective.” Thirty-nine Vassar professors, including Schreier, signed a public letter condemning Israel. Not one professor offered anything in response. When students brought someone from the pro-Israel community who offered to debate any of the professors who signed the letter, none accepted the offer. Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian students picketed the classroom of a professor whose International Studies class was taking a trip to Israel and Palestine to study water issues, pro-Israel students were shouted down at an all-campus meeting, Jewish students have reported feeling unsafe on campus, and professors and students alike report being afraid to express a pro-Israel opinion.

    What gets professors into trouble is when they use their privileged positions to make non-academic politically extreme statements and when they treat others badly in the process. That’s why Norman Finkelstein cannot hold a job, and that’s why Steven Salaita is having trouble now. If professors treat others this way, it’s almost a certainty that they will treat their students similarly, either by berating those who challenge their political views, or by creating an atmosphere of fear where students are simply afraid to express a contrary opinion because it will affect their grades.

    What is really noxious here is not that U of I decided that Salaita was not worth the headache; there are plenty of others who are no doubt equally qualified. What is noxious is that professors think that they can say whatever they want with absolutely no consequences, and more, receive lifetime job appointments most Americans can only dream about as a reward.

    • s. wallerstein August 6, 2014 at 11:34 am | #

      Professsors should be held responsible in so far as their jobs are concerned for what they say in the classroom and for what they publish as academics, not for what they tweet in their free time.

      That people in other jobs are held responsible for what they tweet is wrong and that practice should not be extended to academic settings.

      In fact, that professors have job benefits that others can only dream of indicates not that professors should have fewer benefits, but that others should have many more.

      • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 11:50 am | #

        “That people in other jobs are held responsible for what they tweet is wrong and that practice should not be extended to academic settings.”

        I can’t agree. As Cary Nelson said (and as Corey left out), collegiality and civility are appropriate factors to consider when hiring someone for a job. Especially now, when many campuses are having trouble maintaining civility on campus, particularly around the issue of Israel-Palestine, and when many professors, rather than contributing to a civil atmosphere on campus, are lighting the flames, it is all the more important that those hired show a commitment to scholarship and community, rather than to political polemicism.

        We have always taught children that there are consequences to their actions, and to what they say, AND THE WAY IN WHICH THEY CHOOSE TO SAY IT. That lesson doesn’t go out the window with adults. Free speech entitles you to say what you want. It does not entitle you to be freed from the consequences of what you say. It does not entitle you to a job, and it does not entitle you to lifetime tenure.

      • Stepan Petrichenko (@pyotr_kropotkin) August 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm | #


      • Stepan Petrichenko (@pyotr_kropotkin) August 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm | #

        to s. wallerstein

    • debmeier August 6, 2014 at 11:41 am | #

      It’s not an issue of pro or anti-Israel (I’m pro) or of the “defense of Israel “(I’m a defender)–what many of us join with you Robyn, is that making war on Gazan’s is not the best , or even tolerable, way to defend Israel. Nor is censoring, or otherwise punishing citizens who write (perhaps unwisely) very strong attacks on Israel or the Palestinians a way to defend Israel or Jews, or democracy.

    • Glenn August 6, 2014 at 10:14 pm | #

      Journalistic objectivity is merely a name applied to a style of writing that will not be found objectionable to corporate advertisers.

      This style bears little relation to the communication of human truths that it purports to be its reason for being.

    • Juliano August 8, 2014 at 9:29 am | #

      it is true that often words are not enough. In fact one of the most mind-destroying things for many people can be not being able to articulate how they feel, because this culture places SO much emphasis on words.
      I am VERY aware of an interlocking relentless propulsion of evils coming at me, at us left right and centre and up the niddle and from above by a mindset which I see as INSANE—against humans, against other species, against nature itself. In fact regarding the latter, this issue is THE most important because it affects all generations to come.
      BUT to the point, we can only do things one at a time so to speak.
      Recently I shared a petition for FB ‘friends’ to sign a petition which calls for Israel to be tried for crimes against humanity. One person responded that ‘far more important’ was a genocide which was happening right now in Africa. I replied WHY cannot hat happened, and is happening, in Gaza AS important? Up to now I haven’t got a reply, but I hope people here get my point.
      I cannot express how utterly sickened, and disgusted I am for what Israel did to the people of Gaza. As well as that I am sickened when others kinda like don’t see THAt concerned. they may shrug ‘that’s war’. This kind of attitude brings out the evil in me. it makes me feel SO disgusted with the humanity that is thinking like that. Not ALL, but those that seem to have really lost soui, feeling. They have lost empathy. Empathy is not just a word–it is a term describing that when you see a woman, man who has just found their child killed and the pain they express—you FEEL it! he isn’t some alien with a funny accent following some ‘weird religion’ bla bla. S/he is HUMAN BEING. They are you. When you see these innocent children caught up in such a horror. These are OUR children…

    • wilywascal September 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm | #

      I’ve looked at the tweets, and while I may personally eschew such harsh rhetoric, it can easily be understood that what Salaita’s emotive and passionate opposition racism, colonization, occupation, dispossession, oppression, persecution, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and the disproportionate use of force. As is typical, Zionists and their supporters seek to falsely construe that as anti-Semitism where Israel is concerned, instead of the legitimate criticism it is in actuality.

      You’re trying to misrepresent and distort this into “professors think they can say whatever they want with absolutely no consequences” is a prima fascia example. When Salaita tweeted, “turning anti-Semitism into a badge of honor since 1948,” it is exactly such deliberate attempts to disingenuously label opposition to the inherent evils in Zionism as anti-Semitic to which is being referred. I have oft made the same observation before, pointing out that this repeated and arbitrary crying of wolf to silence critics is inimical to the opposition of racism and in reality does a disservice to the Jewish people, many of whom don’t support Zionism and/or its actions.

      I don’t think it’s necessarily true that professors can say whatever they want, or that presenting sound arguments in disagreement over a point or points with a professor automatically translates into a retaliatory awarding of a grade regardless of all the other good work done by a student. That’s just your spin on things.

      That said, academia plays a vital role in questioning society, and it is for that reason that protections for academics are critical. Just because contrary views are not popular does not mean they lack merit, and stifling voices and exploration into the issues in academia simply because it makes one group or another uncomfortable is anathema to the sciences and to the advancement of knowledge and society.

      As is also typical, you are attempting to misleadingly play and switch the victim card. It isn’t a pro-Israeli professor being fired and unduly maligned in this case, nor have I ever heard of one expressing views sympathetic to Israel who has been fired from their position–or even threatened with such. In truth, it is pro-Israeli views which predominate in the U.S.; it is those which overwhelmingly enjoy the most popularity and support. It is pro-Zionist organizations which are far stronger than any in opposition, and that is plainly in evidence in this case. For too long, and even now, it is those questioning Zionism and the gross injustices it has wrought upon Palestinians who are afraid to speak out. This decision by the University of Illinois serves as yet another affirmation of the dangers in doing so, while acting to further marginalize legitimate debate and opposition.

      It’s pretty twisted when politicians are getting elected by–and bigots with an agenda are making a fortune from–disseminating anti-Muslim propaganda of the most vile sort that demonizes all Muslims and/or Arabs/Persians, yet the focus is placed on falsely equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, oft times by the same parties espousing or condoning hate speech against Muslims. Some might call that chutzpah, but I see it more as a lack of morals and integrity. This from an atheist, progressive, humanitarian who has no objection whatsoever to, or restraint in voicing, legitimate criticism of Muslim practices and the governments of Muslim nations.

      • greg September 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm | #

        So the following are not, even slightly, anti-semitic to you?

        “By eagerly conflating Jewishness and Israel, Zionists are partly responsible when people say anti-Semitic shit in response to Israeli terror.”

