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 Established in 2004



Israel Academia Monitor


Anti-Israel Activities of Israeli Academics

and other Academic-Related Issues



Reprints of anti-Israel articles do not represent the position

of IAM, and they are being reproduced as a public service


IAM supports the universal tradition of academic freedom that is an indispensable characteristic of higher education in Israel. At the same time, it is concerned by the activities of a small group of academics--sometimes described as revisionist historians or post-Zionists, among other labels--who go beyond the “free search for truth and its free exposition” (to quote the American Association of University Professors) that is the hallmark of academic freedom. Exploiting the prestige (and security) of their positions, such individuals often propound unsubstantiated and, frequently, demonstrably false arguments that defame Israel and call into question its right to existence.


We are happy to announce the publication of the study Academic Freedom in Israel: A Comparative Perspective; it compares academic freedom in Israel with that enjoyed by faculty in three academic leaders- Germany, Great Britain and the United States. This first of a kind research, is systematic, detailed and meticulously referenced.
The study indicates that, contrary to the view of radical scholars and their liberal supporters, the Israeli academy has enjoyed far greater freedom than its counterparts in the comparative cases. Indeed, in all three countries a combination of case law, ethic codes and strong oversight by boards of directors and politicians who appointed them have prevented radical faculty in public universities from abusing and subverting academic privileges to push an activist political agenda.
Not countervailed by academic duties and a need to account to the public and its elected representatives, the expansive sense of academic freedom has hurt Israel’s academic standing in the world. Liberal arts and social science, in particular, have been trending well below global averages, jeopardizing Israel’s overall competitive quest.
We hope that the study will spur a long-overdue debate on how to restore much- needed balance between academic freedom and the broader interests of the society and the state.

First IAM Round table in Tel Aviv and videos from the IAM roundtable, May 3, 2013 

The 2nd IAM event "BDS Campaign Against Israel" 2014 and Audio

A unique opportunity to purchase the IAM book on Academic Freedom


Click to view whole articles:
Hebrew University
HUJ Political Activist Disguised as Academic: Dr. Ofer Cassif is Hadash Party Knesset Candidate
IAM reported many times about Dr. Ofer Cassif, one of the most radical academics in Israel. For years he took advantages of the lax higher education system to preach his anti-Israel politics. Serving as a member of the political bureau of the Israeli Communist Party, he finally won the third place in the Hadash party, making him a candidate for the Knesset. BGU Dr. Efraim Davidi, Noa Levy, and Dr. Yeela Raanan were also competing. 
Cassif's courses in Political Science at the Hebrew University and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Academic College have mirrored his politics: "Capital and Government"; "Capital, Government and Social Justice"; "Cinema and Politics"; "Fascism - Past and Present". In 2015, Cassif was quoted calling Minister Ayelet Shaked "neo-Nazi scum," and in 2016 he was recorded on tape by a student, claiming that the Israeli government's laws are quite similar to that of Germany in the 1930s. 
Cassif has been a long time activist. He was the first army refuser to be jailed during the first Intifada. In 2002 he was among the signatories in a petition by Palestinian activists, "Urgent Call to World Civil Society: Break the Conspiracy of Silence, Act Before it is too Late." The undersigned stated they "believe that a full-scale Israeli offensive throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) is imminent and that such an unprecedented attack demands from global civil society an unprecedented response. For this reason, we urge global civil society – including human rights organizations, solidarity groups, and individuals – to take immediate direct action to stop Israel’s all-out war against the Palestinian people". 
Cassif's 2006 Ph.D. thesis, On Nationalism and Democracy: A Marxist Examination, at the London School of Economics and Political Science, departs from Rosa Luxemburg's statement that "Historical development toward a universal community of civilization will, like all social development, take place in the midst of a contradiction". In his view, the contradiction is the spreading of nationalist particularism and the support for democracy. He stated that his thesis "shows that both democracy (as we commonly understand it today) and nationalism are strongly embedded in modern conditions (primarily capitalism)" are having "inherent contradictions." His solution is, "What is urgently needed, I argue, is a form of democracy that could transcend the contradictions latent in modern capitalism." Such a democracy "must be a socialist one in which the means of identity production are collectively owned." 
As a lecturer at the Hebrew University he was invited, in 2009, to speak in a conference about "Israel between democracy and ethnocracy," at the Institute of Political Science of the University of the Republic, Uruguay. As well as participated in the annual Marx Forum, along with other political-academic comrades. 
But the peak of his political career was in 2011, when he participated in a joint Hadash and Communist Party delegation who met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in Ramallah. Abbas said in the meeting "The PLO is working to gain UN membership for a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital." 
IAM reported that in 2012, Cassif was appointed the head of the International Relations Committee of the Communist Party. The Party's announcement stated that "Comrade Cassif is a member of the Political Bureau of CPI. He previously served as parliamentary assistant to the late comrade Meir Vilner, and was the first to be jailed for refusing to serve in the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the first Intifada. On the whole, he was jailed four times in Israeli military prisons." 
In 2013 IAM reported on Cassif who was invited, as a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, to the15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties held in Lisbon, Portugal. In his lecture, Cassif stated that the Israeli colonization of the territories is getting deeper and crueler. "Natural resources like water and land are regularly robbed by Israeli Zionist authorities for the sake of Jewish settlers; Palestinians’ freedom of movement, worship and assembly are strictly limited; peaceful demonstrators and non-violent protesters are often arrested, beaten, and occasionally even shot; and trees, fields and other assets owned by Palestinians are burnt and damaged on a daily basis by Jewish settlers, while Israeli soldiers and other officials ignore that fascist vandalism – as if we were talking about KKK in Alabama under George Wallace... The brutal colonialist regime that Israeli Zionist governments have been retaining for decades in the Palestinian occupied territories is accompanied by vicious capitalist and racist policies in Israel proper." 
During his long career as a lecturer, Cassif hasn't published anything academic. He has a semi-academic paper in the journal Theory & Event, in 2015 "The War with Gaza Did Not Take Place," postulating there was no war with Gaza, "but an atrocity; no conflict with Hamas but an assault by Israel on the people of Gaza." He charges Israel with war-crimes and determines that "The next stop, then, should be The Hague." For Cassif, it's all Israel's fault. "The Nakba was followed by the imposition of military rule on Arab-Palestinian citizens from 1948 to 1966, and their systematic discrimination and marginalization ever after. Along with the 1967 occupation of yet more Palestinian territories came the criminal establishment of Jewish settlements in 'them. The racism within Israel feeds into justification of the occupation by representing the colonized/occupied as 'inferior,' 'barbarian,' or 'primitive.'" 
The fact that Cassif was appointed a lecturer of politics and government at the prestigious Hebrew University, is attesting to the failure of the appointment committee which is marred by political favoritism in contrast to academic values and spirit. The committee should be investigated for the breach of confidence, to make sure that such an abuse of the academic privileges cannot happen again.
General Articles
Ariel University Medical Faculty: The Battle between the Government and Universities is Coming to a Head
Yesterday, the Council for Higher Education (CHE) in Judea and Samaria turned around the decision held last week by the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) of the CHE blocking the establishment of the Ariel University Medical Faculty. Dr. Avichai Mandelblit, the Attorney General, said that the PBC vote was not binding and that the issue could be brought to the CHE Judea and Samaria for a vote. In a short time, though, the CHE Judea and Samaria is due to join the main council. Mandelblit stated that the required next step is for the general assembly of the CHE to vote on the issue. 
The PBC vote last week voided its previous decision in 2018, to give the go-ahead for Ariel University Medical Faculty after it was determined that Dr. Rivka Wadmany-Shauman was in a conflict of interest. She voted to back the proposal while negotiating a position at Ariel University. As a consequence, the PBC has held another vote and aborted the Ariel plan. Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Education and the Chair of the CHE, stated in response that he "does not intend to give up" and that "he will fight the university cartel until the establishment of the medical faculty." 
In Israel, sixty percent of the new physicians who receive a license have studied abroad, some of them in institutions with a lower level of training than in Israel. The number of doctors in Israel per 1,000 residents is significantly lower than the OECD average. However, for many years, universities have objected to increasing the number of students in their faculties, claiming that there is a shortage of clinical fields - departments in hospitals where training takes place. Until recently, the issue of clinical fields had been ungoverned, and no systematic mapping had been carried out. A critical report by the State Comptroller on the subject led the CHE to make a mapping, and the work is close to completion. In this regard, Ariel has already agreed with hospitals that the training will be carried out and stressed that this will not come at the expense of the clinical fields of other universities. Ariel also stressed that since it already runs pre-medical studies at the university, it has about 40 suitable laboratories. 
In December 2017, an evaluation committee was appointed by the Minister of Education, to ensure a high quality of study that meets international standards. Among the members of the committee were Prof. Arnon Afek of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and the committee head, Prof. Haim Breitbart of Safed College, Prof. Shimon Glick, Prof. Ester Priel of Ben Gurion University and Prof. Yonatan Halevy of Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Bennett decided to set up a medical faculty in Ariel as part of a plan to expand the university at an investment of NIS 400 million, to build ten more buildings which multiply the built-up area of the university. "I am proud to continue the important process that we started about a year ago," the minister said. "The establishment of the new faculty in Ariel will enable more professional jobs, without compromising the quality of studies.” 
IAM already reported in August 2018 about the debate within the Council of Higher Education (CHE) which is also political in nature. Professors Yossi Shain of TAU; Mouna Maroun of Haifa U; and Yeshayahu Talmon of the Technion, strongly criticized Bennett, accusing him of dictating decisions to the committee using "extraneous considerations” and not following proper procedures. The three protested Bennett's decision to allow the Interdisciplinary Center to grant Ph.D.; to establish a medical faculty at the Ariel University paid by the billionaire Sheldon Adelson; and to appoint his own people as public representatives to the PBC, such as Adv. Zvi Hauser and CPA Shimon Yitzhaki. 
The PBC member Prof. Yeshayahu Talmon of the Technion was quoted as saying "there is an ongoing process of blatant political interference in the conduct of the PBC." According to him, "all the new PBC members have been appointed by Bennett and now his supporters have a majority of 4 to 3 who vote according to what he wants, and they can pass any decision they want. The democracy has pretty self-destructive tools and this is one of them." Talmon said that the process began with the approval of the Interdisciplinary Center to award doctoral degrees "when the PBC was bypassed" and went on in the argument concerning Yitzhaki's appointment "when the minister's vote impacted the vote of the Council." According to him, there are difficult questions that were not answered regarding the establishment of the Medical Faculty, including whether there are enough places for clinical training. An unnamed source at the PBC said that "right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson is a contributor to the IDC and Ariel University." 
The opponents to the Ariel plan, the Deans of the other universities medical schools, announced that if the Ariel Medical Faculty does not open, they shall raise the number of new students in the upcoming year by 70 - the number Ariel is supposed to train. In their letter, they accused the PBC of blocking their initiative to increase the number further. Ariel University responded: "We are pleased that following the Ariel plan to open medical studies in the coming academic year in October 2019, the veteran medical schools have awakened and are now ready to increase the number of students. This is after years of explaining why this can not be done, as the Director General of the Ministry of Health, the State Comptroller and the Director General of the PBC said. " 
The PBC spokesperson rejected the allegations: “In total contradiction to what has been claimed, the decision-making process regarding the Ariel medical school was thorough, deep and flawless. The first decision on the matter was adopted in November 2017. The plan was examined by a committee of experts... that unequivocally recommended establishing the school at a meeting that lasted about three hours and that was devoted only to the subject, and which was conducted according to the procedure." The claims of partial information are not correct, said the statement. "Prof. Zilbershats is determined to act with full force to solve the doctor training crisis and no background noise will deter her from that important goal.” The statement added that the PBC “is working with the Health Ministry to arrange the matter of clinical fields as soon as possible.” It also announced that “there is no political intervention in the work of the committee... decisions are made solely in a businesslike fashion and for the benefit of the higher education system.” 
The elected Dean to the proposed Ariel Medical Faculty is Prof. Shai Ashkenazi, until recently Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Israel Medical Association, who serves as a senior physician at Schneider Children's Hospital, and the chairman of the Israel Association of Pediatrics. He noted that devising the curriculum for the Ariel medical program is close to completion. "More than once, newspapers wrote that this school was opened in a haste, but the truth is that the first meeting of the steering committee was held on May 19, 2014, more than four years ago. We consulted with Deans in the United States and built an advanced curriculum." Ashkenazi states that "Ariel University was not in any conflict of interest, and the attempts to make this claim were intended to prevent the advancement of the school, which is vital in light of the acute shortage of doctors who have completed their medical studies in Israel." This is the first time Ashkenazi is serving as Dean, but he has more than forty years of experience in medical school management teams. 
Health economist Prof. Gabi Ben-Nun of Ben-Gurion University, who headed a committee that examined the needs of personnel in the health system, said that "Due to the shortage of medical doctors, there is a place for establishing another faculty. An opening of a faculty does not give an answer to tomorrow, because the training of a doctor takes seven to eight years and more years of internship, but those who look ahead must plan far, and in this respect, the opening of this faculty is an important step." 
IAM shall report on the developments in due course.
Anti-Israel Conferences
Holocaust Inversion Facilitated by Van Leer Jerusalem Institute to be Presented in a Conference in UMass Amherst in March 19, 2019
For over a decade, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute has facilitated the work of a number of scholars whose aim is to minimize the scale of the catastrophe of the Jews in WWII by comparing the Holocaust to the Palestinian Nakba. The Holocaust equivalence serves two goals. It absolves the Palestinians and their Arab allies from any blame for starting a war which intended to destroy the nascent State of Israel, and shows that the former Jewish victims had become the “new” Nazis perpetrator. In this new paradigm, best described as the “Holocaust inversion,” the Palestinians became the “new Jews.” 
The Holocaust inversion paradigm would be on display at the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in a panel discussion on March 19, 2019 on the book The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History, edited by Bashir Bashir and Amos Goldberg. Prof. Bashir Bashir of the Open University of Israel and Prof. Amos Goldberg of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will be speaking. Prof. Alon Confino, the Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the UMass Amherst, is the organizer of the event and the moderator. Confino reviewed the Bashir-Goldberg book when it first appeared in Hebrew in 2015, and wrote: "Whether one accepts Israel’s justifications of what occurred in 1948 and continues to occur to this day or not, the state of Israel is not a neutral party with regard to the suffering of the Palestinians, in contrast to the Palestinians who had no role in the Holocaust." 
One of the architects of the Holocaust Inversion is Prof. Amos Goldberg from the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University and a research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Since 2008 Goldberg "was among the initiators of an encounter group of Jews and Arabs Studying the Holocaust Together. Following these encounters, he and Prof. Bashir Bashir edited The Holocaust and the Nakba: Memory, National Identity and Jewish-Arab Partnership. Another volume they co-edited together was the (completely different) English book: The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History published by Columbia UP 2018." 
Goldberg is a veteran activist member of the group Ta'ayush, an Arab-Jewish partnership of Israelis and Palestinians "striving together to end the Israeli occupation and to achieve full civil equality through daily non-violent direct-action." The use of non-violent means is questionable. 
Photograph by Abir Sultan, Flash 90, February 2010. 
On February 26, 2010, Goldberg was pictured by the press participating in a demonstration in Hebron with anarchists and masked men. Arutz 7 reported of "Palestinians and left-wing activists are rioting in Judea and Samaria." In a week of escalated violence, Palestinians were throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. The tensions in Hebron spilled over onto Jerusalem, nearing a third Intifada. 
Bashir offers an explanation of how they came to develop the Holocaust inversion. Interviewed about the book, Bashir recalled how the project started in Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, when Palestinian school teachers were learning about the Holocaust. Bashir insisted that they include the Nakba in their learning. "When we decided to do this book, my condition was that it needed to address not just the Holocaust, but the Holocaust and the Nakba together. If you are in the Israeli context and you want to discuss the Holocaust with Jewish and Palestinian teachers, it is entirely flawed to do so without intimately connecting the Holocaust and the Nakba, since the institutions of the state treat the Holocaust as an exceptional and unique event, instrumentalizing it to defend the hegemony of Zionism... Palestinians are not responsible for the Holocaust but the Zionist movement and the state of Israel are very much responsible for the Nakba," Bashir argued. He added, "the Holocaust is largely a past, albeit a very important and traumatic one whereas the Nakba is an ongoing reality for Palestinians. We need to put the Holocaust and the Nakba together in a historical context tied to phenomena such as colonialism, nationalism, state-building, and ethnic cleansing." Bashir explained another purpose of the book, "to recognize that it was not perpetrated against Jews alone, but also against Roma, homosexuals, and the disabled." Bashir emphasized, "Putting the Holocaust and the Nakba together in a common frame disrupts this exceptionalism and is meant to provoke new thinking." Bashir also added that "when the sirens blare on Holocaust day in Israel, it is hard to bring Palestinians in Israel to participate in the ritual of standing silence, because many know that it is part and parcel of a larger monopolization and instrumentalization of the Holocaust that serves to justify the very serious discrimination, racism, and oppression exercised against them as Palestinians." 
Indeed, Goldberg adopted the new thinking suggested by Bashir. In January 26,2011, in a lecture titled "Franz Fanon in the Warsaw Ghetto: Writing the history of the victims from a post-colonial perspective,” Goldberg began by discussing an article from 2000 by Harvard historian Charles Maier. Maier argued that in the twentieth century there were two conflicting narratives of catastrophe, one is the Holocaust and the other is Post-Colonial. "The Holocaust is perceived in this sense as a catastrophe perverted to barbarism, lurking at its doorstep, if we let the reactionary forces to return. The obvious conclusion is that if we adhere to our liberal democratic values, strengthen the values of civil society, fight against anti-Semitism and racism, and moderate radical political tendencies, we are safe from the catastrophe." But, as for the identity of the West, Goldberg argues, the postcolonial theory is much more critical, "because in the heart of the liberal democratic state, in the modern thinking of enlightenment the catastrophe already lies. The involvement of democratic states, and the West in general, in factories of mass violence, disgraceful exploitation, colonial policy of oppression and torture, as well as racism emerging from the modern rational discourse, all indicate that even the liberal democratic state with the tradition of enlightenment and rationalism are not immune to crimes that the West tries to forget and from responsibility it seeks to escape." 
This is not the only case of Holocaust inversion. In 2016, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute convened a special seat in a conference titled "To Study and Teach the Holocaust and Genocide in a Context of Conflict and Trauma," organized by Goldberg and Confino. The invitation read: "In this special session, taking place as part of the Fifth Conference of the International Network of Genocide Scholars, we will try to clarify whether a state of perpetual violence influences how we think about the Holocaust and other instances of genocide and how we study them. We will try to answer such questions as what the connection is between trauma, violence, writing, and Israel/Palestine as the space we live in, whether the questions are interpretive, narrative, or ethical. Does the violent present in Israel/Palestine influence the narrative of the past that we recount? Is there a connection between representations of a past of mass violence in the Modern Era, in research in academe or museums, and the Nakba and the denial of Palestinians’ human rights today, and if so, what is the nature of that connection? Does the narrator have a special responsibility toward the present, and if so, what is it? Or perhaps we must ask totally different questions, even questions that negate the validity of this session." 
Goldberg posits that Jews in the Holocaust unconsciously identified with their Nazi oppressors and, given the opportunity, would become perpetrators themselves. 
Even by the shoddy academic standards of critical theory of which Goldberg follows, this is an inexcusable exercise in speculation.
Anti-Israel Conferences
SOAS Center for Jewish and Israeli Studies Portrays Israel in a Negative Light
The Center for Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), headed by Dr. Yair Wallach, is hosting a lecture series "After Oslo," to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords. The aim of the five lecture series is to discuss the "cultural, social and political ramifications of 'Oslo' as event, structure and effect." The invitation states that "Rather than revisiting the 'failure' of the Accords, we will focus on how they continue to shape the reality of those living in Israel-Palestine." 
The Center, established in the 1990s, is "committed to the promotion of Jewish and Israeli Studies through scholarship, teaching, book launches, workshops, public events, conferences and symposia, debate and discussion." The Center is situated at the Department of Near and Middle East Studies within the Faculty of Language and Culture. 
The first in this series is "Preventing Palestine", the two speakers are Dr. Seth Anziska of the UCL with Dr. Ahmad Khalidi of Oxford University; The next in line is "Raw Sovereignty: how military rule and occupation re-shape Israeli democracy" with the speaker Eyal Chowers of Tel Aviv University; Following, is Sana Knaneh, with "Two Sided Story", a special film screening and discussion with Bassam Aramin, Robi Damelin and other members of the Forum of Palestinians and Israeli Bereaved Families for Peace; The next is "Eggs and dispossession: organic agriculture and the new settlement movement?" and the speaker is Hagar Kotef of SOAS; The last in the series is "Between Apartheid and Peace: Confederation for Israel/Palestine?" with the speaker Oren Yiftachel of Ben Gurion University. 
At first glance, the conference seems like a legitimate academic exercise. All the speakers have positions in respectable academic institutions, but a more detailed perusal shows that the line-up is highly biased as it includes speakers who are left-wing at best and radical political activists at worse. For instance, IAM has written extensively about Oren Yiftachel, one of the first Israeli scholars who made a comparison between Israel and the apartheid regime in South Africa. Hagar Kotef, another radical scholar-activist has been a subject of the IAM critique a number of times. 
The choice of Dr. Seth Anziska, the author of the book Preventing Palestine; Anziska reflects a similar bias. He claims that the "Egyptian-Israeli peace came at the expense of the sovereignty of the Palestinians, whose aspirations for a homeland alongside Israel faced crippling challenges." For Anziska, it's all Israel's fault, by introducing a "restrictive autonomy, Israeli settlement expansion, and Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the chances for Palestinian statehood narrowed even further." As Anziska put it, "The first Intifada in 1987 and the end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for a Palestinian state, but many players, refusing to see Palestinians as a nation or a people, continued to steer international diplomacy away from their cause.” Numerous books on the failure of Oslo have been published in the 25 years since the agreement. Many have pointed out that the real culprit for tripping up Oslo have been the Iranians and their Palestinian proxies, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The 1993 Declaration of Principles between Israel and Arafat was a tremendous shock to the Iranian regime; in early 1994, the leaders in Tehran devised a plan to undermine the agreement by launching multiple, devastating suicide bombings which, over time, eroded the faith in Yasser Arafat's ability to control the territories, let alone complete the deal. The U.S. State Department that designated Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad as terror groups had mentioned this fact, but Anziska, in his eagerness to blame Israel, does not.
