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Salaita’s hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor

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Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jascik today reports a disturbing development in the Steven Salaita firing case at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Phyllis Wise, the university’s chancellor, was lobbied by 70 pro-Israel folks, including donors, who were upset by Salaita’s comments on twitter about Gaza. The school’s fundraisers were alarmed and sought a meeting with Wise.

The communications show that Wise was lobbied on the decision not only by pro-Israel students, parents and alumni, but also by the fund-raising arm of the university. The communications also show that the university system president was involved, and that the university was considering the legal ramifications of the case before the action to block the appointment.

Most of the emails have the names of the senders redacted and some are nearly identical, suggesting the use of talking points or shared drafts. Many of the letter writers identify themselves as Jewish and/or sympathetic to Israel, as students, parents or alumni, and as people who say that the tone of Salaita’s comments (especially on Twitter) makes them believe he would be hostile to them and to their views.

“If I happen to register for Mr. Salaita’s course, how could I respectfully engage in conversation and learn material?” asked one email. Another said: “As a Jew, I do not feel comfortable knowing that the University of Illinois allows and supports this sort of behavior. I am currently an incoming senior, and while this is not the first time I have felt anti-Semitism at the University of Illinois, this is by far the most extreme and hurtful case.”

Seventy people wrote to Wise to urge her to block Salaita’s appointment (it is possible that some of the email messages are duplicates from the same person — the redactions make it impossible to tell). Only one person — an alumnus — wrote to urge Wise not to block the appointment. Of Salaita, this alumnus wrote: “He offers what may be an inconvenient and unpopular viewpoint to many; however as a teacher, I have come to fully believe that is what makes for the richest of educational experiences.”…

By the way, there is simply no evidence that Salaita, who was hired to teach American Indian studies, is anti-Semitic. He doesn’t like Israel, he’s very clear about that. But he didn’t say a word against Jews.

Here’s the fundraising stuff. This was obviously not a routine matter. All the development people jumped in:

While many of the emails are fairly similar, some stand out. For instance, there is an email from Travis Smith, senior director of development for the University of Illinois Foundation, to Wise, with copies to Molly Tracy, who is in charge of fund-raising for engineering programs, and Dan C. Peterson, vice chancellor for institutional advancement. The email forwards a letter complaining about the Salaita hire. The email from Smith says: “Dan, Molly, and I have just discussed this and believe you need to [redacted].” (The blacked out portion suggests a phrase is missing, not just a word or two.)

Later emails show Wise and her development team trying to set up a time to discuss the matter, although there is no indication of what was decided.

At least one email the chancellor received was from someone who identified himself as a major donor who said that he would stop giving if Salaita were hired. “Having been a multiple 6 figure donor to Illinois over the years I know our support is ending as we vehemently disagree with the approach this individual espouses. This is doubly unfortunate for the school as we have been blessed in our careers and have accumulated quite a balance sheet over my 35 year career,” the email says.

These emails are indicative of a crisis. Does anyone doubt that concerns about donors played a role in Chancellor Wise’s decision to cashier Salaita, nine months after he was offered and accepted a job at the school? This seems to me another demonstration that we cannot come to terms with the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel till we deal with the role of Zionist funding in our political and public life. This is the factional problem identified by Madison in the Federalist Papers; there is no national interest here. And we are going to be able to have that discussion now, because it is increasingly a generational rather than a religious issue. It’s about older Jews steeped in Zionist ideology. Young Jews are ever more distant from Zionism.

Thanks to Alex Kane.

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62 Responses

  1. Marshall
    Marshall on August 25, 2014, 9:56 am

    This story unites everything about the awfulness of the Israel propagandists, whose children are apparently such delicate flowers that they can’t study American Indian history with a man who once tweeted derogatory things about a war criminal, and the fate that awaits us all in an economy and society beholden to the wealthy, where their whims and their checkbooks determine what we’re allowed to think and say in public.

  2. just
    just on August 25, 2014, 11:55 am

    “This seems to me another demonstration that we cannot come to terms with the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel till we deal with the role of Zionist funding in our political and public life. This is the factional problem identified by Madison in the Federalist Papers; there is no national interest here.”

