An instructor at Stanford University has been suspended for his abhorrent treatment of Jewish students, in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attacks on civilians, during a required undergraduate course called “Civil, Liberal and Global Education.” The university’s president and provost called the incident an “identity-based targeting” of students.
According to CBS News, the instructor, who has not been named by the University, has been removed from teaching duties after reportedly making Jewish students stand in a corner with their belongings while he delivered a rant belittling the genocide of millions of Jews in the Holocaust. The incident has caused significant distress to the students involved, who fear facing backlash or bullying on campus.
CNN spoke with Rabbi Dov Greenberg, executive director of Rohr Chabad House, Stanford’s Jewish community center. Greenberg shared that the students involved in the incident are “not doing well” and are living in fear. He explained that the instructor tried to justify the actions of Hamas and belittled the Holocaust by asking the students how many Jews were killed. When one student answered “6 million,” the instructor dismissed this by saying more people have been killed by colonizers and proclaimed, “Israel is a colonizer.” The instructor further illustrated his point by asking some students to physically go to the back of the class, stating, “That’s what Israel does to Palestinians.”
Greenberg also revealed that the instructor claimed Hamas is a legitimate representation of the Palestinian people and that their actions are legitimate. These statements are deeply concerning and contribute to a hostile environment for Jewish students at Stanford.
Stanford University issued a statement acknowledging the incident and expressing serious concern about the supposed targeting of students based on their identities. The university emphasized that academic freedom does not permit such behavior and confirmed that the instructor in question is not currently teaching while they investigate the matter.
Unfortunately, Stanford is not alone in facing incidents of anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses. Harvard University and the University of Wisconsin are among the many institutions that have experienced similar incidents. In fact, 31 student groups at Harvard recently signed a letter blaming Israel as “entirely responsible” for Hamas’ attacks on innocent Israelis. Additionally, University of Wisconsin students were seen cheering Hamas killers and chanting “Glory to the Martyrs!” during a pro-Palestinian student protest. Indiana University, Arizona State University, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill have also hosted pro-Palestinian rallies.
These incidents highlight the need for universities to address and combat anti-Israel sentiment and ensure the safety and well-being of all students, particularly those of Jewish faith. It is crucial for educational institutions to foster an inclusive and supportive environment that respects diverse viewpoints and promotes understanding and dialogue. Steps must be taken to ensure that incidents of identity-based targeting and discrimination are swiftly addressed and that appropriate action is taken to prevent such incidents from recurring in the future.