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German University Parts Way with Professor over Antisemitic Social Media Posts

One of the world’s leading institutes for research into the natural and social sciences has fired a prominent academic over posts he wrote on social media that glorified the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in Israel.

Prof. Ghassan Hage, a Lebanese-Australian scholar of anthropology, was dismissed from the Max Planck Society in Germany on Wednesday for posts that were deemed “incompatible” with the institution’s “core values.”

Hage, who has been based at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in the city of Halle since Apr. 2023, previously taught at universities including Harvard in the US, the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and the University of Nanterre — Paris X in France.

In several posts on Twitter/X following the Oct. 7 assault — in which more than 1,200 people were killed and over 200 seized as hostages amid widespread atrocities including mutilation and mass rape — Hage accused Israel of “genocide” and compared the State of Israel with the former Nazi regime in Germany.

“The Palestinians, like all colonized peoples, continue to demonstrate that their capacity for resistance is endless. They don’t just dig tunnels. They can fly over walls,” Hage wrote in one post that lauded Hamas.

In an official statement, the Max Planck Society — which employs more than 5,000 scientists and researchers with an annual budget of $2 billion — said that “researchers abuse their civil liberties when they undermine the credibility of science with publicly disseminated statements, thereby damaging the reputation and trust in the institutions that uphold it.”

“The fundamental right to freedom of opinion is constrained by the mutual duties of consideration and loyalty in the employment relationship,” the statement continued.

Hage’s dismissal was welcomed by Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, in comments quoted by the Welt news outlet.. At the same time, he called on the institute to take “precautions to ensure that these cases no longer occur in the future.”

In a lengthy thread on X/Twitter posted after he learned of his dismissal, Hage insisted that he had “never called for even disliking, let alone hating, Jews.”

He went on: “Like Muslims, Christians, Greek, Lebanese or Chinese, in this regard there are some nice Jewish people and some who are pains in the ass. Nice Jewish people are particularly likable.”

In a swipe at his German hosts, he added: “And here I am living in the very cultures that elevated Jew-hating, the burning of Jewish books and stores, and the putting of Jews in concentration camps and mass murdering them, into a macabre fine art, and I am being moralized on how not to be antisemitic and what I should do to love ethno-religious states.”

Source: https://www.algemeiner.com/2024/02/09/world-renowned-german-research-institute-fires-top-academic-over-antisemitic-social-media-posts/