National Public Radio’s news feature program, Here & Now, provided yet another example of why Public Radio’s brand of journalism cannot be trusted. On Nov. 4, 2014, Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson interviewed Sayed Kashua, an Israeli-Arab comedian who left Israel to live in Chicago. Twice during the brief interview, Hobson prodded Kashua about the recent rescinding of a faculty appointment by the University of Illinois, because, according to Hobson, the candidate, professor Steven Salaita, had voiced criticism of Israel. The obvious implication of Hobson’s questioning was that the university had buckled to pro-Israel pressure in order to silence any criticism of Israel. This is what critics of the university’s decision contend as they alleged the university had caved in to complaining Jewish benefactors.
“Only Israel can murder around 300 children in the span of a few weeks and insist that it is the victim,” said one. “If Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised,” asked another.
An article in the Chicago Tribune provided much more. The tweets reported in the Tribune editorial reveal incitement to proudly hate Jews and openly wishing that some would be murdered. A sampling of Salaita’s tweets in the editorial included:
“Zionist uplift in America: every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime.”
“Let’s cut to the chase: If you are defending Israel right now you’re an awful human being.”
“Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.”
Or this, posted by Salaita in June after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed “You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not: I wish all the (expletive) West Bank settlers would go missing.”
Salaita also retweeted a post from an account name Free Palestine, complaining that a story by journalist Jeffrey Goldberg “should have ended at the pointy end of a shiv.”
If that one doesn’t strike you as reprehensible, substitute “African-American” or “gay” or “women” for “West Bank settlers” and imagine sitting in a classroom run by the author of that remark.