A science lecturer at the UK’s University of Essex has lost his job after an antisemitism fight sparked by the formation of a campus Jewish society.
Concerns were raised at the university over Facebook posts – since deleted – by Dr Maaruf Ali which were alleged to have included Holocaust denial, opposition to the creation of a Jewish society at the university in February and conspiracy theories about Zionism.
Dr Ali denied being anti-Semitic or denying the Holocaust and said his vote against the society had been against the ideology of Zionism.
The BBC reports he said: “I am not against Jews, I don’t hate their religion, their people or their culture.
“I believe that everyone should be allowed to form any society. This is what I’m thinking now – which is what I didn’t think at the time.”
He added that he was objecting to the climate in present day Israel and had never asked for the destruction of the state of Israel.
A University of Essex statement confirmed a member of staff had been dismissed following a tribunal hearing.
“The university has now completed an independent investigation into the serious allegations made against a member of university staff,” it added.
More than 600 people voted on the February ratification of the Jewish society in question, and about 64 percent voted in favor.
Following the poll, the national Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said the fact so many students opposed the ratification of the society was “simply shocking.”
“We are deeply disappointed by the significant proportion of students who have voted against the establishment of a Jewish society at the University of Essex,” a spokesman for the UJS told the BBC at the time.