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USC drops complaints, won’t discipline professor who said ‘Hamas are murderers’

LOS ANGELES — In the weeks after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel in October, a confrontation between a Jewish USC professor and a group of pro-Palestinian students went viral and triggered a storm of controversy on campus.

Economics professor John Strauss told students — who were calling for a cease-fire and commemorating Palestinians slain in the war — “Hamas are murderers,” adding, “That’s all they are. Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are killed.”

Video of Strauss’ remarks spread rapidly online and led to a petition calling for the professor’s termination. More than 10 students also filed complaints against Strauss.

This week, that long-running inquiry came to an end.

USC administrators informed Strauss on Tuesday that the case against him was closed, the complaints by students would be dismissed and that he will face no formal discipline, according to the professor and his attorney.

“I’m relieved,” Strauss said. “As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been fully exonerated and they’re not doing anything to punish me, and it’s over.”

His lawyer, Samantha Harris, said she was “frustrated that it took seven months to reach an obvious conclusion” that Strauss did not engage in harassment or discrimination.

“I’m nonetheless pleased that they reached the correct result,” Harris said.

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