By Dom Giordano
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Does Temple University accept as historical fact that the Holocaust happened and that six million Jews were killed by the Nazis? I ask these questions because Temple, citing academic freedom, is defending the rights of Temple Adjunct Professor Alessio Lerro to engage in a secret listserv dialogue with other professors who oppose Israel and say, “Jewish scholars have humungous influence over the entirety of academia.”
The professor also stated “It is time that Zionists are asked to finally account for their support to the illegal occupation of Palestine since 1967.”
The professor followed up these comments by posting on his Facebook page 6 million? Mh … we all know [ or should know] that the counting of Jews is a bit controversial.”
The professor is a gamer and mh is internet slang for map hack, a term meaning cheating to gain an advantage. In other words, this professor is claiming Jews are “gaming” the Holocaust numbers in order to gain a sympathy advantage.
Let’s play the game of this gamer and ask “What if it is 5.8 million killed or 4.2 or 3 million? How does that matter? Why is the professor so interested in counting dead people?
Can you imagine if this professor said the number of women claiming to be raped is very overblown? Suppose he said slavery wasn’t as bad as some recent films have portrayed it? You would not get away easily with these things. So why should a virulent group of professors continue to engage in language that is not only vile but demonstrably inaccurate?
I want Temple University to condemn this professor and ask that he defend these statements, particularly the debate over Holocaust numbers. This is not about academic freedom. It’s about accuracy.