        “Zionists: transforming anti-Semitism from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.”

        “It’s useful to connect underdevelopment in American minority communities to the over development of Israel’s economy with American tax money.”

        “The IDF spokesperson receives money to justify, conceal, and glamorize genocidal violence. Goebbels much?”

        “Israeli Independence Equals sustenance of the European eugenic logic made famous by Hitler.”

      • greg September 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm | #

        or how about:
        “Let’s cut to the chase: If you’re defending Israel right now you’re an awful human being”
        Zionist uplift in America: every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime”
        No wonder Israel prefers killing Palestinians from the sky. It turns out American college kids aren’t very good at ground combat?” [this is a sneer at the two Israeli-American dual nationals who were soldiers in the Israeli army and were killed in the fighting]
        It’s simple: either condemn Israel’s actions or embrace your identity as someone who’s okay with the wholesale slaughter of children.”

        Regardless if you think anything of these comments and its OK with you that he thinks them, he has ZERO emotional intelligence or control – the stuff he spews is hatred. I would not what the liability of someone that so deeply offends people as part of my staff representing my school. I would not respect the sincerity of any institution that does.

      • Richard Lightbown September 14, 2014 at 5:58 am | #

        In response to Greg here I would just like to note the obvious emotion in his own post and to ask, please Greg can we have your definition of anti-semitic so that we know exactly what you are asking us to agree with?

  2. Felipe Nuñez August 6, 2014 at 11:37 am | #

    I guess the Thought Police is in full force now. See what happened with the movie stars Bardem and Cruz, the vicious comments against them made me think about the official chastening that happened during Stalinism in Russia when somebody went “out of line”. This is what is happening right now in the debate about Zionism here in the US. There is the “official” line that everybody more or less adheres to in public(even if they don’t agree with it in private), and anyone who dares to disagree becomes “persona non grata”. We even see the same public excuses from some “dissidents” after they get officially chastised, the public “mea culpa” (see Rihanna, Dwight Howard, etc..). Who knows what will come next? Maybe a special exception to the First Amendment, making it unlawful to critizice anything remotely jewish?

    • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm | #

      What happened to them? People responded to them. That’s all. DId anybody tell them that they’re banned from the movies?

      I suggest that you write to the U of I Chancellor and thank her for what she did. If you’re pro-Palestinian, extremists like Steve Salaita hurt your cause.

      • Felipe Nuñez August 6, 2014 at 12:28 pm | #

        Well, when somebody like Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh says that the Cruz/Bardem letter made “his blood boil”, it could really get nasty for them. In any case, in a society where anything/anyone can get insulted and/or ridiculized on TV, movies, print, internet. etc.. what is “extremist”? What is considered “offensive” here, in countries like Spain or the UK does not even register in many media outlets. It’s either freedom of expression for everything or for nothing. You can’t sit between 2 chairs.

      • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm | #

        ” in countries like Spain or the UK does not even register in many media outlets. It’s either freedom of expression for everything or for nothing. You can’t sit between 2 chairs.”

        So is that why, at schools like SOAS in London, students and professors have regularly tried to ban pro-Zionist speakers from campus?

        Bardem has been outspoken on political issues for years. He has an active career. Vanessa Redgrave has a long list of movies on her resume.

        The fact that what is regarded as antisemitic here is not in the UK is the UK’s problem, and it’s among the reasons that antisemitic incidents have skyrocketed in the UK in recent years.

        • Felipe Nuñez August 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm | #

          I guess that confirms my point. Here you cannot critizice one side, and over there you cannot critizice the other side. In my humble opinion, everyone is entitled to her/his opinion, without negative consequences.

    • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm | #

      “I guess that confirms my point. Here you cannot critizice one side, and over there you cannot critizice the other side.”

      That’s completely false! I pointed out above that many in the US academy regularly criticize Israel, and have tenure, and got tenure as critics of Israel. In many parts of the academy, it is support of Israel that is taboo, not the other way around. Criticizing Israel is not taboo in American society either. Ali Abunimah is regularly quoted in the NY Times. Khalidi regularly writes opinion pieces for the op-ed page. The Room for Debate section on the Times website features pro-Palestinian after pro-Palestinian academic and activist on the issue.

      I just wish people like Corey realized how out of touch it is to complain when some nasty professor can’t get a job because he has no discretion about what he puts on social media. You talk about a failure to recognize privilege; this is it.

      And this is exactly why people did not buy the Political Science department’s claim that when they sponsored Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, that it was a non-political decision. It wasn’t a non-political decision at Vassar this past year when Joshua Schreier, as the head of Jewish Studies, brought Ali Abunimah, Max Blumenthal, and Remi Kenazi to campus, but did not sponsor a single speaker from even a liberal Zionist perspective.

    • windycitygurl (@MGFreelance) August 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm | #

      The truth: potential employers frequently check Facebook, This practice has been in place for at least 5 to 7 years. Twitter and other social media to get a sense of potential employees and current employees. Their rationale is: Employees represent the employer as do their actions and attitude. Teachers and privately employed people have been fired for posting various comments. I.m not saying it is right…This is the way it is in the digital world.
      As for 1st amendment rights… Democrats have that covered. They want to eliminate some 1st amendment rights per Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader. He stated the Senate will take it up after the current recess is over.

      Hamas is Palestine.

      Hamas rules Palestine. Hamas is a terrorist org and culture of death. Their goal is to destroy Israel and then come after whomever is next on their list.

      170,000 Christians have been slaughtered in Syria in the past 3 years…these include CHILDREN. What? I don’t hear your protests….The kidnapped girls in Boko Haram are still missing. These are children also. Mosul was attacked recently and hundreds killed… nothing much said about that either and Christians driven from their homes.

      Listen to Hamas goals to dominate the world, and then if you really desire to stick up for them… the UN is the org you should be angry with since it was they who created Israel.

      You are free to pick and choose whom you will condemn, but please don’t insult our intelligence by saying you believe in human rights.

      • Felipe Nuñez August 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm | #

        So basically, because there is so much going on in other countries, we have to shut up when it comes to Israel. That’s what it is. Also, “Hamas is Palestine”. Maybe they are and maybe they are not. In any case it doesn’t matter. They are fighting with any means available against an occupation, a brutal blockade. If they are terrorists, then by pure logic any other organization that fought against an occupier was (is) terrorist too. It’s that simple.Or is it different because Hamas fights against Israel? Is it maybe, like Orwell said, All people are equal but some are more equal? You Zionists always judge and decide what is valid or not when it comes to commenting, critizicing or resisting Israel and its supporters. When the set boundaries are trespassed, then always the word “anti-semite” is mentioned. And of course, you always decide who a terrorist is. Like they say in my country, the cards are on the table. No reason to hide them anymore. The rest of the world, Latin America, Asia, and yes, specially Europe, are tired to follow the same old “game” when it comes to the whole Palestine issue. That’s all. That’s why everything feels different now, the whole world saw what happened in Gaza, and most of them didn’t like it. And most of them blame Israel. Nothing lasts forever, neither in life or in history.

      • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm | #

        You may be too refined to say it, but I'm not: I wish all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing.— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) June 20, 2014

      • Judy August 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm | #

        It is so typical of IDF apologists to attempt to divert attention off their war crimes by pointing their fingers at everyone else…try to stay on the subject of the apartheid/genocide that Israel is committing now and leave the other nations for another thread. In this age of technology there is no excuse for all of the killing, it is not collateral damage, children are intentional targets. They are not human shields to be cut through. I do believe in human rights, I do feel compassion for any people who go through such hell,no matter who creates it. That’s why I protest, boycott, divest and call for sanctions against Israel.