    It is. Wise and her minions certainly appear bankrupt in the things that matter the most.

  3. JeffB
    JeffB on August 25, 2014, 12:09 pm

    Phil

    Great job on the new website. Looks terrific.

    He doesn’t like Israel, he’s very clear about that. But he didn’t say a word against Jews.

    That depends if you consider “Zionist” to be a derogatory term for “Jew” or not. Certainly among Soviets and anti-colonial movement it is used that way. Trying to distinguish between Zionist and Jew the way he was using it rather difficult. Quite a few of his comments like the jokes about sexual inadequacy wouldn’t make sense if you substituted say “Labor party voters” but would work fine if you substituted “gooks” or “niggers”.

    Trying to pretend that a non-Jewish anti-Israeli activists can make common anti-Semetic comments and have them pass unnoticed because he uses the word “zionist” in place of Jew is nonsense. If I were to say something like “the Alabama underclass are shiftless and lazy. They need to stop eating fried chicken and get a job with health insurance,” the use of “shiftless and lazy” and “fried chicken” makes it pretty clear who I mean.

    There is nothing in Zionism, that implies sexual inadequacy but there is plenty in anti-Semtisim thad does. The BDS movement is going to have to stay way clear of anti-Semtitic themes or get accused of racism. The same way the tea partier get accused of Islamophobia when they talk about Sharia law.

    A good analogy here is Chris Rock’s well known “black people vs. niggaz”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3PJF0YE-x4

    Obama made reference to this routine during his 2008 primary. Hillary could not have done so. When references to it were made by white people Chris Rock thought they were racist. There are just different lines of what is or is not acceptable in group vs. out of group.

    ____

    This seems to me another demonstration that we cannot come to terms with the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel till we deal with the role of Zionist funding in our political and public life. This is the factional problem identified by Madison in the Federalist Papers; there is no national interest here. And we are going to be able to have that discussion now, because it is increasingly a generational rather than a religious issue.

    1) You are going to have to prove it is a generational issue. And that’s going to be impossible until younger Jews are in charge of Jewish organizations in a generation or so.

    2) Even if it were a generation issue, so what? Everyone who works for a major university has to put up with nonsense from the sports teams because they attract so much donor interest. Most universities have to put up with spending too much on landscaping and architecture because that’s a donor interest. Jews in the 1950s and earlier were certainly hurt and arguably may still be hurt by the whole “alumni family” weighing on admissions. Certainly professors who are able to bring in donors get advancement and privileges that professors who don’t bring in donor money don’t get. Donors have interests. You write the check you get to call the shots. You vote with your dollars.

    What’s to discuss? That Jewish people donate to universities and don’t want to see universities become a hotbed of anti-Jewish incitement? No one disagrees with that. The evidence is too clear.

    • philweiss
      philweiss on August 26, 2014, 12:36 pm

      so you’re saying Zionist is code for Jews. Ala, someone saying New York liberal.
      I dont buy it. It’s code for Zionist. If you would adduce one example of an alleged anti-Semitic statement he’s made in which Zionist is a stand-in for Jews, I’d listen. But of course you don’t.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on August 26, 2014, 4:23 pm

        @Phil

        I gave two examples in the post. The most obvious from the post is the sexual comment: “All of Israel’s hand-wringing about demography leads one to only one reasonable conclusion: Zionists are ineffective lovers” Now this could make sense if he was using the word “Zionist” in typical arab fashion to mean Israeli. It doesn’t make sense about a political viewpoint. People generally don’t talk about the sex lives of political groups. Are Republicans ineffectual lovers, or Democrats ineffectual lovers? What about Green Party members? That’s not meant as a political.

        Now you could say he is using “Zionist” to mean “Israeli” that doesn’t work because he clearly points it at non Israelis:
        “Zionist uplift in America: every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime” (July 14). So note he’s using Zionist to refer to American Jews here.

        Let’s cut to the chase: If you’re defending #Israel right now you’re an awful human being. Clearly aimed at non-Israeli Jews. Israeli Jews aren’t “defending Israel” they are institutionally part of the oppression (in his view). They are doing it, not defending it.

