Prof. William Robinson: Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw-A Vast Concentration Camp!!!

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Prof. William Robinson

Prof. William Robinson

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: The Anti-Defamation League went after Archbishop Desmond Tutu, now there after Prof. William Robinson. The ADL is trying to suppress the right to criticize Israel’s Policies. Anyone who criticizes Israeli Policies is labeled Anti-Semetic, but in this case Prof. Robinson is a member of the Jewish Faith, so he can’t be accused of being Anti-Semitic. Prof. Robinson was only telling the truth. Administrator

Here is a portion of the E-Mail that’s the basis for the investigation

Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw – a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians, subjecting them to the slow death of malnutrition, disease and despair, nearly two years before their subjection to the quick death of Israeli bombs. We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide (Websters: “the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group”), a process whose objective is not so much to physically eliminate each and every Palestinian than to eliminate the Palestinians as a people in any meaningful sense of the notion of people-hood.

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By Peter Schmidt
The Anti-Defamation League’s top official met with administrators and faculty members of the University of California at Santa Barbara last month and urged them to investigate a professor for academic misconduct for his harsh criticism of Israel in an e-mail message to students, a university spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

But the spokesman, Paul Desruisseaux, said a university administrator had told Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Jewish advocacy group, that an investigation was already under way in response to two students’ complaints, and that any further discussion of the matter would be inappropriate.

The university, Mr. Desruisseaux said, “has not responded in any way to any pressure from the ADL or other groups” in its inquiry into misconduct allegations that the two students formally brought against William I. Robinson, a professor of sociology, in response to the e-mail message. He said the investigation was “working its way through standard procedures,” with a panel of the Academic Senate looking into the matter to determine whether the allegations have enough weight to be considered by the senate’s Privilege and Tenure Committee.

A national spokeswoman for the Anti-Defamation League, Myrna Shinbaum, confirmed Tuesday that the meeting with university officials had taken place. She declined, however, to provide additional comment, and said Mr. Foxman was out of the country. Officials of the organization’s Santa Barbara regional office, which also was involved in the March 9 meeting, declined to take calls and referred inquiries to the group’s national headquarters.

Dueling Statements

The controversy surrounding Mr. Robinson has attracted widespread attention at Santa Barbara and elsewhere, with some students on the campus forming a group in support of him and a long list of scholars signing onto letters urging that the investigation be dropped. On Tuesday, California Scholars for Academic Freedom, an organization comprising more than 100 faculty members at colleges around the state, issued a statement calling the misconduct charges “without merit” and “brought to silence criticism of Israeli policies and practices.”

The uproar centers around an e-mail message that Mr. Robinson sent on January 19 to students in his “Sociology of Globalization” class. In it, he accused Israel of war crimes for its military actions in Gaza, and forwarded juxtaposed photographs of what he called “Nazi atrocities against the Jews and Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians.” He argued that “Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw” and characterized Israel as a state “founded on the negation” of the Palestinian people.

On February 9, Cynthia Silverman, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Santa Barbara office, sent Mr. Robinson a letter saying her organization had received complaints about his e-mail message. Her letter—copied to the campus’s chancellor, Henry T. Yang, and the university system’s president, Mark G. Yudof—called the professor’s comparison of Israelis and Nazis “offensive” and the views he presented in his e-mail message “intimidating to students.”

The letter, arguing that the e-mail message appeared unrelated to Mr. Robinson’s sociology course, cited several provisions of the university’s faculty code of conduct that, it said, he had probably violated by using his university e-mail account to distribute a message that was not course-related.

‘His Damage Is Irreversible’

In the ensuing weeks, two students separately filed formal letters of complaint about the e-mail message with university officials. Both of those letters complained that Mr. Robinson had violated the same provisions in the code of conduct that had been cited by the regional office of the ADL, and both accused Mr. Robinson of anti-Semitism using a definition taken from a U.S. State Department document.

One of the students wrote, “This professor should be stopped immediately from continuing to disseminate this information and be punished because his damage is irreversible.”

The other student said she had been nauseated about a professor sending such an e-mail message and felt compelled to drop the class in response to it.

The campus spokesman, Mr. Desruisseaux (who is a former editor at The Chronicle), said the March 9 meeting with Mr. Foxman and local ADL officials was organized by Leonard Wallock, associate director of the campus’s Walter Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life. Among those in attendance were Michael D. Young, vice chancellor for student affairs; David B. Marshall, executive dean of the College of Letters and Science; and several faculty members.

“To the participants from our campus,” Mr. Desruisseaux said, “the purpose and agenda of the meeting had nothing to do with the Robinson inquiry. It was planned as an informal discussion of issues of mutual concern to the campus, its students, and ADL.”

When Mr. Foxman pulled out the regional ADL office’s letter of complaint about Mr. Robinson and asked if the university had done anything in response, “about half the people in the room did not know what he was talking about,” Mr. Desruisseaux said. Mr. Marshall then told the ADL official that the inquiry was under way, and ended discussion of the subject.

A student group that is supporting Mr. Robinson and working closely with him, the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, issued a statement arguing that Mr. Foxman had held the meeting solely to pressure the university to investigate the complaints against the professor. Neither Mr. Robinson nor the committee was able on Tuesday to produce any faculty members who had attended the meeting and who could support their account, however. Mr. Robinson did not comment on Tuesday.

The Anti-Defamation League’s calls for Santa Barbara to investigate Mr. Robinson is not its only current effort to challenge campus relationships with critics of Israel. The group also is protesting decisions by Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to have Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a vocal critic of Israel, speak at their commencements this year.

April 30, 2009 Posted by Elias

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