    • meryiam August 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm | #

      I think there is something very problematic for anyone let alone a professor to say anything close to what he said about any group, Muslims or Jews. His statements are bigoted and no one would accept that if the roles were reversed. He might be a friend and he might be a great person but he’s also a bigot from the statements you quoted:

      “By eagerly conflating Jewishness and Israel, Zionists are partly responsible when people say antisemitic shit in response to Israeli terror.” and “Zionists, take responsibility: if your dream of an ethnocratic Israel is worth the murder of children, just fucking own it already.”

      Both of those statements are troubling and problematic. Jews are not responsible for anti-Semitism and that sort of denial of real hate that exists is the last thing I expect from an academic. I would never expect to hear “Well she deserved it, look at what she was wearing!” He blames Jewishness for wanting a home and self-protection as if they are asking for too much. You don’t have to like Israel but no one has the right to judge that basic human feeling and desire to want representation and home. Wanting to be recognized in the world is not a crime. To demonize that desire is cynical and not at all self-reflective of his similar needs for the people he identifies with. In many ways he has a privilege like other Muslims and Christians do, which is plenty of homelands plenty of allies and he doesn’t recognize that. He also doesn’t know much about Jewishness. Jewishness is a culture, a religion (that is very diverse and critical) and a diaspora. A ‘race’ or an ‘ethnocratic state’ in Israel, it is not, and the fact that he doesn’t know that is shocking.

      If he was not a teacher sure, be problematic but what he said was reckless and reflects nothing unique or new. He could have just been plainly anti-Israel without the extra added hate for Jews or disdain for their expressed needs.

      If he had said the same about any other group, he would have been fired and possibly worse.

      • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm | #

        Exactly. And these kinds of comments are contributing to the mainstreaming of antisemitism. And make no mistake, they’re a part of why Jews are being physically attacked in European countries and made to feel intimidated on American college campuses.

      • Jonathan August 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm | #

        Stop using Jews as human shields for your Israeli project, please.

      • nillionaire August 7, 2014 at 7:33 am | #

        The first comment is questionable, but the second is on the nose. It’s plain to see in the routine fears of a “democratic time bomb” or in the out-of-hand rejection of a one-state solution you can find from even the liberalist of Zionists.

  3. Ayman Fadel August 6, 2014 at 11:54 am | #

    I’ve written the U of Illinois Chancellor. Perhaps another way to support Professor Salaita is to read, share and promote his books:

  4. Ryan August 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm | #

    Thanks for the post. I’m writing a letter. If its out there, it might be useful to post a template letter that people could just sign and send as well.

  5. Conrad August 6, 2014 at 12:53 pm | #

    beware of israeilli jewish mafia retribution. This is CLEARLY what happened here.

    The kept looking for ANYONE jewish whoi can cancel his contract and found one.

    THAT moron should be exposed ….

    • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm | #

      “beware of israeilli jewish mafia retribution. This is CLEARLY what happened here.”

      I see the antisemites have shown up.

      • mittelwerk August 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm | #

        very fine comments, eviscerating robin’s typically hysterical assessment. disturbing — but not — how the others here are openly repressing your thoughtful, detailed argumentation

      • hophmi August 7, 2014 at 11:29 am | #

        “very fine comments, eviscerating robin’s typically hysterical assessment. disturbing — but not — how the others here are openly repressing your thoughtful, detailed argumentation”

        I’m used to it. There’s a lot of self-righteous anger in the Western anti-Israel community.

  6. Makere August 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm | #

    Reblogged this on The Turning Spiral and commented:
    On the death if academic freedom and the right to express a moral conscience

  7. John Protevi August 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm | #

    Chancellor Phyllis Wise
    University of Illinois

    Dear Chancellor Wise:

    I write with alarm and dismay at the decision to not forward Professor Salaita’s name to the Board of Trustees. This is a direct blow to the principles of academic freedom. The American university has provided great benefits to our society and to the world at large precisely by supporting the right of academics to speak openly, frankly, and vehemently, even when — especially when — it is received with opposition by others. This protected sphere provides the widest possible range of views on the most difficult social and political issues of the day. I know that you know this, and I ask you sincerely and respectfully to enter your name in the list of our greatest protectors of academic freedom, such as John Dewey, rather than in the list of those who hurt their legacy by allowing the passions of the day to cloud their judgment and betray those principles.

    With respect,

    John Protevi
    Phyllis M Taylor Professor of French Studies
    Professor of Philosophy
    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge LA 70803

    (Affiliation provided for identification purposes only; this letter represents only my personal views.)

    • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm | #

      Dear Chancellor Wise:

      Thank you for setting a good example by declining to hire Steven Salaita. Although many will disingenuously cast your decision as a political matter, those of us who have been on the receiving end of Mr. Salaita’s nasty comments on social media understand that repeated acts of incivility are not attributes befitting a member of the academy. Those who are honest will also readily admit that academy also does not suffer from a lack of pro-Palestinian voices. They will also admit that those faculty members given to frequent outbursts are not people that can be relied on to advance discourse, and to grade fairly students who may raise a contrary point of view in class. It is time that professors like Mr. Salaita learn that free speech neither entitles one to be free of the consequences of that speech nor to be given highly competitive academic jobs.

      As I’m sure you know, students report feeling pressured to conform to the views of professors who use their classes as political platforms, and in a relationship where the professor holds all of the power, such an atmosphere of intimidation undermines freedom of inquiry and the vitality and diversity of the academic environment.

      • mik August 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm | #

        you would enjoy my Native American classes as I have learned never to say anything controversial such as the Spanish inflicted a religious inquisition upon Natives who refused to accept Christianity. I never say that Native American women were enslaved by the English and sent to the Caribbean. I never comment on how children were removed from their homes and sent to boarding schools. And I avoid discussing the fact that Native people were prohibited from worshiping in their own way….all out of concern that some students might feel I was pressuring them to conform to my views. Instead I tell them the entire Native American experience was sunshine and roses!!! Education is supposed to be fun and whimsical, not serious and intellectually challenging.

      • Maria.Gomariz August 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm | #

        And what is your name and affiliation? Just curious.

    • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm | #

      “This protected sphere provides the widest possible range of views on the most difficult social and political issues of the day.”

      When you write stuff like this, do you believe it? Do you believe that the academy today encompasses the “widest possible range of views” on the Israel-Palestine conflict? Do you believe it encompasses a wide range of view in general?

      • John Protevi August 6, 2014 at 9:48 pm | #

        The purpose of academic freedom is to provide a protected sphere of opinion so that society as a whole can benefit. It has nothing to do with the range of opinion within academia; it only protects the process of producing opinion, not the results of that process. Indeed, ex hypothesi, academia could be 99-1 in favor of condemning Israel’s role in the recent Gaza war (it is not so imbalanced in point of fact, but that’s irrelevant), and it would still be more balanced than the US Senate with its 100-0 vote. This exaggeration illustrates the way academic freedom exists to provide a counterbalance to the conformist pressure exerted by concentrations of political and economic power.

    • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm | #

      You’re arguing a straw man. No one is arguing that Salaita’s hire was rescinded for what he says in class. Again, there is zero evidence that pro-Palestinian profs are not getting hired because of what they teach. Zero.

      • Bishop August 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm | #

        “As I’m sure you know, students report feeling pressured to conform to the views of professors who use their classes as political platforms, and in a relationship where the professor holds all of the power, such an atmosphere of intimidation undermines freedom of inquiry and the vitality and diversity of the academic environment.”

