Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

University of Illinois Rescinds Offer to Professor After Anti-Israel Tweets

The University of Illinois rescinded a job offer to an incoming professor who harshly criticized Israel on Twitter.

Steven Salaita, who was offered a job at the Champaign-Urbana campus in the American Indian studies program, will not be hired, according to a report by the website Inside Higher Education.

Steven Salaita

The move reportedly was made in response to concerns civility following a series of tweets in which Salaita criticized Israel and supporters of Israel in stark terms. Inside Higher Education cited sources familiar with the university’s decision.

Salaita’s tweets included, “At this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised? #Gaza.” Another tweet said, “Ever wonder what would happen if the KKK had F-16s and access to a surplus population of minorities? See #Israel and #Gaza.”

Salaita also retweeted this tweet that seemingly advocated the murder of journalist Jeffrey Goldberg: “Jeffrey goldberg’s story should have ended at the pointy end of a shiv.”

According to Inside Higher Education, the university had announced that Salaita would be hired, and Salaita had already resigned his position as an associate professor at Virginia Tech in its English department.

However, University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise reportedly informed Salaita that his appointment would not go to the university’s board of trustees for approval.

A university spokeswoman had stressed faculty members’ right to free speech when asked about Salaita’s tweets, according to The News-Gazette, a local newspaper.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.