In an article co-authored by CAMERA Fellow Miriam Waghalter and Austin Altman, president and board member of CAMERA-supported group Scarlet Knights for Israel, the two outlined the immorality of Rutgers continuing to employ Rutgers professors Michael Chikindas and Mazen Adi.
Jasbir Puar, who has a history of anti-Semitism, including using blood libel to demonize Israel, recently made headlines again this fall. Her book, “The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability” which was released this month, alleges that the IDF intentionally shoots Palestinians to harm them and not kill them, so that they will suffer as much as possible.
But Chikindas and Adi were only recently exposed as anti-Semites. Professor Chikindas shared anti-Semitic images on his Facebook profile, which as International Campus Director Aviva Slomich described, depicted scheming, controlling and evil Jews, evoking Der Stürmer-style imagery which is shared widely by hate and extremist groups on social media.
Chikindas’s posts reminded many of Oberlin College’s Joy Karega, who shared content which invoked similar anti-Semitic tropes, just last year.
Just days after Campus Coordinator Ben Suster visited Rutgers to provide students with moral and practical support, students were faced with another bomb of troubling news: it was discovered that an additional professor on their campus held anti-Semitic views.
Since 2015, former Assad spokesman Mazen Adi has been lecturing in the political science department at Rutgers University. Working for the Assad regime, Adi repeatedly expressed support for the Syrian dictator’s war crimes during the Syrian civil war. Beyond defending a genocidal regime, Adi has also spewed antisemitic libel at the UN. In 2012, he alleged to the Security Council that “international gangs led by some Israeli religious figures are now trafficking children’s organs.”
From these scary details, it’s obvious that continuing to employ Adi and Chikindas is fundamentally wrong and harmful to students.
Yet, despite the tireless work of the Jewish community and its allies, including that of CAMERA students Miriam and Austin, President Robert Barchi has turned a blind eye to the Jewish community, defending the employment of all three professors. Barchi has shockingly gone so far as to question The Algemeiner, the Jewish newspaper that has provided significant coverage on the disturbing sentiments of both faculty members.
At a town hall meeting sponsored by the Rutgers student government last Thursday, President Barchi addressed the ongoing controversies surrounding Chikindas, Puar, and Adi, noting that “the one thing that is common to all of these is that they were all brought forward by The Algemeiner.”
Responding to President Barchi, Slomich made the following statement:
“After Oberlin College President Krislov wrongfully defended Professor Joy Karega after she shared anti-Semitic posts on social media last year, he appropriately stepped down.
Rutgers University President Barchi has repeatedly defended anti-semitism similar to those of Karega’s by three of his own faculty members. Not only has Professor Barchi defended these shocking actions, which targets a significant portion of Rutgers students, he also has expressed anti-Semitic rhetoric of his own, making disparaging remarks about The Algemeiner, the Jewish newspaper which has provided extensive coverage of these anti-Semitic incidents.
President Barchi’s continual defense of these anti-Semitic faculty members, in addition to his own apparent prejudice, leave no other option other than Barchi stepping down immediately to allow Rutgers students the justice and safety they deserve.”
To sign the petition created by Rutgers students for action against Professor Chikindas, click here.
To sign the petition created by UN Watch for action against Professor Adi, click here.
Contributed by Lia Lands, Campus Communications for CAMERA.