  8. Giovanni August 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm | #

    Thank you for this very thorough assessment of this issue. I have met Steven in person (I was a grad student at Virginia Tech his first year there). Despite my doing a horrible job at keeping in touch, I do consider him a friend. You are absolutely right; this decision is not only a chilling commentary on academic freedom, it also shows a vast ignorance of the medium of twitter. What is being called vile & foul-mouthed is actually very appropriate bluster on social media. Any one who has met Steven in person knows the only thing to fear from this kind and incredibly generous man is seemingly impolite if you inevitably have to turn down one of his numerous invitations to lunch or coffee. I will definitely be emailing the Chancellor at UofI.

    • Giovanni August 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm | #

      Anyone who is offended by anything Steven or anyone else says on Twitter, you are aware that you may unfollow and block him, right? It seems too often we purposely subject ourselves to media we consider objectionable just so we can later complain about it. Steven has a little less than 5,000 followers. This is a very very tiny corner of the internet (& it would be even tinier if the people that dislike his views would just unfollow him). He has come into no one’s home uninvited. He has not physically harmed anyone. & if his words have emotionally bruised any non-public official more than once, then I would beg that person to please unfollow and block him. We absolutely have the right to be free from harassment on the Internet, but we are not powerless in making this happen.

      • hophmi August 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm | #

        He certainly blocks others who disagree with him (another sign that he doesn’t belong in the academy). But really, Giovanni, I ask you the same question as I have asked others. Is it your contention that pro-Palestinian professors are not welcome in academia? U of I is, after all, the employer of Francis Boyle, as rabid a pro-Palestinian intellectual as there is in academia. So why is it so hard to admit that what one puts on social media has consequences?

        • Giovanni August 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm | #

          I am not saying that, and I think you know I am not saying that. If you wish to argue with a strawman, you may by all means do so, but do not expect that I will participate.

  9. jcee August 6, 2014 at 3:20 pm | #

    hophmi: “I can’t agree. As Cary Nelson said (and as Corey left out), collegiality and civility are appropriate factors to consider when hiring someone for a job. Especially now, when many campuses are having trouble maintaining civility on campus, particularly around the issue of Israel-Palestine…”

    It’s amazing how often “civility” is presented as justification for maintaining some preferred level of collegiality when in fact it is frequently used a weapon to preserve the status quo… or worse.

  10. Roquentin August 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm | #

    I feel as thought the US gets to be more Soviet all the time, with dry bureaucratic language being the only thing which is publicly acceptable. The thing about social media is you get thoughts and sentiments which are far more honest and closer to what people sincerely feel, but were generally only said in private. Facebook and Twitter have turned things topsy-turvy by blurring that line between public and private. Once in a while the saucy private discourse finds its way into the public sphere, which operates on a different very sterile and detached set of rules.

    There will come a day, and we’re pretty close to it already, when the conversation on social media will every bit as controlled and restrained as that in a college newspaper. The wild west days of the early internet when people said whatever manner of crazy things popped into their heads on poorly constructed Geocities pages already seem like ancient history. Soon Facebook profiles will have all the life of a business card.

    Secondly, and this goes for just about everyone, people are okay with all kinds of tactics they publicly condemn depending on whether or not they support the cause. All conversations about academic freedom have an air of disingenuousness to them and I can only handle that meal with a massive grain of salt. A certainly level of hypocrisy is part of the human condition, it seems….

  11. Someone August 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm | #

    There’s a difference between expressing anti-Israel views and being an asshole. Saying “I would not be surprised to see [person] wearing the teeth of murder victims as a trophy” crosses that line.

    You say that there is a chilling effect for the professor being punished for this speech. You are correct, and that’s a problem. But there is also a huge chilling effect for the professors speach being given a tacit sanction in the way plenty of anti-Palestinian speach is. The right of the professor to hold an unpopular opinion CANNOT come at right of students to feel safe holding a contrary one.

    • Jonathan August 6, 2014 at 5:19 pm | #

      Why the change in spelling from “speech” to “speach”? Playing linguistic manipulation games, are we?

    • Jonathan August 6, 2014 at 5:21 pm | #

      Also, if one feels “unsafe” dealing with opinions that heap well-deserved abuse on the mainstream, maybe one should stay in their crib instead of expecting the world to bow down to them just because they have money.

  12. Alexander Wolfe (@zerotense) August 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm | #

    As a Native American and member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, I fully support the right of this professor to be as uncivil and unpleasant as he pleases regarding the illegitimate killing, oppression and denial of legitimacy of a native population by a powerful, modern state. It’s a subject he knows quite well.

  13. Jack Lewis August 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm | #

    This hopefully well paid hophmi tone troll seems more concerned about tweets than children being massacred. What sort of upbringing produces this sort of creature?
    We should clearly all aim at being less appalled and remain civil at all times when discussing child murdering by Israel (no other country would get away with this).
    Clearly this professor’s tweets are creating a lot of antisemitism, not the actual genocide in Gaza.

    • PAK September 30, 2014 at 11:41 am | #

      No other country would get a way with this? Please. A picture of a Yemmenite child, a girl, murdered a number of years ago by a US drone/bomb has been widely circulated on the internet as being killed by Israel during the current war (and her picture was actually used for the same purpose in the previous Hamas-Israel war). And that is only one example of what the US has done to children in other countries and is still doing in Iraq. I can accept that, although I don’t understand why, “pro-palestinians” seem to feel that it is more important to viciously attack Israel for civilian casualties that are inflicted during a defensive reply to Hamas than it is to be continuously vocal concerning massacres and genocidal attacks occurring in the rest of the world. But at least get your head out of the sand, assuming you are a US citizen. The US gets away with child murder in other countries in the name of keeping US citizens safe ALL THE TIME. The outrage is minimal, doesn’t sell newspapers, and you can’t argue that the US is not a first-world democratic country so that it is more important to hold first-world democratic countries, i.e., Israel, to task than it is third/second world countries to task in your reply if you have one.

      • Richard Lightbown September 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm | #

        “although I don’t understand why, “pro-Palestinians” seem to feel that it is more important to viciously attack Israel for civilian casualties that are inflicted during a defensive reply to Hamas than it is to be continuously vocal concerning massacres and genocidal attacks occurring in the rest of the world.”

        Meaning you object to us protesting Israeli war crimes and wish to direct us to complaining about horror crimes somewhere else. Well I object to you pretending there is nothing wrong with Israel’s state terrorism, and I ain’t going anywhere to appease your warped sensibilities.

  14. jacklewis2012 August 6, 2014 at 8:26 pm | #

    This hopefully well paid hophmi tone troll seems more concerned about tweets than children being massacred. What sort of upbringing produces this sort of creature?
    We should clearly all aim at being less appalled and remain civil at all times when discussing child murdering by Israel (no other country would get away with this).
    Clearly this professor’s tweets are creating a lot of antisemitism, not the actual genocide in Gaza. I guess the Jewish people of Israel who oppose these actions are also antisemites?

    • hophmi August 7, 2014 at 11:28 am | #

      Nobody is paying me, and I resent the accusation, although it’s very typical of the anti-Israel community. I might ask you what sort of upbringing produces the sort of creature who is incapable of condemning suicide bombings and rocket fire aimed at civilians, but this is a fair description of most of the anti-Israel activist community.

      The use of Nazi imagery in the anti-Israel community is routine and mainstream. An article on Mondoweiss written by a Quaker pacifist about how he asked a couple holding up a sign with a swastika at an anti-Israel rally to take it down was pillorized, almost unanimously, in the comment section. This kind of bigoted activism has contributed to a huge rise in antisemitic incidents around the world, particularly in France and the UK.

      The vast majority of those who identify as Zionists are heartbroken over the deaths of children in Gaza. The difference between you and them is that they care about Israeli children as well.

