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Fired Prof: I’m Not Anti-Semitic, I Only ‘Faintly’ Imposed Swastika On Israeli Flag

A university lecturer in Australia who was fired amid allegations of anti-Semitism argued that he only “faintly” superimposed a swastika on the Israeli flag during a classroom PowerPoint, The Age reported.

The University of Sydney fired political economy lecturer Tim Anderson in February after numerous warnings about his conduct and use of social media, including posing with a student wearing a badge that said “death to Israel.” The final straw was when he projected the Nazi symbol over the Israeli flag.

But Anderson claims that he is being retaliated against because he lodged formal complaints, and even threatened a lawsuit, against senior university administrators while under internal investigation over the swastika episode.

Besides, Anderson argued, he only “faintly” projected the swastika in the first place.

Anderson was convicted in 1990 of a 1978 bombing at a Sydney hotel hosting a delegation of heads of government, but the verdict was overturned on appeal. While teaching at the university, Anderson made what the Age described as “numerous solidarity visits to Syria and North Korea.”

Anderson, who is being supported by Australia’s National Tertiary Education Union, also claims that the dismissal violated his right as a professor to intellectual freedom. When asked what imposing a swastika on the Israeli flag had to do with intellectual freedom, NTEU secretary Michael Thomson replied: “It’s part of what Tim’s courses were.”

The case is scheduled for mediation on September 18.

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink

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