A 'brilliant and ethical' professor who lost his job at a major US university over anti-Israel remarks on Twitter says he is 'not sorry'.
Steven Salaita claims he was speaking his mind when he tweeted about the military conflict in Gaza weeks before taking up a tenured role at the University of Illinois on the American Indian Studies.
However, his comments were deemed unacceptable and the school refused to accept him as an American Indian Studies professor this fall.
Hitting out at the decision, Mr Salaita told a press conference: 'The way that I have always tweeted sort of has to do with the way things are happening in the moment politically and discursively.
'The [university] administration's actions threaten the principles of free speech, academic freedom, and critical thought that should be the foundation of any university.'
Dozens of professors have condemned the university's actions against Mr Salaita, with many threatening to boycott classes.
In one tweet, Mr Salaita told his followers: 'It's simple: either condemn #Israel's actions or embrace your identity as someone who's okay with the wholesale slaughter of children.'
Another read: 'Only #Israel can murder around 300 children in the span of a few weeks and insist that it is the victim.'
On the same day he wrote: 'It's quite simple, really: don't support any ideology whose practice results in dead children.'
'Offensive': This is one of the comments that the University of Illinois deemed offensive before sacking Salaita
Freedom of speech: Dozens of professors have come out in support of Salaita's freedom to speak his mind
The Palestinian-American professor claims he regrets the posts that cost him his job but refuses to apologize.
And the university insists it will not revoke the decision.
University of Illinois President Robert Easter said: 'We believe that our classrooms ought to be a place where opinions, regardless of their origin or their perspective, ought to be able to be offered freely and students not feel intimidated or unable to express their opinion and that's what led us to the decision.'
The Illinois committee of the American Association of University Professors described some of Mr Salaita's comments as 'strident and vulgar', the Huffington Post reported.