Professor Steven Salaita had a job offer rescinded by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after he tweeted anti-Israel remarks. In a statement, the university cites a number of anti-Israel tweets sent by Salaita as grounds for the decision. Salaita had already quit his previous job at Virginia Tech University, sold his house, and moved to Illinois.
One of the tweets, sent by Salaita at the height of Israel’s war with Hamas in July 2014 reads “I repeat: If you’re defending #Israel right now, then ‘hopelessly brainwashed’ is your best prognosis.” “You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not: I wish all the f*****g West Bank settlers would go missing,” he wrote in another.
Salaita was due to be teaching on an American Indian studies course “comparing issues related to the experiences of Native Americans to issues related to Palestinians and the Middle East”.
The professor Salaita filed two lawsuits against the university claiming the decision violates his right to freedom of speech. After a settlement with the university, he dropped his lawsuits.
On 12 November 2015, trustees at the University of Illinois agreed to pay Steven Salaita $600,000 in addition to $275,000 in legal fees. He will not work at the university.