At the very least, Dr. Wallach could have invited another speaker to balance the panel and shed light on the real reasons for the failure of Oslo. But, given his choices from the previous years, the head of the Jewish Center is not interested in a balanced presentation of the Oslo Agreement or, for that matter, any other topic related to Israel. SOAS is a known hotbed of anti-Israeli radicalism, and it probably requires personal courage and academic integrity to host a well rounded discussion of Israel. As a result, the series of lectures bear no resemblance to the self described mission of the Center to promote a civilized discourse on Israel. To the contrary, the seminars follow the path of extreme anti-Israel radicalism which portrays the Jewish state as an epitomizing the radical-leftist version of the "cardinal sin:" colonialism, imperialism, apartheid, subjugation, exploitation, and so on. 
Regrettable as this state of affairs is, it is not surprising. Some observers have noted that radical-leftism is a virtual religious belief system. As with all religions, it needs to denote a series of sins to separate the flock of the righteous from the evil ones. By vesting Israel with the "cardinal sin", it turns the Jewish state into the ultimate Evil.
Anti-Israel Conferences
Seminar on the "Nakba" to Host Shlomo Sand and Ilan Pappe in Switzerland in April 2019
In April 2019, a two-days seminar for high-school teachers of history will be taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland. The title, originally "1948: Knowing and Teaching the Palestinian Nakba ("Catastrophe"), was changed to "1948: The origins of the Palestinian refugee problem". Planned for October 29 and 30, 2018 at the Haute Ecole Pédagogique (HEP) in Lausanne, after a public outcry the seminar was suspended and rescheduled to April 29 and 30, 2019. 
The original invitation stated that "In Palestinian memory and historiography, the word [Nakba] sums up the exodus of 726,800 Palestinians, the destruction of nearly 800 villages, the confiscation of their property, the blocking of their return, the creation of the State of Israel.” 
The seminar is organized by the Teaching and Research Unit of Humanities and Social Sciences of the HEP. The invited speakers are Jean-Benoît Clerc, a teacher-trainer at the HEP in Vaud; Elias Rafik Khoury, a Palestinian historian and interpreter; Ilan Pappé, professor of History at the University of Exeter and Director of the European Center for Palestine Studies; Philippe Rekacewicz, a cartographer, and associate researcher in the Department of Anthropology, University of Helsinki; Elias Sanbar, the Ambassador of Palestine to UNESCO; Shlomo Sand, emeritus professor of General History at Tel Aviv University; and Pascal de Crousaz, Middle East specialist at the University of Geneva Global Studies Institute. 
In July 2018, Cesla Amarelle, the head of the Department of Training, Youth, and Culture in the Canton of Vaud, spoke to the HEP administration about the seminar, explaining that she was concerned about "the balance of views." The HEP received complaints from Professor Jacques Ehrenfreund, who holds the chair in the history of Jews and Judaism at the University of Lausanne. He told Swiss media that "the Nakba, which means much the same as the word Shoah, in Arabic, was used, to a large extent, to counter and reproduce the Holocaust for partisan purposes." He also said that "organizing a seminar on this theme on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel is quite outrageous. "I have no problem with all aspects of the 1948 events, but it must be done in a balanced way, with specialist historians and not activists." 
The participation of the historians Pappe and Sand is especially objectionable. Sand in particular is known for two of his books: The Invention of the Jewish People, which shows that Israeli Jews aren’t a "people" and therefore their claim to Palestine is questionable, and How I Stopped Being a Jew, a short polemics announcing Sand resigning as a Jew because a state which defines itself by religious or ethnic group cannot be considered democratic. 
The Department of Training, Youth and Culture stated that as a general rule, "it does not interfere in the curriculum of a school but it observes, at all times and for all schools, the respect for political neutrality and scientific objectivity". 
Following the intervention, the HEP Board of Directors, through its rector, asked to suspend the seminar. "We tried to provide an additional reading by contacting the historian Elie Barnavi (former Israeli ambassador to France), the rector explained. "But we did not receive an answer and the deadlines became too close. We decided to suspend this seminar." Believing that the criticism had reached an unprecedented scale, Guillaume Vanhulst, the rector of the school, explained: "I must guarantee a serene debate so that this seminar does not degenerate into a political forum, or verbal pugilism," he retorted, assuring that this training will take place later, with these participants and others. 
However, except for the change of title, with the addition of Pascal de Crousaz to balance the event, the speakers are the same. Professor Ehrenfreund is right, both Pappe and Sand are more activists than scholars. 
As Sand himself admitted, "I chose this subject after I got tenure. I could not make an academic career in Tel Aviv with this kind of book. After getting a full professorship, I decided to take a risk". In a recent article, The Guardian wrote of Sand who "started his working life making radio sets in Israel before studying in France and his blue-collar past haunts his thinking." In particular his affinity to Communism. Since his early work on the French revolutionary syndicalist Georges Sorel, Sand, "inherits his doubts that workers need to be led to communist paradise." Sand's critics, such as Anita Shapira, the internationally acclaimed scholar, has written that Sand's polemics are based "on the most esoteric and controversial interpretations, while seeking to undermine the credibility of important scholars by dismissing their conclusions without bringing any evidence to bear." Sand's greatest supporters have an anti-Semitic background. Iran, for example, has recently announced the book, The Invention of the Jewish People, is being sold in Iranian bookstores. David Duke, the anti-Semite and Holocaust denier has written of Sand, "Well-known Jewish dissident Professor Shlomo Sand has admitted that Israel is the 'most racist state in the world'—and that Jews in the rest of the world all work to 'dominate' and 'control' their home nations’ policies to support the racist Zionist state." So much so that an Haaretz article questioned recently, "Why David Duke, David Icke, Louis Farrakhan and the Assad Regime All Love Shlomo Sand. And Iran, George Galloway, Gilad Atzmon and the Daily Stormer." 
While Ilan Pappe has been writing on the creation of the Palestinian refugees, his scholarship is dubious. One reviewer wrote, "This book combines an interesting narrative... together with sympathetic descriptions verging on apologetics, highly problematic omissions and outright distortions... This mix is a direct result of the author's political agenda of unmitigated identification with Palestinian nationalism and hostility to Zionism." In the New Republic, Historian Benny Morris named Pappe "The Liar as Hero", charging him as "one of the world’s sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest." Another reviewer of Pappe has noted "Pappe’s poor writing... laden with errors, failures, absurd interpretations and unreliability". 
Other seminar participants include, Philippe Rekacewicz, a cartographer and a journalist with Le Monde Diplomatique. In 2007 he co-written an article "Jerusalem’s apartheid tramway" about two French companies involved in the construction and operation of the Jerusalem light railway. "It is promoted as a unifying project: in fact, it will be yet another way to isolate the Palestinians." 
Elias Khoury is a Palestinian author originally from Lebanon, in 1967 he moved to Jordan to become a researcher for the PLO. In his work he compared the Jewish ghettos to the Palestinian ghettos. 
Elias Sanbar is the Ambassador of Palestine to UNESCO. He is a Palestinian intellectual and activist, and the founder of the Journal of Palestine Studies (La Revue d'Études Palestiniennes). In a conversation with the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze in 1982, published as "The Indians of Palestine," Sanbar named racism as the central element in the creation of Israel: "Here, the Zionist movement consistently played upon a racist vision which made Judaism the very basis of the expulsion, of the rejection of the other." 
Evidently, such a list of speakers points out to the fact that the seminar is a political tool aiming to change history. Since the Palestinians cannot undo Israel, they try, with the help of obliging academics, to rewrite history in order to delegitimize the Jewish State. Exposing Swiss history teachers to a highly biased reading of 1948 is part of this tactic. No wonder the Swiss BDS group is following this story closely.
Hebrew University
Grant Paid by ISEF: Israeli "State’s Racist Project... Targeting of Palestinian Children" - by HUJ Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian
Last week the media broke out with the story "Hebrew U Professor to Give a Talk on Israel Using Palestinian Kids as 'Arms Laboratories'," about Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, the Lawrence D. Biele Chair in Law at the Faculty of Law-Institute of Criminology and the School of Social Work and Public Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Chair in Global Law at Queen Mary University of London. 
Shalhoub-Kevorkian will be traveling to Amsterdam to give a lecture, on the 22nd of January, about Israeli security agencies who "market their technologies as 'combat proven'", based on "surveying, imprisoning, torturing and killing" then selling the knowledge to clients such as "states, arms companies, and security agencies." Palestinian children are used by Israeli "laboratory," as "unchilded disposable others, whose bodies are used to transfer knowledge and to market technologies of violence." Her lecture is based on the voices and writings of Jerusalemite children who "live under Occupation.” 
Three groups are organizing the lecture: FFIPP NL, an educational network for human rights in Palestine/Israel; Palestine Link, an organization of Palestinians in the Netherlands; and Gate48, a group of Israelis living in the Netherlands "who oppose the occupation of the Palestinian territories and call for its end." 
When asked, the Hebrew University said it didn’t fund the trip to Amsterdam and that she “accepted an invitation to speak at the conference on her own time and on her own dime.” 
But, as can be seen, for this research Shalhoub Kevorkian has received a grant from the Israeli Science Foundation (ISEF). Grant number 1019/16, as acknowledged in her latest article, "Arrested Childhood in Spaces of Indifference: The Criminalized Children of Occupied East Jerusalem", co-authored with Shahrazad Odeh, a HUJ human rights lawyer. The article accuses Israel of "colonial violence inflicted upon incarcerated children’s bodies" and discusses the "role of the Israeli politico-legal system in framing and constructing the racialization of children." The article demonstrates how the Israeli criminal justice system is "fundamental to the Israeli state’s targeting of Palestinian children". The authors argue that child arrest is "a political mechanism" in the "processes of colonial dispossession". The article emphasizes "the core role of the Israeli legal system in the state's racist project," and concludes by claiming that the Israeli legal system dismisses the "basic rights of the Palestinian child." 
On the 27 February 2019 Shalhoub-Kevorkian will speak on this topic at the School of Law, Queen Mary University of London. 
Her previous work is equally biased against Israel. Her 2009 article argues, "First, that Palestinian children living in the settler colonial conditions of the Palestinian home/land are increasingly targeted in the Israeli state’s eliminatory violence. Second, that denying children from their childhood and humanity relegates them to a death zone, a position that not only denies their suffering, but also constructs them as always already terrorist others who should be disciplined and violated." She wishes to place the "practices in a historical continuum of Israeli colonial violence, which has since the Nakba racialized the Palestinian people as ‘Others’ slated for elimination and attempted to strip them of their humanity. That child arrest practices are legally licensed offer a graphic and visible exercise of state violence, evidencing how laws enable the state and its agents to inflict violence in a ‘legal’, ‘securitized’ and ‘rational’ manner." 
Shalhoub-Kevorkian's 2015 book, Security Theology, Surveillance and the Politics of Fear, examines Palestinian experiences within the context of "Israeli settler colonialism" and explores how "Israeli theologies and ideologies of security, surveillance and fear can obscure violence and power dynamics while perpetuating existing power structures. Drawing from everyday aspects of Palestinian victimization, survival, life and death, and moving between the local and the global." She introduces and defines the "politics of fear" within Palestine/Israel. She examines the "settler colonial state's machineries of surveillance which produce and maintain a political economy of fear that justifies colonial violence." 
IAM reported on Shalhoub-Kevorkian anti-Israel approach before, as she was, in fact, working for the Palestinian Authority through the Ministry of Women’s Affairs' chapter of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). The YWCA reported that in 2007, Shalhoub-Kevorkian published the study "Facing the Wall: Palestinian Children and Adolescents Speak about the Israeli Separation Wall" which showcased the "heavy price Palestinian adolescents have to face, both for being Palestinians and also for living in the shadow of the Wall. The recurring words of the Palestinian teenagers in that study were 'divider', 'apartheid,' 'snake,' 'dangerous disease;' all of which were revolved around the symbolic as well as physical reality of the Wall; a nightmare creeping into the dreams of Palestinians." YWCA also reported on a study by Shalhoub-Kevorkian, launched in Ramallah in 2010, "Military Occupation, Trauma and the Violence of Exclusion: Trapped bodies and lives. IAM reported that during Israel Apartheid Week 2011, Shalhoub-Kevorkian spoke about "Apartheid – Birth and Death in Jerusalem." 
It is true that Shalhoub-Kevorkian is traveling "on her own dime” as the Hebrew University has stated. But it is equally true that she received a grant, and uses her position at the top Israeli university to legitimize her radical views. Trying to find a balance between academic freedom and aggressive anti-Israel propaganda is not easy. It is incumbent on the university authorities to initiate a discussion on the subject. HUJ is a public university which is funded by taxpayers and thus is accountable to them and their elected representatives. By ignoring this fact, the university is defaulting on its duty of good citizenship.
Hebrew University
Ill-Treatment of a Student-Soldier by HUJ Carola Hilfrich
Last week, Kan TV News broke out with the story of a student in a course by Dr. Carola Hilfrich at the Hebrew University wearing IDF uniform claimed to be harassed by an Arab student. The soldier complained after class to Dr. Hilfrich who, in turn, lambasted her for being a soldier in the Israeli army, which hurts other students' feelings: "You can't be naïve enough to ask to be treated as a civilian when you are in uniform. You are a soldier in the Israeli army and people treat you accordingly," the lecturer said. Then the student asked: "Does it bother you that I'm wearing the uniform in class?" Hilfrich replied: "There are people whose civil society is as important to them as the army is to you, and you must accept their priorities as tolerantly as they accept yours.” The video recording of the incident clearly indicates that Hilfrich raised her voice at the student-soldier. 
Following the incident, the HUJ placed ads in various newspapers assuring students that they are welcome wearing uniforms and apologizing for the incident. Subsequent media reports revealed that the student-soldier was a former member of the student group Im Tirtzu; some even implied that the woman soldier staged the incident in order to trap the professor. These revelations were enough to prompt some HUJ faculty to circulate petitions in support of Dr. Hilfrich. Professor Asher Cohen, the president of HUJ issued a statement on TV Channel 2 News: “The Hebrew University embraces and supports students who serve as soldiers. Unfortunately, this happened because of the false manipulations and disinformation spread around this video, especially by the truly despicable organization called Im Tirtzu that created these manipulations... The army's most prestigious programs are run by us, we have always supported servicemen and will always support servicemen. And yet we live in very challenging times, of social networks, disinformation and false manipulations which can create a false impression... We did not abandon the lecturer. In my opinion, both the lecturer and the student are victims of the same manipulation done by that organization. There is also a third victim, the Hebrew University, and we wanted to end this saga and clarify. We also did not express an apology in the simplest sense. We said that we were sorry if someone was hurt." 
Claims about the alleged stunt operation by the Im Tirtzu is not relevant to the case. The complaint stands on its own; the student claims of harassment by another student and, regardless whether she is a right-winger, left-winger, or centrist, the professor needed to investigate the complaint just like any other complaint of harassment. Students should be treated as equal, regardless of their political affiliation. In fact, the various HUJ codes assure this right. The faculty who signed a petition in support of Dr. Hilfrich should also know that. But as IAM documented over and over again, Israeli social science and humanities faculty are skewed left-wing and tend to protect their radical peers. 
Unquestionably, Dr. Hiflrich has a long history of radical activism. In 2003, she was among Israeli Academics who supported students refusing to serve as soldiers in the occupied territories. In 2004, she was among the signatories of the Olga Document, recognizing the right to return. In 2014 she was among the academic signatories in the petition blaming Israel for the war with Gaza. 
Hilfrich is also not the only one who took offense to soldiers wearing the uniform. In 2007, IAM reported on a cinematography student at Sapir College who entered the class wearing IDF uniform and was ordered to leave by the Arab lecturer Nizar Hassan. The administration stood by the soldier. Soon-after the story broke out, petitions circulated in support of the lecturer, signed by dozens of Jewish and Arab university lecturers, praising Hassan as "a talented and courageous artist whose only sin was his attempt to maintain universal civic values, [who] pointed to the serious phenomenon of the great involvement of the army in campus life." Quite similar to the case of Hilfrich. 
In response to Dr. Hilfrich treatment of the soldier, Shmuel Slavin, a member of a committee monitoring the implementation of the Recovery Plan to the Hebrew University (part of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education), sent a harsh letter in protest and also suspended his membership on the committee. The role of the committee is to supervise the recovery plan initiated by the Ministry of Finance for the Hebrew University, which was facing heavy financial deficits. The plan was launched in February 2018, and the state is expected to transfer to the Hebrew University a total of NIS 700 million over a decade. The plan also includes a reduction in the number of jobs, with the university committing itself to cover deficits in the amount of NIS 900 million, including by selling assets worth NIS 400 million. 
While Hebrew University is depended on the state for financial support, it is expected in return to treat with respect the taxpayers. To prevent such incidents reoccurring in the future, university administrations need to emphasize that students in uniform, regardless of their political affiliation, should be afforded equal treatment. Radical academics should be put on notice that they are violating the regulations by taking matters into their own hands.
Hebrew University
HUJ Yael Berda Sociology Courses are Political Activism Paid by the Taxpayers
IAM often reports about the new generation of political activists eager to gain tenure in Israeli universities. One such an example is Dr. Yael Berda of the Hebrew University's Sociology Department. 
Trained as a lawyer, Berda is a longstanding activist with Machsom Watch, a group that opposes Israeli checkpoints in Judea and Samaria. When studying for a PhD in Princeton University, Berda was a member of the Princeton Committee on Palestine (PCP) which "works to end the occupation in Palestine, defend Palestinian human rights, and raise awareness in the Princeton community about the Palestinian narrative." While in Princeton she also joined other Israeli academics from various American universities, who formed the Israeli Opposition Network, aiming to "oppose current Israeli Leadership" and to warn that the "election results threaten democracy and rule of law in Israel." 
Clearly, in her writing and activism Berda turns a blind eye to Palestinian violence against Israelis by opposing Israel's measures to thwart terrorist threats. As she said in an interview, about the years when she took the first legal case as an independent lawyer. "I was shocked by what I saw in the Military Courts. Not only was there a separation of laws for every population, but there was physical separation in the court between the entry of Jewish citizens and the entrance of Palestinian residents, and even separate seating areas. One of the soldiers told me, 'Why are you in shock? This is the territories - there are other laws here.'" 
On a regular basis, Berda is the organizer of demonstrations by a group of Israelis who march near the border-fence with Gaza waving banners in against the siege of Gaza. When Berda was interviewed she said "It is important for us that people on the other side see us, that they see there are different voices, and that they know that we think there is a need to talk about the right of return, about the Palestinian refugees. It must be part of an agreement. Until we talk about it - we can not end the conflict." 
Berda's political thought brought her to the group "The Two States, One Homeland," sponsored by the New Israel Fund, an initiative by Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport and Palestinian activist Awni Al-Mashni, a Fatah political activist. The group intends to present "a homeland shared by two people [while] each having deep historic, religious and cultural connections to the land." 
Already in 2006 Berda was recruiting students to volunteer in organizations such as Yesh Din and Machsom Watch, promising them NIS 1450 grant. As an MA student of Sociology, Berda was a teaching assistant to TAU Prof. Yehuda Shenhav at the Hebrew University's Campus-Community Partnerships for a Social Change, a project initiated by Daphna Golan-Agnon, Faculty of Law. The course "Bureaucracy, Governance and Human Rights" was taught by Shenhav, instructed by Barda with a guest lecturer Adv. Michael Sfard. The course intended to deal with "practice and management theory, while focusing on control techniques that have emerged within the context of the Israeli occupation in the territories." The historical roots, to try to place them within the "colonial context, especially the British and the French ones". In particular, the course focused on the "connection between race and bureaucracy," The course intended especially to "look beyond the shoulder of the worker in the civil service to try to understand the mechanism in which it operates. The course was defined as a seminar that combines theory and practice." In addition to Shenhav, "Sfard joined the course as a guest lecturer and legal adviser to Yesh Din. The students take action every two weeks in observations, in the project of Military Court Observers, a project of Yesh Din and in the Coordination Project of Machsom Watch. The students work with the assistance of the organizations in documenting, representing and liaising with the official authorities, while keeping a travelogue of activities. The students accompanied by Adv. Yael Barda, at the individual level and the group level. The students receive travel fee to the places of activity and an annual grant of NIS 1450. At the end of the year, each student submits an article based on the activities and experiences relating to the theoretical content of the course. Some of these articles were selected for publication in a book edited by Shenhav, Sfard and Barda, in partnership with the organizations." 
Clearly, Berda's scholarship is a configuration of her politics, as can be seen in her article published recently in the American Sociological Association's newsletter, Trajectories, based on the conference "Empires, Colonies, Indigenous Peoples". In Berda's paper, "Legacies of Suspicion: From British Colonial Emergency Regulations to the ‘War on Terror’ in Israel and India" she aligns herself with the latest academic trend accusing British colonialism for the failures of the former colonies. 
Berda's one-homeland solution is reflected in the argument, that the 1948 partition between the Jews and the Palestinians has turned the Palestinian minorities in Israel "into foreign and dangerous populations [which] were perceived as hostile because they were on the 'wrong' side of the border." In particular, she claims, the "emergency laws targeted certain problematic or 'dangerous' segments of the subject population". For Berda, Israel treats Palestinian political activists as terrorists. Again turning her argument into the context of race, she suggests that on racial grounds Israel prefers Jews. As "the laws targeted the subjects of the military regime who became Palestinian citizens of Israel. Emergency regulations were used against Jewish citizens only in a handful of cases." Claiming that her comparative study of emergency regulations, "illuminates the inherent tension of the liberal principle of 'the rule of law'", because it gives a "political legitimacy to infringe on civil rights, so long as the infringement abides by institutional standards". In principle, Berda postulates, "laws preserving security include potential infringement of civil and political rights to such a degree that democratic structure becomes hollow." One of her findings is that Palestinian "classification was also according to the degree of loyalty to the regime, or the suspicion of posing a security risk, which I call 'the axis of suspicion'. The classification and monitoring systems were critical because they enabled the colonial bureaucracy to use emergency laws as a practical tool of government." 
Berda claims that, "The attitude of the Israeli state apparatus towards the remainder of the Palestinian population blurred the boundaries between a security threat and a political threat, specifically regarding their status as an enemy population whose very citizenship was questioned until as late as 1952, when the Citizenship Law was passed." Berda postulates that Israel confuses between Palestinian terrorism and Palestinian political activities. She claims that Israel's definition of the "boundaries of terrorism, make participation in political activity in general and public events in particular, a risky affair for minority populations already perceived as dangerous by the regime." Berda takes her argument further by claiming that "offenses for supporting, identifying with, and abetting terrorism, are defined so broadly (with terms like 'terrorist act', terrorist organization', and 'membership of a terrorist organization') that political identity, belonging to a particular community, or residence in an area designated as 'terrorist infrastructure', can be enough to suspend one’s right to due process." 
