A Yale University professor is facing calls to be ousted over her social media posts in which she appeared to justify Hamas terrorists killing Israeli civilians — and called Israel a "murderous, genocidal settler state."
Zareena Grewal, a historical anthropologist and a documentary filmmaker who works as an associate professor of American studies, ethnicity, race, migration, and religious studies, came under fire after speaking out in support of Palestinians as Hamas' deadly attack on Israel unfolded.
"My heart is in my throat," Grewal wrote on X, formerly Twitter, Saturday. "Prayers for Palestinians. Israel is a murderous, genocidal settler state and Palestinians have every right to resist through armed struggle, solidarity."
Grewal, who in her X bio described herself as a "radical Muslim," followed up with a series of tweets that appeared to applaud the bloody invasion, which saw entire families wiped out and babies decapitated, according to the Israeli military.
"It's been such an extraordinary day!" Grewal gushed when retweeting a news video covering the initial onslaught.
When journalist Rachel Shabi tweeted, "Civilians are civilians are civilians, doesn't matter where," the Yale educator clapped back, writing in response: "Settlers are not civilians. This is not hard."
Grewal doubled down in another tweet, arguing that "no government on earth is as genocidal as this settler colonial state," referring to Israel.
On Tuesday, Yale student Netanel Crispe launched a petition on Change.org titled "Remove Zareena Grewal from the Yale Faculty for Promoting LIES and VIOLENCE."
"She has unequivocally proven that she has no right being in her current role or in the field of education if she considers war crimes against civilians to be acts of resistance," Crispe wrote.
As of Thursday morning, more than 28,000 people have signed the petition calling for the professor's immediate firing.
Grewal has not responded to the firestorm sparked by her tweets and made her X account private Wednesday evening.
A Yale spokesperson, however, defended Grewal's right to free speech.
"Yale is committed to freedom of expression, and the comments posted on Professor Grewal's personal accounts represent her own views," the spokesperson, Karen Peart, told the student newspaper Yale Daily News.
University president Peter Salovey condemned Hamas' attack on Israel in a statement Tuesday.
"As a member of the Yale community, I am compelled by our shared sense of humanity to condemn the attacks on civilians by Hamas in the strongest possible terms," Salovey wrote at the time.
In her first book, "Islam is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority," Grewal wrote about transnational Muslim networks that link US mosques to Islamic movements in the Middle East.
Grewal has received awards for her writing, and research grants from the Fulbright, Wenner-Gren, and Luce foundations. Her opinion pieces have appeared in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post and the Islamic Monthly.