A professor who gained attention in 2014 for a series of controversial tweets about Jews and Israel has announced that he is leaving academia, and blamed Zionists for his inability to find a job.
Steven Salaita, whose comments on social media during Israel's Operation Protective Edge led to the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (UIUC) revoking a tenured job offer it had made to him, wrote Saturday on Facebook, "Despite applying to positions on four continents, I was unable to find an academic job, so I no longer count myself among the professoriate. "
Salaita wrote that he would "die unapologetic" for his tweets, which included a refusal to condemn Hamas and a claim there was a "sexual...Zionist pleasure w/ #Israel's aggression."
One tweet posted soon after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in June 2014, an act that precipitated the start of Protective Edge, read, "You may be too refined to say it, but I'm not. I wish all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing."
"I condemned a brutal ethnocratic state," wrote Salaita proudly in last week's announcement.
He added, "Zionists have worked overtime to incriminate me, but they've never found anything incriminating — not from a lack of diligence, but because there's nothing to find but plainspoken disdain for settler colonization."
In 2014, Liel Leibovitz at Tablet magazine took a deep dive into Salaita's actual academic work, after defenders of the professor suggested that his views could not be accurately measured on the basis of 140 characters. Leibovitz found Salaita's writings "[d]evoid of any real understanding, context, or nuance, stupidly dogmatic, and frequently given to hyperbolic fits of hatred." He concluded that Salaita's work "should not qualify as scholarship."