        So that doesn’t work. You seem the same slippage interestingly about Israel itself.

        Note how the Israeli soul was pure and uncorrupted until it encountered Palestinians. Same old colonial discourse, different geography. When was it that Israel didn’t encounter Palestinians? That reference can only be about Jews since Israel nor the Zionist project doesn’t predate the Palestinians.

        There is no way to consistently apply his definition of Zionist without using it as a proxy for “Jew”. Who else could be the referent? Who are these “Zionists” who suck at sex, are immoral, some live in America and others bomb Gaza?

        Do I think he’s actually an anti-Semite when he’s calm. No. I think he was emotionally agitated and said anti-Semitic stuff though while lashing out. Watch the Chris Rock video.

      • annie
        annie on August 26, 2014, 7:05 pm

        Now this could make sense if he was using the word “Zionist” in typical arab fashion to mean Israeli. It doesn’t make sense about a political viewpoint. People generally don’t talk about the sex lives of political groups.

        when you say it doesn’t make sense from a political viewpoint you’re forgetting it’s a joke about demographics. when he references ‘israeli handwringing’ he means why worry if you’re having lots of kids. so it’s not about sex per se, it’s about reproduction. and he is saying it about zionists.

        generally it’s considered racist in america to worry about demographics. as it pertains to of political groups. like if the tea party or republican was worried about the demographics of hispanics in california it would be perfectly politically pc to say maybe all those racist white guys just don’t screw enough.

        Now you could say he is using “Zionist” to mean “Israeli” that doesn’t work because he clearly points it at non Israelis: “Zionist uplift in America: every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime” (July 14). So note he’s using Zionist to refer to American Jews here.

        do you know what he means by zionist uplift? what would uplift them(zionists)? what would make them happy? he’s not saying that about all jews in america. he’s saying zionists would like it if all jews in america joined the regime. how is that racist of him to tweet that? as far as i know lots of christian zionists would be very uplifted if every little jewish boy and girl ran off and joined the regime. christ would be able to come then.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on August 27, 2014, 6:17 pm

        @Annie

        when you say it doesn’t make sense from a political viewpoint you’re forgetting it’s a joke about demographics. when he references ‘israeli handwringing’ he means why worry if you’re having lots of kids. so it’s not about sex per se, it’s about reproduction. and he is saying it about zionists…

        I get that. I think you are missing the thread. I’m saying that comment is clearly not about a political ideology but rather about a people. What does Salaita mean by “zionists”. Who are the Zionists that suck at reproduction? Who is he talking about when he says the word “zionists”? I think if you look at those comments in the aggregate he can only mean Jew.

        Moreover his definition of Zionist in his book pretty much includes everyone who is even minimally Jewish.

        As an aside I agree with you the demographic talk in Israel is kinda nuts. And while I don’t think it is about race (remember I use a pretty strict definition of racist) if it were about race it would be racist. So I’m not approving of the talk.

        do you know what he means by zionist uplift? what would uplift them(zionists)? what would make them happy? he’s not saying that about all jews in america. he’s saying zionists would like it if all jews in america joined the regime. how is that racist of him to tweet that? as far as i know lots of christian zionists would be very uplifted if every little jewish boy and girl ran off and joined the regime. christ would be able to come then.

        And who are these Zionists?

        how is that racist of him to tweet that?

        It isn’t. I’m saying he uses Zionist as a proxy for Jew (or almost all Jews) and other tweets are. Those tweets were just selected because they excluded various other possibilities for what he means by Zionist.

      • annie
        annie on August 27, 2014, 8:48 pm

        “I think if you look at those comments in the aggregate he can only mean Jew. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/appointment-fundraising-chancellor.html#comment-705724

        why? he clearly says’ all this handwringing about demographics’ how does that scream “jew”? all jews are not handwringing about demographics??!!!! the only ones doing that are the zionists worried about staying the majority. that’s the aggregate.

        while I don’t think it is about race (remember I use a pretty strict definition of racist) if it were about race it would be racist. So I’m not approving of the talk. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/appointment-fundraising-chancellor.html/comment-page-1#comment-706016

        that’s a neat trick, using a so strict definition of race it excludes the legal definition and the definition as it applies to our fed laws regarding hate speech and everything else? why would you do this while at the same time making accusations you can’t support. lest you forget: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism#Legal ” race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin ” note how it doesn’t say ideology? zionism is a political construct, and ideology. so obviously not being a zionist doesn’t make one a racist.

        this is no way to argue jeff. it’s disingenuous. you twist someones words to mean ‘all jews’ instead of zionists when it suits you and then evade using common terms to define racism.

