Jewish professor booted from USC campus after condemning Hamas

Jewish professor booted from USC campus after condemning Hamas

  • Strauss clashed with pro-Palestinian protestors during a march at the California university
  • He was put on administrative leave with full pay amid growing backlash 


An economics professor from the University of Southern California has been banished from the campus after demonstrators shared edited footage of him condemning Hamas.

John Strauss, who is Jewish, will ‘be teaching his two classes remotely for the rest of the semester,’ USC told The College Fix after video circulated of him engaging with protestors at a pro-Palestinian march in November.

In longer footage, the professor walks past the demonstration as protestors say not to interact with him. He says: ‘People are ignorant. Really ignorant.’

Turning to face the students, he says: ‘Hamas are murderers. That’s all they are. Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are.’

But Instagram accounts purporting to represent students and graduates of USC then shared an edited version with the line, ‘Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are’, cutting prior comments on Hamas.

It was unclear from the redacted version who Strauss was talking about.

The line was shared on a petition, calling for his ‘termination’ and claiming his remarks ‘are not only offensive but also promote and incite violence’.

Strauss has since claimed that his comments were misrepresented. ‘Every one of them, of course, referred to Hamas,’ he told Annenberg Media, a USC-focused news outlet. ‘Then that later was changed to, in the video that was released publicly that was heavily doctored, to Palestinians should be murdered. And that’s not what I said at all.’

Annenberg Media reported that Strauss was later put on administrative leave with full pay, allowed to continue teaching his PhD and undergraduate classes via Zoom only. It was not exactly clear from the report what led to Strauss being put on leave.

Strauss was seen in the video engaging with pro-Palestine supporters during a march earlier this month.

Students had organized a temporary installation with the names of Palestinian civilians killed during Israel’s ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which follows Hamas’ October 7 invasion into Israel and slaughter of more than 1,200 civilians.

Strauss said he was provoked by what he felt were anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments overheard while walking to class.

‘I’m Jewish, I’m very pro-Israel,’ he told USC Annenberg Media. ‘And so I yelled out ‘Israel forever. Hamas are murderers.’

A petition set up by USC Trojans – a football team at the university – slammed the lecturer for ‘his racist, xenophobic behavior, including stepping on names during a memorial service at USC for over 10k innocent civilians that lost their lives in Palestine’.

Strauss maintains stepping on the list was accidental and that he was only trying to get closer to the protestors to speak to them.


Header featured image (edited) credit: Strauss at the USC campus/Annenberg Media



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1 Comment on Jewish professor booted from USC campus after condemning Hamas

  1. With “Hamas” the Professor means all armed people that participated in the “slave uprising” i.e. Palestinian civilians, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Al-Quds brigades), and Hamas armed wing (Al-Qassam brigades). According to military analyst Scott Ritter, Al-Qassam brigades did not target civilians bu target and defeated the 13:th, 51:st, 7:th Mechanized battalions of the Golani brigade as well as Israeli special forces.

    Even if all atrocities were done by Hamas and there were no friendly fire casualties (there seems to have been hundreds of Israeli civilians killed by IDF )
    his statement is still problematic because it blames the victim instead of the illegal occupation. Israel has occupied, bullied, and killed native Non-Jews for 75 years. The sniper killings of unarmed civilians have occurred almost on a weekly basis for at least the last 20 years, see
    Weekly reports and the first chapter in the annual reports
    Add above this that Gaza is an open-air prison where people have no future in sight and where Israel controls food, electricity, water, advanced health care, air space, and sea.
    Prof. Finkelstein equates this with condemning the atrocities of Nat Turner and his gang of slaves in the slave uprising and not the slavery system
    If you “condemn Hamas” you are indirectly saying that Israel has the right to violate international law when it refuses to obey the UN Security Council resolutions which say that it should back off to the pre-1967 lines and thus leave 23% of historical Palestine to the Non-Jew.
    Hamas and PA accept all UN Resolutions, only the US-backed apartheid state is the entity that refuses.
    This is lost if you “condemn Hamas”, then it must logically follow that “Israel has the right to defend itself” to uphold its (illegal) occupation.

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