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University clears professor who made Holocaust-Gaza comparison

By The Associated Press,
First Amendment Center Online staff

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A committee at a California university has cleared a professor who sent an e-mail comparing Israel’s policies in Gaza to the Holocaust.

Officials at the University of California, Santa Barbara, sent a letter June 24 to sociology professor William I. Robinson saying the committee “did not find probable cause to undertake disciplinary action.”

“Accordingly, this matter is now terminated,” the letter said.

In January, Robinson offended some students and others with an e-mail to his “Sociology of Globalization” class that juxtaposed grisly photos from the Nazi era with a recent Gaza offensive.

Jewish groups called the e-mail “hate spam” and claimed Robinson violated university policies barring professors from intimidating students and using campus resources for political reasons.

Robinson has said his justified criticism of Israel’s policies should not be confused as anti-Semitism.

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