USC Drops Investigation Into Jewish Prof Who Told Students "Hamas Are Murderers" Who "Should Be Killed"

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jun 25, 2024 - 09:40 PM

Authored by Adam Sabes via Campus Reform,

The University of Southern California dropped an investigation spurred by student complaints against a Jewish professor who said “Hamas are murderers” during class.

Economics Professor John Strauss on Nov. 9 told pro-Palestinian activists while walking past them that “Hamas are murderers...That’s all they are. Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are killed.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, video of the exchange went viral on social media and over 10 students filed complaints against Strauss, who’s Jewish.

They accused him of harassment, discrimination, and fostering an unsafe environment.

Strauss was quickly placed under an investigation, which ended on Tuesday when administrators told the professor that the investigation is being dismissed with no discipline.

“I’m relieved,” Strauss told the Los Angeles Times. 

“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been fully exonerated and they’re not doing anything to punish me, and it’s over.”

Samantha Harris, his attorney, said she’s “frustrated that it took seven months to reach an obvious conclusion.”

Amr Shabaik, legal director of CAIR-LA, who assisted some of the students with their complaints, told the outlet that he’s disappointed that the complaints were dismissed.

“We are disappointed that USC has found no wrongdoing despite the professor being captured on camera going out of his way to harass and intimidate USC students honoring the lives of innocent Palestinians killed by Israel,” Shabaik said.

On Nov. 20, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression sent a letter to USC, calling for the investigation to be dropped.

”FIRE is concerned by USC’s decision to require that Professor John Strauss teach remotely for the rest of the semester in response to his comments to pro-Palestinian protesters last week. While his remarks may have been deeply offensive to some or even many listeners, they are protected by USC policy and thus cannot serve as the basis of discipline,” the organization wrote.

FIRE Program Officer Jessie Appleby said Strauss’s speech was “clearly protected.”

”We’re thrilled that the complaints against Professor Strauss were finally dismissed and he has been cleared of any misconduct. But USC’s actions—barring a professor from campus and subjecting him to a 7-month investigation for clearly protected political speech—clearly violated its express commitment to protect faculty speech,” Appleby said.