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University of Florida (UF) President Ben Sasse pushed back against a Florida state representative who made a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, accusing a UF professor of antisemitism.
“A @UF professor is teaching that Israel eradicating Hamas is like Germany eradicating Jews. In Florida. Where there is a law that requires her termination. This has to end,” state Rep. Randy Fine (R) said in a post that has since been deleted.
In a letter to to the UF Cabinet and Deans, Sasse corrected the record that the “antisemitic drivel” from the alleged individual was not a tenured professor and no longer works at UF.
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Sasse, a former U.S. senator, is referring to a post made on Facebook by Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, a former instructor at UF who retired in 2019.
The post in question that Simmons shared claimed more children were killed in Gaza in the past month than the monthly death toll of Jewish children during the Holocaust, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The post also had an image comparing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler.
Simmons told the local outlet she stood by her post.
Sasse and Fine have both voiced strong support for Israel, but they got into a back-and-forth over Fine’s now-deleted post alleging Simmons still worked at UF.
“I won’t link here to the thirsty, attention-desperate post. But for our shared understanding, the claim is wrong on multiple counts,” Sasse said, referring to Fine’s post. Sasse also added Fine was “sharing too-good-to-be-checked clickbait that he knows isn’t true.”
In an interview with the local outlet, Fine said Sasse should spend “less time bloviating and more time working” and that Sasse has failed “to protect Jewish children on campus.”
The Hill has reached out to Fine for comment.