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Scholar Who Accused Israel of Genocide Will No Longer Lead U of Minnesota Holocaust Center

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But May Become Professor as Consolation Prize

By: Jessica Costescu

The University of Minnesota has rescinded an offer to run its Center of Holocaust and Genocide Studies to an anti-Israel scholar who has accused the Jewish state of genocide and downplayed anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses. But that scholar, Stockton University’s Raz Segal, could still join the school as a faculty member.

University of Minnesota interim president Jeff Ettinger announced the move during a Friday board meeting, saying the school “will initiate a new international search” for its next Holocaust center director during the “25-26 academic year.”

“No employment offers through the center’s new director are currently outstanding,” Ettinger said.

That announcement came roughly one week after the school offered the director job to Segal, who accused Israel of genocide just six days after Hamas terrorists infiltrated the Jewish state and slaughtered scores of civilians. The offer prompted immediate pushback from members of the Holocaust center’s advisory board, with two members resigning in protest, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

While Segal will no longer lead the center, he is still considering a faculty appointment to the University of Minnesota’s history department. That role was a part of the school’s initial offer to Segal, and after the school paused his Holocaust center director appointment, Segal “received a call from the university provost offering him an academic position in the history department without directorship of the center,” according to the Sahan Journal.

“He said he is still interested in the academic position, though he has not yet received a revised job offer,” the outlet reported.

A university spokeswoman, Andria Waclawski, said Ettinger’s Friday comments were “specifically about only the director role, not a faculty position,” leaving the door open for Segal to join the school’s history department.

The ordeal comes as the public university grapples with high-profile anti-Semitic incidents, as well as a federal probe into complaints of anti-Semitism at the school.

Last week, for example, the University of Minnesota Hillel building saw its windows smashed in an act of vandalism. In January, meanwhile, the Biden administration launched an investigation into the school after faculty departments within the College of Liberal Arts posted anti-Israel statements to their websites.

Segal, who did not respond to a request for comment, has rallied against the Jewish state in the wake of the Oct. 7 terror attack.

In an Oct. 13 op-ed, published in Jewish Currents, he referred to Israel’s “assault on Gaza” as “textbook case of genocide unfolding in front of our eyes.”

“I say this as a scholar of genocide, who has spent many years writing about Israeli mass violence against Palestinians,” Segal wrote. “I have written about settler colonialism and Jewish supremacy in Israel, the distortion of the Holocaust to boost the Israeli arms industry, the weaponization of anti-Semitism accusations to justify Israeli violence against Palestinians, and the racist regime of Israeli apartheid. Now, following Hamas’s attack on Saturday and the mass murder of more than 1,000 Israeli civilians, the worst of the worst is happening.”

In a May interview with NJ Spotlight News, meanwhile, Segal dismissed complaints from Jewish students regarding campus safety amid unauthorized anti-Israel protests. Such complaints are “baseless,” Segal wrote, adding that student protesters “aren’t escalating anything” and are subject to “a vicious police attack against them.” In a January Los Angeles Times article, he argued that the creation of the Jewish state “reproduced the racism and white supremacy that had targeted Jews for exclusion.”

Segal’s subsequent appointment as Holocaust center head prompted two members of the center’s advisory board—music professor Karen Painter and French professor Bruno Chaouat—to resign immediately.

Painter told the Free Beacon she requested to rejoin the board as soon as she learned the search for a new director was paused. She confirmed Segal “still has an offer from the Provost to teach in the history department.”

“I requested to rejoin the board as soon as I learned that the search was paused,” Painter said. “Both Holocaust experts resigned from the board, and we owe it to the university and the field to provide our expertise.”

Chaouat, meanwhile, told the Free Beacon that no one has invited him to rejoin the board—or acknowledged his resignation.

“No one has invited me to rejoin the board, and in fact no one acknowledged my resignation. I have become invisible on campus,” he said.

During Friday’s meeting, Ettinger said the new search for a Holocaust center director would include a “robust community engagement plan … including the participation of community members on the search committee.” The search committee that spearheaded Segal’s appointment excluded representation from Jewish stakeholders, the Free Beacon reported.

“The committee was made up of faculty and staff, including members of the center’s advisory board who have academic expertise in this area,” Ettinger said Friday. “But unlike in the previous search for this position, there were no community members named to serve on the committee.”

          (FreeBeacom.com)

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