Controversy has erupted at UC Santa Barbara over a professor's decision to send his students an e-mail in which he compared graphic images of Jews in the Holocaust to pictures of Palestinians caught up in Israel's recent Gaza offensive.Read the whole thing. Abraham Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, called out Robinson for his "anti-Semitism," and the local ADL branch in Santa Barbara also repudiated Robinson, sending a letter to Robinson at UCSB requesting that he renounce his statements on Israel.
The e-mail by tenured sociology professor William I. Robinson has triggered a campus investigation and drawn accusations of anti-Semitism from two national Jewish groups, even as many students and faculty members have voiced support for him.
The uproar began in January when Robinson sent his message -- titled "parallel images of Nazis and Israelis" -- to the 80 students in his sociology of globalization class.
The e-mail contained more than two dozen photographs of Jewish victims of the Nazis, including those of dead children, juxtaposed with nearly identical images from the Gaza Strip. It also included an article critical of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and a note from Robinson.
"Gaza is Israel's Warsaw -- a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians," the professor wrote. "We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide."
Two Jewish students dropped the class, saying they felt intimidated by the professor's message. They contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which advised them to file formal complaints with the university.
In their letters, senior Rebecca Joseph and junior Tova Hausman accused Robinson of violating the campus' faculty code of conduct by disseminating personal, political material unrelated to his course.
"I was shocked," said Joseph, 22. "He overstepped his boundaries as a professor. He has his own freedom of speech, but he doesn't have the freedom to send his students his own opinion that is so strong."
Professor Robinson defends himself by saying he's Jewish and by suggesting that the controversy is "like saying if I condemn the U.S. government for the invasion of Iraq, I'm anti-American ... It's the most absurd, baseless argument."
Well, actually, speaking of anti-Americanism. Folks should check Robinson's homepage, where he announces his Marxist praxis right there in the introduction:
As a scholar-activist I attempt to link my academic work to struggles in the United States, in the Americas, and around the world for social justice, popular empowerment, participatory democracy, and people-centered development.Hmm, that's enough to run a few tingles down the legs of William Ayers and Ward Churchill.
But check Robinsons' Flickr account, which features photos from the professor's travels, including a visit to the FMLN in El Salvador, with the poster above captioned as, "'Towards Socialism through the Democratic Revolution.' In the Escuela de Cuadros, San Salvador, 27 September 2008."
Robinson's also seen here directing FMLN militants seeking to topple the "US-backed governing party, ARENA."
But remember, there's no left-wing indoctrination at America's colleges and universities.