Professor Apologizes After Calling Israelis 'Savages' and 'Pigs' During War in Gaza

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The war between Israel and Hamas has once again highlighted one of the most challenging problems in international politics. The conflict has reignited tensions that have been boiling under the radar for years. Along with these tensions have come renewed vitriol – and hypocrisy.

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A Chicago professor named Dr. Mika Tosca recently came under fire for posting virulently antisemitic remarks about Israelis as the war in Gaza rages on, referring to them as “pigs” and “savages.”

The full tweet read:

“Israelis are pigs. Savages. Very very bad people. Irredeemable excrement. May they rot in hell”. - Mika Tosca, associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago @saic_news your Israeli and Jewish students deserve better than being taught by this hate filled instructor.

The remarks are not only disturbing given that this is a person charged with educating young minds, but they also grossly generalize an entire nation and people. 

After being called out for her apparent bigotry, Tosca issued an apology. “You did not—and do not—deserve that, and I was wrong to post what I posted,” she said in a post on social media. Bree Witt, spokesperson for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago noted that Tosca’s views “are not reflective of the School or the values we as a community share.”

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Tosca is one of several professors who have faced criticism for going full antisemite after Hamas launched the initial attack on Israel on October 7.

An Emory University assistant professor has been placed on leave because of “antisemitic comments” posted to a private social media account.

In a statement Tuesday, the private university in Atlanta said: “We condemn such comments in the strongest possible terms and have immediately placed this individual on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.”

So, here’s the rub: Aren’t these usually the first people standing on the soapbox virtue signaling about how much they detest bigotry in all its forms? These are the folks who routinely claim to care about the plight of marginalized groups and are quick to call everyone else bigots for not falling in line with progressive “antiracist” ideology.

How would folks like Tosca react if someone smeared all Palestinians because of the actions of Hamas? They would likely push back, claiming that the terrorist group does not represent everyone in the Gaza Strip. They would be right, of course. But why would they not apply this principle to Israelis?

Let’s pause and add a bit of that lost nuance: the Israeli government’s actions, whether one deems them justified or not, should not be used to smear an entire nation, should they? Even if folks like Tosca believe Israel’s government is in the wrong, it makes no sense to assume all Israelis are responsible. Indeed, many of the Israelis slaughtered by Hamas likely sympathized with the plight of the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.

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Unfortunately, the war in Gaza is likely to inspire more such statements from people like Tosca. This is a time when people should be looking for understanding instead of cynically using a conflict that has gone on for ages to attack a group of people.

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