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November 20, 2023 12:23 pm
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UNC Professor Doubles Down, Continues to Explain and Justify Hamas Massacre

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avatar by Peter Reitzes

Opinion

Students sit on the steps of Wilson Library on the campus of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S., September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

On October 7, Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, killing 1,200 people, taking more than 240 hostages, and raping and torturing many others.

The next day, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) proclaimed on social media, “It is our moral obligation to be in solidarity with the dispossessed, no matter the pathway to liberation they choose to take. This includes violence.”

Many view this statement as endorsing and justifying both Hamas and the October 7 pogrom.

On October 31, UNC Professor E. Chebrolu read this SJP proclamation to his Rhetoric and Public Issues class and told students: “That’s a true statement. I’m going to be honest. There’s nothing wrong with what SJP said.”

Chebrolu omitted that SJP had deleted the post within days of making it.

On October 26, the US Senate voted unanimously to condemn college antisemitism, specifically mentioning the UNC SJP post. Chebrolu condemned the Senate for this, telling students, “They just don’t want you to think about Palestinian kids and adults as human beings. And instead they want you to think about your fellow students, who care about justice, uh, that they’re a bunch of little Hitlers running around.”

Chebrolu complained that even “Bernie f***ng Sanders” joined this unanimous Senate vote.

Chebrolu added, “The United States government is trying to cover up a genocide and make you all want it, desire it.” Chebrolu told the class, “I know Joe Biden does not give a f*** what I say, obviously” and “Gandhi kind of sucks.”

Also on October 31, Chebrolu told students that Israel is “a clearly fascist state committing a genocide under the guise of it supposedly being the only democracy in the Middle East.” He complained about what he perceives as misguided accusations of antisemitism related to Israel, calling it “increasingly just bullshit factory.”

As I recently reported, Chebrolu told students on October 17 that “Israel and the United States do not give a shit about international law or war crimes,” “The attack by Hamas was not senseless, there is context,” and “The majority of Palestinians are children. They are seen as legitimate targets of violence.”

He twice told students that the existence of Israel is “somewhat ridiculous.”

When asked if Hamas had returned the hostages, Chebrolu responded by telling students he believed Israel was looking “to find an excuse” to invade Gaza. Likely realizing he went too far, Chebrolu added, “But it’s not something I should have said just now.”

A widely circulated petition written by “UNC Students, Parents, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, Friends, and Donors” calls on UNC to protect Jewish students and to stop antisemitism on campus. Chebrolu’s class was one of many concerns mentioned in the petition.

On November 14, Chebrolu complained to his class that he was likely included in the petition because “I have a foreign sounding last name.”

Chebrolu told students he was “sad” that “somebody felt the need to record me without my knowledge.” He added, “I don’t really regret doing the lecture stuff … I only regret the fact that I didn’t make you all feel like you could have an honest conversation with me about your disagreements.”

Chebrolu is scheduled to teach two UNC classes in the Spring of 2024.

Peter Reitzes writes about issues related to antisemitism and Israel.

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