ACLJ Targets Major University's Antisemitism In First Lawsuit of 2022
In our first lawsuit of 2022, we are representing a professor who taught at the University of Maryland for 10 years until she was fired in 2017 for her pro-Israel views and her Jewish faith. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advised the university to settle the case. They refused, and so we filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Maryland.
Our client, Dr. Melissa Landa explained what exactly happened in this case:
I formed an alumni organization at my alma mater at Oberlin College when I discovered that there was a virulent antisemitic professor there . . . I began to appear in the press representing this alumni group and essentially, we were calling for her dismissal. And once that began to happen, I began to experience a hostile work environment at the University of Maryland. My superiors began to pull away from me. My associate chair with whom I was supposed to be delivering a paper at a conference canceled and said he would not deliver the paper with me. When I went to Israel for Passover, I was reprimanded and told I was out of bounds from university policy and I needed to come back. . . . I had authorization. I was covering my classes. I was following university protocol. . . . I came back early, my Passover was ruined. . . . On the first night of Passover, I received a hostile email from my superior telling me that I was basically at risk of losing my job. I came back almost immediately. . . . I absolutely had approval to go. . . . She did not respond to my attempts to reach her. Things just went from bad to worse. . . . So, there was a sequence of events that would happen I would take one action that related to my Jewish identity and my Zionist identity and I was then punished. And this went on for over a year.
ACLJ Senior Counsel Mark Goldfeder explained the legal process of this case:
Just to give a little context – Dr. Landa . . . was an award-winning professor, extremely popular, had no problems until she started expressing her Jewish faith more openly. And essentially, when that happened and her supervisor started to withdrawal from her, Dr. Landa experienced this as the religious discrimination that it was. She eventually reported religious discrimination to the college diversity officer. When she came back from that Passover trip . . . that’s when she met with the supervisor in person. And the supervisor admitted that she had granted Dr. Landa permission for the trip and said that she never should have, and she had never realized that Passover is so long. In that same meeting, the supervisor also accused Dr. Landa of somehow using her with her religion. That’s when it really crossed a line. That’s when Dr. Landa filed her first religious discrimination complaint to the college diversity officer.
Antisemitism is not only an issue on college campuses, but also worldwide.
Recently, Israel’s Foreign Minister responded to an interview question that asked him if his country had “the ability to strike uranium enrichment facilities or weapons sites in Iran” to which he confidently said:
Israel has capabilities, some of which the world, and even some experts in the field, cannot even imagine. And Israel will protect itself against the Iranian threat.
So not that they will, but that they are capable. How did Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian respond? He tweeted out:
We will forcefully and rationally defend the rights, interests, and progress of the Iranian people. . . . Zionism has no place in the future of the world.
So, he’s allowed to call for the destruction of an entire group of people? ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell called out this anti-Israel rhetoric:
The idea that they are allowed to spew this hate on a platform like Twitter, and Twitter doesn’t even notice, is an outrage. You layer on top of that the fact that Twitter is really jumpy towards conservatives and aggressive about silencing conservatives. I think we’ve got a real problem here. On the larger issue of Iran, you know what the Israeli Foreign Minister did was give a credible threat of military action. This is something that the Biden Administration hasn’t been able to do.
To think amidst all of this, the United States is sitting at the table with the Iranians right now and trying to negotiate. ACLJ Senior Military Analyst Wes Smith explained this hypocrisy:
We do know from Iran’s own statements . . . they are demanding that all sanctions be lifted, not just the sanctions regarding their nuclear research and development. . . . They have sanctions for their . . . terrorism activities. They have indicated they will walk away from the table unless those sanctions are lifted. Here’s the thing most experts believe that there is a real possibility right now Iran is not months but weeks away from a breakout to have its first nuclear weapon. There is a reason Iran is dragging their feet and playing hardball because they think they have the win in this situation. That is frightening for Israel, the United States, and for the world.
Israel is our greatest ally in the Middle East. We must defend against these anti-Israel attacks that are happening worldwide.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of our first lawsuit of 2022 and the Twitter exchange between Israel’s and Iran’s Foreign Ministers.
Watch the full broadcast below.