University votes not to reinstate prof over series of anti-Israel tweets

University of Illinois trustees voted 8-1 Thursday not to reinstate Steven Salaita, who had accepted a tenured professorship last fall to teach in the school’s American Indian Studies program. That offer was revoked this August after Salaita posted several tweets denouncing Israel’s military strikes in Gaza.

Dozens of students staged a walkout earlier this week in support of Salaita and shouted “Shame on you” after the trustees’ vote today.

Protesters shout, "Shame on you," after 8-1 vote to reject controversial professor Salaita

— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) September 11, 2014

@chicagotribune @buberzionist what is that, like ten people? How ironically shameless.

— Ron E Biggs (@rbassilian) September 11, 2014

@chicagotribune What did the supporters shout? "Yea! Common sense prevails!" Why report the 11% but ignore the 89%? #NOTnewsworthy

— Kay Eilers (@KayEilers) September 11, 2014

@chicagotribune @ProgsToday Ugh, look at those garbage pail freaks!

— Glenn Brown (@RandomHero30) September 11, 2014

@chicagotribune @ProgsToday Some1 needs 2 tell these "brain trust" applicants that Free Speech isn't w/o consequences.

— Dena (@SquareDiscoBox) September 11, 2014

#UI Student Hamdan: "Unless Professor #Salaita is reinstated, the world-wide boycott and on-campus protests will only escalate exponentially

— Chris desGarennes (@ChrisDGS) September 11, 2014

Reuters reports:

Many of the Twitter messages were inflammatory and in justifying its decision not to give him a job, the university said they were demeaning and uncivil.

In a statement released before the vote, university President Robert Easter said Salaita’s social media activity “indicates that he would be incapable of fostering a classroom environment where conflicting opinions could be given equal consideration, regardless of the issue being discussed.”

So, what exactly did Salaita tweet? Here’s just a selection of his tweets since July.

Fuck you, #Israel. And while I'm at it, fuck you, too, PA, Sisi, Arab monarchs, Obama, UK, EU, Canada, US Senate, corporate media, and ISIS.

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 20, 2014

#Israel sends soldiers into #Gaza, gets pissy when some die, then slaughters more civilians. To grasp this logic, think like a sociopath.

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 20, 2014

I have no clue what "telegenically dead" means. All I know is that Netanyahu is still alive and he's really fucking ugly. #Gaza

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 21, 2014

When frustrated, I remember that, despite the cigarettes and fatty food, I have a decent chance of outliving #Israel. #Gaza #FreePalestine

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 21, 2014

#Israel and #ISIS are but two prongs of the same violent ethnonationalism.

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 22, 2014

Why would Hamas even try to use children as human shields? #Israel has proved for decades that it has no problem shooting them. #Gaza

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 23, 2014

Dear Outraged Right Wingers: You should know that in addition to opposing Zionism, I fully support the decolonization of North America.

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 25, 2014

The only line I will use henceforth when arguing w/Zionists: Dude, your government BOMBED A SCHOOL BEING USED AS A SHELTER. #Gaza #48kmarch

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 25, 2014

Here's the deal: state violence against minorities is a necessary condition of ethnocracy. Either embrace it or don't be a Zionist. #Gaza

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 26, 2014

#Israel's attack on #Gaza is a "war" in the same way that cannibalism is "dining with a friend."

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 28, 2014

If you haven't recently been called a terror-loving anti-Semite, then I'm sorry to say that your critique of #Israel is totally weak. #Gaza

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 29, 2014

#Israel is rounding up people and murdering them at point-blank range. The word "genocide" is more germane the more news we hear. #Gaza

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) August 2, 2014

#Israel reportedly bombs the Islamic University in #Gaza. This is intolerable. American professors have no excuse to remain silent.

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) August 2, 2014

Perhaps #Obama can melt down his Nobel Prize and recast it as body armor for the children of #Gaza.

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) August 2, 2014

It's a senseless world: a colonial power bombs people in hospitals and shelters and somehow the dead are called "terrorists." #Gaza

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) August 2, 2014

Republicans are such tough guys, eager to kill 4 God and country. #Israel slaps around the US of A, though, and all they do is ask for more.

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) August 2, 2014

Rednecks need a new slogan. Instead of "kick their ass and take their gas," how about "#Gaza is a disaster, but Netanyahu is my master"?

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) August 2, 2014

#Israel gets billions in aid, arms, and financial subsidies from the US, yet most Americans condemn imaginary Black women for welfare.

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) August 2, 2014

"Hamas" is the biggest red herring in American political discourse since Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction." #Gaza #GazaUnderAttack

— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) August 2, 2014

The Center for Constitutional Rights and attorney Anand Swaminathan, which are representing Salaita, note that he has the backing of the Modern Language Association, the American Association of University Professors, and the American Studies Association.

#Salaita was briefly at the top of the academic caste system. A tenured professor at a major research university, Virginia Tech @JadedPhD

— Buber Zionist (@buberzionist) September 11, 2014

#Salaita's hubris led to his fall. Like former professor Sami Al-Arian, his losing case will kick around the legal system for years.

— Buber Zionist (@buberzionist) September 11, 2014

#Salaita is short for See-ya-latah!

— Buber Zionist (@buberzionist) September 11, 2014



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