Glasgow University investigating doctor who praised terrorist

Ghassan Abu-Sittah hailed a terrorist who planned the murder of a rabbi as a ‘hero’


Doctor Ghassan Abu-Sitta is standing to become the University of Glasgow's rector (Photo: YouTube)

The University of Glasgow is investigating a British-Palestinian doctor standing to become its rector over revelations that he praised terrorists.

Ghassan Abu-Sittah rose to prominence following the start of Israel’s war against Hamas after he was interviewed by the BBC, Sky News and CNN from Gaza.

Since returning to Britain, he has been hosted in parliament by MPs and given evidence to a Scotland Yard war crimes inquiry.

The surgeon is now standing to be elected as Glasgow University’s rector, a senior position that has regularly been held by political figures such as Winnie Mandela.

The JC has previously revealed, however, that Abu-Sittah has also praised a terrorist murderer in a newspaper article, sat beside a notorious terrorist hijacker at a memorial and delivered a tearful eulogy to the founder of a terror group that was later involved in the October 7 atrocities.

Glasgow University’s vice chancellor has now said that the institution will investigate such claims.

Responding to a letter sent by advocacy group UK Lawyers for Israel, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli wrote: “Given the serious nature of the allegations set out in your letter, I have asked our Clerk of Senate - the returning officer for the election of Rector - to investigate.”

The high-profile doctor previously praised several terrorists who have organised the murder of Israeli civilians.

Writing for Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar in 2018, Abu-Sittah hailed Ahmad Jarrar, who masterminded the murder of father-of-six Rabbi Raziel Shevach in a drive-by shooting near Nablus, as one of Palestine’s “dearest and best sons” and a “hero”.

The doctor wrote: “The martyrdom of the resistance member Ahmed Nasr Jarrar, the hero of the Nablus operation, at the hands of the Zionist occupation army… like the hundreds of resistance fighters who were martyred at the hands of this satanic alliance, represents a pivotal moment.”

In 2019, Abu-Sittah was pictured sitting next to the notorious hijacker Leila Khaled at a memorial for a leader of terror group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Maher Al-Yemani.

If elected rector of Glasgow University, the medic has said that he would remove the Ihra definition of antisemitism.

"While I am absolutely committed to tackling all forms of anti-Semitism, it is my belief that, by linking criticism of Israel to antisemitism, this definition threatens academic criticism of Israel and Palestinian solidarity events,” he wrote in a manifesto.

"My fear, shared by the University and Colleges Union, is that such a definition risks undermining freedom of speech and intellectual thought on campus. Accordingly, as rector, I would call for the replacement of the IHRA definition with the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism.”

Voting for the rector position will open on 25 March and close on 26 March.

Speaking to Yahoo News, Abu-Sittah said: “I don't see [that] there's a division between the issues that affect students in Glasgow and people across the globe - not just with regards to divestment from arms, but the corporatisation of university education, issues surrounding student poverty, issues surrounding gender-based violence in campuses, these are indivisible.

“These are all part of where we have ended up as a human race. I can't see that you can compartmentalise the struggle.”

Abu-Sittah said: “I do not support terrorism and I believe these allegations are designed to tarnish my reputation. I trust the University to conduct a fair investigation and to come to a just conclusion.”

He previously told the JC: “While I may in the past have used emotive language at the funeral of a friend or following an extra-judicial killing, I vehemently oppose terrorism, and civilian casualties on all sides. As a surgeon, my vocation is preserving life and I repeat my calls for a sustainable ceasefire and lasting peace.”

His lawyers said that the doctor did not know that Jarrar had been involved in the killing of a rabbi and that he would never condone murder.

Dr Abu Sittah had written the article because the Jarrar was the victim of an extra-judicial Israeli killing and that he should have faced due process instead, they claimed.

His legal team added that Dr Abu Sittah “abhors” anti-Jewish racism and only opposes the IHRA definition because of its “chilling effect on legitimate criticism of Israel’s actions”.

The University of Glasgow said: “As has been the case since the Universities (Scotland) Act 1858, the Rector is nominated and elected by registered students and represents them at the University Court, the institution’s governing body.

"Each candidate is subject to an independent nominations process under powers established by the Universities (Scotland) Acts. The University has adhered to this legislation, and the electoral rules established under it, in the conduct of the present elections.

“Ahead of the hustings last week, candidates were also reminded of the responsibilities and duties of the Rector- once elected- including adhering to the Code of Conduct for members of Court and upholding the University’s policies and values with respect to equality, diversity and inclusion.”

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