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January 29, 2015 5:11 pm

Antisemitic Academic Ditched by University of Illinois Announces Lawsuit

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Antisemitic academic Steven Salaita says the University of Illinois violated his constitutional rights. Photo: Twitter

Steven Salaita, the academic whose offer of a job at the University of Illinois was rescinded last year after several of his viciously antisemitic tweets were widely exposed, has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging breach of contract and violation of his free speech rights.

The suit was filed Thursday against eight members of the university’s board of trustees, several of its top administrators, and unknown donors whom Salaita said put pressure on school officials to rescind his job offer, the Chicago Tribune reported. Salaita seeks reinstatement to the position he was offered last October teaching American Indian Studies, as well as compensation for “violations of his constitutional rights, including free speech and due process.”

During the war in Gaza last summer between Israel and Hamas, Salaita fired off several antisemitic tweets that drew anxious comments from parents and students at the university, as well as donors. “I wish all the f***ing West Bank settlers would go missing,” read one, posted after the kidnapping by Palestinian terrorists last June of three Israeli teenagers hiking in the West Bank who were subsequently murdered.

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Another declared: “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.”

At the height of the Gaza conflict, Salaita asked: “At this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV wearing a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anyone be surprised? #Gaza.”

A two-page statement Thursday from the University of Illinois regarding the lawsuit said it will “vigorously defend” against the  “meritless claims” in Salaita’s complaint.

The university went on to say that Salaita’s job offer from the school was “at all times subject to the ultimate approval of the Board of Trustees” and that “at no time was Dr. Salaita hired as a faculty member.”

Some of the content of Salaita’s complaint was reported on the Electronic Intifada, a US-based antisemitic website that campaigns for the elimination of the State of Israel.

“The University administration, facing pressure from wealthy university donors, fired Professor Salaita for his political speech challenging prevailing norms,” one excerpt from the complaint stated. The “wealthy donor” highlighted by Ali Abunimah, the Electronic Intifada‘s editor, was Steven N. Miller, a member of the board of Hillel, the Jewish student social and religious body described by Abunimah as “a pro-Israel advocacy group.”

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  • Eco

    ENOUGH OF THOUS B.S. anti-Semites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • A Zionist

    There is no such place as “occupied Palestine”. There has never been a country or state called “Palestine”. Palestine was a term, made up by the Romans, who wanted the Jews to worship Roman gods and show loyalty. As a result, the geographical entities known as Judea (where the word Jew originates) and Samaria. When Jordan illegally “occupied” Judea and Samaria, they renamed it “the West Bank”. A country can only be “occupied” if the land in question is a sovereign state belonging to a country. This is not the case and at best, the land is “disputed”. There is no doubt that Turkey “occupies” North Cyprus. There is no doubt that China “occupies” Tibet.
    The only people who have had a state and sovereignty in this area is the Jewish People.
    The word Palestinian was a derogatory word for “Jew”. During WW1, the British wanted Jews and Arabs to enlist to fight the Ottoman Empire. The Jews agreed. The Arabs were insulted claiming that they were part of the “great Arab nation”. It is also well documented in Arabic, that the claim of a Palestinian people is but a strategy. The Arabs realised they would be defeated militarily again, so Arafat decided on a different strategy. The “Palestinian” Arabs have roots in Egypt, Syria, the Arabian peninsula. They migrated as a result of improved socio-economic circumstances because of 19th century jewish immigration.
    All other people have been foreign colonialists: the Assyrians, Babylonians, Crusaders, Marmluks, the Ottoman Turks and the British. They all were “occupiers”. The only indigenous people who date back 4000 years: the Jewish people.
    The Arabs have 22 Arab states, occupying 5.4 million square miles of land. In 1948, when Egypt occupied Gaza illegally; and Jordan Judea and Samaria, they did not ask for another State because the Arabs want only one thing: to destroy the Jewish State.
    The Arabs’ pathological hatred towards Jews is primary. This can be seen in their books (Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are 2 of the most read), articles, school books, papers, speeches, films, TV etc They use Nazi ideology and portray Jews in those terms. They educate/indoctrinate their children to kill Jews.
    For those who clearly do not understand the definition of antisemitism, please read here: http://www.european-forum-on-antisemitism.org/working-definition-of-antisemitism/english/

    • Partha

      Bulls**t yourself and try to understand why more and more people are becoming anti-semantic and less and less people are becoming Israel-friendly day by day.

      • Partha

        Open up your heart and try to understand why more and more people are becoming anti-semantic and less and less people are becoming Israel-friendly.

      • racy

        cut out the f—in crap; this poor excuse of a professor has no place teaching students and his outright hatred puts students in jeopardy. letting the bastard go was the right thing to do
        and every university should follow suit. the college campuses are not places for intolerant and hatred spewing professors.

      • Tabitha Korol

        Partha: You meant “anti-Semitic,” not “anti-Semantic,” but your error was both humorous and stupid. However, to answer your question, the reason is that Israel stands for honesty and integrity in a world run by the most incredible evil we’ve ever seen, and it’s easier for people to join evil so as not to see their own failings than to try to be moral. You won’t find Jews blowing themselves up, chopping heads off children and others, stoning people to death, chopping hands and feet…evidently, you are more able to align yourself with the dregs of society. When you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

  • Bruce Rubin

    The entire 3-4 million miles of the Middle East has virtually driven out all non-Muslims by force and murder which extends today through the well funded ISIS.This man is a radical.There are mosques all over Israel and in most of the Middle East if you open a church or Jewish Temple it would be burned to the ground.