      • Richard Lightbown August 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm | #

        ‘The vast majority of those who identify as Zionists are heartbroken over the deaths of children in Gaza.’ Well that clearly does not include those who sat eating popcorn and cheering on the aerial bombardment from Sderot. Are you sure of your assertion there? Can you quote me an opinion poll which would back up your statement? And if not would you care to correct your statement in line with the KNOWN facts?

        And also, will you unequivocally here and now condemn Israel’s war crimes in Gaza which in this latest round of the conflict have included the deliberate targeting of hospitals, the targeting of medical personnel, the targeting of UN buildings used as emergency shelters for civilians, the bombing of civilian infrastructure including the sewage works and sole power plant, and the use of such vile weaponry as white phosphorus, DIME weapons, flechettes and an unknown gas (which was probably trialled)? (And yes, all of those weapons were used, against civilians, during this last month.)

      • hophmi August 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm | #

        ” Well that clearly does not include those who sat eating popcorn and cheering on the aerial bombardment from Sderot. ”

        Sderot is a city of 25,000 people. 50 of them decided to sit outside. Do you know where the other 24,950 were? INSIDE, avoiding rocket attacks. This is great, great example of how a photograph can tell a completely misleading story, and how that misleading story can go viral and become an accepted narrative. Who are the Jews? They’re horrible people who sit outside watching a bombing and eating popcorn.

        Of course, the truth is completely different; virtually all of Sderot was indoors, and of course, no one bothered to point out that Sderot is right on the border, that its people have been dealing with rocket fire for a decade, and that most of the kids there have PTSD of some kind. No, better narrative: they’re EVIL HORRIBLE HUMAN BEINGS.

        ” Can you quote me an opinion poll which would back up your statement? ”

        It’s basic common sense for anyone who doesn’t believe Zionists are horrible people. No one has done a poll. The difference between you and me is that I regard Israelis and Zionists as human beings, and you regard them are cartoon villains. But yes, I travel in Zionist circles, and the vast majority of the people I know are heartbroken over the civilian casualties in Gaza. They’re not jumping for joy.

        I’m glad to condemn any purposeful targeting of civilians that occurred in violation of international law. I’m not willing to adopt knee-jerk accusations. And I doubt the vast majority of people who are asking me to condemn Israel condemned Hamas rockets; indeed, most in the anti-Israel community seem to condone rocket fire as justifiable “resistance,” even though it’s clearly in violation of international law.

      • Richard Lightbown August 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm | #

        So not only can you not justify your statement, but you really have no idea how many Zionists ‘are heartbroken over the deaths of children in Gaza’. It’s just a totally baseless assertion which you use to back up your prejudices.

        And no, you won’t unequivocally condemn the war crimes I have listed, although they are all well documented. What sort of upbringing did you have that restrains you from condemning such vile premeditated atrocities simply because they are committed by the Zionist state?

      • s. wallerstein August 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm | #

        Here I am, a paid-up member of the anti-Israel community, and I condemn Hamas rockets being targeted at Israeli civilians. Not only do I condemn Hamas for targeting Israeli civilians, but I also condemn them for continuing to fire the rockets knowing full well that in general, their own people, those of Gaza, are going to be massacred by Israeli retaliation. There’s no right to put your own people (or any people) in danger unless there is something very valuable to be gained as a result and in this case, the only gain for Hamas (and they know this, which shows their cynicism) is that they become “victims” in the eyes of the world. However, the original wrong is with Israel for occupying Palestinian territory and for the blockade against Gaza, not to mention the ethnic cleansing carried out in 1948.

      • PAK September 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm | #

        Richard Lightbown: “Well that clearly does not include those who sat eating popcorn and cheering on the aerial bombardment from Sderot.” Have you forgotten about, chosen to ignore, or never seen the hundreds of pictures posted on the internet of Arab children (and adults) dressed in military-type clothing holding the three-finger salute celebrating the kidnapping/murder of the three Israeli yeshivah students or the palestinians handing out candies in celebration? Or do you think you can ignore those events because it doesn’t fit your narrative?

    • Greg August 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm | #

      “child murdering by Israel (no other country would get away with this)”- where do you get your news man? SEVERAL OTHER COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST are ACTUALLY MURDERING children – Israel is trying to Kill terrorists that want to murder (and have) their children. You are so warped trying to blame the Israelis and not holding Hamas accountable. For that matter – how about the Syrians, ISIS, Russian separatist, Cheynans,… etc. for their true murder of innocents and children. Hypocrites constantly point at Israel and are silent on the true crimes – – –

      • Richard Lightbown August 9, 2014 at 9:42 am | #

        Taking my definition of terrorism as ‘violence against civilians for political ends’, I have no hesitation in condemning Israel’s current action in Gaza as state terror. That statement holds, irrespective of what Hamas may or may not be doing. And I find it extremely offensive and repugnant when any person describes an operation in which blatant acts of terrorism are being perpetrated, as ‘trying to kill terrorists’. Let us recall here that schools used as temporary civilian shelters, hospitals and civilian infrastructure have been targeted (one hospital has been obliterated), as were children playing football on the beach, as are paramedics. Gaza’s medical service was already in dire straights, largely as a result of the Israeli closure, prior to this vicious and vindictive assault, and it is now being swamped by casualties, a huge number of whom are children. Horrific weapons are being used, particularly DIME, flechettes, and white phosphorus. Artillery, which is inaccurate high explosive weaponry, is being used wholesale against densely populated urban areas.

        By all means complain about atrocities in Syria, Iraq, Chechenya on appropriate sites. But this post was originally about the sacking of a university professor because of his forthright and vulgar opinions on the Gazan conflict. Trying to pretend that this conflict is insignificant, declaring that this is not ‘true murder’ and that the wholesale killing of children and other civilians by Israel is not a war crime is psychopathic, that is to say it is abnormal and emotionally warped. A child with a hole in his head where his brain used to be is an affront to civilization regardless of the ethnicity of that dead child.

        And finally there are ways of stopping the rockets from Gaza without resorting to bombing the territory back into the stone age. Hamas has shown in the past that it is capable of controlling the firing of projectiles into Israel, provided that is that Israel keeps to agreed ceasefires. This whole bloody conflict could have been resolved by negotiation, provided what was offered was just and was made in good faith. However Israeli leaders have consistently shown that they are not interested in lifting the closure of Gaza and they are not willing to give up the occupation which alone controls a huge proportion of the activities of Gaza’s population. Until Palestinians are granted their freedom and their full human rights there will be no peace between them and Israel. Up until the present time Israel’s leadership seems quite content with that state of affairs, as they are quite prepared to allow the residents of Sderot and other Israeli civilians to suffer fear and stress for the propaganda value that this generates.

      • dandahan4 August 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm | #

        A contest of which Criminal State has slaughtered most.
        Is there a starting (pistol), a time line, an end date for the winner.
        Stay on topic and deal with the slaughter of Palestinians.
        The subject is big, the victims are numerous and any deviations to other terrorist States reduces the argument to farce.
        Stay awhile and contemplate mans inhumanity and the State of Israel’s war machine in action in Gaza.

  15. Glenn August 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm | #

    I’m very careful to avoid charges of anti-Semitism.

    Whenever I see horrible crimes against humanity, I pause before voicing outrage just in case the perpetrator is a Zionist, doing only what comes natural to him.

    Zionists can’t help it because of the way they were raised.

    Some poorly educated White people still want to treat Blacks the same way.

  16. Alex August 7, 2014 at 12:22 am | #

    All aboard the thought-police train. Schools and businesses alike are over-stepping their bounds spying on their employees private (even if it is public) live. It would be like lingering at a restaurant. Its creepy and legislation needs to come forward to stop institutions from discriminating against their employees private lives. I propose to make it illegal for employers to use Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media tool to “make decisions” about an employees (or potential employees) employability. People should not have to censure themselves, because their employer is lurking just around the corner. That is not freedom; it’s tyranny.

