Stand Against Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial at William Paterson University

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We call upon all people of good conscience to stand with William Paterson students by signing this petition to send a clear message that prejudice, lies and the minimization of the Holocaust will not be tolerated at our University.

To President Waldron, incoming President Helldobler, and the William Paterson Administration:

We, Jewish students of William Paterson University, together with our peers, families, and allies, are deeply concerned about the offensive and inappropriate behavior of Professor Clyde Magarelli, a sociology professor at William Paterson. Although we appreciate and recognize the University’s investigation, we also feel it is critical for our community to respond directly to these disturbing developments and hold the University accountable for further action.

As has been reported by our fellow students, local, and national media, Professor Magarelli has used his position of authority in the classroom to promote outrageous and defamatory conspiracy theories. Some of his falsehoods include teaching that the 1969 Moon landing is fake, making inaccurate and misleading claims about Native American history and falsely stating that slavery began with Irish Catholics. Students have also reported that Professor Magarelli implied that transgenderism is a disorder and that women should not serve in the military because they distract men from duty.

Of particular outrage to the Jewish community are appalling and offensive statements Prof. Magarelli made in his classroom that diminish the atrocities of the Holocaust and promote anti-Jewish prejudice. 

Among his spurious remarks were several anti-Semitic tropes, suggesting the Nazi Gestapo was largely nonviolent and that Ashkenazi Jews today have no genetic relationship to ancestral Judaism. A student recently filed a complaint against Professor Magarelli for stating in his class that Jews and the U.S. Air Force are responsible for 9/11.

These statements are typical hallmarks of anti-Semitism, in which the Holocaust is diminished while Jews are accused of global conspiracies. Indeed, Professor Magarelli has an established record of promoting Holocaust denial in his classroom, including minimizing the number of murdered Jews from 6 million to mere thousands. 

As students of William Paterson, we proudly affirm the right to free speech for all students and faculty. However, Professor Magarelli’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, as well as his espousal of misogynist ideas, and crackpot history and science, cause us to doubt his academic integrity and his very competency as a professor.

We thank President Waldron for suspending Professor Magarelli while the University investigates the misconduct allegations. With this first step, we feel confident in placing our trust in the William Paterson administration to maintain the highest academic standards and commitment to diversity and tolerance which are among its core values. Therefore, we urge the administration to take action regarding Professor Magarelli’s offensive and prejudiced statements and put into motion all efforts to remove him from the faculty of our esteemed University.


Students, families, and allies of William Paterson Hillel


Hillel of Northern NJ is a program of Rutgers Hillel funded by the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.