  • victoria brandeis

    LET THE FOOL BE FIRED ,,,,,WAX,,,,,,,TARRED …. AND FEATHERED AND MAY HE RUN LOOSE THROUGH THE CAMPAS AS HIS TUSH IS PATCHED.

    GOOD FOR HILLEL AND THE JEWISH STUDENTS AND OTHERS WHO DO NOT WANT THIS TO BE COVERED IN DUST.

    THIS FORM OF LANGUAGE OR HATE HAS NO ROOM IN THIS WORLD LET ALONE THE HALLS THAT TEACH OUR CHILDREN…..SEND HIM TO ARABIA……..CLOCKED DRESSED AND FEATHERED.

  • YESHAYAHU HOLLANDER

    What nonsense: ” Salaita seeks … compensation for “violations of his constitutional rights, including free speech…”
    No onw denied his right to free speech. HE is denying the right of others to pay attention to his speech and come to the free conclusion that they don’t want him on their team.

  • Mayven

    STEVEN SALAITA was made with a finger.
    May his torment be for a life time.

  • Charlton Price

    The Electronic Intifada is not “anti=Semitic”. It reports factual information about aspects of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and destruction or occupation of Palestinian lands and Palestinian property, and comments about the situation — in Israel, in occupied Palestine, and the involvement of the US in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, from all points of view.

    • zadimel

      Your allegation that the Electronic Intifada reporting “factual information” concerning “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians” and the “destruction or occupation of Palestinian lands and Palestinian property,” as well as “occupied Palestine,” causes one to question your knowledge and understanding of the historical efforts by Arabs to deny creation of a Jewish homeland in the that area of the world, as well as seeking to destroy the present nation of Israel. The Jewish connection to “Palestine” ante-dates the presence of Roman rule by about 2000 years. The name “Palestine” was given by Rome in an attempt to erase the Jewish name for the lands on which the rebellious Jews were indigenous.There simply has been no nation called “Palestine” governed by Palestinians. Indeed,the refusal by Palestinians to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate Jewish state is not a denial of reality; it is an indication to change that reality. Arab leaders do not seek to live in peace with Israel, but in place of the Jewish state.Hence, there can be no “occupation” of Palestinian lands for there has never been a nation of Palestine.

  • Michael

    The hate monger and inciter of violence against Jews was offered a job subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees never never approved his hiring therefore he never was an employee of the university.I don’t understand how someone can be fired when he was never hired.

  • Gabrielle Grossman

    People who hate, who are “anti” anything, ought not to be in a university setting, where openness to all philosophies should prevail. Anti-semitism is one of the most vicious kinds of “anti” attitudes, based on the canards and lies promoted by Nazi’s, racists and by Islamic Extremists.

    • Eli

      LOL. If so, than universities will suffer a serious shortage of academics. Particularly in the social sciences and humanities disciplines.

  • DocReality

    What a disturbed freak this pathetic human being is.

  • Noel Herasfield

    These excuse for professors teach revisionist history,are propagandists for The dysfunctional So called Palestiinians.Take them to court!Just a bunch of moral degenerstes ,setting the stage for the Umma obsessed so called radical Islamicd,who are the personification of pure evil!

  • Uriel

    Some lawyers will launch litigation at the drop of a hat, no matter how rediculous and unworthy the cause. As a retired lawyer, I am deeply ashamed.

  • Obama made clear recently that “donor” is the new code word anti-Semites use for Jew.

  • anon

    He can join Norman Finkelstein in picking up cans and bottles for the deposit.

  • shloime

    “free speech” guarantees that you can say anything you want, not that you can compel a university to employ you. this so-called academic is not only a foul-mouthed jew-hater, but he clearly couldn’t reason his way out of a paper bag with written instructions. he’d be highly sought after, if anyone else thought as highly of him as he does.

  • Leo Toystory

    If anybody had looked more deeply into Salaita’s background perhaps they would have found several more reasons he ought not be teaching at any type of educational institution, anywhere.

  • Mickey Oberman

    I no longer can be sure that the American courts know the true meaning of justice.

    I am concerned.

  • Julian Clovelley

    Your slip is showing! It’s in the penultimate paragraph:

    “Some of the content of Salaita’s complaint was reported on the Electronic Intifada, a US-based antisemitic website that campaigns for the elimination of the State of Israel.”

    The intended implication is to validate the claim of “antisemitism”. The antisemitism claimed may or may not exist, but one asks – if Netanyahu’s words were reported in a communist newspaper, would that imply that Bibi is a communist? I think not.

    I had a friend who worked for the highly respected and accurate Reuters News Agency, in their offices in Fleet Street, some forty years ago. He was almost sacked for inserting a clarification into a troop numbers report that could have been taken as implying a message not in the original report from Washington. When I asked him about it later he said “They were right and I was wrong”, I think that genuine realisation saved him his job, the realisation that good journalism and editorialship spots these tricks and relegates the contribution to the waste basket, demanding a full rewrite as punishment.

    Algemeiner is an excellent newspaper, but it is often under very obvious extreme Zionist and Settler pressure. Maintain vigilance to maintain independence, detachment and neutrality.

    for my part I certainly would not wish – even in my deepest disquiet and fears for the future of the Middle East – for the Settlers to go missing

    But I do wish they’d wise up, and that they and Israel proper recognised that the Zionist Settlers movement is what is most likely to destroy the State of Israel, and is a prime cause for the increasing perceived “respectability” of the disgusting and irrational cult of “antisemitism.”

    It is not the left that is your problem it is your own misguided fifth column…

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