    • yooooo August 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm | #


  17. Petter Niklas August 7, 2014 at 12:50 am | #

    I am in favour of both him & you being punished.

  18. Emma Quangel (@m_anyfesto) August 7, 2014 at 7:10 am | #

    I hope this sort of thing helps everyone stop complaining about pseudonyms or going anonymously online. We live in interesting, dangerous times.

  19. Greg August 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm | #

    Thanks for sharing the email addresses – I sent this note:

    Chancellor Wise,
    I just wanted to send you a note thanking you for dismissing Steven Salaita from his position for his offensive ‘tweets’. Like many others, I felt that his comments were beyond simple criticism of Israel – they were deeply dishonest, one-sided and disturbing. It bothered me that the University of Illinois, an institution which I hold in high regard, had someone with such unbalanced views on a complex geopolitical situation teaching students and making his hateful opinions known in such a public way. Your decision was the right one and it is acknowledged and appreciated.

    • Juliano August 8, 2014 at 4:37 pm | #

      I am sure their Zionist funders will have it framed by Mr Goldstein and put over the door. How proud you will be ey?

      • Greg August 8, 2014 at 5:52 pm | #

        Very proud, thank you.

      • Juliano August 8, 2014 at 6:56 pm | #

        I can see when people have lost their empathy for other humans. Of course. It isn’t wallowing in negativity stupid

    • Juliano August 8, 2014 at 6:16 pm | #

      yes. proud to be without any soul. we see

      • Greg August 8, 2014 at 6:28 pm | #

        Ah, so you don’t agree with me, therefore I have no soul. How very honest and mature of you. Not much I can say to that, other than have a good life wallowing in your negativity.

  20. Jasmine mario August 8, 2014 at 7:06 pm | #

    The hostility of Salita towards Israel goes beyond political view. It is incitement, and could lead to violence. I think the recent hostile bashing of Israel in Europe is directly linked to the rise of antisemitism in Europe, the worst since the 1930s. This is what chancellor Wise understands very well.
    As for the sincerity of the BDS movement, here are some links to articles that wonder aloud about the obsession with Israel when there are far worse situations going around. I think Salita and his like and BDS have some serious questions to answer considering their passion about the Palestinian cause. Why not Darfur? Why not Nigeria? North Korea? Iran? Spain? Why Israel? Many people are wondering about that, and they are not all Jews.

    • s. wallerstein August 8, 2014 at 7:23 pm | #

      Why Israel?, you ask.

      Perhaps because one might expect political pressure to have some effect there. I wouldn’t bother with North Korea or ISIS or Iran because they have no interest in so-called world public opinion or in what the human rights community has to say. I don’t understand, by the way, why Spain is on your list.

      Anyway, Israel is a country which pays lip service to human rights and to democracy (unlike North Korea, ISIS, etc.) and we can have some hope of getting them to live up to the human rights values that they preach.

      As a Jew, I feel ashamed that a country which is supposed to represent me (and doesn’t), is placed, even for a moment, in the same category as North Korea and Iran. That is, I feel ashamed that Israel is even compared favorably to North Korea and Iran.

      • Jasmine mario August 10, 2014 at 3:15 am | #

        You know full well that I did not put Israel in the same category as Iran and N. Korea. The point is that if BDS cared about human rights, they would have targeted places where there are real human rights violations. There’s no need to look too far. It is after all America who created Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Garib. And unlike Israel, America can’t claim that it’s facing existential threats.
        I can understand Palestinians pushing for boycotting of Israel. This is their fight. I cannot understand a Jew who is supporting people who want to do away with Israel. Or worse. You may chose to believe in Palestinian’s peaceful intentions, but if you listen to what their leaders (Abbas) say to to their constituents in Arabic, you will know that they have no intention of stopping at the 67 borders. And of course Hamas calls in its charter to kill the Jews (and that’s what protesters chant in the West Bank- itbach el yahud. So you are basically supporting the elimination of Israel and possibly the a massacre of Jews. Indeed you should be ashamed, not of Israel but of yourself.

      • Juliano August 10, 2014 at 5:38 am | #

        DID you see what happened to human beings in Gaza, yes or no? Are you absolutely disgusted, shocked saddened, beyond words yes or no? Are you aware what Palestinians have to go through every day because of the fukin occupying zionists, and what they do–torture adults and children in their prisons. THAT is all that matters not your hard-hearted ‘rationalizing’ words
        And HERE is a Jew against Israel and he is not the only one. SEE the attitude and behaviour of the Zionist?
        Anti-Zionist Jewish Protestors attacked by an AIPAC attendee in Washington D.C

      • Jasmine mario August 10, 2014 at 11:45 am | #

        Are you aware that ISIS is burying children alive? Are you aware that they killed far more civilians then Israel? Are you aware that That 170000 people were killed in Syria? Are you aware that many of them were tortured before they were killed, including children. Are you aware that Arabs killed 1 million of their own brothers since the civil war in Lebanon? You are selectively targeting Israel, who is fighting a defensive war, which unfortunately results in civilian casualties. Are you aware that Hamas is manipulating the number of civilians that were killed and many of those civilians are combatants (check it out on NYT and BBC ). Are you aware that Hamas is forcing people to stay in areas where IDF warned people and ask that they leave. Are you aware that Hamas executed 50 people who protested against them. Are you aware that the prisoners of Israel are terrorists who killed many people? Are you aware that Hamas is part of a worldwide fundamental Islamic movement and they are coming for you (a few of their religious leaders promised that the flag of Islam will soon fly over the white house…Look it up) . You have no frigin idea what Israel is up against. You don’t want to find out either. And yes, I am very sad of the casualties in Gaza as well as in Syria Iraq, Nigeria. I have been sad for much longer then this conflict. But I know that if fundamentalist Islam is not stopped, there would be much much worse bloodshed…rivers of blood as promised by Muslims.

        • Richard Lightbown August 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm | #

          You must cry yourself to sleep every night thinking about those civilian casualties which ‘unfortunately’ resulted from what? Oh yes Israel bombing hospitals, UNRWA schools full of people forced to flee their homes and anyone else that happened to get Israel’s lottery ticket this time. How unfortunate it was that those boys were killed on the beach playing football when there was not a single legitimate target anywhere near. And just why did Israel bomb Gaza’s only power station, and its major sewage works? To inflict more misery on people in Gaza, that’s why. And by the way which year was it that ISIS killed more civilians than Israel? 1948? 1956? 2008? Or any of the years in-between? Even if your statement is correct (and I wouldn’t trust anything from the NYT or the BBC) Israel has got a long head start on ISIS. But you don’t seem to have noticed that.

          As for prisoners of Israel (illegally kept in jails in Israel instead of in the occupied territories, just for the record) being terrorists – who says so? Israel calls everybody a terrorist including those who go to peaceful demonstrations where they get tear gassed, and shot at and yes, killed. But the IDF killers aren’t terrorists according to the Israeli lexicon, that term is restricted only to people who dare to criticise Israel.

          And then amongst all the rabid Islamophobia at the end there is the pious ‘I am very sad of the casualties in Gaza’. My arse you are. You are a Zionist apologist, full stop.