Berda's conclusion is based on Oren Yiftachel's 2006 book, Ethnocracy: Land and identity politics in Israel/Palestin, as she ends by stating that the "legislation on political belonging and identity in Israel will enable a broad assault on the civil rights of not only Palestinians but also Jewish members of the opposition, changing the “ethnocratic” nature of the political regime." Berda suggests that the Israeli legislation will enable an assault on her and others for being the political opposition. 
From an academic perspective, her teaching reflects her political activism. Three course syllabi make a clear case: 
Her syllabus "Bureaucracy and State" The course "focuses on state bureaucracies, the institutional practices of the executive Branch and its political influence on the daily life of citizens. our premise is that organizations within state bureaucracy have great political power, that are not politically neutral. We will explore the bureaucracy of the state through a comparative lens and locate daily practices and routines that are created within particular historical, economic and cultural conditions and constraints (In Israel, US, India, The British and Ottoman Empires and more). We will learn to apply institutional and political theory to contemporary cases, particularly the relationship between bureaucracy, sovereignty and violations of citizens rights." 
Her syllabus "Sociology of Law" is teaching that "The sociological approach to the law suggests looking at legal structures, how the law turns into culture and ideology, on the political and social power of institutions. In this course, we will learn, through current and sometimes urgent and controversial issues, about how law, social institutions and economic and political practices are building each other. The course is critical of the tradition of the "Law and Society" movement and seeks to challenge concepts that consider the law an independent system that is somehow disconnected from the country's political economy and social life. In addition, the Law and Society movement saw in the law as a significant tool for a broad social and political change, and throughout the course we will also discuss the range of possibilities for social change offered by the reading materials and discussions in the classroom." 
Her course "Society in Israel" includes three field tours, The Supreme Court; Musrara - Following the Black Panthers; and The Politics of Archeology Tour of Silwan/City of David. 
Berda does not hide her ambition. In an interview about her return to Israel, Berda expressed her views, "I say to myself: 'Everything I do here is a contribution to both the policy and the way people perceive themselves.' I want to open people's mind to alternative thinking. People are afraid to open their mouths not to be accused for not being loyal enough, and I want to be the person they meet and tell them that it is possible to live here and expect full equality of rights for Palestinians, and that it is possible to bridge the gaps. "It's very hard because all day you're busy explaining the obvious, but I have no doubt that my life here means a lot more. It's to take part in the struggles and be active. And it's not just me but my children who go to a bilingual school and study Arabic. It is not enough just to live here, we have to struggle. There is a great struggle for the future, and in the meantime the democratic camp is losing. Therefore, I choose to live here to influence." 
Clearly, there is no reason why the taxpayers should sponsor political activism dressed as scholarship.
General Articles
Outline for Law School Clinics by the Council for Higher Education
On the 23rd of December 2018, the Council for Higher Education (CHE) announced it has approved a new outline to regulate the Law School Clinics offered by universities and colleges to Law students. The Clinics provide practical training, and let students experiment legal counsel to various entities. There are 110 Clinics operating in 13 universities and colleges in Israel. Until now, the Clinics were not regulated and mostly worked in favor of left-leaning organizations. 
To recall, IAM reported in September 2016 of the "CHE to Review the Law Schools Clinics," after approving the findings of an International Committee commissioned to evaluate academic standards in the law study programs, a standard practice and an integral role of the CHE. The Committee included Prof. Edward B. Rock, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Committee Chair; Prof. Arye Edrei, Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law; Prof. Silvia Ferreri, University of Turin Law School; Prof. Lucie E. White, Harvard Law School; Prof. David Schizer, Colombia Law School; Prof. Stewart J. Schwab, Cornell University Law School. 
The Committee recommended on several issues of the Law Clinics: "It is desirable to establish that the budget of the Clinics should be taken from the institutions rather than from outside agencies; There is room to improve working conditions and the employment of staff in the clinics; There is a necessity of transparency in the selection process of the clinics' activities, especially when these are determined by external stakeholders; There should be an increased cooperation between clinic activity and staff at all the institutions and their research centers." When reviewing the University of Haifa clinic, the Committee concluded, "we found a lack of clarity vis-à-vis the goals and objectives and vis-à-vis the pedagogic fun'ction of educational clinics. Some of the clinics clearly fun'ction as NGO social organizations, and the clinicians are uncertain about the need to help students acquire skills. We also heard from the students that they wish to receive more skills, professional development, and legal experience from the clinics." The CHE announced that "In light of the recommendations by the International Commission with regards to the Law Clinics, the CHE is in a review process with reference to the above comments." 
Over the years, IAM reported on the one-sided political activism of some of the Law School Clinics. For example, in 2006 IAM reported that the TAU Law School set up a "Refugee Rights Clinic" involving the political organization "Physicians for Human Rights." In 2008 IAM reported that the Clinics were involved with "Gisha," the Israeli NGO protecting the freedom of movement of Palestinians, when serving on its board a number of academics, such as Prof. Kenneth Mann (TAU, Law), Prof. Yishai Blank (TAU, Law), Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian (HUJ, Law), among others. In 2009 IAM reported that the U of Haifa Law Clinic took on the State Prosecutor. The Prisoners Rights Clinic at the U of Haifa was run by Adv. Abeer Baker who co-authored the book Threat: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel with TAU Dr. Anat Matar. Also in 2009, IAM reported that a number of Clinic staff spoke in a conference "Absence of Justice and State Accountability" of Adalah (the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) designated for Arab Law students, with participants including Prof. Neta Ziv, the Director of Law Clinics at TAU; Prof. Michael Karayanni of the Faculty of Law, HUJ; Dr. Yousef Tayseer Jabareen, a Law lecturer at Haifa U; Dr. Hala Khoury-Bisharat of Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities and chair of the board of Adalah; as well as Adv. Abeer Baker. As described by Adalah, "Seventy law students from Israeli colleges and universities and Al Quds University and 25 human rights lawyers, academics and activists participated in the event." In 2011 IAM reported that Prof. Ziv was due to represent the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement in Montreal. IAM later reported a legal case lead by the TAU Law Clinic, which petitioned against a proposed law intending to deduct 20 percent of salaries of asylum seekers and create a special fund to hold the sums until the refugees departure from Israel. Critics have questioned whether the TAU clinic should handle such a project. 
IAM concluded the post by stating that if the CHE is reviewing the Universities' Law Clinics, it should make sure that their budget will be taken from the universities rather than from outside sources. This means that political groups will no longer determine the clinics' work. The need for transparency in selecting the Law Clinics' activities is highly important, as well as incorporating the work of the Law Clinics with that of the universities and other research centers. 
The following is the new outline adopted by the CHE to regulate the Law School clinics offered to Law students by universities and colleges: 
Heading the clinic system will be a faculty member in a regular academic track, who is employed full-time by the Institution. The head of the system will report on the activity of the clinics system to the dean and the faculty teaching committee. 
Academic responsibility for each clinic will be in the hands of the academic institution through the "academic supervisor" who is a faculty member or an adjunct lecturer who will be appointed by the appointing body of external teachers (teaching committee, appointment committee, etc.). In exceptional cases, the head of the clinic may be the academic supervisor of the clinic. The responsibility of all the events in the clinic will be the responsibility of the academic supervisor (academic supervisor or head of the Law School clinic system), who will report annually to the head of the clinic system on the activity of the clinic under his responsibility. The grade for each student will be given by the academic supervisor who will report to the head of the clinic system. 
Academic training in the framework of Law School clinics will take place in general at the institution. 
The activity within the framework of the clinic will be restricted to activities related to legal issues in the broad sense. 
Due to academic training, as long as it is given in the clinic, a credit point will be awarded for each semester hour. Due to clinical activity, an additional credit point will be awarded for at least 3 hours of clinical work (fieldwork, practical training) at the institution or outside of it. The clinic can be run on a semester basis or annual. The possibility of granting credits for clinics is only for a graduate degree. 
Choosing the clinic will be a free choice of the student. Admission to the clinic will be the responsibility of the academic supervisor of the clinic. A student will not be compelled to participate in a clinic that is contrary to his personal views. 
In each clinic, up to 25 students will participate. 
The areas of activity and contents of the clinics will be determined each year by the faculty teaching committee in coordination with the head of the clinic system and with the approval of the Dean. 
The criteria for determining the areas of activity of the clinics will be their pedagogical value. Formulation of all areas of activity and content in clinics will be carried out in a way that will not discriminate against students for any reason, and in accordance with the institution's regulations. The institution will allow every student to integrate into them, while maintaining freedom of opinion and expression and subject to academic freedom. 
The institution of higher education will ensure that if an outside body contributes financially to the institution in the context of the clinic, it will not have any involvement, either before the establishment of the clinic or after its establishment, in determining the contents of the clinic and its conduct, in electing the academic supervisor or in granting benefits to the students[2]. It will made clear that in any activity and publication, the clinic is affiliated with and identified with the institution. 
An appeal against a decision not to approve a clinic at the request of a body that has proposed it, will be transferred to the Dean's attention and decided by the authorized body at the institution which approves courses and curricula. 
The head of the institution will receive and coordinate the annual reports on the clinics that take place within the framework of the institution, including a report on bodies that proposed the establishment of new clinics, either approved or rejected during the year, and will transfer a copy of the report to the CHE.
About Us
Israel Academia Monitor - Court Case and Request for Support
IAM has reported in August 2013 and again in April 2014, on Dr. Amos Goldberg, a Hebrew University scholar of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, "[HUJ Amos Goldberg] Critical Studies Find Converts among Holocaust Studies Scholars: What do Taxpayers Pay For?". Goldberg co-authored an article which compared the Holocaust and the Nakba. The article was published in the Journal of Genocide Studies which gave this comparison an academic legitimacy. One of the goals of IAM has been to document the writings of radical Israeli scholars who push to create the regrettable equivalence between the Holocaust and the Nakba (Catastrophe), a reference which Palestinians use to describe the 1948 War. Portraying the Israel Defense Force as a Nazi-like army has been very popular among radical academics who seek to delegitimize the State of Israel. 
The IAM post was accompanied by an illustrative picture, taken in 2010, of Goldberg participating in a demonstration with a group of anarchists and confronting the police. IAM credited the blogger Shahaf Pilovitz for the picture and added a hyperlink to his forum where it appeared. 
Two years later photographer Abir Sultan and the photo agency Flash 90 sued IAM over copyright infringement of the photo, requesting its immediate removal and compensation. Last week, after two years of court proceedings, IAM has lost the lawsuit and is now ordered to pay NIS 40,000. The plaintiff claimed that the picture contained a hyperlink leading to the original report which shows that Flash 90 holds the copyright for the picture. The Judge, without checking if this is true, accepted this false claim. In reality, the photograph did not contain such a hyperlink near it. 
It should be noted that according to the Israeli law, it is permissible to use a picture without permission if the picture is used for research and inquiry, which is what IAM has been doing. In court, IAM also claimed to be an "innocent infringer" because of crediting Pilovich who seemed to be the owner of the picture. IAM even provided a prior exchange with Pilovich who gave IAM permission to use his material. Now IAM has to fight for the truth to come out. 
Over the years IAM has worked hard to expose the writings of radical Israeli academics which delegitimize Israel in many different ways. The scholars-activists have compared Israel to a colonial state, apartheid state, and above all to a Nazi state. Even by the low-standards of morals equivalence, to imply that the Palestinians have been subjected to a genocidal campaign like the Jews of Europe is beyond the pale. 
IAM would like to appeal against this ruling. It is important to raise funds for this effort as IAM should not bear the burden alone. We are about to start a crowdfunding campaign, and will notify our readers once its operating. Please support IAM with any donation great or small. Thanks so much for your support.
General Articles
Israeli Scholars Protest Against Conflating Anti-Zionism with Anti-Semitism Could be Construed as Anti-Semitic
The growing incidents of anti-Semitism in the West has prompted the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) to conduct a survey on how Jews experience anti-Semitism across 12 EU Member States. "Experiences and Perceptions of Antisemitism – Second survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU" was published as a report on December 10, 2018. The report points to rising levels of antisemitism in Europe. About 90% of the respondents felt that anti-Semitism is growing in their country; Around 90% felt it is particularly problematic online; And some 70% cited the public space, the media and politics as common sources of anti-Semitism; Almost 30% have been harassed, with those being visibly Jewish were most affected. 
To tackle this growing atmosphere of anti-Semitism, the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU has hosted a high-level conference on November 21, 2018, billed as "Europe beyond anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism – securing Jewish life in Europe". The European Jewish Congress, representing the official Jewish community organizations in 42 states, initiated the conference. The Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said at the conference, “I find it almost inconceivable that almost 100 years after the Shoah, such a thing as anti‑Semitism even still exists and that we continuously see newly imported anti‑Semitism in our society. It is all the more essential never to forget the past and to also raise awareness among subsequent generations that in Austria there were not only victims but also many perpetrators.” It is also noted that the political forces behind the comprehensive survey were First Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Commissioner for Justice Věra Jourová. In the conference, Jourová "underlined that the European Union was aware of anti‑Semitism being a serious problem that can only be combatted jointly. Societies should not stand and watch as anti‑Semitism is once again on the rise." 
However, a day before the conference took place, some 35 Israeli scholars wrote a public letter in response. "As Israeli scholars, most of whom research and teach Jewish history, we say to Europe: Relentlessly fight anti-Semitism to protect Jewish life in Europe, and allow it to thrive. Do so while maintaining a clear distinction between criticism of the state of Israel, harsh as it may be, and anti-Semitism. Don’t mix anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. And preserve free speech for those who reject the Israeli occupation and insist that it ends." The group expressed concerns over conflating criticism of the state of Israel with anti-Semitism, and in particular, over the official announcement of the conference by the Austrian government, which said: “Very often, anti-Semitism is expressed through exaggerated and disproportionate criticism of the state of Israel.” According to the group, these words "echo the anti-Semitism definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Several examples of contemporary anti-Semitism attached to this definition, relate to harsh critique of Israel. As a result, the definition can be dangerously instrumentalized to afford Israel immunity against criticism for grave and wide-spread violations of human rights and international law – criticism which is considered legitimate when directed at other countries. This has a chilling effect on any critique of Israel." 
While the group urged Europe to reject "efforts to restrict free speech and to silence criticism of Israel on the false ground of equating it with anti-Semitism," it also stated that "Zionism, like all other modern Jewish movements in the 20th century, was harshly opposed by many Jews, as well as by non-Jews who were not anti-Semitic. Many victims of the Holocaust opposed Zionism. On the other hand, many anti-Semites supported Zionism. It is nonsensical and inappropriate to identify anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.” 
The scholars’ claim that many Jews rejected Zionism (and quite a few still do) is an ingenious distraction from the debate about the extent of overlap of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. 
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism which has been widely accepted in Europe and the United States, makes a clear distinction between criticism of Israeli policies and anti-Semitism. Even before IHRA, it was always understood that criticism of Israel should be allowed as part of a healthy democratic discourse. IHRA states that “criticism of Israel similar to that is leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.” But the group conveniently ignores this clear distinction to create the impression that IHRA and its supporters protect Israel. "Extending this fight to protect the state of Israel from criticism feeds misconceptions that Jews equal Israel – and are thus responsible for what Israel does.” 
By omitting the carefully worded distinction, the scholars push a false narrative banking on the fact that few of their readers would be familiar with the entire IHRA text. But this amazing dishonesty has an additional goal. As IAM has repeatedly documented, virtually all radical academics in Israel engage in criticism of Israel which far exceeds that of other countries. Indeed, reading this large literature one could conclude that Blaming Israel for everything is the norm, but criticizing Palestinian behavior is taboo. 
Clearly, by the standards of IHRA, the writings of radical Israeli academics should be judged anti-Semitic.
Tel Aviv University
How Israeli Taxpayers Supported TAU Shlomo Sand, a Propaganda Mouthpiece for Iran, David Duke, Louis Farrakhan and the Daily Stormer
TAU Professor Shlomo Sand is no stranger to controversy. In 2009 he published the English translation of his book The Invention of the Jewish People. Using fanciful critical theories and outright historical falsifications, Sand asserted that the Jewish people never existed as an ethno-demographic entity. Rather, they were “invented” by nineteenth century Zionist entrepreneurs in order to justify their quest to create a Jewish country in Palestine. At the very least, Sand claimed, these so-called Jews in Eastern Europe were the Khazars who converted to Judaism between the seventh and the tenth century. 
Contradicting this claim, Prof. Shaul Stampfer of the Hebrew University's Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, has researched the question and noted that the Khazar conversion is a legend with no factual basis. There was never a conversion of a Khazar king or the Khazar elite. Also, the fact that DNA testing totally disproved this thesis did not bother Sand. His response was "It is a bitter irony to see the descendants of Holocaust survivors set out to find a biological Jewish identity: Hitler would certainly have been very pleased! And it is all the more repulsive that this kind of research should be conducted in a state that has waged for years a declared policy of Judaization of the country.’” With the same disregard for scientific norms, he also claimed that the Yiddish, the language of East European Jews had no connection to German. 
In 2009 Sand was accused of anti-Semitism after comparing Israel's birth to rape. "I compare when I am speaking before Arab students the birth of the Israeli state to an act of rape. But even the son that was born of the act of rape... you have to recognize him... the existence of Israel I don't put in question today, you understand me?" He said. 
While Sand was totally discredited by scholars and lay critics, he has amassed a large fan club as noted recently in the Haaretz article "Why David Duke, David Icke, Louis Farrakhan and the Assad Regime All Love Shlomo Sand. Sand has also been a favorite of the propaganda machine of Iran, George Galloway, Gilad Atzmon and the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi outlet modeled on the infamous Nazi flagship. The Haaretz article concluded that Sand is considered a "first-rate authority on Jews by lots of first-rate Jew-haters," and that "Sand has the unique distinction of attracting an incredibly broad spectrum of anti-Semites who follow different schools of anti-Semitism, from theological to political to racial to cultural. Sand fun'ctions as the symbolic destination for an 'ingathering of the anti-Semites,' as it were.” 
Other critics of Sand have made the same point, as IAM repeatedly pointed out. Anita Shapira, the renowned professor of Jewish History wrote of Sand's book, it is an "attempt to drag history into a topical argument, and with the help of misrepresentations and half-truths to adapt it to the needs of a political discussion, and all this, ostensibly, under an academic mantle. Sand has written a sharp, pointed polemic drawing on much varied historical material which he re-kneads at will... Sand bases his arguments on the most esoteric and controversial interpretations, while seeking to undermine the credibility of important scholars by dismissing their conclusions without bringing any evidence to bear." 
What is less known is that Sand has been essentially saying the same things since he was a member of the now defunct, Matzpen, a radical organization which operated in the sixties and early seventies, when Sand was working as a telephone technician for the Israeli Post Office. His prospects have improved when, after obtaining a doctorate in French culture, Tel Aviv University hired him to teach in the department of history on French history and culture. After securing tenure, Sand, like many of his radical colleagues at Tel Aviv University, turned to writing on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the infamous “Invention of the Jewish People.” As Sand admitted, "I chose this subject after I got tenure. I could not make an academic career in Tel Aviv with this kind of book. After getting a full professorship, I decided to take a risk." Indeed, it was because of academic legitimacy that the radical anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli fraternity made him a star. It is hard to imagine that this fraternity would have used him as a top exhibit if he was a telephone technician. 
Sand defines himself as a historian, but his scholarship belongs to cultural studies and cinema. Tel Aviv University is the cause for his confusion for recruiting him to the Department of History. See for example his publications. As described in his online biography, since 1984 and until his The invention of the Jewish People, in 2008, none of his books were scholarship of history: 
Matai ve’ech humtza ha’am hayehudi?, Tel Aviv, Resling, 2008. Hebrew. (The Invention of the Jewish People); 
Historians, Time and Imagination, From the “Annales” School to the Postzionist Assassin, Tel Aviv, Am Oved, 2004. Hebrew; 
Film as History – Imagining and Screening the Twentieth Century, Tel Aviv, Am Oved & Open University Press, 2002. Hebrew; 
Le XXe siècle à l' écran, Paris, Seuil, 2004. (The Twentieth Century on the Screen); 
Intellectuals, Truth and Power. From the Dreyfus Affair to the Gulf War, Tel Aviv, Am Oved, 2000. Hebrew; 
L'Illusion du politique. Georges Sorel et le débat intellectuel 1900 , Paris, La Découverte, 1984. (The Illusion of politics. Georges Sorel and the intellectual debate 1900); 
Likewise, his syllabi are evidently for teaching cinema course. Sand's syllabus in 2004, "Movies as Memorial Zones - Cinema and Colonialism" described as following: "The cinema was born at one of the highlights of colonial expansion of the late nineteenth century. A few years after its birth it began to film the occupied territories and the history of the white man in them. Over the past century, many thousands of documentaries and feature films have been reproduced in the West that reconstructed various chapters of the history of colonialism. Stories of the occupier's and ruler's contacts with the locals, the exotic or the dangerous, occupied the imagination of many directors and thus constituted a background for love affairs, adventures and emotional sagas. The process of de-colonization in the second half of the twentieth century began to change the narrative recipes, although many components of the cinematic-colonial view remained intact. The class will attempt to review some of the cinematic representations of the history of colonization and the national struggle against it. Through the audiovisual materials, documentary and feature films, we will try to learn about the nature of the West's attitude toward the occupied, its arrogance, its self-representation vis-à-vis the inferior "other" and its hidden and apparent fears in response to the rebellion of the occupied, etc. From the first Tarzan films, through Lawrence of Arabia, to the Battle of Algeria, Gandhi and Indo China, the ideological and emotional manipulations created by cinema and their differences will be examined in the historiographic discourse on the development of colonialism and de-colonization." The students are required to read a chapter in Sand's book Cinema as History. To Visualize and Direct the Twentieth Century (Am Oved: 2002), Hebrew. pp. 13-29. 
