University of Sussex Professor Emeritus Claims ‘Israelis Blew Up Twin Towers With Help From Zionists’
An emeritus professor at the University of Sussex in England has blamed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Israelis and American Zionists, drawing condemnation from a local Jewish group.
Kees van der Pijl — a former head of the university’s international relations department, who has since retired — tweeted on Saturday, “Not Saudis, Israelis blew up Twin Towers with help from Zionists in US govt.”
His tweet — made in reaction to a post criticizing US sanctions on Iran — linked to an article titled “9-11/Israel did it” by the website WikiSpooks, which claims that “Zionist Jews” control the American media and government, and describes businessman Larry Silverstein as a “greedy Jew.”
— Kees van der Pijl (@KeesvdPijl1) November 3, 2018
The professor — who has published works on the Middle East — drew some backlash for his remarks, with the Sussex Jewish Representative Council (SJRC) condemning him on Tuesday for peddling “conspiracy theories.”
“We ask that [Sussex University] investigate immediately & consider removing his ‘emeritas’ status,” the group continued. “This type of hatemongering has no place in society, least of all in academia.”
The “emeritus” title is typically bestowed on retired professors as a way of allowing them to maintain affiliation with their universities. A spokesperson for Sussex University has confirmed that the school is aware of van der Pijl’s tweet, but did not say whether it would take any action.
Van der Pijl appeared to stand by his comments on Tuesday, tweeting, “After my remark on Zionist responsibility for 9/11, the ‘Israel lobby’ is no longer an empty term for me.”
“Yet we have to put an end to the murderous ‘War on Terror’ ((c) Netanyahu 1986) that now has Iran in its sights,” he wrote.
The academic, who is originally from the Netherlands, has previously approvingly tweeted claims that the antisemitism row in the opposition Labour Party under its far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn was manufactured by Israel, and that a chemical weapons attack in Syria that has been blamed on the regime of Bashar al-Assad was a “false flag” incident staged by Western powers.