The organized smear campaign against UT-Austin Israel Studies professor Ami Pedahzur continues unabated.

For those of you who are new to the story, the UT-Austin Palestine Solidarity Committee invaded an Israel Studies event hosted by Prof. Pedahzur (possibly in violation of the campus code), refused either to participate in the event or leave, and instead disrupted the event, ending in shouts of “Free, Free Palestine” and “Long Live the Intifada.” The disruption was led by UT-Austin law student Mohammed Nabulsi.

According to what he wrote afterwards, when Prof. Pedahzur learned after the event that two of the leaders of the disruption used online aliases of known terrorist names, he became concerned that the aggressive behavior posed a risk of escalation that worried him, particularly in light of the Paris terrorist attacks. Nabulsi has written of the need for the anti-Israel boycott movement to support Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other “resistance” groups.

The students then created an edited video purporting to show the protesters as the victims, and launched a public relations and legal campaign against Prof. Pedahzur, including a “civil rights” complaint with the University.

Numerous anti-Israel groups, such as U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and Palestine Legal issued supportive statements. Glenn Greewald tweeted out a column from the Electronic Intifada accusing Prof. Pedahzur of “assault.”

Last night a column was posted at student-run The Daily Texan by one of its associate editors, Adam Hamze, accusing Prof. Pedahzur of Islamophobia, Israeli professor must be held accountable for islamophobic comments:

Pedahzur fueled these fires with his actions and comments. He defamed Palestinian students, whose families have been killed or made into refugees by Israeli forces. He weaponized his scholarship to criminalize the innocent students he was hired to educate. There is no excuse for Pedahzur’s islamophobic actions. He has no place continuing at this University, without proper repercussions.

Pedahzur’s statement also said, “After spending two decades of learning how people turn to terrorism, I fear that what I witnessed on Friday should raise many red flags.”

This shameless, ridiculous and aggressive claim is no less a degree of bullying than what Arab and Muslim children and adults face across the world, harassed and assaulted for their identity, targeted for the language they speak and the way they pray. This is not how a professor should be allowed to act.

If the University chooses to be complacent and refuses to take action against Pedahzur’s islamophobic comments, they will not only send the message to faculty members that this behavior is tolerated — they will show that this institution supports the hatred. It shows the Palestinian students and their allies, who were exercising their right to free speech, that they are not valued by the institution they attend. And that is unacceptable.

The accusation of “Islamophobia” in the Adam Hamze column is not even supported by the text of the column, but Hamze got the headline he wanted.

In response to the growing smear campaign by anti-Israel students, a group has launched a petition defending Prof. Pedahzur, Denounce Hate and Bigotry at UT-Austin, which quickly gained over 300 signatures overnight:

https://www.change.org/p/denounce-hate-and-bigotry-at-ut-austin-2?

After storming into Israeli Professor Ami Pedahzur’s classroom to call for the destruction of Israel, members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) began shouting “Long live intifada” – a call for violence against Israelis.

Now, PSC members want Dr. Pedahzur fired because they felt “intimidated” when he stared back at them. Worse, they’re filing a civil rights complaint because Dr. Pedahzur responded with an open letter to the campus community, revealing the group’s leader uses the screen-name “Georges Abdallah,” a Lebanese assassin who murdered an American soldier.

It’s time we join our voices in denouncing PSC’s tactics. Hate groups, bigotry, and violence of any kind – including anti-Semitism – have no place at UT-Austin or any college campus. Sign the petition.
We join our voices in denouncing hate groups, bigotry, and violence of any kind – including anti-Semitism – in the Longhorn community. The tactics used by members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee put students and faculty at risk, and have no place at The University of Texas at Austin or any college campus.

We join our voices in denouncing hate groups, bigotry, and violence of any kind – including anti-Semitism – in the Longhorn community. The tactics used by members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee put students and faculty at risk, and have no place at The University of Texas at Austin or any college campus.

Here are links to our prior posts:

We will continue to report on this case, as it quickly is turning into a test case as to whether universities will allow anti-Israel activists to shut down other people’s speech and to make false accusation as part of a media and lawfare strategy.

YOU CAN SIGN THE PETITION HERE.