A letter to the Hebrew University that casts shame

June 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm 2 comments

Senior staff members who

slander their country

Recently, the Israel Academia Monitor (IAM) sent the following letter to the governors of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This followed a similar letter to the governors of Tel Aviv University. See: https://truthandsurvival.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/some-interesting-tel-aviv-university-faculty-members/

The IAM, founded by Dana Barnett, follows the activities of Israeli academics who publically defame their country within Israel and abroad, and/or teach their students ideas that can be labeled as seditious. We present here IAM’s latest letter.

To the Governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,

Dear Governor,

As you know, academics have taken a lead in a campaign to delegitimize Israel; some of them are employed by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Under the guise of academic freedoms, they have utilized the legitimacy and the good name of the university to launch relentless attacks on Israel.

Dr. Nurit Peled Elhanan teaches education, she is one of the most virulent critics of Israel, calling it a racist, apartheid state, while urging civil disobedience against the fascist-style government. She testified before the Russell Tribunal, a self-appointed radical leftist group, that Israel is an apartheid state deserving to be boycotted. In her latest book, she “found” that Israeli textbook teach children hatred and xenophobia that turn them into killers of Palestinians.

Professor Hannan Hever, Department of Literature, is a veteran political activist who collaborates with Zochrot, a group dedicated to raising awareness of Nakba as an equivalent of the Jewish Holocaust. Hever has used research in literature to imply a connection between the two.

Professor Moshe Zimmermann who teaches German History, has compared young settlers to Hitler Youth and claimed that “Jewish Nazis” exist. Zimmermann’s efforts to prove that Israeli behavior is comparable to that of Nazi Germany is a ploy to establish that Palestinians were innocent victims of Israeli aggression and should be granted the right to return.

Dr. Louise Bethlehem, senior lecture of English and Culture Studies, has used literature to show the similarities between Israel and the apartheid regime of South Africa.

Dr. Merav Amir of the Lafer Center is the co-founder of Who Profits from Occupation? which supports BDS. Amir’s research promotes the view that Israel is a colonial, apartheid state; she views the separation fence as a symbol of “racialization” of Israel.

Those who claim that these and other utterances are protected by academic freedom of research and expression should consult the European Union initiative to fight anti-Semitism. In 2005 the European Union Monitoring Center published guidelines stating that certain anti-Zionist expressions such as equating Israel to Nazi Germany or an apartheid state should be considered a form of “new anti-Semitism.” The EU guidelines have been used by law enforcement agencies and influenced legislation such as the British Equality Act of 2010. It is ironic that Israeli scholars are free to contribute to new anti-Semitism, something that their peers in Europe would find hard to do without violating the law. We would urge you to act to remedy this situation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Israel Academia Monitor – board and staff

Tel: 054-4283749, www.israel-academia-monitor.com

Blogger’s note:  I doubt whether any of this information is news to the people who run the Hebrew University. Of course they tout freedom of speech as the Holy Grail. But surely this freedom carries obligations – especially in the case of people who teach. Freedom of speech should be accompanied by the intellectual responsibility to follow all the principles of truthfulness, as well as concern that their actions do no damage to their country. Furthermore, it should be noted that the Hebrew University is not alone in its dubious academic permissiveness. Tel Aviv, Beersheba and Haifa Universities readily come to mind. Is intellectual integrity no longer a cherished value in academia?

Signed: Ralph (Rafi) Dobrin


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Some interesting Tel Aviv University faculty members How to ensure the future of Israel and the planet!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. JSC  |  June 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Freedom of speech is not a blank cheque to say whatever one likes. These “educators'” remarks border on sedition. Why are they allowed to teach in our institutions of higher learning?

  • 2. truthandsurvival  |  June 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    In some cases it’s downright sedition and betrayal of their country.


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