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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fired again?

When last we left Steven Salaita, he had been hired by the American University of Beirut to become the 'Edward Said Professor of American Studies,' after the University of Illinois revoked his tenure track appointment for being a purveyor of hate speech. Now, it appears that Salaita won't even last the year in Beirut. This is really rich.
But Salaita’s views, it seems, are too unpalatable even in Lebanon. A petition circulated today and signed by students of the university argues that the official search procedure designed to award Salaita his position was cancelled on March 30 by university president Fadlo Khuri, citing “procedural irregularities.” Which, the petitioners argue, is just code for political persecution. “We fear,” the petition continues, “that AUB is reproducing the trend of persecuting scholars who condemn the injustices committed in Palestine.”
Even if you ignore for one minute the rich irony of this statement—given the absolutely abysmal way Lebanon has treated its sizable Palestinian population, denied access to basic resources like housing, education, and employment for the past six decades—you have to savor the thought of Salaita, who fashioned himself into a martyr wronged by a shady Zionist cabal for criticizing Israel, being now slammed a second time by a university few can accuse of abundant love for the Jewish state.
The university was reached for comment, but provided none as of yet. Updates as they come.
Here's betting that Salaita lands at Bir Zeit on the Hudson... or at the Islamic University of Gaza.  Heh.

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