      • Jasmine mario August 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm | #

        You think I am heartless because I don’t pour my heart on the page?  Do you think the 6 millions of Israelis who support this operation are heartless?  And the millions of Jews around the world, most of whom support this operation are heartless?  Then come out and say it…those bloodthirsty Jews. And also the majority of American public which also support this operation are apparently heartless.
        You forgot to mention that the children on the beach were playing next to Hamas operatives who were assembling a rocket launcher. Residents in that area were warned by IDF to stay home. When asked why she let the children out despite the warning, one mother said, they wanted to play, I couldn’t stop them. ???
        UNRWA schools were storing Hamas rockets, UNRWA admitted that. The power plant was hit by Hamas errant rocket. Hamas just hit the border crossing through which humanitarian aid is supposed to get into Gaza. They are banking on the world being shocked. That’s the only power they have. They did not allow people to flee because the more casualties in Gaza the more clout for them. Arab countries and Arab media are putting the blame on Hamas (el Arabia..others) for the casualties in Gaza. Mudar Zaharan, a Palestinian leader just declared passionately that Hamas is responsible for the tragedy of Gaza. What’s not clear about it? 
        You are trying to manipulate people’ s emotions so that they forget to use their judgement. That can work on some people, but not on most people.
        As for islamophobia,  it is totally justified. ISIS is posting their flags in various places in the western world, including the white house:
        Here is what they say: 
        We are in your state
        We are in your cities
        We are in your streets
        You are our goal anywhere

        • scottishchap August 10, 2014 at 1:50 pm | #

          Quite frankly I don’t believe you when you say you’re sad about the casualties in Gaza. (And ‘sad’ is pretty lame when one considers for example the image of a child with a hole for a brain in the arms of a distraught father). I don’t think ‘unfortunate’ is an appropriate term for the deaths of well over 1000 civilians. But I’m glad that came out and admitted the charge of Islamophobia: racist bigot. And no, I won’t be opening your links. They were probably (liberally) translated by MEMRI anyway.

        • scottishchap August 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm | #

          Not quite sure how the pseudonym was employed, but no shame there anyway.

      • Juliano August 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm | #

        Excuses excuses. You witness such atrocity and blame the VICTIMS of it. Typical Zionist reaction. ‘Poor me’ ‘holocaust’ ‘antisemitism’. Always the freaking same old shit.
        Israel is equipped with American weaponry, state of the evil art equipment and you are trying to state that they could not SEE, detect, they were aiming at and killing little children playing football?

        And what are people of Khazar origin even doing in Palestine claiming it is their ‘promised land’ ‘Israel, promised by their ‘God’. They are as much connected with Palestine, and / ‘Jerusalem’, as Chinese who have converted to Islam are with Mecca, demanding that they seek to find their homebase there and get rid of the Muslims of Arabic origin there! So what gives you the right to defend this ZIONIST occupation? Did you not think this would errrm cause trouble…?

      • Jasmine mario August 10, 2014 at 2:01 pm | #

        So clearly your agenda is not the casualties in Gaza but the whole Zionist project. No point for me to get into ideological debate. It is been debated for decades but the world is clear about he legitimacy of Israel so this us pointless discussion. BTW, I didn’t mention holocaust, antisemitism etc. You did.

      • s. wallerstein August 10, 2014 at 4:48 pm | #

        I don’t remember much of my rather unsuccessful Jewish education as a child many years ago, but I do recall that when asked to sum up the Talmud, Rabbi Hillel replied: “do not do unto others what is hateful unto you”.

        That’s the essence of Judaism to me and if Israel applied that in Gaza, things would be very different.

        I don’t see that Israel is faced with any “existential threat” from Hamas or from ISIS or from Islamic radicals in general, but they would do well to maintain a good army and to keep up with the latest in military technology. However, that does not justify this completely excessive military response (the bombings and the invasion of Gaza) to the Hamas rockets, which have been in general neutralized by their anti-missile protection system.

        Hamas says that if Israel ends the blockade of Gaza and releases Palestinian political prisoners, they will end the rocket attacks and it seems wise to me to take them at their word to see if they can be trusted, since it’s a question of making a political deal, not of endorsing Hamas or falling in love with them.

      • Jasmine mario August 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm | #

        Wallerstein, You are taking that saying out of context. It relates to neighbors not to enemies. It doesn’t say, turn the other cheek when your enemy does everything in its power to kill you.
        What is excessive? Israel set a limited goal of destroying the attack tunnels that they knew about. The IDF did whatever possible to minimize casualties while pursuing their goal. Some of the soldiers casualties were a result of trying to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas on the other hand encouraged people to stay and sometimes forced them to stay. There is nothing Israel can do about that. War zone is not a video game. It is a terrible, confusing terrifying place, where even soldiers get killed by friendly fire.
        Once the tunnels were destroyed Israel retreated. The tunnels had to be destroys. They led straight to civilian places in Israel. Not army bases, civilian settlements, with little children. One tunnel ended under a kindergarten. I think most people understand the implications. The tunnels had to go, whatever the cost. If you care so much, I suggest you clear your head of the preconceptions you have about Israel and do some independent thinking. I haven’t heard one thing from you that indicate even the most rudimentary knowledge of the region. Oh, yes you saw some pictures and read some numbers (some of the pictures are fake, numbers are already challenged in media) that’s not a basis for an informed opinion.
        Anyway, all I wanted to say on this forum before getting sidetracked was that I support the decision not to offer a tenured position to prof. Salaita because people like him create an atmosphere of intimidation on campus. Students who have a different political view then him will simply be afraid to speak up and risk being ridiculed. There is enough BDS intimidation going on in colleges and I heard more than one student telling that they pretend to support BDS because they don’t want to be harassed. Is this the spirit of open mindedness and free debate that universities are so proud of? College should be a safe place for all students.

  21. Corey Robin August 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm | #

    Juliano, your last comment is pushing the boundaries of what I’ll accept on this blog. Tone it down or go somewhere else.

    • Juliano August 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm | #

      Corey. Fuck off. I dont know what your about but if you harangue people for getting passionate about this fuckin horror fuck the fuck off!!

      • Juliano August 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm | #

        Burning Conscience: Israeli Soldiers Speak Out

      • nillionaire August 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm | #

        He hardly harangued you, and your aside about “Khazars” is

        a.) Irrelevant. A 2000 year old land claim is laughable on its face, and there is therefore no reason to question it.

        b.) Very, very sketchy. I’m mostly familiar with it through the white supremacist Christian Identity movement, and while I’m not saying that’s where you’re coming from, it does have an extremely disreputable pedigree in general.

        We all know that Zionism defends itself by accusing its critics of anti-semitism. It is therefore absolutely essential to the anti-Zionist cause–to say nothing of it being a matter of simple decency–that actual Antisemitism gets quashed immediately and mercilessly.

      • Corey Robin August 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm | #

        Consider yourself blocked. Good bye.

        On Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 5:04 PM, Corey Robin wrote:


        • greg August 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm | #

          Thank you Corey for finally dumping that disrespectful hateful douchebag Juliano from this blog – I was starting to lose respect but its now restored…

    • Jasmine mario August 12, 2014 at 6:45 pm | #

      Millionaire, if you follow the logic of anti Zionism to the end, it is antisemitic.
      No wonder so many antisemites jump on your bandwagon. You have no chance to squash antisemitic expressions that almost always accompany anti Zionist statements. Antisemitism is a passion that always seeks ways to express itself. Even if it takes 50 years to come out, like in Ms Thomas case.

      • Juliano August 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm | #

        You are the type of person that just blunders along blind. Not taking time to really look deep into anything. i bet you haven’t even looked at *one* video I have presented here.
        I bet you have never heard a Jewish person-who is against Zionism- say exactly what we are saying, how Zionists use the anti Semitic card, as they do the Holocaust card. THAT is their way of trying to excuse the utter inhumanity they do. And people like you enable them!

