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UC Merced Investigates Twitter Account of Professor

The University of California, Merced, is investigating a professor’s Twitter account, which he recently deleted. The tweets on the account were reportedly anti-Semitic, with The Fresno Bee reporting that they included “an image of a ‘Zionist brain’ with the labels ‘frontal money lobe,’ ‘Holocaust memory centre’ and ‘world domination lobe.'” In December, he commented on another person’s tweet by saying, “the Zionists and IsraHell interest have embedded themselves in every component of the American system, media, banking, policy, commerce … just a veneer of serving US interest and population pp everyone pretends that is the case.”

The professor is Abbas Ghassemi, who teaches engineering. He did not respond to a request for comment.

The chancellor at Merced, Juan Sánchez Muñoz, and the provost, Gregg A. Camfield, issued a statement on the tweets.

“A Twitter account associated with a faculty member included messages that crossed the line established by the Board of Regents in their 2016 Statement of Principles Against Intolerance condemning anti-Semitism and ‘anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism,’ and affirming that ‘acts of discrimination that demean our differences, are antithetical to the values of the university and serve to undermine its purpose.’ The opinions presented in this Twitter account do not represent UC Merced or the University of California. They were abhorrent and repugnant to us and to many of our colleagues and neighbors; they were harmful to our university, our students, and our years of work to build an inclusive and welcoming community,” the statement said.

They added, “We have called upon the dean and department chair to work with the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel to conduct an inquiry into potential violations of our standards, the UC Faculty Code of Conduct or other policies of the university, to determine what consequences are appropriate.”

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