      • michtom
        michtom on August 26, 2014, 9:39 pm

        “If you’re defending #Israel right now you’re an awful human being.”

        It’s aimed at ANYONE who is defending Israel, Jewish or not (see Christian Zionists, Jeff)

        As a Jew, I’m hard pressed to see that as even remotely anti-Semitic.

        As to the “sexual” joke, there has been a long tradition of slamming the Republicans for using the “morality card” as a cover for not being able to get any.

        Annie answers your “Zionist uplift” accusation quite well.

      • michtom
        michtom on August 26, 2014, 9:44 pm

        BTW, I am an alumnus of the library school at UIUC and wrote to Wise saying I was and telling her I was appalled at her actions. Perhaps unfortunately, I didn’t tell her I was Jewish.

      • Walker
        Walker on August 26, 2014, 10:17 pm

        I think he was emotionally agitated and said anti-Semitic stuff though while lashing out –

        .

        This is total fabrication on your part.

        If you’re defending #Israel right now you’re an awful human being. Clearly aimed at non-Israeli Jews.

        This is obviously not true, unless you think “defender of Israel” and “non-Israeli Jew” are synonyms. If that’s the case, what about Hillary Clinton and the host of other non-Jewish supporters of Israel?

        Not a single one of your conclusions makes sense. The only value they have are as textbook examples of how supporters of Israel have defamed opponents as antisemites over the years. The key is to harp and harp on the false analogy that because Israeli Zionists (and many other Zionists) are Jews, it follows that criticism of Israel is a criticism of all Jews. It doesn’t, and making that argument to Phil Weiss of all people shows how stupid it is. The sad thing is that this kind of accusation can have a terrible effect. It can cause people in this country to lose their reputation and livelihood.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on August 27, 2014, 7:03 pm

        @Walker

        Hillary can’t included in the Zionist dream that every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime. Hillary doesn’t have Jewish kids (though she may have Jewish grandkids).

        As for the rest the point about the posts were that his comments about Zionism can only mean Jews.

        The key is to harp and harp on the false analogy that because Israeli Zionists (and many other Zionists) are Jews, it follows that criticism of Israel is a criticism of all Jews

        I’ve never said that. I’ve said the opposite. Criticism of Israel for the sorts of things one criticizes other states for to the degree that one criticizes other states for is not anti-Semetic in the slightest.

        Let’s cut the nonsense. The vast majority of passionate zionists are jews and the vast majority of all jews are zionists. When people talk about Zionists using the same kinds of language they used to use about Jews that’s anti-Semitism. If he were accusing Zionists of being shiftless and lazy eating too much fried chicken and watermelon that would be an anti-Zionism that that is not anti-Semitism.

        We’ve had a debate for the last 2 years about whether to overthrow the Assad regime. During that debate I’ve almost never heard the Alawites mentioned. The tribal aspects of the regime are barely mentioned. They’ve just killed 200k people and no one even hints that this is a defect in the Alawite. When they are mentioned everyone gets that the Alawites are going to support an Alawite government. And certainly if people were making hostile references to Nusayris Islam in the context of Syria there wouldn’t be apologists like yourself trying to pretend we didn’t know who they were talking about.

        There is no passion about Hutus and Tutsi when central Africa is discussed. We don’t hear articles about the Hutu lobby secretly controlling the government. It would be ridiculous. It isn’t considered ridiculous when we talk about Israel because the intended recipients are expected to know that the Jews (I’m sorry Zionists) are allied the principalities, the powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world.