Sand's syllabus in 2005 is "Cinema as History: Fascism, Nazism and Racism." His course is detailed as "The central issue in this class will be: How did the cinema tell the history of Fascism and Nazism? With the help of cinematic, documentary and feature materials, the relationship between moving imagery and historiography will be examined. The focus of the discussion will be on the nature of the audiovisual representations related to general historical processes, the insights these representations contain, as well as their advantages and disadvantages vis-à-vis the written conceptualization mechanisms. How is cinema different as an agent of memory from the other "recollection" agents? Is in the case of the history of fascism and Nazism, cinema adds a layer of memory that would not have been found without it? What are the elements of knowledge about the past that the film offers and what kind of emotional and intellectual manipulation it contains? In what way the movie is different from textbooks? The purpose of the course is to answer these questions and to add and respond to others." 
Sand even found faults in his own research, admitting as much in the book: "Though the present work was composed by a professional historian, it takes risks not usually permitted or authorized in this field of endeavor. The accepted rules of academe demand that the scholar follow prescribed pathways and stick to the field in which he is supposedly qualified. A glance at the chapter headings of this book, however, will show that the spectrum of issues discussed herein exceeds the boundaries of a single scientific field. Teachers of Bible studies, historians of the ancient period, archaeologists, medievalists and, above all, experts on the Jewish People will protest that the author has encroached on fields of research not his own. There is some truth in this argument, as the author is well aware. It would have been better had the book been written by a team of scholars rather than by a lone historian. Unfortunately, this was not possible, as the author could find no accomplices. Some inaccuracies may therefore be found in this book, for which the author apologizes, and he invites critics to do their best to correct them." 
That anti-Semites and radical Israel-bashers would embrace Sand is understandable. What is more difficult to explain is why the academic authorities at TAU and other universities defended the radical scholars by hoisting the flag of academic freedom. Israeli universities are public institutions which are accountable to the taxpayers and their elected officials. Clearly, by providing Sand and others with academic respectability they failed their fiduciary responsibility.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Hoist with their Own Petard? Disinviting Israeli Scholars from a Conference in South Africa
An international conference in South Africa has caused a stir. Several Israeli scholars were persuaded to withdraw their participation due to pressure from the BDS movement. "Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation: The Light and Shadow of Historical Trauma" is scheduled to take place from 5 to 9 December 2018 at the University of Stellenbosch. The conference intended to "deepen understanding of trans-generational trauma, and develop strategies to deal with the repercussions of genocide, colonial oppression, and mass violence." 
On 27 November 2018, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, the chair of the conference organizing committee, wrote to the conference delegates concerning the statement by the Palestinian Solidarity Group which called for Israeli academics to withdraw from the conference. She has been in conversation with the three BDS initiators, Roshen Dadoo, Armien Abrahams and Umesh Bawa, as well as with the Israeli academics, who "have all since rescinded their participation at the conference and will no longer be part of the programme." 
While she admits that "None of the Israeli participants we invited to speak at the conference represents the position of the state of Israel against Palestinians. Nor do they represent an 'institutional' position. On the contrary, they are academics who have been engaged in research and interventions that have involved disrupting the Israel narrative, nurturing a group of young students who are moving in fields that are beginning to challenge the status quo." Yet, in contrast, she adds that "The call to boycott is an important one. The problem is whether a distinction can be made to permit an Israeli academic to take part whose work clearly exposes, rather than normalizes, experiences that are painful and traumatic. Clearly, the rationale for the boycott does not call for the exclusion of someone whose work unambiguously exposes the very conditions that led to the call for a boycott, and the statement quoted above from the Palestinian Solidarity Group confirms this." If this is the case, then why did she succumb to the BDS pressure? 
Interestingly, Jacqueline Rose, a longtime supporter of BDS and another conference participant, responded to these developments by stating that while she supports an academic boycott, she does so conditionally. “Institutions not individuals; no exclusions based on ethnicity." She would have preferred to see Israelis, Palestinians and other Arabs coming together by "creating a space at the conference for this issue to be discussed openly and critically." Rose, one of the harshest critics of Israel, should not be so surprised that the BDS policies are not nuanced enough to her taste “to create a space" to discuss issues openly and critically. As a social scientist she should know that extremists such as the ones who drive the BDS campaign see the world in black and white terms. Originally, the conference was scheduled to host a panel on reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, titled "Can we empathize with the narratives of our enemy? Encountering collective narratives of the 'other' in the Israeli-Palestinian context," chaired by Prof. Shifra Sagy of Ben Gurion University with her PhD students. Sagy is in fact a long time peace educator. For example, a paper she submitted in 2017 is titled "Can we empathize with the narrative of our enemy? A personal odyssey in studying peace education" taking the reader "on a journey spanning some 30 years devoted to the author’s involvement in practicing, teaching and studying peace education." The author has been active in and out of the academia by participating, initiating, teaching and facilitating peace education projects. Sagy's writings have been partial to the plight of the Negev Bedouins and the Palestinians. As such they have fitted well with the general tenor of the social sciences in BGU which, as IAM repeatedly empathized, tend to occupy the discursive position that "Israel can do no right and the Palestinians can do no wrong.” 
Professor Chaim Hames, the newly elected Rector of Ben Gurion University denounced in the strongest terms the decision to disinvite the Israeli scholars. The Rector should know that leading scholars in the social sciences at BGU such as Neve Gordon, Oren Yiftachel and others, were the architects of the comparison between Israel and the apartheid regime of South Africa. Yiftachel is still around promoting the apartheid analogy. Gordon has pushed for BDS. How can one blame the South African academics without mentioning the Israeli ones?
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Behind the European Assoc. of Social Anthropologists Boycott of Ariel U is Matan Kaminer
IAM reported in October that the president of the Israeli Anthropological Association (IAA) commended the European Association of Social Anthropology (EASA) for voting in support of opposing cooperation with the Israeli educational institutions situated in the "Occupied" Palestinian Territories, such as Ariel University. The "Israeli Occupation” prompted the decision for the boycott. Matan Kaminer, a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan and member of the IAA and Academia for Equality, was behind the motion submitted to the EASA members forum in solidarity for the Palestinians. 
In August, Kaminer and colleagues at the EASA proposed to the association as following: 
That on 12 February 2018 the Israeli Knesset passed a law extending the jurisdiction of the Israeli Council for Higher Education to academic institutions exclusively serving Israeli citizens but situated within the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank; That the establishment of academic institutions intended exclusively to serve the population of an occupying power in an occupied territory while denying service to the occupied population, is not only illegal under international law but violates the basic ethical norms of the academy in general and of anthropology in particular; Page 4.; That on 17 February the President and Vice-President of the Israeli Sociological Association (ISA) declared their association’s opposition to this step and refusal to cooperate with the aforesaid institutions; that on 2 March, the Executive Committee of the Israeli Anthropological Association (IAA) also declared its opposition to the law, and that on 26 June the membership of the IAA voted by a large majority to affirm its opposition to the law and its refusal to cooperate with the aforesaid institutions; That under the current political and legal climate in Israel, including the so-called “Boycott Law,” our colleagues in both the ISA and the IAA have run a significant risk by taking this principled stance. 
Therefore, EASA resolved: 
To express its own opposition to the establishment and regularization of academic institutions intended exclusively to serve the population of an occupying power in occupied territories, and specifically of institutions exclusively serving Israeli citizens situated within the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, and to pledge its own non-cooperation with these institutions;. To express its solidarity with Palestinian academics and students suffering the brunt of these discriminatory and illegal policies as well as with the Israeli colleagues of the ISA and IAA who have taken a brave stance in opposing the same policies.” Before calling the Members’ Forum to vote, the Chair announces that, if the motion is approved, she will take the vote to the wider membership in an electronic poll. A number of people ask as to the rationale and justification for the decision, to which the Chair responds that it is her constitutional prerogative to do so when an important issue like this one may benefit from a wider consultation. 
In the end, 164 voted in favor and 0 voted against. 
It should be noted that Kaminer, like many of the political activists-turned-academics which IAM covers in length, is a long time political activist who started off as an army refuser. Kaminer, in his own words, "was slated for induction into the Israeli army in December 2002. After a year of volunteer work in a Jewish-Arab youth movement, I had made up my mind to refuse to enlist. Together with other young people in my situation, I signed the High School Seniors' Letter to PM Sharon, and to make myself absolutely clear I sent a personal letter to the military authorities notifying them that I was going to refuse. They let me know they weren't about to let me go: the army only exempts pacifists (at least that's what it claims) and I didn't meet their definition of a pacifist. So beginning in December I was sentenced by 'disciplinary proceedings'... to 28 days in military prison, three consecutive times. After my third time in jail, I asked to join my friend Haggai Matar, who was being court-martialed, and within a few weeks three of our friends, Noam, Shimri and Adam joined us. Now we are on trial and stand to get up to three years in prison for refusing the order to enlist." Because Israelis are "occupying a foreign land and oppressing another people in the name of preventing terror. People like you and me know that's just an excuse for furthering economic and political interests of the ruling elite. But it's not the elite that pays the price. The people who pay the price are in Jenin and Fallujah, in Ramallah and Baghdad, in Tikrit and in Hebron. They are the Iraqi and Palestinian children, hogtied face-down on the floor or shot at on the way to school. But they are also the Israeli and American soldiers, treated as cannon fodder by generals in air-conditioned offices, whose only way to deal with their situation is dehumanization." 
In fact, his role model was Tel Aviv University's Prof. Gadi Algazi, who in July 1979, was among 27 high school students who sent a letter to the defense minister announcing their refusal to serve in the "occupied territories." The authors of the letter defined themselves as "refuseniks of occupation", the first collective refusal letter. Some members of the group were sentenced to short prison terms following their refusal; The group's members were not sent to the territories and others released from the army. The most prominent was Algazi, who refused seven times to serve in the West Bank, after completing his basic training. After short period of imprisonment, he was tried in December 1980 before a military court. In a judgement that arose public debate, the court accepted in part some of his claims and advised to consider them in the future, yet sentenced him to one year imprisonment. In March 1981, Algazi's prison term was shortened in the wake of a public campaign for his release and after another confrontation, the IDF decided to exempt Algazi from regular service. 
Tel Aviv University was mistaken to appoint Algazi to teach students, because, as a political activist, Algazi was expected to turn his classroom and his students into an extension of his political ideology. The Aviv University has not learned from its mistake and appointed a new generation of radical faculty, as IAM often documented. Should Kaminer decide to return to Israel, he may try and follow in Algazi’s footsteps.
Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
Employment Opportunities Abroad: Critics of Israel Wanted
IAM has occasionally reported on pro-Palestinian activists who recruit Israelis and Jews to defame Israel. Nothing is more persuasive than an Israeli academic crying out loud that Israel is an immoral, apartheid state. Ilan Pappe is a prominent case in point, along with Amir Paz-Fuchs, Uri Gordon, Merav Amir, Hagar Kotef, Eyal Weizman, among others. 
As expected, a new generation of academics have been groomed by tenured professors to continue with Israel bashing. Eyal Clyne (formerly Niv), the subject of the IAM report 
"[TAU, Anthropology, assistants to Prof' Haim Hazan] Eyal (Niv) Clyne & Matan Kaminer, anarchists and radical activists” in January 2011, is one of them. As MA students, Clyne and Kaminer taught the courses Introduction to Anthropology at Tel Aviv University in 2009-2010. Clyne has published an article "Honorary PhD in Victimhood for Alan Dershowitz" where he denounced TAU, "besides the fact that Tel-Aviv University is already entangled with the army, the arms industry," – it choose to further strengthen its ties with the movement for justifying the colonialization industry in its backyard; and besides that its xenophobia studies institution is a leading partner in the industry of the mystification of anti-semitism (and of course places all criticism of Israel under this banner); this is also a real case of academic disgrace." 
Clyne spoke at a conference at the Open University in Raanana, on "'Arab' experts: the crisis of representation and the Jews who mediate the 'Arabs'." Focusing on Israeli Middle East scholars. The "central tenet in the discussion is the claim that Arab-experts role does not originate from the need to define, limit and preserve the Arabs as enemy or lower class. On the contrary." His MA thesis, supervised by Prof. Dan Rabinowitz, was awarded summa cum laude. Rabinowitz himself has been a political activist for years, as IAM reported in 2008, he was participating in an anti-Israel seminar on Jerusalem in the Netherlands, as an Israeli who presents "the ‘normality’ of repression". Clyne's 2015 publication is exploring the everyday interactions of Palestinians working in Jewish spaces in Jerusalem. He postulates that "Palestinian labourers take pride in, and emphasise their identity as unequalled workers, with which they are welcome in the Jewish space. This identity is, at least temporarily, placed above the Arab/Palestinian identity, which is, of course, rejected and unwelcomed in the Jewish space, and with which they enjoy no benefits." Clyne continues, "paradoxically, the very perception of them being ‘good-workers’ depends precisely on their being Arabs... Nationalism is therefore a central category with palpable implications for the social being of Palestinian-labourers, not merely a matter of consciousness, and certainly not ‘false,’ as Marxism-based theories may imply." 
Clyne has moved to study at Manchester University where Prof. Erica Burman, a critical development psychologist supervised his PhD dissertation. Not incidentally, Burman is a long time anti-Israel activist. In 2002 she was a signatory to a petition of Jews renouncing Israel's 'Law of Return.' More recently she has been engaged with the BDS movement, for example, she is signatory to a petition, in 2015 of "more than 340 senior academics at UK universities have published a pledge not to cooperate with Israeli institutions". As reported by the Electronic Intifada, "other signatories include those whose academic work has nothing to do with Palestine and the region, but who have still felt compelled to take a stand," such as Burman. 
Clyne's PhD thesis "Orientalism, Zionism, and the Academic Everyday: Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in Israeli Universities" explores the political in the field Middle East studies in Israeli universities. "I argue that the field functi'ons as an academic industry, and then I ask about its products, producers, consumers, etc. I also argue that it is powerful ‎agents/agencies and dynamics in society, such as national security agencies (broadly defined), ‎securitism, cultural-Capitalism, orientalism, socio-politics and the ‘demand’ for certain cultural ‎products... [T]he social import of ‘mizraḥanut’ (literally: orientalism) in the Israeli-Jewish society pervades and shapes the local academic field in a mutual relationship."‎ Now available as a book. 
Clyne’s latest article in the September 2018 issue of the journal CADAAD published by the University of Lancaster, continues the same line. Titled the “Ideology, the Nation and the Unsaid: Sensing the Mission in Israeli Middle East Studies” is purposed to "examine the discursive assumptions arising from a prevalent narrative in Israeli Middle East studies, as carrying a public mission. Drawing on Foucauldian, psychosocial and cultural critical discourse analysis, it deconstructs an interview with a key individual in the field to dislodge the political unconscious layers in the pivotal power knowledge agency, and draw conclusions about the politics of knowledge production, practices of academic elites, and the particularities of language with the specific cultural historical conditions in which it operates." Clyne defines the Middle East scholarships in Israel as "subjectified Zionist ideology, which are narrated with urgency, pride and missionary charges. First, the narrated mission expresses a cognizance, assumption or hope that MES students will shape the future of the (Zionist) society and state, and explicates an ambition for an ambiguous national intervention behind the scenes through habituation and authority-building. The ‘mission’ is then to ‘know’ and educate about the ‘Arab/Muslim,’ and thus contribute to ‘coexistence;’ yet, while simultaneously being articulated with exclusivist Zionist assumptions that perform the Zionist ownership of Israeli academia." 
As noted above, embarking on an academic career, Clyne intends to climb the academic ladder by focusing on themes such as Israeli employers humiliating Palestinian laborers or critiquing Israeli Middle East scholarship. In his view, this scholarship is an "interested hegemonic and academic discourse, as well as manifests a particular Zionist devotion". 
By providing employment to Israelis willing to criticize Israel, Western universities, notably British ones, are privileging a deeply radical scholarship which does not serve the academic goal of providing a balanced view of reality.
General Articles
Faculty of Marxism and Revolutionaries
IAM has discussed in length the neo-Marxist, critical paradigm that penetrated Western universities since the 1970s. Among the deficiencies of the trend are the rejection of rigorous research and cherry-picking of facts while ignoring contradicting evidence. As IAM noted Israel followed suit. IAM also noted the revolutionary nature of such faculty who, instead of conducting research are investing much time on promoting revolutionary ideas. These activities are robbing students of proper education and wasting public money. 
A recent post on Facebook by Academia for Equality, a group of faculty which disseminates such trends, is espousing revolutionary activities on campus. Titled "A few words about diversity and representation in the academia as potentially revolutionary," the post introduces the European bourgeoisie university and its parallel in Israel which "embodies the Zionist ideology and its bureaucratic establishment". It claims that the Israeli university is a "derivative of a semi-colonial regime" and since "Israeli students as a group are more reactionary than the general population... this is expressed both in terms of current affairs and the occupation policy of the government - in relations to the social problems." The post expresses hopes of recruiting new students and staff, and questions "will we succeed in exposing the Israeli student to the basic contradictions of the bourgeoisie and the Zionist ideology? Will we succeed in turning more pragmatic students into rebellious? From memorizers to argumenters?" In this sense, Mizrahim, Palestinians, Ethiopians, ultra-Orthodox as first generation of higher education, have "revolutionary potential". The post ends with an invitation to join the group. "In order to realize this potential, an organizational infrastructure is required, and this is one of the reasons we established the Academia for Equality. join us.” 
In another example, Efraim Davidi of TAU and BGU, Avishai Ehrlich of the Academic College of Tel Aviv and Jaffa and Ofer Cassif of the Hebrew University, veteran radical activists, are preparing to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx. The 11th annual Marx conference will take place in Tel Aviv under the auspices of the Hagada Hasmalit with the support of the Communist Party of Israel and Hadash. The invitation adds that Hagada Hasmalit also maintains the leading alternative Hebrew-language website of the "militant left" in Israel. 
The meeting will discuss, among others, "the ongoing crisis of capitalism, Marxism and popular revolutions in the Middle East, Marx and philosophy, economics, culture, society and ecology, Marx and class strategies." The invitation boasts about "The significant participation of many young people and students is noteworthy, as is their special interest in the practical side of social activism and labor struggles." Efraim Davidi will speak about "Marx's 200th Anniversary, 170 Years of the Communist Manifesto - Marxism in Our Times"; Avishai Ehrlich will speak about "Marxism and Politics of Identities"; Yifat Solel, Haifa University Ph.D student will speak about "Cooperatives vs. Capitalism"; and Ofer Cassif will speak of "Marxism as Humanism." 
In line with the plan to recruit a new generation of academic revolutionaries, Academia for Equality has been heavily promoted by members. Academic freedom is an important concept in the academy, but radical scholars have abused their privileges to indoctrinate students in the guise of teaching courses, as past IAM posts have indicated. Such abuses should not be tolerated.
University of Haifa
Extremists at the U of Haifa Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions
In 2014, the University of Haifa established The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law and Extreme Conditions. The Center describes its mission as addressing "three main types of extreme conditions: natural disasters (epidemics, floods, storms, fires, earthquakes); national security challenges (wars, terrorism, counter terrorism, cyber-terrorism and military actions); and socioeconomic crises (economic meltdowns and severe sociopolitical fragmentation)." 
But as IAM notes, more than dealing with extreme conditions, it attracts extremist activists disguised as scholars who are taking advantages of the academy to advance their agenda. Take for example fellows at the Center such as Dr. Ronnen Ben Arie, a supporter of BDS movement. In 2011, he signed a Letter to Marrickville Council "from concerned citizens of Israel urging you to stand firm in your support of BDS. We are Israeli citizens who witness first-hand the brutality of our government’s policies towards the Palestinian people. We stand firm in our support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) initiatives against Israel until it meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination, and fully complies with the precepts of international law." His views of Israel are tremendously negative, in a co-authored article published in July, Ben-Arie postulated that "The law of motion of settler-colonial projects is to uproot the native in the process... Native elimination in Palestine involved the destruction of Arab society – the annihilation of its cultural hegemony, the dispossession of land, and the removal of its demographic supremacy... During the last hundred years, the relations that have chained Israelis and Palestinians have moulded Israelis as dispossessors... In Israeli society, one is ordained to become a willing oppressor... Being a colonist immersed in a day-to-day gallery of oppressive practices as a condition of life.” The article ended with the following declaration: "Freeing oneself from the pleasures of Zionist oppression is a long process." 
Another fellow of the Center, Dr. Itamar Mann, acknowledged in his book Humanity at Sea that "with two friends, we started an organization that provided pro bono representation to refugees. We named the organization after “We Refugees,” an essay by Hannah Arendt that also features in this book. Omer Shatz and Iftach Cohen, who led that project, remain an inspiration.” In addition, Mann and these two colleagues took upon themselves to defend the foreign activists who attacked Israeli soldiers on the ship Mavi Marmara. To recall, in May 31, 2010 a number of ships approached the shores of Israel to implement the Gaza flotilla plan. The IDF prepared to prevent the entry of the ships into the Gaza Strip. Landing on the board of Mavi Marmara, Israeli soldiers were attacked with knives, clubs and iron rods. There were also attempts to seize the soldiers’ weapons. The soldiers responded with fire, killing a number of Turkish activists. Although the IDF and civilian authorities concluded that the action of the soldiers was justified, Mann and his two colleagues petitioned High Court of Justice against the IDF in case 4169/10. In the words of the then President of the Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinish, the petitioners used "inappropriate language," casting "the gravest aspersions on the actions of the IDF forces, using harsh and blunt language that had no place" and ascribing "grave and illegal acts to the State of Israel." 
The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions is hosting the launch of the book The ABC of the OPT: A Legal Lexicon of the Israeli Control over Occupied Palestinian Territory by Orna Ben-Naftali, Michael Sfard and Hedi Viterbo, advertised as "a comprehensive, theoretically-informed, and empirically-based academic study of the role of various legal mechanisms, norms, and concepts in shaping, legitimizing, and responding to the Israeli control regime." 
However, Prof. Ben-Naftali and Sfard are political activists and as can be seen from the introduction below, the book assumes without doubts of "Israel’s Control of the Palestinian Territory." Promising that "The study delves" on "the ways in which this relationship informs and is affected by Israel’s control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip." In other words, the book adopts without hesitation the Palestinian narrative of being "occupied", ignoring the common use of the term Palestinian Territories. "The acronym OPT – short for 'the Occupied Palestinian Territory' – is widely used in reference to the West Bank and Gaza Strip under Israel’s control. In Israeli Jewish discourse, in contrast, these territories have been designated as 'administered' rather than 'occupied,' and the West Bank has been commonly referred to by the biblical names of 'Judea and Samaria,' claiming a historical link with the Jewish people. From the perspective of international law, however, this form of control has been framed as 'belligerent occupation,' and this normative framework is considered to still apply, five decades later, to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and possibly also to the Gaza Strip. At the same time, Israel’s protracted and highly institutionalized rule over the Palestinian territories, coupled with the mass Jewish settlement project, the de facto incorporation of the West Bank (but not its Palestinian residents) into Israel." 
