Rutgers Professor Posts Anti-Semitic, Homophobic Social Media Comments

Accused Jews of 'dirty deeds, Israel of 'terrorist' activities

Rutgers University / Wikimedia Commons

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A tenured Rutgers University professor has published a host of social media posts containing anti-Semitic and homophobic comments, including references to "international fat Jewish pockets" and blaming Jews for the Armenian genocide.

Michael Chikindas, of the department of food science and director of the Rutgers Center for Digestive Health, has posted tens of comments since at least 2015 on Jews' "dirty deeds" and Israel's "terrorist" activities. He has posted multiple images depicting Jewish men in skullcaps with long hooked noses, with one insinuating Jews control the legal system, the media, the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, "sex-trafficking" and "pornography," and more.

anti-Semitic post

Chikindas wrote in one post, "Israel, the country of the Jews and for the Jews, has one of the highest percentage of gays in the world," and commented in another that the reason Israel was failing "at genocidal extermination of the land's native population, Palestinians" was "because of the number of the Jews of ‘alternative' sexual orientation (25 percent of the Tel Aviv inhabitants are gay/lesbians and Israel has more of these than the Netherlands)."

Though Chikindas previously had relations with a number of Israeli institutions, including its Ministry of Agriculture and the University of Haifa, he appears to have cut ties with Israel-related projects in 2015.

He has indicated that he implemented a boycott of Israeli scholars, writing, "I am very proud saying that I ignore all of Israel's academic requests to assist them professionally."

Chikindas serves as an external examiner and reviewer for grants from the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture, according to his curriculum vitae.

He has himself received multiple NIH grants since 2005, totaling over $800,000, with an ongoing project being granted $191,884 last summer.

Chikindas has repudiated charges of anti-Semitism, telling Jewish newspaper the Algemeiner that he had ties to the Jewish community, including being of partial Jewish descent and fathering a child with a Jewish woman.

Chikindas claimed his posts reflected racist content in classic Jewish texts and negative comments he has received from Hebrew-language social media users.

Rutgers spokesperson Neal Buccino told the Washington Free Beacon, "The university is reviewing this matter to determine if actions taken in the context of his role as a faculty member at Rutgers may have violated that policy."

While maintaining that Rutgers respects its faculty's right "to express their viewpoints in public forums as private citizens," Buccino said the university "must also foster an environment free from discrimination, as articulated in our policy prohibiting discrimination."

Chikindas's "comments and posts on social media are antithetical to our university's principles and values of respect for people of all backgrounds, including, among other groups, our large and vibrant Jewish community. Such comments do not represent the position of the university," added Buccino.

In November 2016, Oberlin College fired Joy Karega, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, after exposure of her social media posts claiming Israel was responsible for 9/11, ISIS, and the 2015 Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris. Karega also shared cartoons promoting anti-Semitic tropes, including one stating that Jewish individuals "own your news, the media, your oil and your government."

Jewish lecturer of University of Maryland was allegedly dismissed from her position in part due to her role in revealing Karega's comments.

Rachel Frommer

Rachel Frommer   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Rachel Frommer is a staff writer with the Washington Free Beacon reporting on campus issues, including anti-free speech and anti-Israel activity. Prior to the Free Beacon, she was the senior campus correspondent at The Algemeiner. Her work has been picked up by Fox News, Newsweek, and the New York Post. She graduated from Touro College in 2016 with a BA in English literature. Her Twitter handle is @Rachel_Frommer, and her email address is frommer@freebeacon.com.

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