(JTA) — A British university has fired a lecturer who condemned the formation of a campus Jewish society and shared Holocaust denial material on social media.
Maaruf Ali, a lecturer in computers and electronics at the University of Essex, wrote in February on Facebook that “the Zionists next want to create a society here at our university.” Students at the time were voting online on whether to approve a campus Jewish organization, but the student union canceled the vote and approved the creation of the Jewish society. Among the some 600 students who had already voted, 64 percent approved the society.
In a statement, the university told the London-based Jewish Chronicle that its investigation “into the serious allegations made against a member of staff” was completed.
“Following a tribunal hearing which considered all the evidence, the member of staff has been dismissed,” a spokesperson said.
The university is located in southeast England, between London and the North Sea.
Among the Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic posts Ali shared on social media was one from Edgar J. Steele, a lawyer known for defending white supremacists. It said: “In all of German Occupied Europe, there resided 2.4 million Jews before the war, according to the world Jewish encyclopedia. After the war, 3.8 million Jewish ‘Holocaust survivors’ were receiving pensions from the German government … Tragically, the remaining 6 million were lost.”
Ali told a university tribunal hearing that he objects to the current climate in Israel and his vote against the society had been because of the ideology of Zionism, the BBC reported.
“I am not against Jews, I don’t hate their religion, their people or their culture,” he said, according to the BBC. “I believe that everyone should be allowed to form any society. This is what I’m thinking now — which is what I didn’t think at the time.”