He was inundated with threats. He was denounced as a traitor. He was vilified and excoriated. Why? Did he advocate violence in the name of Islam, thereby twisting and hijacking the Religion of Peace? No, he took students on a field trip to Auschwitz to teach tolerance and empathy. The guardians of the “‘Palestinians’ are innocent victims of a genocidal apartheid Jewish State” myth couldn’t stand for that.
“Palestinian professor resigns over students’ trip to Auschwitz,” by Inna Lazareva, the Telegraph, June 8, 2014:
A Palestinian professor who took his students on a field trip to Auschwitz has resigned from his post following months-long campaign of death threats, campus riots and intimidation against him.
Prof Mohammed Dajani, head of the American Studies Department and director of the library at Al Quds University, was denounced as a “traitor” and “collaborator” by some of his colleagues, students and members of the public, after he organised the trip to the site of the Nazi concentration camp in Poland. It was announced that Prof Dajani was also “fired” from the university staff union, despite never having joined the organisation in the first place.
27 Palestinian students attended the trip in March as part of a project to learn more about the Holocaust and teach tolerance and empathy. The programme, run in conjunction with an Israeli and a German university, also took Israeli students on trips to meet Palestinians living in refugee camps.
Prof Dajani condemned the campaign of “incitement” directed against him in an interview with Israeli daily Haaretz, saying that he submitted his resignation as “a litmus test to see whether the university administration supports academic freedom and freedom of action and of expression as they claim, or not”. He said he had hoped the university president would “take a stand” by refusing to accept his resignation.
“I put my job on the line to expose the double-talk we live”, Prof Dajani told Haaretz. “We say we are for democracy and we practice autocracy, we say we are for freedom of speech and academic freedom, yet we deny people to practice it”.
Relations between Al Quds University and Israel deteriorated sharply following the Israel-Gaza war in 2008. In recent years, the university has been criticised for increasingly turning a blind eye to demonstrations glorifying violence on its campus. In March 2014, Al Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh resigned after masked pro-Hamas demonstrators carrying replica rockets and lauding attacks on Israel held several rallies on university grounds.