Guardian

Guardian ‘forgets’ to mention Steven Salaita’s most hateful Tweets


Steven Salaita is a former Virginia Tech professor who accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – an appointment which was later withdrawn by the university after a series of Tweets about Israel, Jews and antisemitism came to light.  The Guardian’s report on the row and Salaita’s recent efforts to get his appointment reinstated (Professor fired for Israel criticism urges University of Illinois to reinstate him, Mark Guarino, Sept. 9th) was compromised by serious omissions.

In addition to the troubling implicit suggestion in the article that the impetus behind the decision by the university to withdraw Salaita’s nomination was influenced by threats from wealthy Jewish donors, the Guardian completely ignored the more egregious examples of truly hateful Tweets by Salaita.

The Guardian report described Salaita’s Tweets benignly as “critical of Israel”, and later cited only these two examples:

“Only Israel can murder around 300 children in the span of a few weeks and insist that it is the victim,” said one [Tweet]. “If Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised,” asked another [Tweet].

Later, it quoted Salaita:

At a press conference on Tuesday held at the university YMCA, [Salaita] did not apologise for the tweets, but said that his “messages are no doubt passionate and unfiltered” and “reflect my deep dismay at the deaths of more than 2,000 innocent Palestinians”.

He said he was troubled by the emails, saying that they are “part of a nationwide concerted effort by wealthy and well-organised groups to attack pro-Palestinian students and faculty and silence their speech.”

However, the Guardian didn’t provide the whole picture – and omitted a few especially relevant Tweets by Salaita, such as these:

Jewish Zionists are partly responsible for antisemitism (Tweet)

1

Antisemitism is now honorable (Tweet)

3

Israel is partly responsible for the poverty of racial minorities in the US (Tweet)

2

 Genocide charge / Nazi analogy (Tweet)

4

Another Nazi analogy (Tweet)

last

A truly fair and honest Guardian report on the row – even one which raised legitimate questions about academic freedom – would have revealed these truly abhorrent Tweets so readers could fairly assess whether such vitriol can be reasonably be characterized as (prt the language used by university officials) “disrespectful and demeaning speech that promotes malice”.

h/t Martin Kramer

37 replies »

  1. Guardian should be sued, along with the BBC, for 15 years of non stop demonization of Jews. They created this new anti Semitic by catering to just about every overt or covert Anti-Semite on the planet.

    What is sort of interesting, is they have just begun to realise it, and now are trying to subtlety put the cork back in the bottle.

    Too fucking late.

  2. Using the word “shit” would get all professors fired. For that matter, so would using bad analogies. Being anti-Zionist is not a constructive point of view, but it certainly should not be held in as low esteem as the view that tax money spent abroad does not contribute to poverty remediation in the US.

    • By that logic every single f@#king dollar spent by the US government NOT on battling poverty is responsible for increasing poverty. That is the logic of small children or madmen, not of academics.

      The phrases “murder” and “necklace of teeth(!)” are not “criticism of Israel”. They are the rantings of hate, not criticism. The Guardian would define the same terms used against Muslims as Islamophobia and hate speech, but when pointed at Israel every use of language is a valid form of “Criticism”. Disingenuous and vile.

      • True on the logic part. See my comment regarding logic. Your characterizations of Salaita’s language have merit. It is telling that such characterizations should have priority.

  3. “In addition to the troubling implicit suggestion in the article that the impetus behind the decision by the university to withdraw Salaita’s nomination was influenced by threats from wealthy Jewish donors”

    We don’t know whether threats from donors influenced the university’s decision (they deny it). We do know that as part of a massive letter/email writing campaign calling for Salaita’s sacking many writers spoke of stopping donations. The emails also reveal that the Chancellor rearranged her schedule to meet one wealthy Jewish donor days before she sacked Salaita.

    The letters were released under freedom of information laws and can be seen in their vast numbers here:

    http://www.news-gazette.com/sites/all/files/pdf/2014/09/03/document.pdf

    • So that’s what bothers you?
      Who applied preasure or brought this to the attention of the adminstration?
      That a truly vile Anti semitic rantings by a professor caused his demise is not important to you, is it?
      Who cares if the preassure was applied by Harry Houdini, what matters is that justice was restored and a professor using those allegations, accusation and language was put in his place.

      I have to say that sadly I’m not surprised at this trolling from you.
      After all, you do like Fascists’ writings so much you quote them as respectable sources.
      Shame is the word that comes to mind.

      • As ever Itsik you completely miss the point. Adam threatened us with the ‘anti-semitic trope’ of rich Jews buying influence. I simply pointed to evidence that withdrawal of donations was an issue and may well have influenced the Chancellor’s decision. Your comment that any kind of pressure is OK is, in the context, irrelevant and moreover is morally crass.

        • It is not crass. BDS applies pressure, pressure may be applied back. I think a counter movement may be in the works. You do not wish to buy Israeli products ? i will not pay for your professor. You dig ?

    • Letter writers are endangering the prospects of verbal and physical violence against Jews on college campuses. This upsets sencar and his favorite New Zealand fascists.

    • And so what if donors did make a fuss? They have every right.

      If you had a KKK orientated professor being racist and black donors complained that would be totally normal. No-one would complain.

      But in this case because they are JEWS…which is what seems to annoy certain people.

