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Palestinian professor forced to resign after Auschwitz field trip

"I put my job on the line to expose the double-talk we live. We say we are for democracy and we practice autocracy, we say we are for freedom of speech and academic freedom, yet we deny people to practice it."
By Aileen Graef   |   June 10, 2014 at 2:50 PM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, West Bank, June 10 (UPI) -- Professor Mohammad Dajani of Al-Quds University has resigned after he came under fire for taking his students on a field trip to Auschwitz to teach tolerance.

Dajani's resignation comes after months of death threats, campus riots, and intimidation. The professor, who teaches American studies, took 27 students to Auschwitz concentration camp in March to learn about the Holocaust and the importance of tolerance and empathy.

He handed in his resignation May 18, but hoped the university would reject the letter and stand by him.

"In submitting my resignation, I feel I took the battle to a higher level. My letter of resignation from Al-Quds University was a kind of litmus test to see whether the university administration supports academic freedom and freedom of action and of expression as they claim or not," Dajani told Haaretz.

He condemned the university for its hypocrisy and condoning the campaign against him. Dajani said he took the students on the trip because he believes that if his students want to engage the Israelis, they first must know their history and motivations.

"I put my job on the line to expose the double-talk we live," said Dajani. "We say we are for democracy and we practice autocracy, we say we are for freedom of speech and academic freedom, yet we deny people to practice it."

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