UW To Welcome Professor Charged with Anti-Semitism



The University of Washington is fast becoming the political equivalent of Woodstock (or SxSW) for groupies of the most notorious stars on the anti-Israel circuit. Hot on the heels of a February appearance by BDS founder Omar Barghouti, comes Steven Salaita, a man who has earned the number six spot on the Simon Wiesenthal Center list of top anti-Semitic incidents (just one notch below Louis Farrakhan). 

Flyer for Salaita appearance at the University of British Columbia.

Flyer for Salaita appearance at the University of British Columbia.

Long a proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, Salaita actively calls for the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. But it was during the Gaza war of this past summer that many felt Salaita crossed the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism. As Hamas rockets rained down on Israel, Salaita went on a tweeting frenzy, going beyond his usual dog whistle anti-Semitic references to “corporate media” and “wealthy, influential circles” to a more open, brazen variety.

The comments made by Salaita were so beyond the pale offensive that the University of Illinois felt compelled to rescind a position offered Salaita. The loss of an associate professorship at UI’s Urbana Champaign campus does not appear to have hurt Salaita who has since been hailed in the academic world as a martyr of free speech – enjoying a seemingly endless series of lucrative speaking engagements from coast to coast.

The Wiesenthal Center for Human Rights noted of Salaita, that “Originally hired to teach American Indian Studies, the school cancelled his contract after reading Salaita’s rants like these he made on social media. “At this point if Netanyahu appeared with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?


About American Jewish Youth, Salaita declared, “Every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime.””



Steve Hochstadt, Professor of History at Illinois College noted that Salaita was a strange poster child for academic freedom.

Those who defend Salaita by claiming he is being discriminated against don’t appear to be aware that in chapter 1 of his book “Israel’s Dead Soul” he advocates entirely removing any reference to Israel from his own university. He wants the multicultural officer to stop displaying the Israeli flag. He urges “expelling Zionism from civic institutions” (p. 39), by which he means any references to Israel. Including in this expulsion are the Hillel groups on college campuses: “There is no reason why Hillel should not thus be banned from participating in any form of multicultural celebration.”

Salaita’s research papers are soaked with an animus towards the Jewish people that he doesn’t even try to mask under the veil of anti-Zionism. In a paper published in the International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies (Volume 1, Number 1, 2008), Salaita trots out classic anti-Semitic tropes of devious Jews, masquerading as victims while in fact using their “special privileges” to oppress”. Or in Salaita’s words “Their oppressors, the Jews, not only have managed to cast themselves as victim in the Israel-Palestine conflict, they have justified that self-image through an assiduous emphasis on the specialness, which grants them access to special privileges.”


Once one reads the collection of Salaita’s tweets below (warning, some contain very graphic language) it will be easy to understand UI’s decision to keep Salaita off their campus. Thus it is perplexing, even in light of the University of Washington’s embrace of extremist voices like Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti, that the UW would welcome and expose our students to a person with such hateful, bigoted views.

For example, rather than placing the onus for anti-Semitism upon the perpetrators of such acts, Salaita relieves anti-Semites of at least some of the blame, saying it is the Jewish state (“Zionists”) by defending themselves that the cause of their own persecution.


In the tweet below Salaita explains that since the founding of Israel, Zionism, once horrible has been transformed into something “honorable”.


And if anti-Semitism is “honorable:, as Professor Salaita asserts, than he should earn a knighthood for the below remark – seemingly designed to incite hostility against American Jews whom he alleges bear special responsibility for the “obliteration of Gaza”.


And the slurs continue; like the one below where Salaita condemns Israel for Gaza not being Jewish enough. He seems to  have forgotten the fate of Jews who wander into Palestinian areas.  Perhaps somebody should inform Salaita that there are lots more “not Jewish” people… everywhere. Perhaps that too is Israel fault.


And here Salaita achieves the anti-Semitism trifecta; ascribing to Jews the very totems of their tormentors – racism, genocide and Hitler, and all because the Jewish people have dared achieve self-determination in their ancestral homeland.


In this sophisticated remark, Salaita’s academic bona fides truly shine. I can’t for the life of me understand why every University in the country isn’t clamoring to hire this scholar of nuance.

We'll kill

Finally, as Jews and all decent people around the world stood in horrified shock after learning of the kidnapping of three Jewish teens by agents of Hamas, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, Salaita tweeted his wish for many more such kidnappings. The three boys were ultimately found to have been brutally murdered, a crime that mortified the entire Jewish world.

three boys

The University of Washington Chapter of the Association of American Association of University Professors is sponsoring the Salaita lecture as a demonstration of “solidarity” with the controversial academic. Steven Salaita will be speaking during the Passover holiday, April 6th, 2015, at 6:00 pm. The talk will be held on the UW Campus at Gowen 301 and is free and open to the public. More information HERE.