      • PAK September 30, 2014 at 12:42 pm | #

        If Julliano is blocked then he won’t see this, but… We will never know if Helen Thomas was a Jew hater in general or just an anti-Zionist. Not a great example. Here’s a better one: David Duke, a well-known and outspoken hater of Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, in fact of anyone who is not a white Christian, is also an out-spoken anti-Zionist. I defy anyone to explain away Duke’s general bigotry. One is known by the company one keeps and please, don’t give me the bs about a broken clock being correct twice a day. Here’s Jasmine’s point. None of you may be Jew haters in general, but many of your fellow travelers are, and it is your moral obligation to condemn them and separate yourselves from them before you can use the “I’m not a Jew hater, but” card.

      • scottishchap September 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm | #

        Zionism has always kept foul company. Lehi solicited the support of Hitler. Jabotinsky was an apologist for Mussolini. Peres sold weaponry to apartheid South Africa (including nuclear know-how) while Israeli arms merchants happily sell weapons to any buyer, including Pinochet in Chile and with various nasty regimes in Africa (the Israeli diamond industry is drenched in African blood). Some of the American Christian Zionists have some very nasty predilections too. There are plenty more skeletons of this sort in the cupboard. What does that tell YOU about Zionism PAK?

        • wicheltnewsletter September 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm | #

          What does that me about Zionism? Very little, as most of your examples are not current. Lehi, the Irgun, and Jabotinsky, all of the same cloth, were basically shut down back in 1948, when Israel became as state. And don’t bother to bring up Begin, the peace treaty that he and Sadat signed, resulting in their Nobel prizes, seems to be the only action by any ME-associated Nobel prize winner that has had a positive effect. And I have gotten into it with Israeli supporters who make bigoted comments about Arabs. But I’ve yet to see any pro-palestinian criticize bigotry and call out falsehoods made by other “pro-palestinians.” Or, for that matter criticize actions by Hamas or the PA, and I read plenty of sites covering the I-P conflict. Best I’ve ever seen was a facebook “friend” state the he never claimed that Hamas was lily-white. But in fact, he had never mentioned Hamas at all. As for Israel selling to the highest bidder, if you are a US citizen and you care soooooo much about countries selling weaponry to as many countries as have the money to buy them, go complain to your congressman and senator as that should be your first responsibility/concern as a citizen. (Or if not a US citizen, complain to the appropriate representative of your country.) Then after you have shut down US weapon sales to all, not just Israel, ALL other countries, take up the cause of shutting down weapon sales by all other countries including Israel.

      • wicheltnewsletter September 30, 2014 at 4:14 pm | #

        Oh nuts Scottishchap, here we are talking about ancient, well certainly not current history, and I forgot to mention the Mufti of Jerusalem’s love affair with the Nazis (and his hatred of the Jews).

      • Richard Lightbown October 1, 2014 at 4:30 am | #

        “Or, for that matter criticize actions by Hamas or the PA”

        Set me a good example Wichel: right here and now let me see you condemn some of Israel’s war crimes. For example come out and unequivocally condemn the bombing of hospitals in Gaza or the UN buildings or the use of white phosphorous in civilian areas, the use of DIME bombs and flechettes. Let me see you condemn the targeted attacks on medical personnel in Gaza. Or take whatever war crime or crime against humanity or terrorist act by the Zionist state you want to chose (there’s plenty of choice) and condemn it out of hand. I honestly don’t think you could do it. I don’t think you have the integrity.

        For my part I will totally disassociate myself from David Duke and any other neo-fascist, regardless of what they may say about Israel or Palestine. I will condemn blatant Palestinian acts of terrorism such as Klinghoffer, Itamar and the three settler teenagers or suicide bombings that blatantly targeted civilians. Even though I understand what motivated these crimes I condemn them as atrocities that were not only evil but were counterproductive to their own cause. But I won’t call the rocket attacks from Gaza anything other than what they are, the only primitive response available to a people opposing a vicious occupation. I can’t expect a population to be subjected to such pathological violence as that coming from Israel and not respond.

        Don’t forget to call out Israeli warcrimes now will you?

  22. Arthur Reber August 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm | #

    Most intriguing (and long) series of comments on the Salaita case. Two elements seem to me to be utterly clear:
    a. It is possible to be distressed with the way Israel has been behaving without being a defender of the way Hamas has been behaving — and, if you wish, you can flip the two geopolitical entities.
    b. The language that Salaita used in his non-academic writings should not be a factor in an appointment.
    As I roll these around in my head I start wondering …. would defenders of the decision to revoke Salaita’s appointment (“hophmi”? are you still here?) feel similarly if Salaita had been sending out Tweets attacking Hamas with the same venom?
    Is it truly the crude and unprofessional language? Just wondering …
    Arthur Reber
    Broeklundian Professor, Emeritus
    Brooklyn College

    • Jasmine mario August 13, 2014 at 10:03 pm | #

      If Salaita would have twitted that Hamas actions make islamophobia an honorable thing, he would have received the same response. Worse actually.

      • Arthur Reber August 14, 2014 at 2:13 am | #

        From whom? The UI trustee?

      • leftytgirl August 14, 2014 at 11:25 am | #

        “If Salaita would have twitted that Hamas actions make islamophobia an honorable thing, he would have received the same response. Worse actually.”

        That is absolutely not true, and not at all a believable claim.

  23. Neil Schipper August 14, 2014 at 3:48 pm | #

    To get perspective on Salaita, make a few simple substitutions to his public statements:

    “At this point, if Cheney appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Iraqi children, would anybody be surprised?”

    “Hamas, take responsibility: if your dream of a theocratic Palestine is worth the murder of children, just fucking own it already.”

    “Note how the Germanic soul was pure and uncorrupted until it encountered Poles. Same old colonial discourse, different geography.”

    What do these all demonstrate? Deep complacency about reducing complex human affairs to cartoons; embracing a single narrative whole-hog; hipsterish, sanctimonious showboating.

    These are not desirable qualities for the university classroom.

    Amazingly, here’s part of his actual, verbatim “Pinned Tweet”: “it’s better to teach than to berate or shame.”

    That’s a fine slogan, but I don’t see much evidence that Salaita has the slightest notion of what it means to engage with someone who doesn’t already share his deeply held biases.

  24. dandahan4 August 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm | #

    Politically correct indoctrination and exploitation by Israeli and other government propaganda machines is a restriction on free speech.

    In effect, this is mind control by governments by limiting thought space to conformity with political and corporatist sectional interests.

    Dictatorial powers which are bestowed on individual administrators in educational institutions and government departments make exploitation of political correctness as a propaganda tool so easy.

    Holidays with VIP treatment in a promised land or other locations of choice, financial inducements etc are cheap at any price for the thought manipulators who seek to obviate the slaughter of innocents and make crimes against humanity appear lesser offences that that oldest of chestnuts …. the ultimate crime of anti Semitism ( as in anti Israeli murderous activities against innocent civilians).
    To be anti criminality is not to be anti Semitic.
    To exercise the right to speak against obnoxious state terrorism is not a sacking offence except in terrorized university administrators minds.

  25. dandahan4 August 25, 2014 at 4:05 pm | #

    Semantics and academic arguments are facile and very cowardly when the subject is State slaughter of innocent men, women and children.
    sacking professors must be a non event and irrelevant except to that university which must now be emptied of every student and academic?

  26. dandahan4 August 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm | #

    Reblogged this on dandahan.

  27. dandahan4 August 25, 2014 at 3:58 pm | #

    The servility of deferring to an academic for a quote on inhumane behaviour by Israeli Governments towards the Palestinian people of Gaza is telling indeed.
    Slaughtering of innocent men, women and children by the Israeli Government is a crime against humanity.
    Who gives a s**t about the academic language uses.
    To rant about language is a semantic too far and a distraction.
    This is about more slaughter.
    And yes there are many other State criminal activities.
    let’s stay on this one for now.

Leave a Reply