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In a shocking case, the University of Illinois has had to pay $875,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Dr Steven Salaita, who was offered a tenured position by the university only to have it withdrawn after he posted antisemitic statements on social media. One post praised antisemitism: “Zionists: transforming antisemitism from something horrible into something honourable since 1948.” Salaita, who currently has a one-year post at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, initiated legal proceedings against the university which the university has already spent $1.3 million defending.

In a statement issued in January 2015, when Salaita initiated legal proceedings, the University of Illinois said: “These statements and many more like them demonstrate that Dr Salaita lacks the judgment, temperament and thoughtfulness to serve as a member of our faculty in any capacity, but particularly to teach courses related to the Middle East…On September 11, 2014, after carefully considering all of the issues related to Dr. Salaita’s proposed appointment, the Board of Trustees voted 8-1 not to approve Dr. Salaita for a position on the faculty. Two weeks ago, the Board emphatically reiterated that its decision is final and will not be reconsidered…As a private citizen, Dr Salaita has the constitutional right to make any public statement he chooses. Dr Salaita, however, does not have a constitutional right to a faculty position at the University of Illinois.”

Source: Jewish Journal


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