The Scholars for Peace in the Middle East petition to reinstate Thomas Klocek, the Roman Catholic faculty member who was fired by DePaul University without due process for challenging Muslim students’ assertions of Israeli treatment of Palestinians to the Nazi’s treatment of Jews, has already amassed over 1200 signatures in just three weeks.
The petition, which can be viewed and signed at http://www.spme.net/cgi-bin/display_petitions.cgi?ID=3 calls for his complete reinstatement without prejudice or penalty.
Morry Fiddler, a professor at DePaul University, writes, ” If I’m not there for a colleague, then who will be there for me?” Other DePaul professors signing the petition to date are Allan Berele, Gary Siegel, Jonathan Cohen and Jerold Friedland.
Bernard Arfin of Stanford University asks, ” What has happened to freedom of speech?”
Simon Levy at Boston University calls the incident, ” A clear violation of academic standards,” while his colleague, Susan Biener Bergman, also at BU, states, ” It seems that at DePaul University, there is a climate of intimidation of anyone having pro-Israel views. What a shame. I thought that academic freedom meant just that.”
Nicholas G. Hahn III, Treasurer of the DePaul Conservative Alliance writes, “…Klocek, as a devout Catholic, deserves the same amount of respect as the Middle Eastern students, especially at a University that claims to be the larges Catholic University in America.” Mark Mason, a student at DePaul states, ” I am a liberal Democrat, and believe that Thomas Klocek had the right to say what he said and should not be penalized for exercising his free speech outside of the classroom….” Richard Kinkead, a 1977 graduate of DePaul goes on to say, ” You pay Ward Churchhill to come, but you fire this honest professor. And you wonder why I don’t send you a check every year….” And Karen Hunstad says, ” As I look at colleges for my son, DePaul will not be one of them. What happened to free and open discussion of ideas and thoughts?
From around the world, Ivan Cher of University of New South Wales, Australia asks, ” How could such a thing happen in a prestigious university?” Lilly Dimitrovsky at Bar-Ilan University calls the discharge, “disgraceful,” while Daniel Sudwarts at Queen Mary University of London is ” disgusted and offended at the ignorance of supposed academics and intellectuals.”
Jack Arbiser of Emory University in Atlanta states, ” The reputation of your university rides upon this case. If Dr. Klocek is fired, I and others will look upon your school as a trade school rather than a university.”
George Flesh of Harvard reminds us that: DePaul can still recover its reputation, by doing the right thing.”
For Further Information Contact, Dr. Edward S. Beck, President, [email protected] or 717.576.5038
Edward S. Beck
Co-Founder and President Emeritus, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Contributing Faculty Member, Walden University
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- Faculty As Stakeholders in Campus Discourse
- Academic Freedom, Free Speech and Academic Accountability for Faculty
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- The Jewish Psyche: A Distinct But Diverse Multicultural Minority
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