University of Minnesota Pauses Hiring of Professor Tapped to Lead Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies Who Called Israel’s War Against Hamas Terrorists a ‘Textbook Case of Genocide’

Raz Segal/Image: Video screenshot

The University of Minnesota has reportedly walked back plans to hire academic Raz Segal as the new head of the university’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS).

Although they have not publically announced the decision, the university received public blowback after two members of the center’s advisory board resigned, citing, in part, Segals’s stance after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks.

In an article in Jewish Currents on Oct. 13, just days after October 7, Segal called Israel’s military operation against Hamas “a textbook case of genocide.”

Segal wrote, “The assault on Gaza can also be understood in other terms: as a textbook case of genocide unfolding in front of our eyes. I say this as a scholar of genocide, who has spent many years writing about Israeli mass violence against Palestinians.”

In a piece in NJ Spotlight News Segal suggested that complaints from Jewish students regarding campus safety amid unauthorized anti-Israel protests were “baseless” and that anti-Jewish student protesters “aren’t escalating anything” but are subject to “a vicious police attack against them.”

In the Los Angeles Times, Segal argued that the creation of the Jewish state “reproduced the racism and white supremacy that had targeted Jews for exclusion.”

According to The Jewish Insider, a  spokesperson for the University of Minnesota told the outlet that the director selection process was put on hold “to allow an opportunity to determine next steps.”

“Members of the university community have come forward to express their interest in providing perspective on the hiring of the position of Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies,” the spokesperson said. “Because of the community-facing and leadership role the director holds, it is important that these voices are heard.”

According to an internal email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon (WFB), on Friday, Minnesota’s interim College of Liberal Arts dean, Ann Waltner, extended an offer to Segal to serve as the center’s chair.

Almost immediately, French professor Bruno Chaouat and music professor Karen Painter announced their resignation from the center’s advisory board.

WFB shared both Chaouat and Painter’s resignation letters.

Chaouat wrote in part, “Professor Segal, by justifying Hamas’s atrocities five days after they occurred (via a perverse allegation that Israel was committing a genocide), cannot fulfill the mission of the Center.”

“He has failed to recognize the genocidal intent of Hamas. He does not understand that a movement like Hamas is inherently fascist and represents precisely what CHGS stands against.”

Painter wrote that Segal “has positioned himself on an extreme end of the political ideological spectrum with his publications on Israel and Gaza.”

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