“The Center for Constitutional Rights represents Salaita. Its senior attorney Maria Lahood was clear and unequivocal saying: What’s clearly “uncivil is the killing of more than 500 children Professor Salaita reacted to.” It’s “terminating a tenured professor because he dared to speak out publicly and passionately about Israel’s actions.” It’s lawlessness. Its ruthlessness. Its democracy in name only. Its contempt for Palestinian rights.” – S Lendman
Criticizing Israel publicly entails huge risks. Becoming persona non grata in politics, the media, business and academia may follow. It’s a career ender for most who try.
At most, short-term protests follow. They’re usually or entirely local. Salaita’s University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign (ULUC) sacking elevated public anger to a new level.
Thousands of scholars, students, colleagues, friends, Israeli critics and others rallied to his defense. They’re steadfast. They continue.
They want Salaita reinstated. They want him given full pay and benefits. They want damages paid for all he endured. He deserves it and much more.
Salaita broke weeks of silence. On September 9, he went public for the first time.
He defended his noteworthy academic/scholarly bona fides. He did so eloquently and effectively. He criticized UIUC’s academic lynching.
He explained his passion for equality, fairness and justice. He expressed gratitude for around 18,000 supporters. They signed a petition demanding his reinstatement.
He called the firestorm over his viewpoints on Palestinian human rights and academic freedom “a teaching moment.”
He urged his supporters “to make the most of it.”
Major/influential donor complaints got him sacked. The Los Angeles Times discussed how big monied interests control academia. Continue reading