US professor grilled over "Israeli"-Nazi comparison
A Jewish sociology professor undergoes investigation over drawing an analogy between Nazi atrocities and the "Israeli" massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.
The probe by the University of California, Santa Barbara, will look into allegations of improper conduct and anti-Semitism against William I. Robinson, who compared "Israel's" three-week-long onslaught against Gazans to the Holocaust.
Robinson in January sent an e-mail to 80 of his students, in which he juxtaposed photos of Jews killed by the Nazis and similar photos of Palestinians killed in "Israeli" incursions.
"Gaza is 'Israel's' Warsaw - a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians," 'Israeli' Ynet news quoted the e-mail entitled "Parallel images of Nazis and 'Israelis'."
The email said "Israel" is subjecting Palestinians "to the slow death of malnutrition, disease and despair, nearly two years before their subjection to the quick death of 'Israeli' bombs."
"We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide...," Robinson wrote in his e-mail.
The move drew sharp criticism from Jewish groups and two students who quit the class and filed complaints, leading to formation of an ad hoc committee by the university's Academic senate.
The committee is to investigate if Robinson has violated university policy that bans professors from intimidating students and using campus resources for personal, political reasons unrelated to their classes.
Robinson, however, has rejected the allegations, arguing that it was within his rights of academic freedom to challenge students with controversial topics.
He called the investigation a "violation of academic freedom," saying that the students have formed a support committee and outside academics, including noted sociopolitical analyst Noam Chomsky, have publicly sided with Robinson.