John Strauss is a tenured professor of economics at the University of Southern California. Crossing the campus in late November, he came across a pro-Hamas demonstration. Being pro-Israel, he proclaimed aloud his hatred for Hamas, the group whose operatives on October 7 beheaded babies, burned children alive, tortured and raped young girls, gouged out eyes, sliced off breasts, and cut off the genitalia of Israelis, both before and after death, murdered children in front of their parents and parents in front of their children. Robert Spencer wrote about this briefly here, and more on what happened to Professor Strauss after he made his remarks, can be found here: “Jewish USC professor barred from campus after criticizing Hamas,” Israel National News, November 22, 2023:
The University of Southern California has banned a Jewish professor with tenure from teaching on campus for the rest of the semester for criticizing the Hamas terrorist organization.
Economics Professor John Strauss confronted anti-Israel demonstrators during a “Shut it Down for Palestine” protest on the USC campus on November 9.
The demonstrators accused Strauss of stepping on a list of people killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and yelled “shame on you, Professor Strauss, shame on you.”
The professor responded: “No, shame on you. You people are ignorant. Really ignorant. Hamas are murderers. That’s all they are. Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are.”
The pro-Hamas students, determined to get Professor Strauss in trouble, posted a misleading clip that left out Strauss’ denunciation of Hamas, making it appear that he was calling for the death of all the Palestinians. So he was made to say “Everyone [of you] should be killed, and I hope they all are.”
About a dozen students complained to the university administration and claimed that Strauss threatened them. The next day, the associate dean called Strauss and told him he was being placed on administrative leave would only be allowed to teach his courses remotely for the rest of the semester.
Do you think a lone professor would have “threatened” dozens of angry pro-Palestinian students physically? How likely is that? What was the nature of that supposed threat made by Professor Strauss? And after a dozen of those students made their claim to the administration, why was it that the very next day, without even talking to Professor Strauss to hear his version of events — whatever happened to due process? — he was placed on administrative leave for the rest of the semester? Shouldn’t there have been an investigation into what Strauss said, rather than immediate acceptance of what those students claimed?
Strauss said in an interview with USC Annenberg Media that his comments were misrepresented to portray him as calling for the murder of Palestinian Arabs. “I’m Jewish, I’m very pro-Israel,” he said. “And so I yelled out ‘Israel forever. Hamas are murderers.’”
A petition calling on the university to fire Strauss has garnered over 6,700 signatures. A competing petition demanding the university allow Strauss to teach on campus has garnered over 9,200 signatures.
Well, so far, so outrageous. The administration has placed Strauss on administrative leave, requiring him to teach his courses remotely for the rest of the semester (fortunately, the semester has only a few more weeks to run). This decision was taken without allowing him to present his version of events. And the pro-Hamas students have done still worse: they have deliberately misrepresented what he said, so that it appears that he was denouncing, and wishing death upon, all Palestinians and not Hamas alone. But he was quite clear in his condemnation: “No, shame on you. You people are ignorant. Really ignorant. Hamas are murderers. That’s all they are. Every one [of them] should be killed, and I hope they all are.”
As one more example of the madness of anti-Israel crowds, some have called for this tenured professor to be fired, all because he expressed his hatred for torturers, rapists, sadistic mass murderers. We live in a world where the pathological condition known as antisemitism is twisting everything. Mass murderers are praised, while those who try to defend their people against those mass murderers are denounced. A fine world, my masters!