U.S. University Trying to Shut Down pro-Israel Professor? · 05 February 2004


Arutz Sheva News Service, 02/06/04

A University of Pennsylvania assistant professor, Francisco Gil-White, has publicly claimed that his university administration intends to dismiss him from his post - all because of his pro-Israel, philo-Semitic and pro-Serbian views.

The assistant professor was told directly, and by a senior faculty member who is also a co-founder and co-director of the University's Solomon Asch Center, where Gil-White is a Fellow, "If you really feel that compelled by [your political convictions], you should resign your academic position, and move on to journalism."

As Professor Gil-White told Arutz-7 this week, he rubbed his colleagues and superiors at the Asch Center the wrong way ever since he reversed his previous pro-Arab position regarding Israel (as he wrote about in a series of articles appearing on Arutz-7; see http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=2322 and Islamist terrorism.

In addition, it will be recalled, Professor Gil-White was the sole faculty whistleblower who publicly confronted the University of Pennsylvania for partly funding the lecture of a blatant racist and anti-Semite as part of its Islam Awareness Week. The administration never voiced any official response regarding the issue.

"Given their silence, I worry all the more that perhaps the university will give its answer by terminating my employment," Gil-White wrote to the head of his Department.

In contrast, Gil-White's previous "extra-curricular activities" against Israel did not attract any negative comment or veiled threats from fellow faculty or administration. In September 2001, before Professor Gil-White's research led him to a pro-Israel position, but after he began teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, he wrote a widely publicized letter that was highly sympathetic to Islamist rage and blamed Muslim hatred for America on, among other things, Israel. In reaction to that expression of his "political convictions", Gil-White says, he received warm praise from Ian Lustick, associate director of the Solomon Asch Center.

Last week, Professor Gil-White explains in an article in the Daily Pennsylvanian, he was told that his reappointment to the Psychology Department, while approved by tenured faculty, was not certain, because some tenured faculty had "serious problems" with his performance, "grave misgivings" and there was a "lack of unanimity". Such a review could prompt the university administration to decide against renewing the assistant professor's reappointment.

However, as Francisco Gil-White meets or exceeds every academic criteria for reappointment - including peer review, publication and student evaluations - and in light if the comment made to him explicitly warning him to drop his current political activities, he assumes that the "grave misgivings" are about his politics - as regularly voiced on the Emperor's New Clothes website - and not his qualifications.