Rutgers University recently announced that it fired an erstwhile lecturer, Mazen Adi. After hiring Adi in 2015, the school late came to find out that he was one of Bashir Al Assad’s top diplomats.
Besides being a top official in the government of the dictator Bashir Al Assad, of Syria, Mazen Adi also had a long history of anti-semitic comments. He had been teaching in the Department of Political Science, and his history was apparently unknown to Rutgers. However, they did begin to suspect something was off, when Adi had issued several defenses in his classroom of terrorism as a legitimate form of the “resistance” against Israeli “occupation.”
In his time as the Syrian government’s representative in the UN between years 2007 and 2014, Adi had accused Israelis of “trafficking children’s organs,” which Israel defended by saying that it is nothing but modern-day blood libel.
Initially defending the hiring of Adi in Rutgers University, the President of Rutgers, Robert Barchi, went on to say that the hiring is justified by his “expertise in international law and diplomacy, and other fields.” Barchi further claimed that Adi’s rhetoric was protected on the grounds of academic freedom.
Hillel Neuer, the head of UN Watch, an organization that monitors all of the UN for any anti-Israel bias, said, “If true, the apparent removal of Mazen Adi, who defended the genocidal policies of the Assad regime as its spokesman at the United Nations, is a small but important victory for moral clarity on our university campuses. UN Watch calls on Rutgers University to stop playing word games and confirm that this advocate of war crimes will never again teach their students about human rights and the laws of war.”
Keith Krivitzky, the CEO of the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, in his response to Barchi’s statements, said, “My perception coming out of this meeting is that the university administration feels it needs to manage and balance the sensitivities of many groups on campus such as the large Muslim population.”