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He Accused Israel of Genocide Days After Oct. 7. The University of Minnesota Tapped Him To Lead Its Genocide Studies Center.


On Oct. 13, just six days after Hamas terrorists infiltrated the Jewish state and slaughtered more than 1,000 Israelis, Stockton University professor Raz Segal penned an op-ed accusing Israel of genocide. Months later, the University of Minnesota tapped Segal to lead its Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, prompting resignations from members of the center’s advisory board.

On Friday, Minnesota’s interim College of Liberal Arts dean, Ann Waltner, extended an offer to Segal to serve as the center’s chair, according to an internal email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The decision prompted immediate pushback from members of the center’s advisory board, with two members—French professor Bruno Chaouat and music professor Karen Painter—announcing their resignation from the board within hours.

“My understanding is that the core mission of the Center is to educate locally and internationally on the specific history of the Holocaust and of genocides in order to raise awareness and prevent further dehumanization and violence,” Chaouat wrote in a resignation email to colleagues explaining his resignation, which was shared with the Free Beacon.

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“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,” Chaouat continued. “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 echoed that rhetoric, writing in a Friday resignation email obtained by the Free Beacon that Segal “has positioned himself on an extreme end of the political ideological spectrum with his publications on Israel and Gaza.”

The ordeal comes as the public university grapples with high-profile anti-Semitic incidents—and a federal probe into complaints of anti-Semitism at the school.

Last week, for example, the Minnesota Hillel building saw its windows smashed in an act of vandalism. In January, the Biden administration launched an investigation into the school after faculty departments within the College of Liberal Arts posted anti-Israel statements to their websites.

Now, the university is scrambling to distance itself from Segal as faculty members revolt. In a Monday statement, a university spokeswoman said the school “paused” Segal’s appointment “to determine next steps.”

Segal, who did not respond to a request for comment, has rallied against Israel in the wake of Oct. 7.

In his Oct. 13 op-ed, published in Jewish Currents, he referred to Israel’s “assault on Gaza” 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,” Segal wrote. “I have written about settler colonialism and Jewish supremacy in Israel, the distortion of the Holocaust to boost the Israeli arms industry, the weaponization of antisemitism accusations to justify Israeli violence against Palestinians, and the racist regime of Israeli apartheid. Now, following Hamas’s attack on Saturday and the mass murder of more than 1,000 Israeli civilians, the worst of the worst is happening.”

In a May interview with NJ Spotlight News, meanwhile, Segal dismissed complaints from Jewish students regarding campus safety amid unauthorized anti-Israel protests. Such complaints are “baseless,” Segal wrote, adding that student protesters “aren’t escalating anything” and are subject to “a vicious police attack against them.” In a January Los Angeles Times article, he argued that the creation of the Jewish state “reproduced the racism and white supremacy that had targeted Jews for exclusion.”

Painter, who began teaching at the University of Minnesota in 2007, told the Free Beacon that Segal’s appointment was entirely the decision of Waltner, who has served as the College of Liberal Arts’ interim dean since July 2023. The search committee excluded representation from Jewish stakeholders, Painter said.

In particular, the university’s Center for Jewish Studies director was excluded from the search committee, according to Painter. In her resignation email to provost Rachel Croson and interim president Jeff Ettinger, Painter argued the Holocaust center’s director should not be “someone who blames Israel for the rape and murder of 1200 civilians, and kidnapping of hundred more.”

“Educating the current generation of students about the Holocaust is critically important,” Painter wrote in the email. “Instead, an interim dean of CLA, despite substantial opposition from faculty and others, has offered the Holocaust center directorship to someone who will accomplish nothing of the kind.”

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas was also excluded from the search committee, despite its close working relationship with the Holocaust center. The two have worked together to shape Holocaust education standards and benchmarks for state schools.

In an email to the University of Minnesota’s board of regents, Richard Painter, a law professor at the school and the husband of Karen Painter, also lambasted the decision to appoint Segal, whose “views on the Middle East conflict are extreme, and deeply offensive to many people who believe Israel has a right to defend itself.”

“It’s one thing to hire yet more instructional staff with such extreme views; there are numerous extreme left instructors in CLA already. Nothing new,” he wrote. “It is quite another thing to hire an extremist to run the Holocaust Center. The last thing we need is a Holocaust Center director who blames Israel rather than Hamas for genocidal intent in the Middle East.”

Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration before launching multiple congressional campaigns as a Democrat, also lamented what he called a pattern of anti-Semitism at the College of Liberal Arts.

On Oct. 13., for example, a group of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies faculty members released a statement that reaffirmed “support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement” and called on “students, colleagues, and friends around the country to call for lifting the siege, ending the occupation, and dismantling Israel’s apartheid system.”

Two months later, in December, the college considered an anti-Israel professor in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies department, Sima Shakhsari, for a top diversity, equity, and inclusion position, Jewish Insider reported. Shakhsari denied Hamas terrorists raped Israeli women on Oct. 7 and was seen on campus attending an anti-Israel rally, chanting, “Globalize the Intifada.”

The post He Accused Israel of Genocide Days After Oct. 7. The University of Minnesota Tapped Him To Lead Its Genocide Studies Center. appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.