Jew-hating professor leaves Auckland Uni after outcry

Scott Poynting, the professor who hates Jews and whom we busted for his anti-semitism, will no longer be poisoning students at Auckland University.

A?University of Auckland professor is to leave his job after an anti-Semitism row sparked by a letter to the Waikato Times.

Acclaimed hate crimes expert?Professor Scott Poynting??compared an?Israeli company?employing Palestinians to a German company employing Jews. The commentary?rankled various groups, including the New Zealand Jewish Council and a fellow academic, who?complained to the university,?branding the professor’s letter?to the editor as anti-Semitic.

University?Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon addressed the complainants in a letter, which he detailed investigations had been undertaken. The institution had?found Poynting not?guilty of professional?misconduct and it had been suggested to Poynting he should write a second letter to the editor of the Waikato Times?clarifying he was not intending to make anti-Semitic remarks, McCutcheon said.

Poynting had refused to write a clarification, so McCutcheon apologised?on behalf of the educational institution.

“… I do acknowledge that the way in which Scott?Poynting?expressed himself caused considerable distress to many members of the community. On behalf of the University of Auckland, I offer my own sincere apologies for that distress,” McCutcheon wrote.

However, the final line of McCutcheon’s?letter saw the New Zealand Tertiary Education Union (TEU) wade?into the debate.

“Professor?Poynting’s?employment with the University of Auckland concludes on 30 June 2016.”

It was important to note Poynting was retiring in June, as had always been the case,?TEU organiser?Enzo?Giodani?said.

The university, however,?would not confirm the manner of his departure.

Good riddance.

The New Zealand Jewish Council was not satisfied with McCutcheon’s letter, either.

?In a joint statement,?New Zealand Jewish Council chairman?Geoff Levy?and president Stephen Goodman said they were still seeking an apology from Poynting, and wanted the University of Auckland?to publicly distance itself from the remarks.

“The hateful views expressed by Professor Poynting in his letter to the?Waikato Times have no place in New Zealand, let alone within our academic institutions. While it is reassuring to know that Poynting will not be working at the University of Auckland much longer, the private nature of the apology from Professor McCutcheon does not promote transparency or proper accountability.

“The New Zealand Jewish Council would have expected the University of Auckland to publicly distance itself from the views of Professor Poynting, as other universities have done in similar situations, rather than privately apologise for any distress caused.”

Poynting had written, “Thank you for explaining in your article how SodaStream generously provided work for Palestinians (Waikato Times, November 26). I understand that IG Farben provided work for large numbers of Jews. Not that I have anything against Germans, mind you.”

He signed it Scott Poynting?and did not make any mention of his professional capacity.

As is usual, the union has waded in on?the?side of a Jew-hating professor.

The letter was written as a private citizen and should not be considered as a work-related matter, nor should it come under the guise of academic freedom,?Academic Freedom Aotearoa co-founder and TEU president Sandra Grey said.

Academic freedom is the belief that?scholars should be able to criticise or comment?on ideas or facts that may be controversial to political groups or authorities?without being targeted for repression, job loss, or imprisonment.

“He wasn’t speaking as an academic … There was no misconduct, so the matter ends there. Just because people were made uncomfortable doesn’t mean it is misconduct,” Grey said.

Just like the NZEI protecting a child rapist…nothing to see here so move along.


– Fairfax