        If Israel were being discussed in this sort of dispassionate disinterested way that other tribal conflicts get discussed then there wouldn’t be accusations of anti-Semitism. If the attacks on Zionists were totally unlike those on Jews it wouldn’t be anti-Semitism. But I have yet to see one of you make consistent sense of his tweets and who he is talking about other than Jews.

      • piotr
        piotr on August 28, 2014, 11:14 am

        “All of Israel’s hand-wringing about demography leads one to only one reasonable conclusion: Zionists are ineffective lovers”

        It is not a proper function of a university to defend folks that cannot grasp irony or snark from being exposed to ironic or snarky comments. It is rather clear that the remark was not meant to describe “reality” but the vision of the Israel that can be acquired from “Israel’s hand-wringing about demography”. Of course, what is “clear” to one person is beyond the grasp of another, but here the institution is in the position to defend simpletons and/or those who artfully protest their “mental injuries”.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 26, 2014, 12:48 pm

      “And that’s going to be impossible until younger Jews are in charge of Jewish organizations in a generation or so. -“

      Why, because those organizations have possession of the Holy Relics, and no religion can be conducted without them? They have all the fetish items? They own the word “Jewish”?

      New organizations can be set up within a year.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on August 27, 2014, 7:13 pm

        @Mooser

        Why, because those organizations have possession of the Holy Relics, and no religion can be conducted without them? They have all the fetish items? They own the word “Jewish”? New organizations can be set up within a year.

        Of course new organizations can be set up. But they would be irrelevant. They wouldn’t have a large membership and they wouldn’t have the resources or credibility. Those things take time, not a year. I can imagine JVP for example in 50 years a mainstream organization, but to do that it would have had to become mainstream in its politics and attracted huge numbers of people that would never have associated with the earlier radical version. The Jewish Communist parties were popular but never achieved majority support but it was the milk toast New Deal coalition that unified Jewish support.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 27, 2014, 9:11 pm

        “They wouldn’t have a large membership and they wouldn’t have the resources or credibility.

        The “resources” and “credibility” of being Zionism’s handmaidens and shills? That kind resources and credibility?

        JeffyB, when non-Zionist Jewish institutions start to emerge thousands of Jews who are repelled by Zionism, and most of all don’t want their kids exposed to it will come back to Judaism. It’ll be a great revival, and a joyous one.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 27, 2014, 9:51 pm

        The “credibility” of being associated with Israel and Zionism!! Thanks JeffyB, I’m still laughing about that an hour later.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 27, 2014, 9:15 pm

        “Of course new organizations can be set up. But they would be irrelevant.”

        Tell it Rabbi Wise, chump. Tell it to Rabbi Wise.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 28, 2014, 6:17 pm

        “Tell it Rabbi Wise, chump. Tell it to Rabbi Wise.”

        No, not Chancellor Wise, the woman pictured above. Rabbi Wise. (However, I’m sure he wasn’t responsible for the catering.)

  4. Mooser
    Mooser on August 25, 2014, 12:18 pm

    E-mails! I knew it. You might as well hire a skywriter.

    • marc b.
      marc b. on August 25, 2014, 3:31 pm

      and I thought it was just a generational thing, youngsters blind to the permanent trail that their virtual life leaves behind. I guess it’s middle-aged edumakaters too.

  5. Mooser
    Mooser on August 25, 2014, 12:31 pm

    Gosh, and there I was, thinking all kinds of deep thoughts about “civility”. Will I have to listen to the same people who were concerned about Salaita’s “civility” saying that a University should, of course, in a democracy, be run by its big donors? I bet I will.

  6. MHughes976
    MHughes976 on August 25, 2014, 12:31 pm

    Are there any other donor groups who behave like this? Are American universities in general such warm and comforting places that everyone of every background and persuasion would expect to leave every discussion of every controversial matter feeling at least a warm and gentle glow about the background or persuasion in question?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius on August 25, 2014, 1:23 pm

      As far as I’m concerned, if you support Israel in any way, shape or form you SHOULD be made to feel uncomfortable, just as supporters of Apartheid in RSA should have been – and were – made to feel uncomfortable back in the day.

