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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Israel's academic rot

Some of you may not have understood what all the fuss was about when Alan Dershowitz spoke here a couple of weeks ago about academic freedom. This post will help you understand the extent of the problem here in Israel. But don't feel bad that you didn't get it until now: The university system's foreign supporters are also just starting to get it.
The issue came to a head at the recent meeting of the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University when Marc Tanenbaum, a long-standing American donor and supporter, submitted a resolution calling on the University Senate to review conditions governing the status of academics indulging in “inappropriate behavior” such as promoting academic boycotts of Israeli universities, and recommending that academics be prohibited from listing their affiliation or academic titles whilst engaged in domestic or international forums of a political nature.

The president, Professor Joseph Klaffter, intervened. Grasping the microphone from Tannenbaum, he railed against the resolution and proclaimed that under his watch such a resolution would never be carried and demanded that it be withdrawn. When the initiators called for a vote, he refused to submit the resolution and adjourned the meeting - ironically, on the spurious grounds of academic freedom. Tannenbaum resigned and pledged to mount a campaign to highlight the undemocratic manner in which the university authorities were protecting those who were actively undermining the university and the State.

Regrettably, the TAU scenario represents a microcosm of how the loony left have imposed a regime of madness in this country. It is noteworthy that Anat Kam, who exulted in stealing classified IDF military information in the name of freedom of expression and attempted to present herself as a heroic figure, was educated at TAU, in a philosophy department in which professors called for a global boycott against Israel.

Examples of unacceptable behavior abound: the Chair of the Philosophy Department, Professor Anat Biletzki, is a close supporter of Asmi Bishari ,the Arab MK calling for the dismantling of Israel; Biletzki also gathered signatures for a high school student petition justifying the right to refuse to serve in the army; Anat Matar, another lecturer at the philosophy department, initiated an (unsuccessful) campaign to deny the right of Col. Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, who headed the international IDF law division during the Gaza war, to lecture at its law school on the grounds that she would “justify the killing of civilians, including hundreds of children”; the Law School convened a conference on the subject of the alleged mistreatment of “political prisoners” at which one of the principal speakers was a former terrorist who had been sentenced to 27 years for throwing a bomb at Jews on a bus; Professor Adi Ophir campaigned to lobby embassies in Tel Aviv to impose sanctions against Israel to prevent atrocities in Gaza; TAU academics were prominent signatories in a petition backing the US Berkeley boycott against Israel; two professors, Anat Matar (who earlier participated in a London conference promoting a general and academic boycott of Israel) and Rachel Giora recently signed a petition denouncing The Boston Museum of Art for sponsoring an exhibit of Israeli medical and high tech achievements; etc etc.
Ironically, universities like Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion, Hebrew University, the Technion and University of Haifa are the universities that are supported by the Israeli taxpayer. At the private colleges - many of which have to charge far more for tuition - academics do not support our enemies.

Read the whole thing.


At 11:01 AM, Blogger יונתן said...

What is it with people named Anat and hostility toward Israel?

At 12:07 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel's academic recruitment system is controlled by anti-Israel radicals. These people are a tiny minority in Israeli society but they are in the position of influencing the next generation of Israeli leaders and in opinion-making like Haaretz and therein lies the danger.

Fortunately more people are waking up to what is happening in Israel's universities and doing something about it.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

That is also a brilliant polemic against "free" education. Why should the tax payer pay for these scum?

Unfortunately in uk:
A friend and I attended a meeting at LSE where some former IDF guy would be talking. All the students were middle class Jews and peacenow lovers! Before the talk started, we asked a student,"Is he pro or against Israel?" the young man smiled patronisingly and said", For Israel, of course!"

The former IDF guy might as well have been Hamas.


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