Stanford suspends instructor accused of targeting Jewish students after Hamas terror attacks in Israel

Aerial view of the Stanford University campus in Stanford, California.
Aerial view of the Stanford University campus in Stanford, California. | iStock/SpVVK

Stanford University has suspended a non-faculty instructor who reportedly singled out Jewish students, downplayed the Holocaust, and claimed the terrorist group Hamas that stormed into Israel, killing and wounding thousands and taking some 200 people hostage, are “freedom fighters.”

In a letter released on Oct. 11, Stanford President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez mentioned that the instructor is no longer teaching as the school investigates the situation. 

While the letter didn't go into specific details, it acknowledged reports that the instructor singled out students based on their “backgrounds and identities” as a way to address the “Middle East conflict.” The letter further noted that academic freedom does not permit what it described as “identity-based targeting of students.” 

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The letter stated:

We have received a report of a class in which a non-faculty instructor is reported to have addressed the Middle East conflict in a manner that called out individual students in class based on their backgrounds and identities. Without prejudging the matter, this report is a cause for serious concern. Academic freedom does not permit the identity-based targeting of students. The instructor in this course is not currently teaching while the university works to ascertain the facts of the situation.

We want to make clear that Stanford stands unequivocally against hatred on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, and other categories. The expression of political views, in appropriate times and places, is important. Thoughtful, reasoned discussion of current issues is central to the life of the university.

Our commitment to academic freedom means that latitude for expression of controversial and even offensive views is necessary to avoid chilling freedom of thought and ideas. But harassment and abuse have no place here.

While the letter did not disclose the instructor’s name, The Daily Mail and Campus Reform identified the lecturer last week as 46-year-old Ameer Hasan Loggins. The instructor was a teacher to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines in 2016 by refusing to stand for the national anthem. 

Standford University did not immediately respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment. This article will be updated if a response is received. 

According to The Forward, three students related the affair to Rabbi Dov Greenberg, director of the Chabad Stanford Jewish Center. The rabbi said the instructor asked Jewish and Israeli students to identify themselves during a session for the undergraduate course “Civil, Liberal and Global Education.” 

The Jewish students were told to stand in a corner with their belongings, and the instructor told them that this is what Israel does to Palestinians. 

After telling the Jewish students to stand against the wall, according to the students’ testimony, the instructor asked how many Jews had died in the Holocaust. When a student answered that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, the instructor said, “Colonizers killed more than 6 million. Israel is a colonizer.”

However, Greenberg said that the instructor failed to mention the Israelis and others killed by Hamas on Oct. 7. 

Hamas’ assault against Israel resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Israelis and left more than 3,400 wounded. The terrorist group also seized around 200 individuals and transported them into Gaza to hold as hostages. Hamas' Health Ministry in Gaza has claimed that at least 3,000 people in Gaza had been killed and over 11,000 wounded. 

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

Greenberg said the three Israeli and Jewish students were afraid that their grades would suffer if they spoke up and were “traumatized” by the experience. The rabbi emphasized that the students’ instructor claimed that Israel is worse than the Nazis and that Hamas, a terrorist group, is “innocent.” 

“This is what Jewish students face at Stanford and other places,” the rabbi said. “They’re feeling isolated, under attack and threatened.”

Amid the war between Israel and Hamas, various protests have erupted worldwide, with some resulting in clashes between anti-Jew/pro-Hamas and pro-Israel demonstrators. 

During a protest earlier this month at Cambridge City Hall, hundreds demonstrated near Harvard University, where they were met by a group of counter-protesters. One of the anti-Israel protestors reportedly called the pro-Israel counter-protesters "Nazis" and "pigs.” 

As the anti-Israel side began to chant "Free, Free Palestine," those on the opposing side countered with the chant "rape is not resistance."

Harvard University has also lost longtime donors after over 30 student groups released a letter shortly after Hamas’ attacks and blamed Israel, not the terrorists, for the violence perpetrated against its citizens. 

"Today's events did not occur in a vacuum," the letter stated. "The apartheid regime is the only one to blame."

Following the letter's release, the law firm Davis Polk announced that it had rescinded letters of employment to three law students who signed the document. Harvard President Claudine Gay also released a statement, clarifying that the views of students or student groups do not speak for the university as a whole.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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