Interestingly, the authors mention the Goldstone Report, in order to blame Israel, who stated “a line has been crossed, what is fallaciously considered acceptable ‘wartime’ behavior has become the norm.” By which the authors claimed that Israel’s use of international law is "designed to sustain, expand, and deepen Israeli control over the OPT (while simultaneously perpetuating Israel’s self-perception and external image as a law-abiding 'defensive democracy' fighting 'with one hand tied behind its back').” However Judge Goldstone changed his conclusions after admitting to being misled by the Israeli activists pretending to be neutral witnesses. 
Ben-Naftali and her co-authors force-feed the readers with the Palestinian narrative by incorporating references to Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others. This is a philosophical gesture to the adherents of the critical, neo-Marxist trend. As IAM repeatedly demonstrated, the neo-Marxist, critical jargon is not empirically sound and is often used as self-evident. 
Sadly, the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions seems to be following the path of the Tel Aviv Minerva Humanities Center which, as IAM noted, has been the center for radical anti-Israeli activism under the guise of academic research. The Haifa Center goals are laudable, as the rule of law under extreme conditions is a very important topic. For instance, with the growth of terrorism, there is an urgent need to look at the practice of groups like Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas to embed with the population, effectively using civilians as human shields. In Yemen, the Iran-backed Houthi militant have been using child soldiers. Indeed, a number of new initiatives has sought to change international law, making both cases a violation. 
The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions cannot address these and other important issues by hiring and promoting radical academic activists whose sole goal is to produce material which criminalizes Israel in the world.
Ben-Gurion University
Abuse of Scholarship at BGU
IAM has written about political activists in the academy. The well paid, tenured positions and flexible working hours as well as the academic freedoms, enable political activists to abuse the higher education system. BGU has often been the case in point. 
Prof. Oren Yiftachel of the Geography Department at BGU has been recently on a tour promoting the book, Emptied Lands: A Legal Geography of Bedouin Rights in the Negev, co-authored with Alexandre Kedar and Ahmad Amara, as reported by IAM in May. The book details the disputed ownership of land of a Bedouin tribe in the Negev and the long litigation process which culminated in the ruling in favor of the state. IAM noted that for two decades these scholars, who specialize in the fields of Geography and Law, have advised a group of Bedouins and guided them how to appropriate land without having the proper proof of ownership. In the authors own words, "Novel in Israel is that recently a small number of Bedouin claimants have begun to bolster their claims with expert reports and the assistance of academic experts including the present authors." During August and September Yiftachel gave a series of lectures in Australia, presenting the "territorial conflict between the settler Israeli state and indigenous Bedouin citizens." For him, the “dead Negev doctrine” is used by Israel to "dispossess and forcefully displace Bedouin inhabitants in order to Judaize the region." The venues he spoke at included Thesis Eleven, which bills itself as "Marxist in origin, post-Marxist by necessity," and the Institute of Postcolonial Studies (IPCS), billed as: "The spectre of colonialism still haunts the world, despite assertions about the end of formal colonial control and the rise of democracy and universal human rights. The aim of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies is to understand and undo the continuing legacies of colonialism today: dispossession, displacement, racism, and intercultural violence. In particular, this entails understanding social and economic pressures and cultural prejudices faced by indigenous peoples and impoverished communities, supporting those." At the University of Melbourne Yiftachel was introduced as "using critical perspectives... Yiftachel combines academia and activism, being a founder and leading member of leading civil society and human rights organizations, including Adva, B'tselem (chair 2011-2014) 'the council for unrecognized Bedouin localities', and most recently, the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement "A Land for All"." 
Yiftachel is also involved in the project "Ground Truth: Destruction and Return in Al-'Araqib", which "aims to provide historical and juridical evidence on behalf of communities in the illegalised Palestinian Bedouin villages in the northern threshold of the Negev/Naqab desert, Israel. While forced physical displacement and illegalisation render these communities non-existent on maps and aerial imaging, state-led land works and afforestation transform and erase their land and material cultural remains. The project aims to document and collate disparate legal, historical, and material evidence for the continuity of the sedentary presence of the Bedouin population on this land, as well as traces of their repeated displacement and destruction by government forces." The project is a collaboration of the community of al-'Araqīb; Forensic Architecture of Goldsmiths College London led by Eyal Weizman; and Zochrot's team Debby Farber and Hagit Keysar; among others. 
Zochrot is an NGO which promotes the "acknowledgement and accountability for the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 and the reconceptualization of the Return of the Palestinian Refugees." Interestingly, Debby Farber is a BGU PhD student and Dr. Hagit Keysar completed her PhD at BGU, both at the Department of Politics and Government. Farber's dissertation is titled "Visual Genealogy of Changes in the Israeli Landscape between 1949-1967" and her advisors are well known political activists Prof. Haim Yacobi and Prof. Amnon Raz Krakotzkin. Farber did her MA studies with a Summa cum Laude at the Department of Cultural Studies of The Hebrew University, with the thesis "The Grave in the Hula Lake – A Visual Genealogy of the photography album 'The Song of the Dying Lake'," supervised by political activist Dr. Louise Bethlehem. Farber received grants from the Israel Scholarship Education Foundation (ISEF) for excellence in Education. Her publications include works such as "Remembering the Nakba" and "Ground Truth – Records of Dispossession, Return and Environmental Destruction." Working for Zochrot, Farber was instrumental in organizing a "Truth commission" intending that "Israelis who served in the 1948 war and Palestinians uprooted from their homes will testify before an expert panel." Likewise, Dr. Hagit Keysar has taken a similar artistic route with grants paying her education while working as a curator in Zochrot. In July 2014, Keysar was a signatory to a petition to the European Council, Commission and Parliament asking to pressure Israel to accept the terms of truce presented by Hamas. As a staunch political activist, it is not surprising that Keysar is now a post-doctoral researcher at the PECLAB: Planning for the Environment with Communities of the Geography Department at TAU, led by Prof. Tovi Fenster. IAM reported in 2015 on "TAU Tovi Fenster: A Profile of a Political Activist." 
There are questions to ask, why does BGU allows Yiftachel to continue with his political activism? How could Farber get a grant from ISEF? How could both Farber and Keysar shift directly from visual arts to a PhD at the Department Politics and Government at BGU? 
To recall, in 2011 An evaluation committee to the CHE excoriated the Department for being excessively politicized at the expense of offering solid political science education. Judging by the recent cases, not much has changed.
Tel Aviv University
Conference at TAU "How to Think about the Nation-State Law?" Lacking Different Perspectives
Hannah Pollin-Galay, senior lecturer at the Department of Literature of Tel Aviv University circulated an invitation to an event at Tel Aviv University taking place on the 21st of October. The event 'How to Think about the Nation-State Law,’ is expected "to stimulate deep and intellectual discussion of the ramifications and meanings of the law, from different disciplinary approaches.” A number of speakers are invited to participate in the panel. 
Amal Jamal: Constructing the Ethical Logic of Ethno-Theological Sovereignty;
Elana Shohamy: Arabic in the Public Sphere: Equality vs. Discrimination;
Julie Cooper: The Nation-State Law: The Decline of the Jewish Nation State?;
Yofi Tirosh: Revealing and Covering the Language of the Nation-State Law;
Omri Eilat: Let's Talk about Business: the Government against the Markets;
Doreen Lustig: The Potion of Nation;
Aviad Kleinberg: the Nation-State Law and the Salami System;
Galili Shahar: Reciprocal Letters;
Abed Abu Shehadeh: The Nation-State Law in a Jaffa Context.
The selection of speakers here is limited to one dimensional thinking. As IAM discussed in the past, the organizer of the Literature Department who is a political activist, should be reminded that in academic conferences different perspectives should be presented. For example, the recent conference at Bar-Ilan University "Lawmakers Debate the Nation-State Law: Between Politics and Law” featured MK Amir Ohana from the Likud party on the one hand, and MK Issawi Freij from Meretz, on the other. 
The time has come for the Tel Aviv University administration to insist that an academic platform should not be abused by political activists and must open up to different points of view.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
BDS Drive and Politization of Israeli Faculty
A number of issues have preoccupied the Israeli academy lately. 
First, both the Israeli anthropological association (IAA) and the Israeli Sociological Association (ISA) have adopted a resolution boycotting Ariel University. Prof. Nir Avieli, the president of the IAA, has commended the European Association of Social Anthropology for voting in support of the IAA and ISA denouncement of the regularization of the Israeli educational institutions in the "Occupied" Palestinian Territories. As Avieli sees it, the "troubling issue" is their admittance to the Israeli Council for Higher Education. Avieli explained that "our consequent decision to refuse cooperation with these institutions... is strictly limited to financial and organizational cooperation with the institutions themselves." 
Avieli noted that the "Israeli Occupation” prompted the decision to boycott Ariel University: 
"I assume that you are aware of the complications and difficulties resulting from the ongoing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli anthropology in general and the IAA in particular have a long history of opposing this occupation and demanding that the Israeli government negotiate in good faith with the representatives of the Palestinian people in order to achieve a just peace... This can be summarized as the use of a variety of means, including civilian populations and civilian infrastructure, in order to deepen and perpetuate Israeli control over the Palestinian territories, and to prevent a “two states solution”. The Israeli academic institutions established in the West Bank, foremost among them Ariel University, are particular examples of this sort of violation. These institutions are not open to the Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories, but only to Israeli citizens (including those Israeli settlers living in the Occupied Territories). As such, they are exclusionary institutions, and beyond the pale of academic and anthropological ethics. The violation has recently been exacerbated by the right-wing Israeli government’s policy of “creeping annexation”." Avieli should be reminded that according to the BDS Law, individuals or organizations who publicize a call for an academic boycott against a specific region under Israeli control, may be sued civilly. 
Second, the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University is hosting a conference on "Life Under Occupation” on 31 of October 2018. Prof. Amiram Goldblum of the Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Hebrew University and a long time political activist, and Prof. Alon Harel who also doesn't shy away from political activism, are the organizers. The conference has a political agenda, as stated in the invitation: "The conference will deal with the implications of the occupation for various dimensions in Israeli society, including dimensions less familiar to the Israeli public, such as: the implications of the occupation for law, Israeli academia, the Arab minority in Israel, archeology, the perception of the space and the use of nature protection to activate the occupation, etc. The purpose of the conference is to examine the profound impact of the occupation on Israeli and Palestinian society in Israel and the territories. The first two panels will deal with Israel, the third will deal with Jerusalem, while the last two will focus on the impact on the occupied territories." 
The conference includes political activist speakers such as Prof. Rafi Greenberg, founder of Emek Shaveh; Dr. Assaf Sharon, director of Molad; Aluf Benn, Haaretz editor-in-chief; Dror Etkes, director of Peace Now’s Settlement Watch; and Dr. Yehudit Oppenheimer, director of Ir Amim; among others. So much so, that the leftist leaning Dr. Yael Berda complained about the choice of speakers, describing it a “political choice.” Doubling down, Harel responded: "There is no doubt this is a political choice”. 
Of course a conference concerning the legal aspects of the relations between Israel and the Palestinians is welcome. But an academic conference should be balanced, featuring a wide-range of views. Regrettably, there is a long tradition of activist faculty engaging in politics in the guise of academics. Professor Amnon Rubinstein, the first dean of the Law School at Tel Aviv University and former Minister of Education complained about this type of activism. On "Academic Freedom in Political Conferences", he wrote, "Because of its special status in law and its semi-monopolistic status, it must ensure that conferences on controversial political and social issues do not express a single political and social position, but reflect at least part of the range of existing opinions on the issues under consideration." 
Using the prestige of the academy to push radical politics is not cost free. Over time, the general public has come to identify the universities, notably the social sciences, as beehives of one-sided political activity driven by a small group of self-appointed arbiters of the national moral compass. As Wilhelm von Humboldt, the German philosopher of education reminds us, the legitimacy of the social sciences has hinged on it the search for a balanced discourse, and a “marketplace of ideas.” By abandoning these principles, the academy has alienated the very public which it seeks to educate.
Tel Aviv University
TAU Junior Faculty on Strike: the New Academic Year 2018-2019 will not Open
Junior staff at Tel Aviv University is preparing for a strike on the opening day of the academic year 2018-2019. 
In a post to the Academia-IL Network, Dr. Efraim Davidi, a leading Marxist activist from Tel Aviv University, elaborated the rationale behind the strike. "In light of the continuing erosion of the status and salaries of junior staff at the university, who, over the years became the 'contractor workers' of the academy". The strike is taking place "Due to the lack of employment security and the severe damage to wages and social benefits." Davidi also explained that "the final salary agreement of the junior staff ended in October 2014. Recently, negotiations for a new collective agreement to regulate the employment of the junior staff at the universities took place [but] the dialogue was terminated by the Committee of University Heads unilaterally in May 2018.” 
The junior academic staff at Tel Aviv University numbers approximately 4,000 of grant recipients and employees in teaching, training, instruction, practice, research and teaching assistance. Among them students (first, second and third degree students at the university who are teaching assistants), and non-student lecturers (employed as external lecturers and teaching fellows). The junior faculty members who do most of the teaching work, are responsible for the quality of teaching and for training the future generation of researchers in the State of Israel. 
The main demands of the junior academic staff at the universities relate to the following points: 
A. Lack of job security for junior academic staff: a demand to expand the employment security agreement and apply it to a larger group of teaching fellows. As well as a requirement to provide grounds for dismissal. Today, members of the faculty lack employment security, are employed for many years in contracts for a fixed period, which end and renew every six months. In many cases, the employment of faculty members ends for various reasons and sometimes arbitrarily, which has nothing to do with their skills and teaching ability. 
B. Wage increments and bridging the wage gaps between different staff groups (teaching assistants and guiding assistants, teaching fellows and external lecturers). Among the requirements: salary supplement for master and doctoral students, payment for travel, additional dormitories, grants, and parallel track. 
C. Canceling the requirement to compensate on sick leave and mourning; Payment for reserve duty (!) 
Unfortunately for TAU, Davidi and fellow Marxist activists have been riding the reactionary wave at TAU for over two decades. For example, in the year 2000 Davidi was dubbed by YNET, the leading media outlet, the leader in protest activities. Every several years junior staff announce a strike. Davidi himself is a teaching fellow, who could have had the opportunities to apply for tenured-track positions but declined, possibly not to be perceived as bourgeois who betrays the working class where he belongs. 
Senior faculty took a great deal of interest in the situation. For example, Prof. David Levi- Faur, the head of Federmann School of Public Policy & Government at the Hebrew University and the facilitator of Academia IL Network, has announced that the current wage agreement of junior faculty creates "an uneven front which leaves Haifa and Tel Aviv at the forefront of the struggle. All this on the margins of the relative stagnation in recruitment for available positions. Stable jobs. Long-term positions. Jobs that respect the best researchers at universities and colleges. There is no higher education with junior positions. There is no decent society without jobs in colleges and universities. For decades the emphasis has been placed on expanding the access to higher education. It is the time to double the number of jobs and expand financial support for research institutions with employment and stable budgeting. Who will increase the number of positions in universities, colleges and research institutes in Israel?" 
Prof. Elise Brezis, head of the Aharon Meir Center for Banking and Economic Policy and vice-chair at the Department of Economics in Bar-Ilan University, responded: "are you willing to accept that in the next five years your salary would not increase to allow the junior staff to earn more?" To which he did not respond. Brezis also noted that studies have shown that a large wage gap in universities is adapted to university excellence. In countries with outstanding universities there is a dualism in higher education. There are universities with high salaries for some as well as colleges offering a much lower income. 
The discussion on Academia-IL Network turned to the issue of abolishing the tenure system, which prompted Law Prof. Alon Harel to respond that such a move would end academic freedom. According to him, "one important consideration which makes it particularly difficult to abolish tenure or job security at the universities. As is evident now the government is doing its best to politicize any aspect of the Israeli society. The Malag and Vatat have also become political bodies devoted purely to the promotion of the sectarian interests of the Minister of Education. I am quite confident that if the tenure system were to be abolished professors who are critical of the government be exposed to harassment and potentially be fired. The only thing that prevents it from happening now is that 1) the Presidents and rectors of the universities with few exceptions still belong to the old generation that thought that scholarship is valuable irrespective of the political sentiments of the professors and 2) the tenure system. We see that the culture elite is now subject to political control in a way that was not thought possible in the past. If the tenure system be eliminated it is most likely to be the end of academic freedoms in Israel." 
The discourse on Academia-IL Network does not deal with the real problem which the strike brings up. Unlike the regular marketplace, universities are based on rigid criteria of merit, whereby faculty is promoted and rewarded through academic excellence. By definition, these rules cannot apply to junior faculty. Professor Brezis actually spoke on this issue when she noted that merit based system creates large salary gaps. 
Rewards based on strike would lead to a degrading of academic excellence and put the Israeli universities in disadvantage when competing with foreign institutions such as in the United States or England where faculty, senior or junior are not allowed to strike.
General Articles
Dispute Over Unregulated Salary Increase by Universities and Colleges
A recent report revealed that negotiations have been taking place between Ayelet Shaked, the Minister of Justice, and the university presidents, over what is considered unregulated salary increases in public universities and colleges. A final agreement to enable disciplinary action against senior university and college officials should they be found responsible for approving or tolerating wage irregularities, is also being discussed. 
Under the Budget Foundations Law, the Ministry of Finance's Supervisor of Wages is in charge of overseeing public universities and colleges and approving their wages. For over a decade now, the reports of the Comptroller indicate that many of the universities give their employees a salary beyond what the law allows. The Budget Foundations Law stipulates that entities funded or subsidized by the State may grant wages, retirement conditions, pensions and other financial benefits related to their work but change them only "in accordance with what has been agreed or applies to all civil servants or with the approval of the Minister of Finance.” The Ministry of Finance is entitled to demand a return of the excessive payments. 
A 2016 report details the alleged wage irregularities in 2014 and enforcement in 2015. "Apparent wage irregularities" are cases in which the average (gross) salary of an employee climbed more than 5% above the growth in salary of his parallel in the public service when no explanation was given to the Ministry of Finance. The highest payback in 2014 was from Bar-Ilan University of more than NIS 2.9 million. Tel Aviv University returned almost NIS 228 thousand, for example, a head of department's gross monthly salary jumped from NIS 34,500 a month in 2013 to almost NIS 44,000 a month at 2014. An assistant to the university president who was hired under a special contract, earned NIS 36.2 thousand a month. Ben Gurion University has returned NIS 211 thousand and the Hebrew University - more than NIS 100 thousand. At the University of Haifa, two deans were listed with a salary of NIS 40.3 thousand and NIS 48.2 thousand. In the Hebrew University a few salary irregularities were reported, but they were concentrated in the administrative level. Several colleges had also alleged irregularities. 
The universities argue that because of the uniqueness of their activities, they can not be tied to the regulations to which other budgeted bodies are subjected, and special regulations should be formulated for them. The universities demand that if wage irregularities are discovered in the future, they should be dealt with by the Council for Higher Education's Planning and Budgeting Committee, which is responsible for budgetary supervision in the higher education system. In addition, the universities and colleges require an "adjustment period", at the end of which the new regulations will apply. They also demand not to allow retroactive disciplinary action to senior officials who have provided wage irregularities in the past that the deliberations on their matter are still pending. 
Israeli universities regularly appear on the list of bodies that grant unregulated wage increases to their employees. A report by the Supervisor of Wages relating to 2017, lists Tel Aviv University, the Technion, Bar-Ilan University, Ben-Gurion University, the Weizmann Institute of Science. In previous years the University of Haifa and the Hebrew University were also included. The report noted five unregulated wage increases which allegedly took place among leading staff at Ben Gurion University, 15 alleged unregulated salary increases at Tel Aviv University, and one each at the Technion, Weizmann Institute, Shenkar College, and Tel Hai College. 
Currently, the Supreme Court is hearing a petition by the Committee of Heads of the Colleges regarding the authority of the Civil Service Commission to impose disciplinary action against senior university and college officials for approving salary irregularities. The petitioners argue that colleges are defined by law as "supported" and not "budgeted" institutions. 
In response to the report the Committee of University Heads stated: "the Universities are supportive of transparency and criticism in all issues of salaries in the institutions and do not oppose regulations of disciplinary court. However, the structure of the academy differs in essence from other public bodies - and as was done at the Bank of Israel, for example, there is a substantial need to place the supervision with an objective external body, in order to prevent the improper exploitation of this tool by the government. The universities and colleges, with the support of the Planning and Budgeting Committee, sought to regulate the issue of supervision and to establish special procedures in accordance with the special nature of the academic institutions and their conduct, and to leave the supervision of the matter to the PBC, which was established in order to create a barrier between academia and the government and its purpose is to deal exactly with such issues." 
The Committee of Heads of Colleges responded: "Committee of Heads of Public Academic Colleges, which includes 22 colleges, does not object to the disciplinary law regulations or to prosecute those who breach the regulations of the law of budget. The Committee presented to the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General, in several hearings and letters, legitimate arguments for changing the wording of the proposed regulations - in a way that would reflect the uniqueness of institutions of higher education. The Committee notes that this uniqueness is reflected in the Council for Higher Education Law and the government's decision to establish the Committee for Planning and Budgeting, to provide a barrier between the government and the institutions of higher education... It is essential that a disciplinary discussion will be held by an appropriate forum, which should include faculty and administrative staff of institutions of higher education, to give a proper answer to a court hearing. In other words, in the composition of the regular disciplinary court, at least one - and desirable even more - that members of the court shall be also senior academic member of the institution of higher education, from a list of the Council for Higher Education, so that the Tribunal may be able to consider the relevant academic aspects in the hearing. Therefore, adjustments are required regarding the sanctions that will be imposed and the parties to whom the Tribunal will be required to consult, as different from those exist for the civil service." 
Justice Minister Shaked would have to determine if public universities and colleges which are financially supported by the government are entitled to have an external body served as a barrier to shield them from governmental supervision. 
The courts would have to ultimately decide whether higher education is too unique to be considered part of the civil service. In doing so the courts need to take into consideration the structure of employment opportunities for academics as opposed to other civil servants. 
Equally important, It is well known that many Israeli academics, especially in sciences and technology, have left the country to take up very well paid positions in the West. Indeed, over the past decade, there are a number of initiatives to fight this "brain drain” by enticing academics to return to Israel. However, none of this initiatives can work without offering salaries that are internationally competitive. More recently, the flourishing high-tech sector has enticed many from the academic community, not least because salaries go well beyond what is earned by the civil service. 
