The Cal State professor absurdly claimed “non-Jews [with coronavirus] will be put in mass prisons” by Israel.
As’ad AbuKhalil, a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus, accused Israel on March 8 of having “different medical procedures for Jews and non-Jews” with regard to coronavirus virus.
His tweet is completely false. Israel not only provides cutting-edge treatment to all citizens, regardless of ethnicity or religion, to combat the deadly virus, it has also extended help to the Palestinian Authority to help it treat the virus and prevent it from spreading.
Israel will—I am sure—have different medical procedures for Jews and non-Jews. Non-Jews will be put in mass prisons. https://t.co/2Xy4rwoRl6
— asad abukhalil أسعد أبو خليل (@asadabukhalil) March 8, 2020
AbuKhalil was characterized as “a virulent anti-Semite who spreads conspiracy theories about the world’s only Jewish state” by David Lange, founder of Israellycool, the website that broke the story.
In an article published in Al Akhbar, AbuKhalil stated that Palestinian freedom is incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel. He is a strong proponent of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks Israel’s destruction.
AbuKhalil received sigificant pushback for his tweet, with one responder commenting, “Professor tweeting horrendous anti-Semitic Nazi-like libelous accusations against Israel. Can only imagine the damage he does to the young minds entrusted to him.”
Social Media in the Time of Coronavirus
Coronavirus has opened the gates of anti-Semitic rhetoric on social media platforms. For example, a post on 4chan, an anonymous English-language social media platform, said, “Send the sick to Israel – if you already die at least take out as many Jews as you can,” according to the the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). A post on Telegram said, “3 down, 5,999,997 to go!” referring to the Jewish population in Israel.
“After news broke that George Washington University had quarantined students who attended this year’s AIPAC Policy Conference, some students reported they were being harassed on Twitter — and even in person – with antisemitic messages,” reported the ADL. “Other Twitter and Facebook accounts continued to echo the extremist rhetoric found on fringe platforms, accusing Jews and/or Israel of creating the virus to kill non-Jews or so that they can profit from the vaccine.”
Though AbuKhalil includes a disclaimer on his Twitter account, “Obviously, my views are my own and not of the university where I teach or the city where I live,” his unfounded accusation about Israel should be addressed by his employer California State University.