University Bans Jewish Professor Over Spat With Student Activists

( – After a confrontation on campus over the Israel and Hamas war, a Jewish professor at University of Southern California was banned from campus and switched to remote work for the rest of the semester.

A video that many believe is deceptively edited has been circulating on social media, showed Professor John Strauss saying “they should all be killed,” which many took to mean all Palestinians. However, another video of the economics professor gave more context, showing that before he said the line about how some people should “all be killed,” he clearly states “Hamas are murderers,” meaning that the following statement about how they should be killed is clearly referring to members of Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

However, as the edited video made the rounds on social media, a petition was created calling for Strauss’s termination from the University. The petition suggested that Strauss was racist and xenophobic. Some people who shared the edited video included commentary with varying degrees of truth, such as that Strauss made his comments in front of a memorial to the “Palestinian martyrs” who have been killed in the hostilities over the last two months, or that Strauss said he specifically hopes his Palestinian students die as well (a claim for which there is no evidence). Another petition in support of Strauss and his right to free speech was circulated. Both petitions received thousands of signatures, indicating that this controversial issue has many people fired up.

Despite removing Strauss from campus, the University insists their actions were not meant to be disciplinary, but simply to “minimize disruption” and “ensure a safe environment.” The Academic Freedom Alliance, a group meant to support free speech on campuses, sent a letter to the president of USC, criticizing how the University handled the situation. The letter said Strauss’s comments were fully within his First Amendment rights to free speech and censuring him was an “egregious violation” of his right to freedom of expression.

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