Jun 27 2009
UC Santa Barbara investigation has cleared a sociology professor of improper conduct for sending students an e-mail entitled, “Parallel images of Nazis and Israelis,“ with images that compared Palestinian casualties from the Gaza offensive to Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
However, professor William Robinson said Thursday he was not satisfied with faculty and administrative findings that he should not be disciplined. Robinson wants a campus apology and an investigation of what he said were improper efforts to silence him.
In January, Robinson sent his class the images, along with a statement in which he described Israel’s policies in Gaza as a slow-motion genocide.
Two Jewish students dropped the class, saying that they felt intimidated by the e-mail. They also said that Robinson had violated campus policies.
Some Jewish activists alleged that Robinson’s e-mail was anti-Semitic. Manyacademics and civil libertariansdefended the professor, (a self-hating liberal) Jew, and called the accusations and investigation an attack on academic freedom.
Cyndi Silverman, the Anti-Defamation League’s Santa Barbara regional director, said the campus decision “creates a disturbing message that only the rights of faculty are to be respected, not the rights of individual students.“ LA TIMES
I just received an e-mail, which included a link to the video below, forwarding an e-mail from William I. Robinson, a USCB sociology professor. The contents of that e-mail, which Robinson reportedly sent to students on Martin Luther King Day and ran under the heading “Parallel images of Nazis and Israelis,“ included 42 side-by-side photos (like the one at left) that have made Robinson the focus of an academic investigation.
Here’s a portion of what he allegedly wrote:
I am forwarding some horrific, parallel images of Nazi atrocities against the Jews and Israeli atrocities against thePalestinians. Perhaps the most frightening are not those providing a graphic depiction of the carnage but that which shows Israeli children writing “with love” on a bomb that will tear apart Palestinian children.
Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw – a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians, subjecting them to the slow death of malnutrition, disease and despair, nearly two years before their subjection to the quick death of Israeli bombs. We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide (Websters: “the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group”), a process whose objective is not so much to physically eliminate each and every Palestinian than to eliminate the Palestinians as a people in any meaningful sense of the notion of people-hood.
According to KEYT, Robinson claims the complaint, initiated by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the two students who contacted the L.A.-based human-rights and Jewish-defense organization, is an attack on his academic freedom.
Robinson may have a point there. Tenure and academic freedom provide professors with a lot of latitude—less so for Ward “Little Eichmanns” Churchill than Kevin “The Foremost Anti-Semitic Thinker” MacDonald. And far worse things were said by professors at a UCLA symposium in January. As a refresher, here is what Tom Tugend reported then. JEWISH JOURNAL
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