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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/28/14

The Israel Lobby Eliminates Another Critic

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Her action is a clear First Amendment and academic freedom violation, AIS added.

On August 22, UIUC students staged a sit-in outside a Board of Trustees meeting. On Facebook, they demanded Salaita's "immediate reinstatement as a tenured faculty member in the Department of American Indian Studies."

"Full and fair compensation to Dr. Salaita for time missed during which he would otherwise have been working."

"Immediate increased transparency in the faculty hiring process -- as a public university. UIUC has the responsibility to make public all intended faculty changes as well as take public comment in regards to any change."

A Tuesday follow-up action is planned. Expect others ahead.

A supportstevensalaita.com web site was established. "Fight Back!" it states. "Help support Steven Salaita's case against the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign for its unethical and unconstitutional firing of him only 3 weeks before his scheduled classes were to begin, for speaking out against war and violence on Twitter."

Saliata was a tenured professor. He signed an October 2013 UIUC contract. He resigned his Virginia Tech position to do it.

Weeks before classes began, he was told he no longer had a job. Among other reasons cited was a disingenuous claim about lacking Board of Trustees approval.

Interim College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean, Brian Ross, wrote Salaita's job offer letter, saying:

"The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a wonderfully supportive community, and it has always taken a high interest in its newcomers."

"I feel sure that your career can flourish here, and I hope earnestly that you will accept our invitation."

On August 25, Mondoweiss headlined "Salaita's hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor," saying: Wise "was lobbied by 70 pro-Israel folks, including donors, who were upset by Salaita's comments on Twitter about Gaza."

UIUC "fundraisers were alarmed and sought a meeting with Wise."

Salaita was hired to teach American Indian Studies. No evidence suggests he's anti-Semitic. He criticizes Israel justifiably. His Twitter comments said nothing about Jews. They're insightful, forthright and important. Examples include:

"Israel is a great example of how colonization impairs ethics and compels people to support shameful deeds in the name of atavistic ideals."

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

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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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