Salaita Comments Meet State Dept. Standard for Anti-Semitsm

Steven Salaita

Steven Salaita

As reported on The Mike Report earlier this month, the University of Washington branch of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and a slew of other campus groups have invited controversial academic Steven Salaita for a speaking engagement at the UW this Monday, April 6 the fourth night of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Salaita became a celebrated martyr for academic freedom when the University of Illinois rescinded a job offer after Salaita let loose an explosive series of comments seen by many as crossing the line from anti-Israel to anti-Semitic.

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The US Department of State offers a detailed definition of anti-Semitism on their website. Salaita’s published and posted statements meet virtually every single State Department criterion for anti-Semitic speech. Below are excerpts from the State Department’s listed categories of anti-Semitism, followed by comments made by Salaita that seem to meet these criterion.

1) State Department Example of Anti-Semitsm: Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews…

Following the kidnapping of three Jewish teens, Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach  last summer, Salaita called for similar acts to be committed against all Jews residing in the West Bank saying You may be too refined to say it but I’m not, I wish all the f*cking West Bank settlers would go missing. The kidnapped teens were later found to have been brutally murdered and disposed of in a shallow grave.

2) State Department Example of Anti-Semitsm: Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective…Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

  • Making snide references to Jewish “specialness” Salaita places blame on “the Jews” as a collective, for using their “special privileges” to oppress Palestinians. In his own 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.”
  • Accusing Jews as a collective of bearing responsibility for the Gaza war of 2014, Salaita demanded that all Jews of the Diaspora engage in a shared mea culpa by condemning what he declares as crimes committed in their name. Said Salaita “Now more than ever Diaspora Jews must condemn the obliteration of Gaza, it is in their name after all, that Israel launches the bombs”.
  • For the crime of occasionally expressing an affinity for the Jewish state,  Salaita advocates for the segregation of Jewish students affiliated with Hillel, the on campus Jewish student club, from all campus multi-cultural celebration. says Salaita “There is no reason why Hillel should not thus be banned from participating in any form of multicultural celebration.”

3) State Department Example of Anti-Semitsm: Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

  • Drawing a comparison of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, Salaita declared that “Israel independence equals sustenance of the European logic made famous by Hitler”.
Poster to be sold at Salaita lecture.

Poster to be sold at Salaita lecture.

Salaita’s comments are as clear an example of the contemporary manifestation of anti-Semitism as one can find.  Bigots who target other minority groups would never be granted the red carpet reception that is being rolled out for Mr. Salaita, nor would the civil rights community stand silent.

We at The Mike Report do not call for the boycott of Salaita’s lecture or advocate that the presentation be cancelled. The organizations that sponsored this shameful speaker have every right to do so, and for having done so they should be publicly shamed.

Jewish students need to know, that we, the Seattle Jewish community and all people of good will, have their backs.

One can only imagine the impact this event will have on the sense of safety felt by Jewish students on campus. Backroom objections by communal leaders, should they be occurring, provide little solace to Jewish students forced to face the repercussions of Salaita’s presence on campus. These students need to know that we, the Seattle Jewish community as well as all people of good will, have their backs.

A serial manufacturer of hatred is coming to Seattle. The silence is deafening.

Steven Salaita wil be speaking at the University of Washington, Gowen 301 at 6:00 pm on Monday, April 6th. Sponsoring organizations are American Indian Studies; American Ethnic Studies; Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; History; the Simpson Center for the Humanities; the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights; the Associated, Students of the University of Washington (ASUW); the Graduate & Professional Student Senate; and the American Association of University Professors UW chapter.

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