Palestinian Professor Resigns After Being Called A “Traitor” For Taking Students To Auschwitz

Unknown180px-Auschwitz_entrance.JPGProf. Mohammed Dajani, head of the American Studies Department and director of the library at Al Quds University, sought to bridge the gulf between Palestinians and Israelis by organizing a trip to Auschwitz with 27 Palestinian students. This colleagues responded by calling him a “traitor” and “collaborator” while joining campus riots against him. Now he has resigned from the school rather than continue to receive threats and protests.

The program involved both an Israeli and a German university and was to create greater understanding and empathy. He received little support from this school. The mistreatment of this academic speaks volumes of how distorted the views and values have become in this region. The institutionalized hatred directed toward Israel not only closes off the ability to empathize but the ability to compromise. While there are certainly those in Israel with equal blind hatred, I have known many Jews who have traveled to Palestine and sympathize with the plight of Palestinians. The only hope for peace are those Israelis and Palestinians like Professor Dajani who can reach across this great divide and find common ground. Just as Israelis need to understand the history and mistreatment of Palestinians, the Palestinians need to understand the history of the holocaust and struggle leading to the creation of Israel. The merging of the anti-Israeli sentiment with holocaust denial is particularly alarming. It is not just for some to hate Israel and Jews, they must also deny the historical wrong done Jews as we have seen with Iranian leaders. Once you remove all empathy as well as history (except your own), you are left with only institutionalized hate. The clear desire is to bar any understanding of Israelis, to leave Jews as little more than caricatures.

It is that institutionalized hate that gets students and professors to turn on an academic like Professor Dajani. As an academic, there is nothing more grotesque than people denouncing a trip to understand history and then seeking to fire a well-respected professor for exposing his students to a different view of Jews. The loss of academic freedom and intellectual curiosity (and honesty) will undermine the viability of the Al Quds University for years to come.

Dajani said that he offered his resignation in the hopes that the University would refuse it and take a stand in favor of academic freedom and in opposition to the blind rage and hatred shown in the protests. He is quoted as saying that, while privately telling him that he did not break any rules, he learned that the University was behind the protests against him. The University instead has yielded to the mob. In addition, Dajani was “fired” from the university staff union. The only problem is that he never joined the organization in the first place but that did not stop the staff union from firing him and thereby enabling the intolerance and hatred on campus.

Source: Telegraph

32 thoughts on “Palestinian Professor Resigns After Being Called A “Traitor” For Taking Students To Auschwitz”

  1. “He is quoted as saying that, while privately telling him that he did not break any rules, he learned that the University was behind the protests against him. ”


    Keep telling me,please. Why do we care what happens to these fundamentalist jihadists? It’s makes some of us feel better?

    1. Dredd – anti-Antisemitism is not coming from the right-wing, it is coming from the left-wing.

  2. The response by the faculty and students at Al Quds is very disappointing. It betrays the purpose of a university and given that Islam was once the center of almost all scientific, historic and cultural knowledge in the world outside of China it is a great shame and shows how far Islamic thought has deteriorated.

  3. catch22, The right wing nuts in the US are just one of many manifestations of the age old hatred of Jews going back before Jesus. I can never even fathom what it must be like to be a small country in the Middle East surrounded by many countries and people who would nuke you in a heartbeat if given the chance. I therefore am not being judgmental of Israel, like so many so cavalierly are.

    1. Nick – age old hatred of Jews going back before Jesus? Could we get a cite to that? 🙂

  4. @ Nick Spinelli: I enjoy your writings on this blog. One of the problems with identifying anti-semitism is that, at one extreme, any criticism of Israel’s behavior, even its most egregious such as its war crimes, land theft and brutal occupation, makes one an anti-semite. Just ask Dershowitz.

    Since the grand poobahs in Tel Aviv claim to speak for world Jewry, ordinary Jews suffer for the sins of the Zionists.

    Then there is there are the real anti-semites, such as among America’s ACTUAL terror threat, the militias and nativist movements that have been so active recently.

  5. @ Al Zheimers: Forms of the term Palestine can be found in the writings of ancient Greeks and Romans. You are dismissing the claims of the Palestinians (Arab, Egyptian, Jordainian) with no apparent knowldge. Read a book or two.

    1. catch22oy – having read a book or two in my time, the occupation of portions of the West Bank are hardly brutal. Just ask the Jordanians who abandoned the area.

