The University of Illinois is in hot water in the wake of its decision to withdraw a job offer to a professor who has made what some call anti-Semitic comments.
According to a decision by the American Association of University Professors
, the case of Steven Salaita — who was offered a position in 2013 contingent on receiving approval from the school's board of trustees — crossed the line between right and wrong.
The report found the school violated "the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure" and the university's own stated policies on the subject.
"The chancellor's decision to oppose the appointment — announced without first having revealed her intention to those at several previous levels of evaluation, all of whom had recommended making the appointment — contravened widely accepted standards for the conduct of academic governance."
The association is slated to vote next month on whether to censure the University of Illinois over the case.
Salaita posted several Tweets on his personal Twitter account last summer regarding Israel's action in the Gaza Strip. They were seen as anti-Semitic.
Some examples of Salaita's tweets that were included in the American Association of University Professors report:
Let’s cut to the chase: If you’re defending #Israel right now you’re an awful human being. (July 8)
Zionist uplift in America: every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime. (July 14)
If #Israel affirms life, then why do so many Zionists celebrate the slaughter of children? What’s that? Oh, I see JEWISH life. (July 18)
When I am frustrated, I remember that, despite the cigarettes and fatty food, I have a decent chance of outliving #Israel. (July 21)
Other tweets contained strong language referencing Israelis.
A Chicago Tribune
report in September revealed the board's vote not to hire Salaita was 8-1.
Salaita defended himself in a statement at the time.
"They have no reason to doubt the high standard I have always maintained in the classroom," he said, according to the Tribune report. "As I said in a less-notorious tweet, 'I refuse to conceptualize #Israel/#Palestine as Jewish-Arab acrimony. I am in solidarity with many Jews and in disagreement with many Arabs.' If they had cared to learn, they would have seen this and other tweets reflecting a similar sentiment."
Salaita is suing the university, the board of trustees, and administrators at the school.
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