Monday, June 05, 2006

Only Anti-Israel Professors Need Apply At DePaul University

That's right--we're not talking about Columbia University here. In this case, we are talking about DePaul University in Chicago.

The university hired Norman Finkelstein, which American Thinker notes,
had lost his job at two different colleges in New York, following controversy over his support of holocaust denier David Irving and his bitterly abusive attacks on the state of Israel.
Last year, DePaul had no problem hosting a Palestinian art exhibit which claimed that 'in 1948 statehood was lost to Israeli occupation,'--both falsely claiming that an Arab Palestinian state ever existed and also implying that even with the 1948 borders Israel was an occupational power. In the interests of art, the statement was allowed to stand:
Warren Schultz, associate professor of history is quoted as saying, "Dan [Goffman, a professor and chair of the history department] and I are in agreement that this [the catalog’s assertion about Palestinian statement] is not a statement we would have made about the events in 1948, but I recognize that what this statement does reflect is a view of at least some Palestinians, and as such, it helps people to understand the art that is being produced."
The American Thinker also notes other activities that the student body have been treated to in the interest of free speech in the past number of years, by the Moslem students:
But speech hostile to Jews, or Israelis, or for that matter, the great mass of Americans grieving and offended by the 9/11 attacks, was perfectly legitimate. While New York and Washington were digging up their 3,000 dead, Muslims students at DePaul were using the post 9/11 environment to publicly attack America and Israel for their crimes and policies at campus forums, paid for with student fees. The campus has welcomed representatives of the Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad to campus. The scurrilous propaganda “documentary” Jenin Jenin has been shown on campus.
It is in such an atmosphere that part time adjunct professor Thomas Klocek found himself fired after a 15 minute discussion--albeit with raised voices--with a group of Moslem students in the cafeteria during a student activities fair, during which Klocek spoke with members of Students for Justice in Palestine, and United Muslims Moving Ahead.
He says he told the students that Palestinians were Arabs who lived in the West Bank and Gaza – that they had no unique national historical identity. He challenged one student’s assertion that Israel was behaving like the Nazis. He stated that while most Muslims were not terrorists, pretty much all terrorists these days were Muslim. This statement had originally been made by the manager of an Arab news channel, and had recently been quoted in the Chicago Sun Times. It has the incidental merit of being true.
Being coddled and unused to being on hearing end of free speech, the Moslem students responded by issuing their own fatwa against Klocek. The students complained to the administration that he had insulted both them and their religion and went so far as to complain that Klocek had acted as if he was right and they were wrong.

In response, the administration acted solely on the word of the students, ignored their fatwa (or reacted directly to it) and suspended Klocek without a hearing--to which Klocek was entitled.

This was last year. The incident is back in the news because Klocek is suing DePaul University.

The Colossus of Rhodey has the latest on the lawsuit, noting that the judge did more than just say he would allow the lawsuit, first filed last June,--

Judge Nudelman believes that DePaul's actions to discipline Professor Thomas Klocek went to such extreme that their conduct rose to the level of defamation. He noted that DePaul exhibited destructive political correctness when it gave way to its fear of students' reactions to Prof. Klocek's challenges to the student groups' literature and perspective on the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Judge Nudelman also commented that if such limited debate took place when he was a student, it would have resulted in having an inferior educational experience.

Judge Nudelman also stated that DePaul's public disclosures about Prof. Klocek defamed him in that they denigrated his ability to perform as a professor.

We can only hope that the law suit goes to court and the whole issue, and DePaul--as an example of what goes on in today's campuses, is revealed as an example for what constitutes 'Diversity' in today's universities.

See also: Documents Reveal CAIR Pressure To Fire DePaul Professor

Crossposted at Israpundit

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