IAM would report on the dispute in due course.
Ben-Gurion University
Critical Scholars Ambition to Expand at Ben Gurion and Tel Aviv Universities
IAM often discusses the neo-Marxist, critical scholarship which found a home in the social science and humanities. This scholarship originates in the post- modern movement in the academy. Practitioners often describe themselves as scholars who embrace the “critical perspective". 
In October 2017, IAM reported on a workshop series to "advance academic professionalization from a critical perspective" for first generation research students in Tel Aviv University. The seminar pertained to a collaboration between the TAU Minerva Humanities Center (MHC) and the activist group Academia for Equality. 
Last week another invitation was published on the Academia IL Network, billed as an "Academic Proficiency Workshop in Critical Perspective," offered at Ben-Gurion University's Israeli Center for Qualitative Research of People and Societies, in partnership with Academia for Equality. It invites students from the humanities and social sciences to a workshop quite similar to the one held at TAU. The workshop is intended for students thinking to try to climb up the academic ladder and are first generation in higher education. "This population is underrepresented in the humanities and social sciences, particularly among the academic staff." According to the organizers, "the challenges of the first generation in higher education stem from, among others, the lack of a parental model of academic education, lack of access to sources of information and counseling, and/or non-native Hebrew language. These difficulties are expressed in higher dropout rates than average. The workshop will address the difficulties of integration into the academia by providing tools, knowledge and alternative sources of support. The workshop participants will meet with diverse academics - from doctoral students to professors who will share their knowledge, the apparent and hidden aspects of academia and the academic track, through critical discourse and the development of academic specialization skills. We will deal with topics such as academic career track, supervisor-student relations, conferences, journals, impact factor, opportunities, scholarships, post-doctorate fellowships abroad, employee rights in academia, disclosure of secrets and academic networking.” 
The workshop seems well-intentioned and praiseworthy. After all, who would not want first generation college graduates to climb the academic ladder? But the workshop is deceptive because it promises to help only scholars who embrace the “critical perspective.” For those not familiar with this academic jargon, "critical perspective” does not employ empirical tools. As critical scholars see it, social sciences and humanities reflect the “hegemonic” position of the West and the capitalist classes and need to be criticized and “deconstructed.” Thus, the critical perspective amounts to a denunciation of the West in general and Israel in particular. The latter is invariably described as a colonialist, hegemonic and capitalist society. As could be expected, critical scholars do not discuss issues such as terrorism, subjugation of women in Islam so as not to tarnish the image of the “politically correct” masses. 
More to the point, IAM has pointed out that Israeli social sciences are top heavy with Neo-Marxist, critical scholars and that their pretenses have dragged down the international rankings of social science departments in Israel. A number of evaluations by the Council of Higher Education have noted that social sciences lack offerings which represent cutting-edge teaching and research in the twenty first century. Indeed, some years ago, an international committee which evaluated the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University found that the faculty and the offerings were heavily biased toward the Neo-Marxist, critical perspective. The Department was allowed to continue but was asked to hire mainstream scholars who publish in mainstream journal. In another case, the Political Science Department at the Hebrew University was urged to hire faculty familiar with research methods and other quantitative tools. There is a reason for all these. Social sciences in the twenty first century need to keep up with market requirements such as quantitative methods, network analysis, and other advanced methodologies which a twenty first century economy requires. Israeli universities are public institutions supported by the taxpayer and should reflect the needs of the society. 
It is especially deceptive of the seminar promoters to push their critical agenda on this first generation college graduates. Given the scathing criticism of critical scholarship by the various evaluation committees, social science departments are not likely to hire new critical scholarship faculty.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
BDS Law to be Tried in Israeli Courts
The Israeli Boycott Law which was passed in 2011 by the Knesset states that individuals or organizations who publicize a call for a boycott against a person or an institution, merely because of their affiliation to the State of Israel, or to a region under Israeli control, may be sued by the party to claim damages. The law also allows the Israeli authorities to deny benefits from individuals or organizations such as tax exemptions or participation in government contracts. 
The first test of the boycott law may be headed to the court. It involves an Israeli professor at Weizmann Institute, Ofer Aharony, who called for the boycott of a science conference at Ariel University, on the pages of The Guardian newspaper. Aharony is among 15 academics from Al Quds, Al Aqsa, and several Western universities, urging fellow academics “not to take part in any attempts to use science to normalize the occupation of the Palestinian territories,” as Ariel University “is inseparable from a history of continuous dispossession of Palestinians from their land and restrictions on their freedom of movement.” 
The conference, "Inflation, Alternatives and Gravitational Waves" which took place on the 3rd-6th September 2018, is said to "bring together experimentalists and theorists working on Early Universe processes that generate gravitational waves on various scales.” 
Aharony has a background of political activism. He was a signatory of a petition calling students to refuse reserve duty in the Palestinian territories which surfaced the internet in 2001. Incidentally, this is the same petition that Prof. Yael Amitai signed which caused her dismissal from the board of the German Israel Foundation. In December 2015 he was among academics who wrote the petition "Academics support 'Breaking the Silence,'" which stated "We, senior members of Israeli academia, wish to express our support for the right of members of the organization "Breaking the Silence" to expose to the public the harsh reality they were exposed to in their military service. Their right is also their civic duty." To recall, on July 17, 2018 The Knesset approved "Breaking the Silence Law" which states that organizations delegitimizing the State of Israel and acting against IDF soldiers will not be permitted to enter school premises or meet with students. Aharony also initiated a "demonstration by faculty members to be held at Ariel University while it is holding an open day for potential students, on the morning of Friday, 2.2.18", holding banners with the written slogans: "Come and study in Israel - There is no academic freedom under military rule"; "There is no academic freedom without freedom for residents"; "You do not go to a political university." 
Unsurprisingly, the Iranian broadcasting service, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) rushed to publicize the Aharony case in an article "Israeli Professor: A Scientific Conference in Ariel - War Crime.” It stated that "An Israeli professor, Ofer Aharoni of the Weizmann Institute of Science, is behind pressure to boycott a scientific conference on cosmology in the field of the universe and gravitational waves, the first of its kind in Israel, which takes place today (Monday) in Ariel and is expected to continue for three days, with the participation of Israeli and international scientists. As part of the boycott efforts, the professor sent personal emails to the conference attendees, warning them not to come, noting that the university is not in Israel and that the very existence of the place contravenes international law and constitutes a war crime. The professor did not limit himself to this, in a letter to professors published in the British paper The Guardian, which he and some non-Israeli professors signed, it was written among other things that the "Ariel settlement" limits Palestinian freedom of movement and caused the forcible departure of Palestinians from their homes. Human Rights Watch has been involved in this BDS activity.” 
The Ariel conference could be the first boycott case to be held in court. IAM will report further in due course.
Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
Leading the One State Solution Movement is Ilan Pappe the Political Activist of Exeter University
IAM has written extensively about the political activism of scholars who have used their academic positions to push for their politics. One such an activist is Professor Ilan Pappe of Exeter University, formerly of the University of Haifa, who is now behind a new initiative of an old idea, the one democratic state campaign which will be launched in the autumn. Pappe goes by the name Ilan Binyamin on Facebook, and is the leading force behind the movement. Pappe has drafted the principles of the future one state. 
Pappe summarised his philosophy in an eulogy of late Uri Avneri a few days ago, where he blamed Israel alone for all the Palestinian misfortunes. He expects Israeli submission to the Palestinian demands and explains his rationale, "there were and are two 'peace camps' or 'left' in Israel. Those who recognize that the ethnic cleansing of 1948 was the worst crime Zionism committed against the Palestinians and those who regard the 1967 occupation as the source of all evil, but deny the Nakba. Avenri took part in the ethnic cleansing, never admitted it or repented for it. This was a pity as he was very influential on the Israeli Left. On the other hand, he was a brave opponent of the occupation and for this we should be grateful for his work and activism. There will be however no peace and no reconciliation until the Israeli Jews acknowledge the crime they committed in 1948, be accountable for it (mainly by allowing the right of return) and stop the on going Nakba today." 
But how did Pappe got so radicalized? A summary of his evolution is in order. 
When Pappe was a student of Middle East history at the Hebrew University he was, in his own words, “exposed to the plight of the Palestinians." Motivated to produce a pro-Palestinian narrative, he rejected the traditional regard for "truth" because he viewed "any such construction as vain and presumptuous" and in the way of his "compassion for the colonized not the colonizer." 
Working under Roger Owen at Oxford University on a doctoral dissertation about the 1948 war enabled him to take a decisive step towards challenging the "pro-Israel narrative." As Pappe put it, Owen "had strong ties to the British left and the pro-Palestinian scholarly world". His second adviser, Albert Hourani, who had testified in the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on behalf of the Arab cause “was well acquainted” with the "Palestinian narrative." 
He found kindred spirits in the newly formed group of self-described New Historians, whose intellectual leader was Benny Morris. Pappe’s contribution was relatively modest and his description of British policy quite subdued. He described British policy in Palestine as "ad hoc" with "scarcely any planning" yet opposing the creation of a Jewish state because of a potential communist connection. 
In subsequent version, however, Pappe provided a more radical account of events. Pappe’s stand on the refugees was particularly blunt. Though allowing that some Palestinians left before they were expelled, naming it Plan D. "Plan D was an important factor accounting for the exodus of so great a number of Palestinians". 
Pappe was emphatic that the Jews did not face the "Holocaust or Masada,” discrediting the empirical fact that Jews were overwhelmed by the large Arab forces amassed against. In his view, this was just a myth of Jews waging a "heroic struggle." Pappe proclaimed that the outcome "had been predetermined in the political and diplomatic corridors of power long before even one shot had been fired.” This is, of course, a blatant misrepresentation of the war in which the Jews lost 6,000 people, a fully one percent of the population. 
Pappe’s habit of tailoring his historical writings to current event only increased with time. He was very excited when the PLO and Israel signed the Declaration of Principles (DOP) on 13 September 1993, allowing that the "reconstruction of the past was now clearly connected to contemporary efforts to reach a political settlement" and that this "constituted the most valuable aspect of the new history". For Pappe, by then an established activist in the Communist Hadash Party, the new agreement offered a golden opportunity for delegitimizing the birth of Israel. 
Pappe put his academic-political activism to work by co-founding, in the summer of 1997, the Palestinian Israeli Academic Dialogue (Palisad). A group of twenty Israeli and Palestinian historians committed to provide "bridging narratives" between the two people that, "worked almost frantically, motivated by a sense of urgency in the wake of the deadlock and dissatisfaction with the Oslo peace process." The "bridging narrative", among other things, was meant to help the Israeli participants to accept the Palestinian perspective of the 1948 war. Somewhat to their surprise, the Israeli participants learned that the Palestinians were totally committed to the narrative of "ethnic cleansing of Palestine." 
By this time, Pappe renounced all fidelity to facts, known as positivism. Indeed, he renounced the positivist methodology in the strongest possible terms. As he put it, "From a positivist point of view, there was no clear evidence for some of the major claims made by the Palestinian narrative, such as the existence of a master plan for the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 or the forty massacres alleged to have occurred during the conflict". Instead, he decided to write in ways "connecting my research on Palestine to the present Palestinian predicament and the contemporary attempt to reach a solution". Overcoming some "epistemological and methodological challenges," Pappe was able to frame his research within the "post-colonialist perspective," claiming that from the outset, the Zionist project was aimed at expelling the Palestinians to create an ethnically pure Jewish state. Reiterating that in 1948 the Jews faced no threat of annihilation, he suggested that the military parity on the ground was bolstered by American and British support for the Jews.
Pappe suggested that despite the "myth of Arab intransigence," the Arabs were willing to compromise; the failure to prevent the war or to resolve the conflict, in his opinion, laid solely with the Jews. 
It was only a short leap for Pappe to come up with a full blown theory of "ethnic cleansing" of the Palestinians. In a lengthy chapter titled "Were They Expelled? The History, Historiography and Relevance of the Refugee Problem" he rejected the argument that the Palestinians fled either on their own or at the urging of their leadership, claiming that even the limited call of the Mufti for women and children to leave was ignored by the Palestinians: "Before women and children could be evacuated, they were expelled with the men from their homes." He took to citing Walid Khalidi, a Palestinian scholar who was an early exponent of the expulsion theory, stating: "So, Plan D was, in many ways, just what Khalidi claims it was - a master plan for the expulsion of as many Palestinians as possible." Pappe’s newly-found conviction that Israel was exclusively responsible for the refugee problem was closely related to the peace negotiations. In preparation for the final agreement Palestinian academic-activists launched a major effort to highlight the "right of return" of Palestinians to their former homes in Israel, the standard Arab/Palestinian euphemism for Israel’s demographic subversion. 
By “proving" beyond “reasonable doubt” that the refugees were expelled, Pappe hoped to lend legitimacy to a broader definition of "the right of return," admitting that "The demand for associating the Palestinian narrative with the contemporary peace process was made throughout the Palestinian world." 
Efforts to catch up with political activism compelled Pappe to produce yet another version of the 1948 war. He now urged Israel to "perform this liberation act… to rewrite, indeed salvage, a history that was erased and forgotten." Pappe warned that as long as Israel refused to assume responsibility for its ethnic cleansing, no "liberation" and reconciliation would be possible. To make the liberation and reconciliation real, rather than an empty gesture, Israel should agree to the Palestinian "right of return." To make the case for this "right," Pappe published his own version of the 1948 war. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine promised to replace "the paradigm of war with the paradigm of ethnic cleansing" and "war crime". In his perspective, "the Zionist movement did not wage a war that 'tragically but inevitably' led to the expulsion of parts of' the indigenous population, but the other way around: the main goal was the ethnic cleansing." As a result, "the ethnic cleansing of Palestine must become rooted in our memory and consciousness as a crime against humanity." Pappe repeated his claim that Plan D represented a blueprint for wholesale expulsion of the native population that, in his opinion, was expedited by a considerable number of deliberate massacres. 
Teddy Katz, a postgraduate student at the University of Haifa, who exposed an alleged 1948 massacre in the coastal village of Tantura, helped Pappe to push for his ethnic cleansing theory. The supposed massacre - glaringly missing from contemporary Palestinian Arab historiography of the war - was allegedly committed by soldiers of the Alexandroni brigade. Katz was sued by brigade fighters and agreed an out-of-court settlement. This lead the university of Haifa to appoint a re-examination committee that disqualified Katz thesis. Ignoring these facts altogether, Pappe quickly transformed Katz into a victim of the oppressive Israeli system, adding the hitherto unclaimed Tantura "massacre" to the roster of supposed Jewish atrocities. In one of them, in the village of Mi’ar, Pappe had the "Israeli troops shooting indiscriminately at the villages…When they got tired of the killing spree, the soldiers then began destroying the houses." Pappe’s new narrative presented the balance of forces as overwhelmingly favouring the Jews; contemporary fears of extermination, just a few years after the Holocaust, were dismissed as a myth because the "reality on the ground was, of course, almost the opposite." He noted that in "public, the leaders of the Jewish community portrayed doomsday scenarios… In private, however, they never used this discourse. They were fully aware that the Arab war rhetoric was in no way matched by any serious preparation on the ground." Indeed, in making fantastic claims of crimes allegedly committed by the Jews - from rape, to murder, to labor camps, to massacres, to biological warfare by poisoning of water supplies - Pappe clearly insinuated to Nazi-like behaviour, not to mention harping on longstanding anti-Semitic libels. 
Pappe accused David Ben Gurion of the planning to expel the Palestinians and based his theory on a supposedly letter which Ben Gurion has written his son Amos in 1937: “The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as war.” The problem is, there is no such a sentence in Ben Gurion's letter. Pappe has falsified this quote. The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America appealed to the Chancellor of Exeter University to look at this and other academic infractions, but without success 
Ironically, it was Benny Morris, one of the original New Historians, who called out Pappe for his fantastical version of the 1948 war. 
In an article titled "The Liar as a Hero," Morris described Pappe as “at best sloppiest, at worse one of the most dishonest” scholars who maliciously distorted research to appeal to Western audiences. Morris, who noted that Pappe had hardly mentioned ethnic cleansing in his earlier books, called him an "a retroactive poseur.” Morris went over the chronology of Pappe’s writing and concluded that the latter became radicalized only after getting tenure. In other words, not only was Pappe a “poseur” but lacked the moral courage to stand up for his convictions before receiving job security. 
Pappe appealed to British academics to intervene on his behalf during the 1999 Tantura affair which led to an early call to boycott the Israeli academy. Writing to Mona Baker, a pro-Palestinian scholar from Manchester University, he asked British academics to boycott the University of Haifa, where he was a tenured senior lecturer at the time, along with Bar-Ilan University for opening an extension college in Ariel, outside the pre-1967 "green line." The request was taken up by a newly organized group of scholars eager to boycott Israeli universities which quickly issued a petition "endorsing the decision of European academics to boycott Israeli academic institutes." The Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was founded in 2004, where Pappe, was a leading supporter. 
Pappe worked hard to convince the Association of University Teachers (AUT) to boycott Israel by addressing their meeting. There, he falsely claimed of persecution by his university and provided the pretext for the boycott: “The message that will be directed specifically against those academic institutes which have been particularly culpable in sustaining the oppression since 1948 and the occupation since 1967 can be a start for a successful campaign for peace.” The plea came to a naught as the AUT rescinded its decision. 
By the early 2000s Pappe had created the narrative of Israel’s history as an unceasing ethnic cleansing from 1948 to the present. 
Despite of a long record of misrepresenting and falsifying history, Pappe has become a “super star” in the circles that support BDS. Being Jewish and Israeli, he provides legitimacy to their cause. This is not to say that Pappe, or anyone else for that matter, has no right to join the pro-Palestinian cause. Pappe’s exploits, however, shine a light on the fact that Exeter University, the largest British recipient of Arab money, is willing to overlook his academic record. Unfortunately, Exeter University is not the only one which hired strident critics of Israel so they can push political activism masquerading as academic research.
General Articles
Academia Accuses Ministers of Politization: The Pot Calling the Kettle Black
The political struggle between the academy and the government has reached a new hight. While the academy accuses the government of meddling in academic affairs, academics have been known for pushing a political agenda. IAM followed this politization since its founding in 2004. In particular, the social sciences have been used as a platform for political polemics instead of bona fide research. IAM has identified many cases of faculty, including Anat Matar and Rachel Giora at TAU, who essentially turned their tax paid positions to work as political activists. 
However, this time around, it's the leadership of the higher education which is involved in questionable defense of activist scholars in the name of academic freedom. 
For instance, Ofir Akunis, the Minister of Science and Technology blocked the nomination of Prof. Yael Amitai, a Ben Gurion University brain researcher, from serving as board member of the German-Israel Foundation, because in 2001 she signed a petition calling students in army reserve duty to refuse to serve in the Palestinian Territories. Akunis's move has caused a stir. The Committee of University Heads (VERA) petitioned High Court of Justice. Also, several petitions surfaced the internet, calling Akunis' intervention "a serious breach of the separation between political level and academia, and a direct threat to freedom of speech." Describing it a "witch-hunt," demanding the return of Amitai to the GIF board, and that the Minister will declare he will refrain from future political intervention in professional academic committees. "If he refuses, we demand that the GIF research grants are removed from his authority." The academics who signed the petition threatened: "We will not submit any grant proposals to the GIF. We will not accept the role of reviewers or committee members for the GIF." Yael Amitai, added fuel to the flames when she announced in an interview that she is a proud leftist, and refused Akunis’ offer to withdraw her name from the petition. 
To make matters worse, the German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published an article by the notoriously anti-Israel journalist (and former Israeli) Joseph Croitoru, stating that "The Science Minister is considering the appointment of the right-wing Yehuda Skornick to the board of trustees, it is alarming. In 2002 Skornick has been elected as Tel Aviv’s representative of the right-wing movement 'Jewish leadership', which then was about to forming a bloc within the Likud party. From 2008 to 2009, he possibly was a member of the board of trustees of the settler organization "Jewish Head" which is attempting to proselytize secularists." 
In another instance, Professors Yossi Shain, Mouna Maroun and Yeshayahu Talmon, representatives of the universities in the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), strongly criticized Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Education. They accused him of dictating decisions to the committee using "extraneous considerations” and not following proper procedures. The three protested Bennett's decision to allow the Interdisciplinary Center to grant PhD; to establish a faculty of Medicine at the Ariel University paid by the billionaire Sheldon Adelson; and to appoint his own people as public representatives to the PBC, such as Adv. Zvi Hauser and CPA Shimon Yitzhaki. 
Bennett said in response: "Minister Bennett broke the university cartel and it is not surprising that the universities are moaning about it. For years, the universities were run like a guild funded by tens of billions of taxes dictating everything. This is how we got the Hebrew University bankrupt and gigantic pensions, the empty Social Sciences and the Humanities - and all this at the expense of Israeli citizens. Now someone has moved their cheese." His office added "Bennett did not succumb to the dictates of the guild and led the authorization of doctorate to IDC Herzliya and the Faculty of Medicine at Ariel University.” 
Much as it pains the academy, Bennett’s intervention may bring the Israeli tertiary education closer to the level of oversight that is customary for public universities elsewhere in the West. During its entire existence, the academy has resisted every measure to impose some oversight by the democratically elected officials of the taxpayers who foot the bill. The standard response has always been the same: any infringement on academic freedom would erode the quality of education and research in Israeli universities. However, even a cursory view of the international ranking indices which evaluate academic excellence, indicate the very opposite. With few exceptions, the quality of Israeli academy as a whole has deteriorated, especially in the social sciences. As IAM repeatedly demonstrated, the social sciences have been taken over by Neo-Marxist, critical scholarship and are ill-prepared to educate students to the demands of the twenty first century economy.
General Articles
Pro-Palestinian Activism Disguised as Scholarship in Australia: Sandra Nasr as a Case in Point
IAM has often reported on the abuse of the academic platform by Palestinian and pro-Palestinian academics to advance the Palestinian narrative. 
A remarkable example was revealed when a group of BDS activists, members of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), "took over" the leadership of the American Studies Association (ASA) without disclosing their intention to the association. 
Australia has also experienced an abuse of the academic podium by Palestinian and pro-Palestinian activists. IAM received a copy of a recent letter addressed to the Australian Minister of Education (below), from the leadership of the Jewish community in Australia. The letter accuses Dr. Sandra Nasr who teaches history at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, Western Australia, of having a prejudicial attitude towards Judaism and Jews in her public statements and publications and making tendentious statements about Jews and Judaism. 
