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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/28/14

The Israel Lobby Eliminates Another Critic

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UIUC Chancellor Phyllis Wise effectively attacked Salaita unjustly, saying:
"What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them."

"We have a particular duty to our students to ensure that they live in a community of scholarship that challenges their assumptions about the world but that also respects their rights as individuals."

"As chancellor, it is my responsibility to ensure that all perspectives are welcome and that our discourse, regardless of subject matter or viewpoint, allows new concepts and differing points of view to be discussed in and outside the classroom in a scholarly, civil and productive manner."

"A Jewish student, a Palestinian student, or any student of any faith or background must feel confident that personal views can be expressed and that philosophical disagreements with a faculty member can be debated in a civil, thoughtful and mutually respectful manner."

"Most important, every student must know that every instructor recognizes and values that student as a human being." [In other words, the idiot Wise is saying that criticism negates valuation and by criticizing Israel Salaita was refusing to value Israelis.]

"If we have lost that, we have lost much more than our standing as a world-class institution of higher education." [The moron Wise doesn't say what about losing freedom of expression and what that loss does to a "world-class institution of higher education."]

Salaita's firing got over 3,000 scholars in numerous disciplines to boycott UIUC. They pledged not to visit Urbana-Champaign campus to lecture or attend conferences until he's reinstated.

A general petition demanding reinstatement has over 16,000 signatures as of August 24. Salaita's friends and colleagues began a supportive campaign, saying:

He "now has no job nor does his wife who quit her job in Virginia to support the family's move, no personal home to live in, and no health insurance for their family, including their two year-old son."

The Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) expressed outrage over his firing.
It called doing so "a blatant violation of (his) academic freedom and an insidious assault upon him and those who uphold the right of honest and ethical critique in the academy."

"We are gravely concerned about this attack on a leading scholar in Arab American studies and ethnic, indigenous, and American studies, whose brilliantly pathbreaking and highly prolific scholarship has put him at the forefront of these fields."

USACBI called his firing "politically motivated." It demanded "he be reinstated and allowed to continue with his academic pursuits and his teaching duties and that the university protect his rights to engage in political discourse on and off campus."

UIUC's American Studies Program faculty cast a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Wise.

On August 24, its web site said its "sentiment is based on Wise's decision to effectively fire Prof. Steven Salaita, whose de facto hir(ing) had been properly vetted...and approved by the college through standard academic procedure."

"This process culminated in the signing of a good-faith contract between Prof. Sailata and our college, and only awaited customary rubber-stamp approval by the UIUC Board of Trustees."

"In clear disregard of basic principles of shared governance and unit autonomy, and without basic courtesy and respect for collegiality, Chancellor Wise did not consult American Indian Studies nor the college before making her decision."

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Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His books, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available (more...)
 

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