UC Merced prof with antisemitic tweets now under formal investigation

Savage Premium Subscription


UC Merced’s preliminary inquiry into teaching professor Abbas Ghassemi, who owned a Twitter account rife with antisemitic content, has become a formal investigation into whether he violated the faculty’s code of conduct. Ghassemi’s Twitter account was deleted shortly after J. uncovered the antisemitic content in December. Among his roughly 2,200 tweets was a picture of a “Zionist brain” with the labels “frontal money lobe,” “Holocaust memory centre” and “world domination lobe.” In other tweets, he stated that Zionists and Israel controlled American banking, media, government policy and commerce. The account included his academic title, his name and a photo of him. His bio stated he was a professor at UC Merced. Eight days after Ghassemi’s account was exposed, university leadership condemned his tweets, with Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz calling them “abhorrent” and “repugnant,” saying that an inquiry would be launched. Less than a month later, the university removed Ghassemi from its teaching roster for the spring semester. The now formal investigation and details surrounding it were made public through a May court filing by Ghassemi attorney Michael J. DeNiro in Merced County Superior Court. In the filing made against the UC system’s governing board, the Regents of the University of California, Ghassemi is listed as “John Doe,” in an attempt by his attorney to protect his client’s identity. DeNiro, based in Santa Barbara, specializes in First Amendment cases related to academia.

Read More