Vote for the Best of STL!

Professor of Genomics claims he was fired over anti-Palestine post

| Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Seth Crosby claims he was fired from the University for anti-Palestine posts on X. (Lydia Nicholson | Student Life)

A Washington University Professor of Genomics, Dr. Seth Crosby, claims to have lost his job over a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, calling the latest Israel-Hamas war a “much needed cleansing.” 

On Friday, Crosby responded to a post by E. Michael Jones, a traditionalist Catholic writer and founder of Culture Wars, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League.  

In his post, Jones said “Israel is engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.” Crosby replied that it was “much-needed” and that “Israel is not targeting humans.” 

In a separate post, he said he believed that “rabid animals should be put down.”

After people began to react to his statements online, Crosby said in a subsequent post on X that his initial post was in reference to Hamas, the terrorist militant group that initially launched attacks on Israel. 

“Israel is not targeting the Palestinian people. Israel is targeting HAMAS. Israel has just asked the Palestinian people to move out of the way,” he wrote. 

On Saturday, Crosby said he had lost his job over his posts, and by Sunday, his X account was deleted. Julie Flory, Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, said that “Professor Crosby is currently employed by Washington University,” but that “The opinions he has expressed as an individual do not represent the university’s position.”

When asked if there were plans to terminate Crosby given his allegations of being fired, Flory said that she was not able to provide further information. 

“We are following up as appropriate, according to our policies and processes,” Flory said in a statement to Student Life. 

Crosby’s LinkedIn profile says he has been the Director of Research Collaborations and professor of genetics at Washington University School of Medicine’s McDonnell Genome Institute (MGI) since November of 2017.

At the time of publication, MGI’s website still had Crosby’s name and titles, but his picture and biographical information were gone. 

Student Life reached out to Crosby for comment, who responded with a screenshot of his posted apology: “I’m so very sorry for the anger I have caused by my clumsy words,” Crosby wrote. “I did not intend to imply that the deaths of the Palestinian people was in any way acceptable.” 

 

This article has been updated on October 18, 2023 to include Dr. Crosby’s comment. 

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening at Washington University and beyond.

Subscribe