DePaul University Professor Attracts Criticism Over Op-Ed Encouraging Israeli Annexation of West Bank
A professor of ethics and philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago is facing criticism for supporting Israeli annexation of the West Bank and describing Palestinians in terms that have been decried as discriminatory.
In an op-ed published last Tuesday by The Federalist, Jason Hill argued that “Israel has the moral right to annex all of the West Bank,” as well as retake the Gaza Strip from Hamas.
He further argued that “the Palestinian people” have suffered a decline due to “their willful ideological malfeasance,” pointing to “Fatah and Hamas’s genocidal aspirations toward Israel and universal Jewry and, in the case of Hamas, of a global caliphate.”
“Given the voting patterns of Palestinians — towards Islamicism and terrorist organizations for the most part — … a strong argument can and ought to be made to strip Palestinians of their right to vote — period.”
“No moral or political distinctions must be made between Fatah, Hamas, and the people who elect and or support them,” he added. “Therefore, only a policy of radical containment or expulsion remains a viable option.”
The article attracted controversy shortly after publication, the student-run DePaulia newspaper reported, with a Palestinian DePaul student claiming that it called for “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians.
“I had to read [the article] twice to believe what I was seeing because it was so blatantly racist and mean,” Sumaya Haydar told the DePaulia.
Hill rejected the accusation, saying he “never used the term” ethnic cleansing.
“Those are nefarious conclusions that people are drawing from a misreading of this article,” he told the student paper. “The point I wanted to make in the article is that Israel, which has an unequivocal, categorical right to exist, made an altruistic mistake of making the Palestinian people their moral and political problem in the first place.”
Several campus groups have called on DePaul’s administration to condemn Hill and request an apology, among them Students for Justice in Palestine, United Muslims Moving Ahead, DePaul Socialists, Students Against Incarceration, College Democrats and Lambdas.
A petition started by Chicago Area Peace Action that accused the professor of a “pattern of racist, anti-Palestinian, xenophobic, sexist, and Islamophobic statements” surpassed 1,800 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
“His comments create unsafe and uncomfortable spaces for everyone, especially Palestinian and Muslim students who now all refuse to enroll in a class that is taught by Professor Hill,” the petition read. “We are not only seeking censure, but for Professor Hill to commit to racial sensitivity training and to release a public apology for his immoral conduct.”
Last year, the Hill attracted backlash for claiming in an op-ed that the greatest threat to the US was “leftist professors who are waging a war against America,” and that universities needed to be defunded and rebuilt “with conservative principles.”