© FacebookSydney University lecturer Tim Anderson during a recent trip to North Korea.
Sydney University has sacked a controversial lecturer who showed students a lecture slide featuring the Nazi swastika imposed over Israel's flag.
Two months after senior lecturer in political economy, Tim Anderson, was first suspended and asked to show cause why his employment should not be terminated for "serious misconduct", the university rejected his appeal.
The lecture slide featuring the image was "disrespectful and offensive", and "contrary to the university's behavioural expectations and requirements for all staff", Sydney University's administration said in a statement.
Dr Anderson's suspension had been opposed by several dozen of the university's academics, who argued that academic freedom was "meaningless if it is suspended when its exercise is deemed offensive".
But Provost Stephen Garton said all staff were required to meet behavioural expectations. "We have always supported and encouraged our staff to engage in public debate and accept that sometimes those views might be controversial," he said.
"We will continue to defend the right of our academic staff to express unpopular views as part of their teaching and research, and recognise this as a vital part of the academic process.
"At the same time, staff must also meet their obligation to engage in debate in a civil manner, and in accordance with our policies and codes of conduct."
Dr Anderson had previously attracted criticism from federal education ministers for his numerous trips to Syria and North Korea, where he expressed solidarity with their dictatorial regimes and condemned Western imperialism and the United States.
On Facebook, Dr Anderson stood by his actions and said the image was barely perceptible. "If you enlarge the photo you can just see the fragment of a Nazi swastika," he said. "I maintain that comparisons of fascist states are completely legitimate."