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Stanford teacher suspended for allegedly separating out Jewish students in class as ‘colonizers’

A Stanford University lecturer has been suspended for allegedly making Jewish students stand in a corner while branding them “colonizers” — while also downplaying the Holocaust and defending murderous Hamas terrorists as “freedom fighters.”

Students said that the lecturer, who was not identified, opened two freshman classes Tuesday by saying the lesson would be on colonialism, the co-presidents of Stanford’s Israeli Student Association told the San Francisco Chronicle.

He then blamed the war now raging between Israel and Hamas on “Zionists” – supporters of a movement for the protection of an independent Jewish state.

The lecturer also reportedly justified the slaughter of more than 1,300 Israelis by Hamas terrorists over the weekend, saying that it was part of Palestinians’ resistance.

The teacher then asked Jewish students to raise their hands, separated them from their belongings and ordered them to stand in a corner, saying that is what Jews were doing to Palestinians, according to Nourya Cohen, one of the Israeli association presidents.

“He asked how many Jews died in the Holocaust,” said Cohen. When someone said six million, “he said, ‘Yes. Only six million.’”

Rabbi Dov Greenberg, director of the Chabad Stanford Jewish Center, who said he spoke to three students in one of the classes, told the Jewish news outlet Forward that the lecturer said: “Colonizers killed more than six million. Israel is a colonizer.”

The lecturer asked students to say where their ancestors were from, and labeled each a “colonizer” or “colonized” based on their heritage, Cohen and co-president Andrei Mandelshtam said.

When one student identified themselves as being from Israel, the instructor reportedly exclaimed: “Oh, definitely a colonizer.”

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Rabbi Greenberg said the students he had spoken to told him they were afraid to speak out in class and came away feeling traumatized. They said the lecturer made no mention of Hamas’ atrocities against Israelis and offered a full-throated defense of the terrorists’ actions.

“He said, ‘Hamas is a legitimate representation of the Palestinian people,’” Greenberg said. “‘They are not a terrorist group. They are freedom fighters. Their actions are legitimate.’”

Cohen, the student leader, said the episode left her feeling “dehumanized.”

“He said, ‘Hamas is a legitimate representation of the Palestinian people,’” Greenberg said. “‘They are not a terrorist group. They are freedom fighters. Their actions are legitimate.’”

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“It’s like I’m reliving the justification of Nazis 80 years ago on today’s college campus,” she told the paper.

Stanford President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez released a statement Wednesday confirming the lecturer’s suspension after he “addressed the Middle East conflict in a manner that called out individual students in class based on their backgrounds and identities.”

The statement went on to say that Stanford has opened an internal investigation into the lecturer, who was described as a teaching assistant and not a member of the faculty.

“Without prejudging the matter, this report is a cause for serious concern. Academic freedom does not permit the identity-based targeting of students,” Stanford officials wrote. “The instructor in this course is not currently teaching while the university works to ascertain the facts of the situation.”

Saller and Martinez also condemned “all terrorism and mass atrocities,” including Hamas’ attack on Israeli civilians, which they described as a “moral matter.”

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