by Blake Neff
September 11, 2014
The University of Illinois’s board of trustees voted 8-1 Thursday to reaffirm the college’s decision to revoke a job offer to a controversial academic after he made anti-Israel remarks on Twitter. The vote hardly marks the end of the saga, however, as both protests and a possible lawsuit loom in the future.
Steven Salaita, who was slated to begin teaching at the school’s Department of Native American Studies this fall, drew ire over the summer when hundreds of anti-Israel tweets made during Israel’s recent Gaza incursion came to wider public attention.
Salaita suggested that Israel was “making anti-Semitism respectable” and said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should begin wearing a necklace made of Palestinian childrens’ teeth.…..StandWithUs, a pro-Israel advocacy organization, quickly released a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation praising the trustees’ vote.
“The Salaita issue is not about freedom of speech, academic freedom or the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is about professional conduct, intellectual standards, and collegiality,” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein. “We applaud UIUC Chancellor Wise and the Trustees for resisting the enormous political pressure exerted on them, and for demanding that high intellectual and professional standards be maintained even on highly charged issues. We hope their decision sets a standard that other universities will follow so we can restore informed, reasonable debate about the Palestinian Israeli conflict on American campuses.”