A California university banned a Jewish professor from campus within a day of a deceptively-edited video of the professor’s comments calling for the death of Hamas terrorists circulating online, according to the Los Angeles Times.

University of Southern California (USC) economics professor John Strauss interacted with students protesting the Israel-Gaza war on Nov. 9, which resulted in Strauss calling Hamas “murderers,” according to the Times. Social media accounts online edited the video and showed the professor to make it appear he wanted “everyone” in Gaza to be killed in the clips, according to the Times.

Strauss was put on administrative leave by USC and banned from campus within a day of the incident.

“Hamas are murderers. That’s all they are. Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are killed,” Strauss shouted at pro-Palestinian protestors on USC’s campus on Nov. 9, according to the Times.

petition calling for Strauss to be reinstated was started Nov. 13, three days after another petition calling for him to be terminated due to his comments. The petition for him to be fired garnered over 7,000 signatures, and the petition for him to be reinstated garnered over 11,000 signatures.

“The recent events around his forced administrative leave, barring him from campus, have not only raised serious questions about double standards in the application of free speech principles at USC but have exposed the disturbing pattern of misinformation and targeted harassment that continues to take place on our campus,” the petition calling for his reinstatement reads.

Strauss’ “remarks – ‘everyone should be killed, and I hope they all are’ – are not only offensive but also promote and incite violence,” the petition demanding for the professor to be fired reads.

“We would be ashamed to associate ourselves to an esteemed educational institute such as USC if USC leadership is unable to condemn and effective immediately terminate Professor John Strauss,” the petition continues.

Several elite schools around the U.S. experienced anti-Israel protests on campus following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel that killed over 1,400 people. Over 30 student organizations at Harvard signed a letter blaming Israel for the terrorist attacks.

“What USC has done runs counter to the university’s obligation to foster dialogue and debate,” Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression at PEN America, told the Times.

USC did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Brandon Poulter on November 27, 2023

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