      In any case, since Salaita was not hired to teach about the Middle East, but about Indian-American studies, why are his views on Palestine so important? I studied Linguistics at university. I neither knew nor cared what my professors’ views on Palestine, or Tibet, or gay rights, or whatever were, because they were there to teach me Linguistics, not any of the above subjects. Do academics have to refrain from expressing their views on all potentially controversial subjects, out of fear of ‘offending’ any of their current or future studenst?

    • JeffB
      JeffB on August 25, 2014, 1:51 pm

      @MHughes976

      No they aren’t but that’s not what’s happening here.

      American Universities have done a very good job of trying to clamp down on any sorts of ethnic or racial tension as they emerge. They demand that members of their staff, try and reduce not encourage this sort of behavior. So for example when white sororities and fraternities in southern schools kept being very concerned about over crowding and fire code when black students showed up to parties they didn’t complement them on their excellent fire safety but rather intervened. If a professor had in such an environment made a comment like “well you can’t really expect well bred Christian white people to share a pool niggers” they would have jumped down the professor’s throat not complemented them on bringing a diversity of views on controversial matters.

      Academic freedom would protect a tenured professor who held a pro-lynching position. But if that professor ever ever every did anything that looked like racial discrimination on top of their non-normative views they would be crucified. Richard Herrnstein would not have kept his job at Harvard if on top of the Bell Curve he had also said openly racist things in social situations. He understood if he were going to publish research that would be taken as racist his personal life would need to be impeccable.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on August 25, 2014, 2:28 pm

      I imagine oil money seeps into economics courses

      • Philemon
        Philemon on August 26, 2014, 8:35 pm

        And climate science courses.

    • piotr
      piotr on August 25, 2014, 9:57 pm

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/20/david-guth-kansas-fired_n_3963351.html

      This is not a “donor group” but NRA. These guys stick to their guns and do not hold fire.

  7. Blownaway
    Blownaway on August 25, 2014, 12:33 pm

    The legal discovery whould be very interesting

    • marc b.
      marc b. on August 25, 2014, 3:28 pm

      indeed. if I read the ‘inside higher ed’ article correctly, it appears that the university has already violated state law when editing documents provided upon records request from that publication. let’s see if copies of any communications turn up later that weren’t quite flushed down the memory hole properly.

  8. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes on August 25, 2014, 1:20 pm

    While there was only one letter written in this category, its content may reveal something about how such a deluge of letters were sent to the school:

    Only one person — an alumnus — wrote to urge Wise not to block the appointment. Of Salaita, this alumnus wrote: “He offers what may be an inconvenient and unpopular viewpoint to many; however as a teacher, I have come to fully believe that is what makes for the richest of educational experiences.”…

    The writer did not write to endorse the appointment, but to protest the blocking of it — indicating that the writer was aware of a campaign to pressure the chancellor to block it. Since most of these letters were variations on talking points, they were likely the result of a campaign by one or more representatives of the Israel Lobby. For example, the local Hillel could have been recruited for its list of alumni and donors to try and block the appointment of Salaita — only to find that not all of those on its list were sheeple.

  9. ritzl
    ritzl on August 25, 2014, 1:35 pm

    I love the statement (ostensibly by a UIUC student) that began with “If I happen to register for Mr. Salaita’s course,…”

    How can there be a question about that? You know who the instructor is. Either you do register or you don’t register. Don’t take the course if Salaita is that important to you.

    And if you are a American Indian Studies major of some sort where you would have to take a course taught by Dr. Salaita sooner or later, surely, SURELY, you can’t be so completely divorced from your own chosen reality as to be afraid of someone getting angry about the genocide of his own people (i.e. just the way we killed off Native Americans; i.e. [coldly put] what an amazing opportunity to revisit and study what it felt like to be AmerIndian during our genocidal past, from the detached perspective of an 1870s white liberal).

    That “student’s” concerns sound just as transparently manufactured as Cary Nelson’s concerns. This whole thing stinks more and more. That such weight would be given to such flimsy reasoning is astounding.

