New Rector claims Glasgow University ‘colludes in murder of innocents’

The new rector of Glasgow University has sparked fury after claiming that the institution ‘actively colludes in the murder of innocent civilians’.

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The medic used heavily disputed statistics to claim that Israel is responsible for the deaths of 53,000 Palestinians – and in a speech to mark his appointment as rector he quoted IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands who said: ‘Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.’

During his campaign, Dr Abu-Sittah vowed to change the definition on campus of anti-Semitism, which he said undermined freedom of speech and intellectual thought – a promise that has provoked alarm among Jewish representatives.

It comes as Dr Abu-Sittah revealed on social media that yesterday he had been ‘forcibly prevented’ from entering Germany to speak about his work in Gaza hospitals – and claimed he was a ‘witness to genocide’ and an ‘ongoing massacre’.

Dr Ghassan Abu- Sittah during his rectorial address

Timothy Lovat, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, said: ‘Students have endorsed someone who claims to understand anti-Semitism better than the Jewish community and seeks to make the university a less safe place to be Jewish.

‘If the university is committed to being an open and safe environment for all, and a place of open and free exchange of ideas, that must cause it as much concern as it does the Jewish community, and we therefore trust that they will fully investigate these charges and take such action as they are able, to mitigate the damage to the welfare of their students as well as to their own reputation.’

Dr Abu-Sittah, 55, who was officially installed as rector on Thursday, tweeted yesterday on X: ‘University of Glasgow owns £4.5million in shares in arms companies: BAE Systems, Thales, Leonardo and QinetiQ.

‘They supply the arms used by Israeli military to murder 53,000 Palestinians (14,000 children).

‘The University of Glasgow actively colludes in the murder of innocent civilians.’

Dr Abu-Sittah will serve as rector of Glasgow University for three years

Last night Caroline Turner, director of UK Lawyers for Israel, claimed Dr Abu-Sittah had ‘inflated the statistics produced by the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, which themselves appear to be fabricated according to several analyses by expert statisticians’.

She said he ‘is a totally unsuitable person to be rector of the university and to represent all students’.

Dr Abu-Sittah was contacted for comment. He has in the past said he opposes terrorism and anti-Semitism. He will serve as rector for three years.

Glasgow University said it was the first higher education institution to call for the immediate release of all hostages and a humanitarian ceasefire.

A spokesman said: ‘The rector’s views do not represent those of the university.’