A pro-Palestine professor of anthropology has been fired from the famous German Max Planck Institute for research after he condemned “Israel’s” genocide in Gaza.
The Institute confirmed that it severed its affiliation with the “highly acclaimed” academic Lebanese-Australian Ghassan Hage for his series of social media posts that it saw as “incompatible” with its society’s values.
It added that “racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, discrimination, hatred, and agitation have no place in the Max Planck Society” – but the killing of innocent Palestinians does, apparently.
The Melbourne University professor responded by criticizing the Max Planck Institute for its decision, saying that he can live with being thought of as having “incompatible values” with the German institution but “implying that I am a racist, I cannot accept.”
On X, he said: “I will soon issue my own statement. I would have lived with the first part re incompatibility. But finishing with ‘there is no place for racism’ implying that i am a racist, I cannot accept.”
In his blog post, he wrote, “The decision was based on the way antisemitism has come to be defined and institutionalised in Germany which has been analysed and critiqued by many… For anyone who knows the German landscape at the moment, there is nothing surprising about this happening to me. Many people other than me have copped a variation on this same treatment. It does not make it less infuriating.”
Just back in December, the Max Planck Institute revealed that “the Max Planck Foundation will also provide financial support for German-Israeli cooperation following the devastating terrorist attack by Hamas on 7 October 2023, building on the close and longstanding scientific relations between Germany and Israel, and especially between the Max Planck Society and the Weizmann Institute.”
It continued that “the Max Planck Israel Programme has an initial volume of 1 million euros and is set to run for two years (2024-2025).”
This news does not come as a surprise, considering the multiple attempts to shut down pro-Palestine voices, be it in rallies, concerts, or art shows.
In October, the Frankfurt Book Fair canceled an award ceremony for the Palestinian author Adania Shibli.
In November, the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, a contemporary photo exhibition that was due to be held in the German cities of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, and Heidelberg, in March 2024, was canceled after Bangladeshi curator Shahidul Alam posted content in support of Gaza and Palestine amid the Israeli genocide.
Similarly, the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany, canceled part of a planned group show after a curator’s engagement with pro-Palestine content on social media. Anaïs Duplan, who is a writer, professor, and curator, posted screenshots of an email on Instagram sent from Museum Folkwang Director Peter Gorschlüter stating that the institution decided to “suspend” his “collaboration”.