  10. annie
    annie on August 25, 2014, 1:44 pm

    the government could just setup some group of zionists overseers, operating thru the department of education, in charge of approving all hiring of professors on american campuses, before the offers are made. if everything was upfront and transparent, we wouldn’t have these problems.

    people just need to understand from the get go that zionism is institutionalized, part of who we are as a country. especially people planning a teaching career in higher learning.

    and that could hold true for many other professions. if you’re not a zionist you and your family don’t deserve decent jobs. and if you can’t learn to shut your mouth you might as well starve.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on August 25, 2014, 2:32 pm

      If everything was upfront and transparent it wouldn’t be Zionism. It’s a marginal player with influence at the top- it can’t fight in broad daylight. And they moan about Hamas hiding amongst civilians.

  11. Pauline
    Pauline on August 25, 2014, 1:48 pm

    I’m a UIUC alumna & wrote this letter to the chancellor regarding the termination of Prof. Steven Salaita but have received no response to it:

    http://www.paulinepark.com/2014/08/uiuc-termination-of-steven-salaita-my-open-letter-to-the-chancellor/

  12. hophmi
    hophmi on August 25, 2014, 2:12 pm

    “There is no indication that Wise based her decision on the fund-raising issues[.]”

    Guess you missed that part.

  13. seafoid
    seafoid on August 25, 2014, 2:39 pm

    The new layout :

    Did you drop the last 100 comments button deliberately ?
    Will it be possible to copy comments ? Would be nice when replying , especially to bots

    It looks very nice BTW . Elf mabrouk wa Allah ya’teekum al afya

    • annie
      annie on August 25, 2014, 6:02 pm

      Will it be possible to copy comments ?

      yes, it’s just harder to see it because the color is yellow when you scroll over it instead of blue or whatever it used to be. btw, there is an article with a thread for comments about the new formatting and every/anything else you want to say about it. http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/our-new-look.html

  14. Xpat
    Xpat on August 25, 2014, 2:48 pm

    Thanks to Scott Jascik for compiling this. (I wonder who did the redactions of the emails and why?)
    I posted last week that we should “follow the money.” The exposure of the donor threats invites the question of whether this was the campaign to fire Salaita orchestrated. Was it Hillel (who has access to names of incoming students)? The ADL?

    • marc b.
      marc b. on August 25, 2014, 5:55 pm

      Elliot,

      There is also evidence that the university was discussing, prior to Wise’s decision, the possible legal ramifications of it. The university, in explaining some of the redacted documents, invoked an exemption under Illinois law for “communications between a public body and an attorney or auditor representing the public body that would not be subject to discovery in litigation, and materials prepared or compiled by or for a public body in anticipation of a criminal, civil or administrative proceeding upon the request of an attorney advising the public body, and materials prepared or compiled with respect to internal audits of public bodies.”

      I don’t see how the edited emails that were released would fall under this exemption.

  15. Keith
    Keith on August 25, 2014, 4:52 pm

    It is interesting to compare Salaita’s experience with that of Noam Chomsky, a long time harsh critic of empire and Israel. Perhaps the most significant factor is that MIT was/is significantly funded by the Department of Defense which was not overly concerned about Noam’s activities as long as he did his research. MIT was much less dependent upon private fund raising, hence, major donor influence was not an issue. Lucky Noam.

    As for Salaita, while I support academic freedom, he was rather indiscreet. Failure to accomodate power has its consequences. Comments on twitter by us little people have little significant impact and are to a significant degree self indulgent. Does Noam tweet? One must deal with the political economy as it actually is, not how we wish it to be. We are in a transition period where social control is becoming increasingly harsh and repressive. Resistance needs to be thought out, not haphazard and foolhearty. At the least, Salaita should have waited until he was actually settled in. Even then, a certain modicum of discretion is advisable in these increasingly dark times unless martyrdom is sought.