For Example, Nasr's thesis, submitted in 2010 to the department of social sciences at Curtin University, Australia, "Tactical Terror: Israel in the Palestinian Territories," was subjected to a complaint to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), evaluating it as a “crude prejudice and lack of scholarly rigour of the thesis (as now attested to by three independent academic scholars); apparent conflicts of interest by the two examiners; and the university’s … placing the thesis under permanent embargo in 2010”. 
Sandra Nasr has collaborated with Leila Nasr, an LSE Human Rights blog editor. They presented the paper "Israeli land expropriation and resource colonisation in occupied Palestine" in Vienna, in the Austrian Conference on International Resource Politics in 2014. The paper asserted the "scope of forced Palestinian dispossession from their land amounts to resource colonisation by the Israeli government in support of its long-standing colonial-settlement project for the West Bank." 
In an article titled "Delegitimising Through Dehumanisation: Palestinian ‘Human’ Rights Denied," published on the LSE Human Rights Blog on 4 December 2015, Sandra Nasr wrote that "Zionism, the ideological project to secure a Jewish homeland, relies upon notions of separateness, superiority and entitlement. It finds its origins in the ‘promise’ believed to have been made by God to ‘His people’ – Abraham and his descendants, the Israelites. According to this belief, they were to take the land by force, kill anyone who resisted, and take for slaves those who did not fight back (except in more distant towns which should just be cleansed)... The narratives present in the Torah – and, indeed throughout the Tanakh -- not only raise the Israelites to special status (‘a people apart’) above all other peoples of the Earth, but legitimises – and even requires – the ethnic cleansing of non-Israelites from the land of Canaan." 
The article was taken down after pressure by students and groups such as the Community Security Trust, a charity protecting British Jews from antisemitism and similar threats. 
And now, a recent Australian newspaper published an article in June announcing that TEQSA confirmed it was reviewing the complaint about Nasr’s PhD, but did not disclose any information about it. Likewise, Curtin University failed to refer to the complaint but commented that it had “assessed the PhD thesis in accordance with university contemporary policy and supported, at the time, a request that the thesis be placed under embargo. Once the university was made aware Dr Nasr had made public presentations about the thesis topic and findings, the embargo was lifted.” And the University of Notre Dame Australia said this investigation was “internal and confidential,” refusing to make further comments. 
In response, Peter Wertheim, the chief executive of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry said that “No university that values its reputation would allow crude racism dressed up as scholarship to pass muster.” 
IAM shall report further on the developments.
General Articles
Antisemitism and Pro-Palestinian Activism Dressed as Scholarship: Sigrid Vertommen of King's College London as a Case in Point
IAM noted before how Palestinian academics recruit Western academics to advance the Palestinian narrative. Here is another example of the trend. 
The IAM post concerning Dr. Sigrid Vertommen of King's College London, "'Israeli Sexual Violence and Aggression... Inherent to the Zionist Settler Colonial Project' According to a London Scholar," of January 25, 2018, prompted her to respond. But she failed to answer the allegations of antisemitism. Tellingly, however, she removed her antisemitic post from academia.edu, referring to it as "an op-ed piece that I wrote (and that was never published as an article) during the 2014 Gaza War." She does not explain why it was ok to be antisemitic during the Gaza War. Whatever her explanation, until IAM accused her of antisemitism it was posted on a platform serving academics for four years. 
IAM totally agrees with Vertommen that criticism of Israel is part of academic freedom. However, antisemitism is not. King's College London, where she is a Marie Curie fellow, has recently adopted the IHRA Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, to make sure this distinction is observed. 
Vertommen stressed in her response to IAM that "I emphatically oppose any kind of antisemitism." She also considers the IAM accusation defamatory. To recall, IAM posted the following antisemitic citations by Vertommen: 
"Israeli Sexual Violence and Aggression... Inherent to the Zionist Settler Colonial Project." 
For Israel, Gazan women "deserve to be annihilated simply because of their threatening ability to reproduce the next generation and to assure the continuance of the Palestinian people." 
"the dominant Israeli discourse is urging the Israeli army to collectively eliminate the Palestinian population in Gaza." 
"Gazans and Palestinians in general are being encouraged to die as quickly and massively as possible." 
Her scholarship deals with medically assisted production of babies. In a recent blog post under the headline of "Researching Assisted Reproduction in Israel/Palestine: A Fertile Ground for Mayhem – by Dr Sigrid Vertommen," she wrote about being invited to lecture in Warwick University on 17 January 2018 and was accused of anti-Semitism by the Jewish community. In her post Vertommen failed to admit her citations are antisemitic and instead she claimed Israel's "racist" policies should be targeted. "The strategy of delegitimising critical inquiries of Israeli policies by falsely labelling them as anti-Semitic is not new. Yet, since the recent proposal by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance to adopt a new working definition of anti-Semitism, which includes targeting the State of Israel for its racist policies, this strategy has become even more rampant." 
At times Vertommen contradicts herself. On the one hand, "My main argument is that Israel’s (in)famously pronatalist assisted reproductive policies have been co-produced within a Zionist demographic logic of elimination... by containing Palestinian fertility." But, on the other hand she says the opposite, "The Israeli government subsidises every citizen in the country – regardless of religious or marital status –for an unlimited number of IVF cycles." 
An examination of her scholarship shows that while she claims to be researching Palestine/Israel, she only focuses on the Israeli government policy towards assisted reproduction and does not question Palestinian Authority policies towards it. She focuses on Palestinian prisoners sperm smuggling from Israeli prisons, but doesn't look at Palestinian prisoners in Palestinian prisons. She compares only one Israeli prisoner case in Israeli prison, that is of Yigal Amir, which she described as living in a "Splendid Isolation," to the many Palestinian prisoner cases. She refers to Jewish baby production and how it is perceived in the torah, yet she doesn't research what Islamic production means in the Quran. More puzzling is, she finds the centrality of reproduction in Judaism "myopic focus". This, again, is antisemitic when one doesn't judge other religions. 
She also refers to an Israeli "gay collective opposing commercial surrogacy," but declines to refer to Palestinian gay community approach to commercial surrogacy. Neither does she question Hamas's. 
Without having to explain her assumption that Israel is a settler colonial state, she accuses Israel of controlling population growth of the Palestinians. "Framing the Zionist project in Palestine/Israel as a settler colonial practice rather than a “mere” nationalist ideology, as is often the case, fundamentally affects the analysis of the role, func'tion, and goals of population management. A settler colonial analysis presumes a demographic "zero sum game" in which the settler population can only be enlarged at the expense of the natives." Vertommen is wrong, there is enough demographic data showing the Palestinian population is on the rise since 1948. 
All these peculiar assertions by Vertommen have one explanation, Vertommen is in fact a political activist working for the Palestinian cause, dressed in an academic garb. 
In 2015 she participated and helped organize a conference hosted in Ramallah, Palestine, the "International Conference of Critical Geography." Readers should note that the term "critical" in these conferences means: a) there are no facts but polemics; and, b) there is no criticism of anything Palestinian. The conference organizers invited "progressive academics," to learn about an area "shaped by a long century of European settler colonialism and US imperialism". 
In 2013 she signed, among Palestinian and pro-Palestinian academics, a letter by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) addressing Lady Catherine Ashton, then head of the foreign affairs and security policy of the European Union, stating "We are writing to you with regard to the guidelines published recently by the EU on the eligibility of Israeli bodies for EU financial support which are designed to prevent projects in illegal Israeli settlements from receiving funding from the European Research Council and the forthcoming Horizon 2020 EU research funding programme. The guidelines were widely welcomed by researchers and citizens who had been deeply concerned that the EU was encouraging and funding collaboration between European universities and Israeli companies such as Ahava that operate in illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law and their continued existence and expansion lead to severe violations of the human rights of Palestinians." 
In 2010 Vertommen spoke in an event "Jerusalem: occupied city" in Leuven, Belgium, organized by Palestine Solidarity groups. She talked about the "history of the country, with its occupation and violent confrontations, exposes the roots of the conflict in Jerusalem. Thus the Zionists, the mandate of the British, the occupation and the annexation of East Jerusalem... Israel continues to extend its city limits unilaterally in the area. The Jewish objective is to make Jerusalem as Jewish as possible by encouraging Jewish Israelis to live in Jerusalem. The life of the Palestinians is made unbearable in the area." 
In recent years Palestinian academics from Western universities recruit non-Palestinian scholars to spread the Palestinian narrative. In this case, Vertommen abuses her position as a researcher of fertility and assisted production in order to advance her pro-Palestinian activism while espousing antisemitic tropes. King's College London should be aware of such phenomenon.
Hebrew University
Learning Conference Organizers Respond to the IAM Post Concerning HUJ Prof. Nurit Elhanan-Peled
IAM received a response concerning the post on a lecture by Prof. Nurit Elhanan-Peled, of July 5, 2018, from Dr. William Cope and Dr. Thomas Babalis, the organizers of the International Conference on Learning which took place in Athens, Greece. Cope is the co-founder and president of Common Ground Research Networks and Babalis professor of Teaching Methodology and Dean of School of Education at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the host of the conference. 
Cope and Babalis argue that Elhanan-Peled’s paper was rigorous in its theoretical premise with methodologies of empirical analysis and that "Academic Israeli Monitor evidently represents a different ethico-political perspective from Prof. Elhanan-Peled." Contrary to IAM's assertion, they added, "Elhanan-Peled is entitled to present an argument at the conference, no matter how unpalatable it may seem from the point of view of AIM" and that, we will continue to welcome diversity of perspectives "even if AIM does not welcome such diversity in Israel." Last but not least, they added that "we are disturbed by the nature and tenor of AIM’s reporting. We wonder what it means to question state or university sponsorship of critical scholarship—surely critical dialogue is to be valued in a democracy? We also wonder what the effects of 'monitoring' are intended to be in a democratic society?”
While IAM praises Cope and Babalis for accepting only papers that are "solidly grounded in scholarly principles and practices," yet, Cope and Babalis should be aware that in some cases in the social sciences scholars falsify research and invent findings, something unacceptable in rigor research. It is IAM's purpose to investigate when a research in question is fabricated. 
For example, IAM has written extensively on the neo-Marxist, critical trend which often ignores evidence contradicting its findings. This trend is normative rather than positivist which is not accepted by mainstream social science presses. IAM is not the only one to make this determination. In 2011 the Israeli Council for Higher Education appointed an International Evaluation Committee to look into the Department of Politics and Government of Ben Gurion University which is known as a hive of neo-Marxist, critical scholars. The Evaluation Committee which included leading scholars such as, Prof. Thomas Risse of the Institute for Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin; Prof. Benjamin Jerry Cohen, Department of Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara; Prof. Ellen Immergut, School of Social Sciences, Humboldt University Berlin; Prof. Robert Lieber, Department of Government, Georgetown University; among others, concluded that the offering of the Department and the scholarship of several of its faculty were not empirically grounded. 
With regards to Elhanan-Peled, IAM has examined her scholarship on numerous occasions over the years. This time, to make the case, IAM has turned to two scholars that have researched the topic of Israeli and Palestinian perception of the 'other' in school books. 
Dr. Yael Teff-Seker, researcher at Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE), recently wrote the chapter "Textbooks for the State and State-Religious Jewish Sector in Israel". The abstract states the following, 
Despite official Israeli government statements to the contrary, Israeli textbooks have repeatedly been accused of being prejudiced, stereotypical and racist towards Arabs, Muslims and, most of all, Palestinians. However, some significant improvements regarding peace and the Arab Other were noted in textbooks published in the later 1980s and in the 1990s by most scholars of Israeli curricula. One would perhaps assume that these positive trends would diminish with the deterioration of Arab–Israeli relations—and particularly Palestinian–Israeli relations—over the past few years (especially since the 2000 Al Aqsa Intifada). However, it is this chapter’s claim not only that these trends towards peace and tolerance have persevered but that they were even improved in the Israeli textbooks authorised by the Israeli Ministry of Education for the academic years 2009–2012. With this general trend in mind, the Israeli state-approved textbooks still foster something of a victim mentality in regard to the Arab–Israeli conflict, although more recent textbooks do include the Palestinian point of view regarding the events leading to the 1948 war, and even criticise or take responsibility for some of the harsh consequences for the Palestinian people. 
Teff-Seker commented on Elhanan-Peled's scholarship that, "In the past, I have found that Nurit Peled Elhanan's work ignores general trends in Israeli textbooks supported by other reports and academic publications (e.g. support for coexistence, aspiration for peace) and focuses on a few examples, often taken out of context." 
IAM also contacted Dr. Arnon Groiss, a scholar of Middle Eastern studies and a retired journalist of Israel's Arabic Radio service, who has been studying, since the year 2000, the attitude to the 'other' and to peace in various Middle Eastern curricula, including the Israeli one. He wrote that, 
I have been following Prof. Peled-Elhanan's work for fifteen years. I first met her in 2003 at a European Council panel where I presented the case of Palestinian schoolbooks' attitude to the Jewish-Israeli 'other' while she talked about the Israeli schoolbooks' attitude to Palestinians. Having spent 12 years in Israeli schools I was astonished to hear that the books I had learned from were promoting the massacre of Palestinians. I was further amazed of her accusation that Israeli schoolbooks were teaching territorial expansion while ignoring the Hebrew text of the very source she presented, which described Israel's agreements with its neighbors regarding the determination of their mutual borders. Three years later I decided to trace her sources and got the seven Israeli schoolbooks she had based her findings on and read them thoroughly. I found out that she had created a picture of a racist and murderous Israeli curriculum based on 1) distorted source material - that is, leaving out all pieces of evidence that contradicted her thesis, 2) invented "data" and 3) illogical interpretation of the evidence. 
Following are some examples: 
1) She claimed that the 7 books she studied were denying Palestinian peoplehood and nationalism. I found over 20 examples to the contrary, including an assignment requiring students to describe the development of Palestinian nationalism in the years 1919-1939. She claimed the Israeli schoolbook never showed Palestinian figures and I found 15 photographs of Palestinians in those 7 books. She said that the Palestinian Arab city of Nazareth did not appear on the map and I found 16 such appearances. She further claimed that Israeli textbooks condoned massacres of Palestinians, in sharp contrast to the books' condemnation of the massacres of Deir Yassin and Kafar Qassem. 
2) Peled-Elhanan accused the Israeli schoolbooks of having a racist Euro-centrist perspective, because one of them used the expression "far-away Yemen" when comparing to Russia and the Balkan, wrongly assuming that Yemen was the closest to Israel. 
3) She further accused the Israeli textbooks of racism because they used the term "Arab" for the minority population in Israel, suggesting it was derogatory, notwithstanding the fact that that population itself used that very term. She also interpreted a decorative picture of two Israeli soldiers on top of a map as a sign of expansionism since one of them aimed his weapon towards Syria [but the other soldier pointed his rifle at his fellow soldier!]. Finally, she claimed that the Israeli schoolbooks' "positive" view of the massacres against the Palestinians was proved by their discussion of those massacres' benefits to Israel's cause, and she brought as an example the ruling against obeying unlawful orders that was issued following the Kafr Qassem massacre in 1956. But the wide discussion of that ruling in the books contradicts her very thesis of massacre indoctrination! 
In short, Prof. Peled-Elhanan's thesis proved to be falsely-based and, accordingly, should not be considered a scholarly work. She stated her preconceived thesis based on her personal political agenda and tried hard to find evidence to support it. She failed, for the simple reason that Israeli schoolbooks do not contain significant racist material, let alone massacre indoctrination. But she was not deterred and made formidable efforts to create evidence. 
Both Teff-Seker and Groiss published chapters in the 2018 book Multiple Alterities: Views of Others in Textbooks of the Middle East, (eds.) Elie Podeh and Samira Alayan (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). 
It is not surprising that Elhanan-Peled's research is not included in this respectable compilation of academic articles which deals with her research topic.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
The AAUP Responds to IAM
The IAM post "Confusion of the AAUP Committee on Academic Freedom: Rejecting and Endorsing BDS," of June 27, criticized committee A of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) for holding conflicting views; claiming it opposes all kinds of academic boycotts, yet, it endorses the right of scholars to call for the boycott of Israel. 
A response arrived from Henry Reichman, the chair of the AAUP Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, professor emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay, and first vice president of the AAUP. 
Reichman's main argument is that with respect to free speech, AAUP can both oppose BDS, on the one hand, while accepting the right of BDS activists to promote it, on the other hand, just as the saying goes, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." While this principle was true to the time it was said, however, in our days, speech such as defamation, anti-Semitism, hate speech and Holocaust denial, among other things, are not permitted on or off campus and can not be defended under the category of free speech. So much so, that in some cases offenders even have been sent to prison for espousing such speech. 
To make his case, Reichman provided an example to how he personally defended the freedom of speech on his own campus of a person whose politics he disagrees with. However, Reichman has defamed the person's speech as repulsive "blatherings of the moronic bigot." Reichman, in fact, blurs the lines between acceptable and unacceptable speech. Defamation is unacceptable and should not be tolerated in an academic exchange. It would have been suffice had he stated he disagreed with this person on numerous issues, as an academic discussion should be respectful. 
Reichman whitewashes Prof. Katherine Frank involvement with BDS, by claiming she was denied entry to Israel on the basis of "reports on blacklisting websites of her political views on BDS." IAM produced enough evidence to show her support of BDS. In 2016 she defended BDS in a panel conversation on "The Case for Academic Boycott" at Barnard College. In 2012 she boycotted Philadelphia's University of the Arts Equality Forum which advances LGBT civil rights, due to the "Israeli government's manipulation of gay rights organizations in the U.S., such as the Equality Forum, to 'pinkwash' its troubled human rights record." She detailed her argument in a video recording which in 2014 Palestinian activists used in a petition to pressure participants to withdraw from the following Equality Forum. 
Reichman also defends his choice of relying on Roger Cohen's NYT article detailing Franke's airport incident, by stating "Whatever Cohen's views may be they are totally irrelevant to the AAUP's position or to Committee A’s.“ IAM pointed out that Reichman could have picked other articles to link to the Franke incident, the fact he picked a highly controversial columnist speaks volumes about his own agenda. One does not need to be a student in public relations to realize that Reichman used an old trick in the field, picking someone who does not like Israel so that unwitting readers would get the least balanced view on why Franke was refused entry at Ben Gurion Airport. 
Reichman also claims that Franke, "by seeking to visit Israel one could say that she was already violating the very boycott she was accused of advocating." Reichman is right that BDS activists often violate BDS restrictions. Omar Barghouti, for example, the co-founder of the BDS movement was studying in Tel Aviv University while co-founding BDS and has been residing in Israel for years, making use of its benefits. 
There is a possible explanation to why Israel is blocking entry to BDS activists that Reichman and Franke should be aware of. It serves as deterrence and is twofold: BDS advocates should know they would be refused entry, and likewise, visitors to Israel should make sure they were not involved in BDS. 
Reading Reichman's comment further, his explanation to why the AAUP defends the right of scholars to support BDS comes as an analogy to a defense attorney who defends his client's rights but not always his actions. This example does Reichman ill service because even in the most severe legal cases such as murder, a defense lawyer is hired. It doesn't mean that the right to murder should be protected by the AAUP. As an academic association, the AAUP should not protect the right for inappropriate conduct such as boycotting speakers based on their nationality. 
All this puts the AAUP in an awkward position.
Hebrew University
Scholars Willful Blindness: HUJ Professor Moshe Amirav as a Case in Point
An international conference on the Question of Jerusalem seeking an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem took place recently. It was sponsored by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The conference was held in Rabat, Morocco, between the 26 to 28 June 2018 and among the mostly Palestinian speakers was the Israeli Prof. Moshe Amirav of the Hebrew University Rothberg International School. 
As an expert on Jerusalem, Amirav's talk was clearly serving Palestinian interests alone. He ridiculed Israel's dream of Jerusalem's unification and peace by calling it "the pathological phenomenon known as the Jerusalem Syndrome". He requested that Israeli politicians should go through "soul-searching" and his solution was, "I can foresee two cities within Jerusalem. The capital of Palestine, Al Quds, fifty square kilometers on the east side of the current city, and the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, sixty square kilometers on the west side.” Blind to Palestinian rejectionism, at times Amirav's narrative was at odds with facts. For example, when he stated that in 1987 "During our meetings we arrived at a mutual agreement based on two capitals in one city. We agreed that the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem would be Al Quds, the capital of Palestine." Yet he neglected to note that Sari Nusseibeh, one of the leading Palestinian negotiators, was severely wounded a few days after meeting Amirav and Ehud Olmert, by four masked men on the Birzeit University campus. Such an act of violence should have signaled to Amirav a rejection to the "mutual agreement". 
According to the Amirav analysis from his 2002 book, Jerusalem played only a secondary role in the Arab-Israeli conflict. He wrote that after Jordan gave up its demand for sovereignty over the West Bank in 1988 then the PLO became the sole claimant to Jerusalem vis-a-vis Israel. He detailed the Palestinian strategy formulated in the 1990s, which was "to counter the facts on the ground set by Israel in Jerusalem. The essence of this strategy, which was led and guided mostly by Faisal Husseini, can be summed up in one word: 'Zumud'. In light of Israeli experience to deprive the city's Arabs of a physical and symbolic hold to the city, this strategy sought to build physical, demographic, and symbolic infrastructures, which will be facts on the ground to match those of Israel. A formation of a Palestinian community around many national and autonomous institutions, the most prominent among them was the Orient House, created the grounds for the 'becoming capital city.' This strategy, more than relying on self-initiative, was largely based on detecting the weaknesses of the Israeli policy, which demonstrated a long-term weakness in its 'Israelization' policy." If Amirav saw Jerusalem as originally only a secondary issue, why was he pushing Israel to give up Eastern Jerusalem, as he stated in a conversation with Haaretz in December 2002, that sooner or later Israel will be forced to "get rid of the Temple Mount" and give it as a gift to the countries of Islam? 
In 2000, Amirav was instrumental during the Camp David II Summit with Yasser Arafat, as an advisor to Ehud Barak. As well known, the Israelis offered the Palestinians a return of virtually the entire West Bank and Gaza, a capital in Abu Dis and a condominium of the Holy Basin, that is the Old City. Much to the surprise of the Israeli delegation and the Clinton administration, Arafat refused, walking away from the best offer which the Palestinians had ever received. 
By his own admission, Amirav was devastated by the failure of the summit, but he never lost hope. In one of his more recent interviews on ILTV, the good professor stated that he is still dreaming about a peaceful Jerusalem. On its face, Amirav’s dream may sound admirable. But for those with even a passing knowledge of the events which led up to Camp David II show that the professor suffers from a deplorable case of willful blindness. 
