U.S. professor cleared over comparison of Gaza war to Holocaust
By Cnaan Liphshiz, Haarez Correspondent, and The Associated Press
A committee at a California university has cleared a professor who sent an e-mail comparing Israel’s policies in Gaza to the Holocaust.
Officials at the University of California, Santa Barbara, sent a letter Wednesday to sociology professor William I. Robinson saying the committee had closed the matter.
In January, Robinson offended some students and others with an e-mail to his "Sociology of Globalization" class that juxtaposed grisly photos from the Nazi era with a recent Gaza offensive.
Jewish groups called the e-mail "hate spam" and claimed Robinson violated university policies barring professors from intimidating students and using campus resources for political reasons.
A leading pro-Israel student group blasted the move on Wednesday. "[The university] has blurred the lines between education and peddling of propaganda," the L.A.-based Israel advocacy group StandWithUs told Haaretz.
The affair was exposed by Santa Barbara student Leah Yadegar ? a graduate of the StandWithUs Emerson Fellowship program, which trains students in campuses in "response techniques" to anti-Israel efforts on campus.
"We are surprised and disappointed that the university chose not to uphold their standards for professional conduct," said Roz Rothstein, director and founder of StandWithUs, which filed the original complaint against Robinson.
"It is unfortunate that students will continue to be victims of partisan indoctrination and misinformation."
Robinson, who is Jewish, has said his justified criticism of Israel’s policies should not be confused as anti-Semitism. Before the ruling, he had circulated a petition rallying colleagues and supporters against the internal probe into his actions.
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