      • So, Morris, you disagree with the main post when it describes “[the] implicit suggestion in the article that the impetus behind the decision by the university to withdraw Salaita’s nomination was influenced by threats from wealthy Jewish donors” as “troubling”.

        • I personally do not see what is wrong with donors making representations if they are concerned by racism or anti-Semitism appearing in the object of their funding.

          Would you fund a neo-nazi organisation?

          However I think the article above claims no such representation took place. If no representation took place then yes it is more than dubious Salaita using it as an excuse.

          You are looking for mutual exclusivities where none exist.

    • sencar, I see that you presume that a meeting with “one wealthy Jewish donor” is evidence of pressure to sack Salaita. Are you not making rather a lot of assumptions? How do you know what the content of that meeting was? How do you know that that “wealthy Jewish donor” had any knowledge of Salaita or opinion on his appointment?

      Do you know how many “rich Arab donors” put pressure on the university in the other direction?

      Personally, I don’t give a shit what the Chancellor’s motives were for withdrawing Salaita’s appointment. Perhaps she was visited by aliens who threatened anal probing if she didn’t. All I know is, he is an unapologetic antisemite, and the correct decision was reached.

  4. An English Professor who uses his standing to pontificate on world affairs in which he is, needless to say, an expert. After all, he IS a professor! We have one trolling right here at CiFWatch, albeit a fascist supporting one. Would anyone be surprised to see Steven Salaita show up at a job interview wearing a necklace made of Israeli teeth?

  5. It’s useful to connect Salaita’s poverty of ideas to an obsessive campaign to delegitimize Israel (as well as extension Jewish Americans who don’t toe his sick line) in academia. Steven Salaita: one of many academia nuts.

    • The poverty thing in the Arab world is an interesting one since despite all the oil wealth there is much poverty all over the Arab world. Many gold plated Jumbo Jet’s.

  6. English Professor Steven Salaita receives money (gov’t. > Unverisity>Salaita) and uses it to justify, conceal, and glamorize genocidal violence against Jews. Goebbels much?

  7. “Zionists: transforming “antisemitism” [sic] from something horrible into something honorable since 1948″
    Very generous of Mr. Salaita to give Zionists credit for his own life’s work.

    • Its this quote for me is the nail in the coffin for Salaitas. The fact he believes anti-Semitism is now “honourable” really peels away the veil from this guys sick mind.

      he should have stuck to the anti-zionist script and he could have got away with his racism for longer.

      Good riddance to this piece of human trash.

  8. Steven Salaita’s, Hamas’, ISIS’s, ISM’s, etc., etc., etc., “Palestine from the river to the sea” equals the sustenance of the European eugenic logic made famous by Hitler (not to mention past Christian and past and current Islamic replacement theologies).

  9. Salaita is a creep. First off, here is a WP blog post about Salaita scrubbing his Goodread comments.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/09/03/steven-salaita-more-than-just-an-obnoxious-tweeter/
    Some were copied by the blogger and unmask a man obsessed with Zionism and Israel. He hates just about anybody who is Israeli. Much like Philip Weiss who also scrubbed his site of some of his most insane posts. For that material go to the blog sadredearth.com .

    The irony is likely lost on Salaita – a major Palestinian American BDS facilitator – he even wrote a book on it, BDS – that the boycotter is being boycotted. What is good for “human rights, democracy” when criticizing Israel suddenly is “censoring” when applied in practice to an academic who is at the forefront of the BDS academia gang.
    It is surreal to see the very groups advocating a boycott are standing in the rain in Chicago and being confronted with the reality of boycotting them.

    We may come to a point in the BDS movement where it implodes as its major actors out themselves as antisemitic agent’s. The humanities in the US uni system seem to have been co-opted into Leftist/Marxist spaces. Out of which we see a political culture coming which has no real basis in the wider American society. Salaita’s painful interdisciplinary approach of comparing the history of the North American Indian with that of the Palestinian’s read like having a crusty prostate lasered clean without anesthetic. That Salaita managed to avoid the early warning system should be a lesson to many. His book about israel’s “soul” is something so evil it could have been published during the Third Reich.
    It will be interesting to see how this play’s out in the media in the USA. I think quoting Salaita using his many, many tweets and his books will mark this man for ever.

  10. Whats amazing is seeing the fools who defend this guy under the guise of freedom of speech. They completely ignore the semantic meaning of his tweets, particularly the anti-Semitism becoming something honourable incident.

    Its binary. These folks defending him are either thick, or anti Semites themselves, there is no other alternative.

    Salon has one by some moron completely ignoring Salaitas´s tweets.

  11. Here is Ali Abunimah outing himself as somebody who “twists words in a dark manner” acting on behalf of Steven Salaita

  12. These are not remotely “hateful”. Zionism is a racist, supremacist ideology rooted in religious superstition and atavistic identity tribalism. The supporter of the State of Israel is justifiable classed alongside Nazis and the KKK. It’s not a matter of reasonable differences; ethical people cannot and will never support Zionism, nor will they tolerate a defense of it (in exactly the same way that KKK or Nazi apologetics should not be tolerated).

  13. Steven Salaita is a first rate anti-semite. No way he should be allowed anywhere near a university. Let’s hope this vile little shit never works again.

    • I was thinking he could tenure at the University of Pyongyang, or the University of Teheran.
      He, Greenwald and Snowden can get a room in Snorkcbirsk.