  6. What to do when both sides have drawn away from the center and dug their heels in? There are two paths and only two. One path is now taken by both sides and that is the path of extremism. The other can only be taken by the dominant side and that is the path of leadership. Israel is the dominant side and refuses to set an example by stopping to steal land from the Palestinians, stopping the settlements, and by making the first move in recognizing the wrongs done by both sides. Israel’s goal is to wait out the other side and slowly erode the other side by force, assimilation, and frustration. This is the example set throughout history throughout the world. The greatest expression of this is to be found in the conquest of the Western Hemisphere by the Europeans. Only when the Palestinians are reduced to the conditions the indigenous peoples of North and South America will they be allowed some legality. Perhaps they will open casinos in the Gaza Strip and peppered throughout the West Bank.

  7. Palestinians ,Persians,and Arabic people would do well to recall that Third Reich theorists had eventual plans for all non-Aryans,once they had been exploited and plundered.

  8. Where is this so called University?

    Palestinian grievances: I was in Israel for two months in 1980. I am not Jewish and I took it upon myself to meet many locals there. No Arabs whom I met characterized themselves as Palestinians back then. Many on the West Bank descried themselves as Jordanians. Some in the Gaza area said they were Egyptians or Arabs and/or both. The creation of the Palestianian identity and the supposed tyranny against Palestinians is a farce. There were some terrorists in the Gaza and in the West Bank in 1980, but not as widespread by any measure as exists now. Look at an overall map of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Israel. Look how small Israel is. There is a lot of room for the Arabs who wish to hate Jews and yet wish to live in the West Bank and Gaza and create a nation state dedicated to killing the Jews– a lot of room East of the Jordan River. The next war will see more terrorists cleared out. It is coming to a theatre near you soon.

  9. Institutionalized hatred is right.

    I knew a Persian man who found his childhood stamp collection. He had fond memories of collecting stamps, so he showed it to me. We were just silent.

    It contained burning American flags, bloody Stars of David, dead Jews . . . it was like Hitler’s stamp collection.

    My own childhood stamp collection consisted of ducks, deer, and Queens.

    He said he didn’t remember it being political or savage. It was just a normal stamp collection to him as a kid. Seeing it decades later, as an adult, was chilling. He remembered starting each day in school chanting “Death to America” with all the other little kids. And all the preaching against Jews.

    His brother in law swore adamantly that the Holocaust was entirely fabricated with special effects.

    Hatred ingrained since childhood is so hard to overcome. But exposure to documentaries on the genocide is a start. How to spread this information across the border?

  10. The BDS movement has been strong and persistent on college and university campuses. Some presidents have been strong enough to step on the movement to keep it in control, but some have bowed to its pressure. Sadly, they get backing from a significant portion of the faculty, which helps their cause.

  11. @catch22oy:

    Instead of Palestinians condemning visits to Auschwitz, they should insist that Israel facilitate educational visits to Gaza, the West Bank, the scores of Palestinian refugee camps throughout the ME, and the many forests planted above the rubble of former Arab villages.

    But that is exactly what happened: while the Palestinians were in Poland, a group of students from the Ben-Gurion-University went to Bethlehem and spoke with former refugees from the Dheisheh camp.
    The “Heart of Flesh — Not Stone” program was intended to show each side the national tragedy of the other side on a personally accessible level to foster understanding.

    1. The difference is that one event is history, but the oppresion of the Arabs is ongoing. The Israeli Jews are visiting the people whose land they stole and subject them to a brutal occupation.

  12. There is no doubt that the Holocaust is the most tragic event in Jewish history and everyone should be made aware of that, including Palestinians. To add context to that horror is not to minimize it in any way. Jews were the prime target of the Nazis’ eliminationist policies and suffered in myriad other ways for at least a decade before the end of WWII.

    The Nazis also murdered almost as many non-Jews (in no particular order): Roma, Slavs, Poles, Russian POWs, political partisans, gays, and the disabled. In terms of numbers, the plight of the Armenians (whose efficient demise Hitler admired) may have been the greatest instance of genocide in the 20th century. My point is that no ethnic or religious group has the franchise for tragedy based on statistics.

    Zionists (not Jews in general) have made the Holocaust their own tragedy, to be trotted out for political purposes ever since the end of WWII. But Zionism, and designs to colonize Palestine, proceeded the Holocaust by nearly half a century. (Ironically, The role of Zionists in placing their own goals ahead of the welfare of European Jewry during WWII is well documented, but not widely known.)

    At the hands of these same Zionists, Palestinians continue to suffer colonization, expulsion, and the loss of their land, culture, and humanity. Instead of Palestinians condemning visits to Auschwitz, they should insist that Israel facilitate educational visits to Gaza, the West Bank, the scores of Palestinian refugee camps throughout the ME, and the many forests planted above the rubble of former Arab villages.

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