IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Academic seen on video verbally attacking woman in hijab will no longer teach at Arizona State

The university said Jonathan Yudelman, a postdoctoral research scholar at ASU, is essentially banned from teaching there.
ASU research scholar, Jonathan Yudelman.
ASU research scholar, Jonathan Yudelman.KPNX

An Arizona State University academic seen in viral video confronting a woman in a hijab during a pro-Israel protest near campus has been booted from the institution, ASU said this week.

Jonathan Yudelman, a postdoctoral research scholar at ASU's School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership who taught a pair of classes in spring, was banished from the school, according to a statement released Thursday by ASU President Michael Crow.

"He is no longer permitted to be on campus and will never teach here again," the university's president said.

Attempts to reach Yudelman for comment through other recent academic affiliations were unsuccessful.

Yudelman attended a pro-Israel protest on May 5 just outside campus. Video shows him confronting an unidentified woman in a hijab, a head covering for Muslim women, telling her, "I'm literally in your face — that's right."

She said, "You’re disrespecting my religious boundaries," to which Yudelman replied, "You disrespect my sense of humanity, b----."

It isn't clear what took place before the clip began capturing the back-and-forth between the scholar, an unidentified man with him, and the woman.

Yudelman was placed on leave Monday as ASU investigated what happened, and was not allowed to go to campus, teach classes, or interact with students or employees, the university said in a statement Wednesday.

But on Thursday, ASU indicated through the president’s statement that it was severing ties for good.

Yudelman had resigned his position at ASU before the May 5 incident. The resignation was effective June 30, and was not scheduled to teach before his last day, the university said Wednesday.

It also said that it referred the matter to Tempe city police, which has jurisdiction in the area outside campus where the incident took place.

“Arizona State University protects freedom of speech and expression but does not tolerate threatening or violent behavior,” the institution said Wednesday.

Azza Abuseif, executive director of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, expressed gratitude to ASU for severing ties with Yudelman and urged police to arrest him on allegations of harassment, though it's unclear if any laws were violated during the confrontation.

"Law enforcement should make it clear that such intimidation and attacks will not be tolerated," Abuseif said in a statement Friday.

The confrontation came as pro-Palestinian campus protests were overheating from coast to coast. Students have been standing en masse for Palestinian people caught between Hamas militants, who attacked Israel on Oct. 7, and Israeli military might, which has unleashed warfare that has uprooted 1.7 million people, mostly civilians, in neighboring Gaza.

Institutions such as Columbia, where the highest-profile protest encampment took root, and UCLA, the scene of riotous clashes between pro-Palestinian protesters and supporters of Israel, welcomed police in riot gear, who initiated mass arrests.

The May 5 rally drew about 100 people and saw only one arrest when officers became aware of a suspect not affiliated with the school wanted for allegedly spray-painting university property during a "pro-Palestine" rally the previous weekend, a campus police spokesperson said.

Yudelman has other recent academic affiliations on his resume. They include assistant professor of political theory in intellectual foundation at the University of Austin in Texas; and faculty membership at Tikvah Fund, a nonprofit organization in New York City that promotes Jewish ideas and describes itself on its website as “politically Zionist, economically free-market oriented, culturally traditional, and theologically open-minded.”

CORRECTION (May 14, 2024, 8:05 p.m. ET): A headline on a previous version of this article misstated the position of the man seen in the video. He is a postdoctoral research scholar, not a professor.