  16. wes
    wes on August 25, 2014, 5:56 pm

    this is great news for all concerned because it will stop salaita from posting about israel on twitter.regardless of whether he gets the job or not a. clear message has been sent out those who use there positions at universities to advance extreme political ideas to students

  17. wes
    wes on August 25, 2014, 6:04 pm

    this comment from salaita,a professor,sums it up quite nicely

    For instance, there is this tweet: “At this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 26, 2014, 5:57 pm

      “this comment from salaita,a professor,sums it up quite nicely

      Yes it does, doesn’t it. It wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  18. Joeygee23
    Joeygee23 on August 25, 2014, 8:15 pm

    Buzarro world we live in….curse a massacre is worse than the act itself. Money talks …bullshit walks professor to the door.

  19. How thorough is a society’s corruption, when universities are undermining education for the sake of indoctrination, in exchange for money?

    The university should be sued for discrimination by the professor, and sued for fraud by the students.

    Let intelligent people SPEAK.

  20. jayn0t
    jayn0t on August 25, 2014, 11:02 pm

    “Young Jews are ever more distant from Zionism.” Oh good! All we have to do is wait, and American support for Israel will gradually disappear.

  21. hophmi
    hophmi on August 26, 2014, 12:18 am

    “There is no indication that Wise based her decision on the fund-raising issues[.]”

    Guess you missed that part.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 26, 2014, 11:09 pm

      “There is no indication that Wise based her decision on the fund-raising issues[.]”

      No one said she did.

  22. Peter in SF
    Peter in SF on August 26, 2014, 2:05 am

    Another said: “As a Jew, I do not feel comfortable knowing that the University of Illinois allows and supports this sort of behavior. I am currently an incoming senior, and while this is not the first time I have felt anti-Semitism at the University of Illinois, this is by far the most extreme and hurtful case.”

    Notice that this student tries to draw attention to an existing problem of anti-Semitism at Illinois, but doesn’t go into any kind of detail except to say that it is by far less than these tweets from Salaita.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 26, 2014, 10:36 am

      Another said: “As a Jew, I do not feel comfortable…”

      Yeah, well, my friend, that feeling of discomfort is actually (in a social sense, not political or legal) one of the few privileges we are entitled to enjoy wholeheartedly. Learn to love it.

  23. Chu
    Chu on August 26, 2014, 8:18 am

    I always get the sense that is never often said, but the Zionists are a group of Pack Hunters that fight a Stealth Battle. It’s a good strategy when you don’t have majority rule.

  24. just
    just on August 26, 2014, 8:37 am

    Good article by David Palumbo- Liu:

    “Is criticizing Israel worse than murder at the University of Illinois?”

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/criticizing-israel-worse-murder-university-illinois/13801

  25. JeffB
    JeffB on August 27, 2014, 10:37 pm

    @Annie

    why? he clearly says’ all this handwringing about demographics’ how does that scream “jew”? all jews are not handwringing about demographics??!!!!

    Neither are all believers in political zionism. So clearly when he made that statement there is no “all implied”. He’s talking about some…

    that’s a neat trick, using a so strict definition of race it excludes the legal definition and the definition as it applies to our fed laws regarding hate speech and everything else?

    Our Federal laws define it properly Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.

    Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color or because of a person’s connection with a race-based organization or group, or an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain color.

    Its the UN that defines racism to have nothing to do with race.

    zionism is a political construct,

    That’s correct it is one. And who is associated with that political construct?

    it’s disingenuous. you twist someones words to mean ‘all jews’ instead of zionists

    Political constructs don’t have sex jokes made about them.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 28, 2014, 6:24 pm

      “Political constructs don’t have sex jokes made about them.”

      And it seems so funny, doesn’t it, JeffyB? I mean, the conceit of the Republicans ‘screwing’ people seems like such a natural one?

      But even if a person looked for as long as .35 seconds, he couldn’t find an example of people making a sex joke out of political constructs on the web. Google said it took .37.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 28, 2014, 6:27 pm

        “Political constructs don’t have sex jokes made about them.”

        Yup, every time somebody says “The Republicans are screwing us!” some innocent Young Republican girl loses her virtue. Actually, it probably happens more often than that.

  26. Atlantaiconoclast
    Atlantaiconoclast on December 9, 2014, 6:28 pm

    Jeffb, that is why i prefer the phrase “Jewish supremacists and Christian Zionists.” Not that all or even most Jews are supremacists, but it is a fact that too many Zionists are.

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