Michael Eisen, editor-in-chief of an online journal eLife, was replaced from his position due to a controversial social media post. Eisen reposted a satirical article from The Onion that ‘critiqued’ individuals in Gaza for not condemning the recent attacks on Israel by Hamas.
The incident unfolded when Michael Eisen, also a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley, praised a satirical article from The Onion on X (formerly Twitter). The satirical piece’s headline read, “Dying Gazans Criticised For Not Using Last Words To Condemn Hamas.” Eisen endorsed the article by remarking, “The Onion speaks with more courage, insight, and moral clarity than the leaders of every academic institution put together. I wish there were a @TheOnion university.”
Here’s the post:
Eisen was fired on the basis of his X post. “I have been informed that I am being replaced as the Editor in Chief of @eLife for retweeting a @TheOnion piece that calls out indifference to the lives of Palestinian civilians,” he wrote.
Following criticism and backlash, Eisen clarified his position by expressing that he, like any rational person worldwide, was horrified and traumatised by the events in Gaza and wished for such tragedies never to recur. He also emphasised that The Onion’s satirical articles were not making light of the situation but rather using satire to convey a grave point about the devastating tragedy.
“Every sane person on Earth is horrified and traumatised by what Hamas did and wants it to never happen again,” he wrote.
Take a look:
As a consequence of Michael Eisen’s removal, fellow editor Lara Urban also resigned in protest. This incident has raised questions about academic freedom, expression, and the complexities surrounding discussions of the Israel-Palestine conflict, a long-standing and deeply divisive issue in global politics.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is a long-standing political and territorial dispute between Israelis and Palestinians over land rights and sovereignty. It encompasses various complex historical, cultural, and geopolitical factors, making it one of the most enduring conflicts in the Middle East.