While Arafat and the PLO were initially ready to clench the deal, they came under tremendous pressure from the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). A few months after Yitzhak Rabin and Arafat signed the Declaration of Principles in Washington in 1993, the Iranian regime which viewed the liberation of Jerusalem as its foundational principle, decided to act as a spoiler of the peace process. Helped by Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guards and their foreign operations unit Quds Force, trained Palestinian jihadists in suicide bombing and other tools of terror. As a result, during the 1990s, thousands of Israelis died or were wounded, raising questions about Arafat’s ability or willingness to control the militants. In 1999, when Ehud Barak came to power, Iran and its proxies increased the pressure both on the Israeli public and on Arafat who decided that under the circumstances he would not be able to strike a deal. Publicly, he spread the theory that Jews have no right to Jerusalem because their Temple was located in Nablus. According to Dennis Ross, the chief American negotiator, the PLO chairman repeated this version during the Camp David II meeting, much to the astonishment of other participants. Moshe Amirav was one of the participants so he should know and if he forgot he can look at Wikipedia under Temple Denial. It was also during the meeting that Arafat demanded the return of the Palestinians refugees and their descends, a clear deal-breaker as far as the Israelis were concerned. Privately, Arafat began preparations for a new intifada, going as far as asking the Iranians for arms and munitions which were discovered when the Israeli navy intercepted Karine-A, in early 2001. Separately, Hezbollah tried to send weapons through Gaza and Egypt. Palestinian leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas, would later admit that Arafat’s decision to launch a new intifada was a mistake. Ahmed Qurie admitted the pressure by the proxies in his book Peace Negotiations in Palestine: From the Second Intifada to the Roadmap, castigating the “persistence of the separate agendas of the militant factions.” Qurie explained that as the Palestinian leaders tried to pursue negotiations, the “competing voices from the militant Palestinian factions began to talk about making preparations for a battle of Jerusalem, or even a battle for the liberation and independence of the entirety of the Palestinian territories.” 
There is abundance of research to indicate that Iran and its proxies acted as spoilers in the Oslo peace process. However, Professor Amirav is not likely to use any of this material because it would undermine his narrative. Unfortunately, Amirav is not the only one to suffer from such willful blindness. Almost two decades after the failure of Camp David II and the bloody Second Intifada which followed it, the role of Iran has not been discussed. Collectively, this willful blindness of many radical Israeli activist-scholars created a “politically correct” version of the recent history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
General Articles
Important Ruling in the U.S. on Academic Freedom
A recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin is poised to challenge the political correctness movement which has prevailed on American campuses for more than three decades. In a 4-2 decision, the Court ruled in favor of a tenured professor from Marquette University who was dismissed for expressing a politically incorrect view according to the administration. 
The case arose when John McAdams criticized on his blog an instructor Cheryl Abbate, who did not allow a discussion on gay marriage in her ethics class, because in her opinion, any argument against gay marriage is sexist and racist. McAdams, a tenured professor, emphasized that such a one sided approach stifles a free exchange of ideas. 
It is well known that in the social sciences and humanities, the classroom serves as a “marketplace of ideas", teaching students the value of free exchange. According the German educator Wilhelm von Humboldt who coined the phrase, it is the mission of the universality to train students in this important skill. Ex-cathedra, free debate is the cornerstone of all democratic society. 
The dominance of neo-Marxist, critical faculty in the social sciences has perverted the idea of the classroom as marketplace of ideas. Research has indicated that opposite views are not welcome, and in many cases are branded as creating a "hostile atmosphere.” In many cases some speakers were not allowed on campus or met with protest. Many of the demonstrators claim that the campus is a “safe place” to protect them from “hostile ideas". 
The Wisconsin High Court ruling has implications beyond Professor McAdams and Marquette University. On many American campuses, a total embrace of the Palestinian cause is considered de rigueur while support for Israel is beyond the pale of political correctness. On many occasions, Israeli or pro-Israeli speakers are harassed to the point of being forced to leave the campus. Less documented but equally pervasive are the biases in courses on Middle East which are structured around the premise that “the Palestinians can do no wrong and the Israeli Jews can do no right.“ Hopefully, the Court ruling would make it easier for those student who challenge the politically correct version of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Hebrew University
A Complaint against HUJ Prof. Nurit Elhanan-Peled
Last week Dr. Julia Muchnik-Rozanov of Achva College sent us a complaint about a lecture in a conference in Athens, Greece, by Prof. Nurit Elhanan-Peled of the Hebrew University. The educational conference "25th International Conference on Learning" took place on 21-23 of June. 
While the Palestinian-Israeli dispute was not on the agenda, Prof. Elhanan-Peled presented a paper "Society and Its Legitimation in School Books". Her lecture, which included claimed that Israeli school-books make the Israeli children "heterophobic through the use of Holocaust rhetoric of victimhood", by teaching them the "fear of others, extreme nationalism and majoritarianism". Elhanan-Peled claimed that such methods promoted the "development of a predatory identity." Elhanan-Peled also presented Israeli school books as legitimizing the elimination of Palestinians and non-white Jews, and the use of language of Holocaust victimhood of equating Palestinians to Nazis. Terms such as "extermination" "Auschwitz" and accusations of anti-Semitism are used when describing Palestinian resistance. 
All this prompted Muchnik-Rozanov to leave the lecture hall being upset. She later wrote IAM and questioned who sponsors such an anti-Israeli activity of Prof. Elhanan-Peled in the conference, and whether it was the State of Israel. 
At the conference Elhanan-Peled introduced herself as following: "As an Israeli I feel I must specify my political position:I am a member of the Palestinian-Israeli forum of bereaved parents for peace and was a co-laureate of the 2001 Sakharov Prize for Human Rights and the Freedom of Thought, awarded by the European Parliament." To recall, Elhanan-Peled's 14 year old daughter, Smadar, was killed in a suicide bombing at Ben-Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, on the 4th of September 1997 while walking with her friends Yael Botwin, Sivan Zarka and Daniella Birman to buy school-books at the beginning of the school year. Yael, Sivan and Smadar were killed instantly. 
A week after her tragedy, Elhanan-Peled was interviewed at the Los Angeles Times, "Mother Blames Israeli Policies for Child's Death," where she blamed Israel. "This is the fruit of [Israel's] misdoings... It serves their purpose. They want to kill the peace process and blame it on the Arabs." She also said she felt no anger toward the bombers--"they are desperate, insanely desperate, people... The Palestinian Authority can't do anything," she said. "They are on the verge of suicide... We are the strong ones. We have the army and the air force. But we are violating their rights, humiliating them." But since Elhanan-Peled is a political activist who uses her academic platform to preach her political agenda, this is not surprising. Self-admittedly Elhanan-Peled said in that interview that her politics "have always been left to far-left." With her politics she blames Israel for all the ills of the Palestinians. 
Elhanan-Peled offered similar harsh accusations in her previous work "The denial of Palestinian National and Territorial Identity in Israeli Schoolbooks of History and Geography 1996-2003" which was countered by Dr. Arnon Groiss, as reported by IAM in 2011. Groiss concluded that Elhanan-Peled was "Motivated by her personal political agenda rather than an investigative spirit," with a "highly selective use of source material, leaving out all references which contradict her thesis... inaccurate, distorted, and even downright false evidence," he wrote. 
In her lecture, Elhanan-Peled suggested a comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany. She used the so-called Gardening Metaphor by Zygmunt Bauman who compared the garden (as a metaphor for society) and the gardener (as a social-engineer or manager) to juxtapose the concepts of control and order. The gardener is pulling out weeds, as a metaphorical social gardener rounding up human beings in the interests of a managerial plan. Bauman warned of attempts to equate society and nature and the intentions to manage the former according to the principles of the latter, yielding catastrophic results in the past, pointing to the Holocaust. 
She discusses her views in a recent video recorded interview with Robert Martin, a pro-Palestinian Australian activist, where her accusations are bordering on the anti-Semitic. Such a biased nature of research puts in question the credibility of the scholar and the type of education that her students receive. 
Muchnik-Rozanov’s asks who pays for Elhanan-Peled’s travel. We don't know, but she disclosed that her recent research was paid in part by the Leverhulme Trust in London which provides funding across various academic disciplines. She is also a member of the Common Ground Research Networks, the co-organizers of the 25th International Conference on Learning, with them Elhanan-Peled published her 2008 article "The Establishment of Israeli Identity through Racist Discourse". 
Her Athens conference lecture served as a basis for an upcoming book and IAM would provide an analysis of her findings in due course.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Confusion of the AAUP Committee on Academic Freedom: Rejecting and Endorsing BDS
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has held its annual meeting on June 16, 2018. While it claims to oppose all kinds of academic boycotts, in reality it has endorsed the right of academics to call for the boycott of Israel. Confusing? Yes, indeed. 
The importance of the AAUP can not be overestimated. It has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures to maintain quality in education and academic freedom since 1915. The AAUP defines professional values and standards, advance the rights of academics pertaining to academic freedom and shared governance, and promotes the interests of higher education teaching and research. 
The AAUP is certainly highly regarded globally. Even IAM has endorsed principles set out in 1940: "When College and university teachers speak or write as citizens they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution". And that "Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject". 
But things took a surprising turn during a June meeting of an AAUP standing committee, the Academic Freedom and Tenure (Committee A). Committee A issued a report endorsing the right of faculty to advocate an academic boycott of Israel. 
The report states that: 
At its June meeting the committee also discussed two troubling developments related to the academic boycott of Israel. The committee continues to oppose all academic boycotts, including such a boycott of Israel, as inconsistent with principles of academic freedom. At the same time, however, we defend the right of faculty members to advocate such a boycott. In that light we were deeply troubled by the action of the state of Israel in denying entry to Columbia University law professor Katherine Franke. When Professor Franke sought to visit Israel solely on academic business, Israeli officials denied her entry because of her alleged advocacy of a boycott, apparently determined by her listing on a notorious blacklist. A Committee A subcommittee is in process of preparing a letter to the Israeli government indicating our concern and pointing out that this action undermines the efforts of those who seek to oppose academic boycotts, since it would appear that the Israeli government has in this case imposed its own academic boycott. 
In a similar vein, the committee discussed legislation in as many as seventeen states criminalizing support for the BDS movement. As a result, some public universities in those states have begun to ask that external speakers invited to campus and others who contract with these universities, such as external reviewers of tenure and promotion materials, sign a statement pledging that they do not now, nor will they in the future, endorse BDS. Specifically, we are deeply alarmed by reports that Arizona State University and the University of Houston require speakers and other academics to certify that they are not involved with the BDS movement and that the University of Houston has even extended the requirement to its own faculty and students. A subcommittee is currently preparing a statement opposing such practices that will be released this summer.The report was presented to the AAUP annual meeting in Virginia, on June 16 and will be published in the annual AAUP journal Academe later this summer. 
While it is clear from the report that the committee continues to oppose the boycott of Israel, which was already stated in 2006, in an AAUP publication of recommendations on academic boycotts which determined: 
1. In view of the Association’s long-standing commitment to the free exchange of ideas, we oppose academic boycotts. 
2. On the same grounds, we recommend that other academic associations oppose academic boycotts. We urge that they seek alternative means, less inimical to the principle of academic freedom, to pursue their concerns. 
3. We especially oppose selective academic boycotts that entail an ideological litmus test. We understand that such selective boycotts may be intended to preserve academic exchange with those more open to the views of boycott proponents, but we cannot endorse the use of political or religious views as a test of eligibility for participation in the academic community. Similarly, it was repeated in 2013 "AAUP Statement on Academic Boycotts." The AAUP insisted that Academics can do as they please privately, it ended its statement by saying "However, an organized academic boycott is a different matter and we are disappointed by the resolution of the Association for Asian American Studies and would instead urge that organization and its members to find other means to register their opposition to Israeli policies." 
Now, the committee defends the right of faculty members to advocate such a boycott. This seeming contradiction stems from an incident involving Professor Katherine Franke from the Columbia University Law School. In late April, Professor Franke was detained at the Israeli airport and was denied entrance because of her involvement with the BDS movement. She is a leader of the Jewish Voices for Peace, a group dedicated to promoting BDS. To explain its position, the committee inserted a link to an op-ed by Roger Cohen in the New York Times. Cohen described the airport incident, "she was detained last Sunday, interrogated, accused of lying, and, upon expulsion, told she could never return," and described Franke as "the kind of tough critic a free and democratic society should welcome. Any healthy society is defined by its ability to accommodate civilized debate, not by cries of “traitor” directed at dissenters." For him, sending her back to America was a "measure of how far Israeli political culture has closed." Cohen can hardly be described as a neutral observer when stating that "President Trump’s gift for unleashing the worst in people has found no more fertile ground than the Holy Land," or that Israel "has carte blanche from the Trump administration to do what it will: view the West Bank as Israel proper, overreact at the Gaza fence, pass a 2017 law banning boycott supporters from the country. Habits of violent intolerance absorbed through a 50-year exercise in policing the lives of others no longer meet any semblance of American censure. Unbridled, Israel lurches rightward.” 
The use of this particular op-ed to justify the position of the AAUP is even more troubling when considering Cohen’s other writings. In 2009, Cohen wrote in the New York Times about a trip to Iran. The glowing description of the country was even more pointed when Cohen, a Jew himself, wrote that the “Jewish community in Iran “was living, working, worshipping in relative tranquility.” The article created a firestorm especially in the Jewish and Baha'i communities in the United States. Some compared his article to the infamous glowing reviews of the “road trips” which American academics and journalists took in the Soviet Union at the peak of Stalin’s Gulag era. Cohen himself subsequently admitted that he used the services of a government minder/ translator when he was interviewing the Iranians. That the AAUP should use Cohen’s article to support its position on Professor Franke makes mockery of its claim to objectify. At best, the committee did not do its homework, at worst, it chose to insert a profoundly biased piece of writing. 
The committee failed to do its homework when it explained that Professor Franke was detained because of her “alleged advocacy of boycott.” The committee should have checked its facts on what is the connection between Franke and the BDS movement, before suggesting these are mere allegations. 
A number of events show direct ties of Professor Franke to the BDS movement: 
In May 2012 Franke has made a public declaration supporting the Palestinian call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions on Israel when she decided to boycott the "Equality Forum" in Philadelphia where she was scheduled to speak. The annual conference chose a nation to highlight and discuss its culture and policies toward LGBTQ individuals and that year’s selected country was Israel. 
Franke was a panelist in February 2016 at the “Israeli Apartheid Week” for the Columbia University and Barnard College faculty and students, hosted by Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace and Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, discussing the book “The Case for Academic Boycott.” The entire book and event called for the boycott of Israel. 
Franke has been signatory number 10 of the July 2016 “Faculty Petition” supporting Columbia University Apartheid Divest’s statement, "calling upon the University to take a moral stance against Israel's violence in all its forms. We demand that the University divest from corporations that supply, perpetuate, and profit from a system that has subjugated the Palestinian people for over 68 years." 
Her personal University page lists her as a member of the Executive Committee of the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University and her writings which include "Why We Boycotted the Equality Forum: Gay Rights Become a Tool in Israel's Rebranding Campaign." and "PFLAG Holds Israeli Pinkwashing Event." 
The committee acknowledged that the Israeli Knesset has passed in 2017 the Boycott Law preventing BDS activists from entering Israel which the global media widely publicized. But they failed to mention that Franke should have known before traveling that she could be denied entry. By choosing to use the link to Cohen's article, they also gave credence to Professor Franke’s own obfuscations. Cohen wrote about Franke's reaction to the airport incident, "Franke told me: 'They were not interested in why I was there. They already had a story. I was a leader of Jewish Voice for Peace. I was there to promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — all this untrue'." 
To explain the confusion of the AAUP one needs to evoke the old metaphor of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It is the obligation of the AAUP to uphold standards of academic freedom, but there are certain ideas that the academy and for that matter the caviled world cannot tolerate. One of them is anti-Semitism, a phenomenon which the EU described as using double standards to judge the Jews as opposed to others. This is not to say that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic; to the contrary, it is a legitimate form of expression to which every academic should be entitled. The point is that vociferous critics such as Professor Franke are quick to condemn Israel but are silent on all other issues, a classic manifestation of double standards. IAM has repeatedly documented such one-sided bias in the academy. Umpteen conferences are devoted to how Israel mistreated the Palestinians, IAM has yet to see a conference about the Islamist treatment of minorities and women in the Middle East. In addition, IAM did not come across any conference about the treatment of gays by the Palestinians or other Muslim countries where gays are being hanged from cranes in pubic space or thrown off rooftops. When confronted with the fact that in Israel gays enjoy broad-range of rights and host one of the largest gathering of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ), the answer of Franke and others is “Pinkwashing.” According to this view, Israel’s liberal approach to LGBTQ is a public relations ploy to cover up the “sins of the occupation.” 
By pretending that radical critique of Israel is legitimate, a notion that goes against the EU definition of antisemitism, the AAUP is defending two incompatible positions and creating confusion in the process. But there is more to this story, the AAUP shows moral cowardice. The guardian of objectivity and balance has become an extension of the “politically correct” academy, promoting the narrative that the Jews cannot do anything right and the Palestinians cannot do anything wrong.
Ben-Gurion University
The 20th Anniversary of BGU Dept. of Politics and Government: Time for Reflections
A short note announcing the 20th anniversary of the BGU Department of Politics and Government was posted by the Academia-IL Network. It was followed by an invitation to a two days conference titled "Are Politics Still Possible?" taking place on June 19-20, 2018. The forum offered a platform for triumphalism and self-congratulation. 
In reality, however, the Department had a checkered history; it faced numerous criticism for its failure to offer a proper political science curriculum and employ mainstream political scientists. It was even threatened of closure. 
As well known, in 2011 an evaluation report commissioned by the Council for Higher Education (CHE) found in the department excess focus on community activism. Similar observation was given in an earlier report by left-wing political scientist Zeev Maoz who already in 2002 noted the lack of core teaching. 
The Evaluation Report expressed concerns that “the Department is too weak in its core discipline of political science in terms of number of faculty, curriculum, and research. The committee believes that this situation needs to be changed immediately and that the Department should institute major changes toward strengthening its disciplinary and methodological core through both hiring more faculty and altering its study programs.” Prof. Ellen Immergut and Prof. Thomas Risse, members of the committee, also commented that, "The Department’s response of October 2011 mentions that the plan for new recruitments “will focus on the core areas of the discipline, such as international relations, comparative politics, political thought, quantitative methods,” for which they asked "What fields will now be represented by the actual faculty being recruited?" 
The evaluation committee recommended closing the department, but the CHE did not act on the recommendation because it was intimidated by the international campaign which the faculty mobilized. As a face saving device the Department promised to hire more mainstream faculty and add quantitative methods. 
Evidently, the Department still prioritizes activism. For instance, an official announcement of the Department, "The Graduates Award of the Department of Politics and Government for meaningful social action 2018 is underway," appeared online on to May 23, 2018, inviting former students to apply. "The award is intended for the graduates of the department who have been active in promoting social change and justice. Please attach a curriculum vitae and a brief description of the relevant activity." 
The excess of social activism is also apparent in the number of representatives of NGOs who were invited to speak at the Roundtable 1: Is there Room for Politics of Change? such as, Coexistence Forum; Rahat Youth Center; Center for International Migration and Integration; ‘Tsaad Kadima’; ‘Gvanim’ project and a Meretz Party Candidate; Earth’s Promise; The Feidel Organisation; "Israel Hofsheet- be free Israel”; Negev Center for Refugees; The Democratic Workers’ Organisation. All are former students at the Department. 
An examination of the current 16 faculty and teaching fellows, and the Department’s research clusters, not much has changed. Therefore, some of the cutting-edge subjects which are routinely offered in comparable departments do not exist. 
As before, faculty and graduates promote radical political views: 
Prof. Ahmad H. Sa'di has played a key role in creating a Palestinian narrative. Sa'di has co-authored the book Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, with Lila Abu-Lughod, professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, in 2007. In an interview she explains the course of events: Her father, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, the former professor of political science at Northwestern University, was a 1948 Palestinian refugee and active politically and intellectually. In 1992, he moved back to Palestine where he died in 2001. "At his funeral, his close friend Edward Said introduced me to Ahmad Sa’di as 'a brilliant young Palestinian sociologist.' He and Edward had started talking about the silence around the Palestinian “nakba” [1948] (catastrophe) and had decided to get people to write about the expulsion, as a counter-narrative to the dominant story of the birth of Israel that overshadowed ours. When Edward passed away, just a couple of years later, Ahmad asked if I would work on the book with him [And I agreed]. This was a way for me to connect to the place, through scholarship, my métier, rather than activism." Lughod explained the rationale behind writing the book with Sa'di, "I see Nakba as a contribution to the field of cultural memory studies, whose key texts have come from scholars working on the Holocaust." The contributors to the book "are all critical of Zionist narratives and the violent politics they justify... We share the understanding that “the occupation” (by which people usually mean the Israeli take-over of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967) is not the central problem in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Nothing will be resolved until the injustice of the foundational events of 1948 is recognized. As Ahmad Sa’di, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, explains in the Afterword, it is a matter of moral responsibility. We focus on the past but the book is meant to intervene in the present." While helping to promote the Palestinian narrative, Sa'di has been teaching at the Department an MA course "The Colonial Encounter: how Colonialism Affected colonial and colonized societies." 
One PhD student and a speaker in the conference is Israeli refusenik Omri Evron, who wrote "I, Omri Evron, refuse to serve in the army because I am faithful to the moral principles in which I believe. My refusal to enlist is a protest against the longstanding military occupation of the Palestinian people, an occupation that deepens and entrenches the hatred and terror between peoples. I oppose participation in the cruel war for the control over the occupied territories, a war waged in order to protect the Israeli settlements and to maintain the "Greater Israel" ideology." He explained that "I refuse against the apartheid and racist regime." 
Conference speaker Dr. Yiftah Elazar formerly a member of the Princeton Committee on Palestine wrote in an article on Machsom Watch in 2008 "Counterpoint: A frozen life, "Whether this systematic and institutionalized discrimination should be called “apartheid,” we leave to the reader. The pictures in “Endless Checkpoints” were taken by Israelis, not only because some of us care about the human rights of Palestinians, but also because some of us worry about the effect of occupation and oppression on our own society. " 
Last month, the student and a speaker at the conference Arnon Peleg was quoted "For far too long, the Occupation has been looked upon as an issue that is present in the background, as if it is since ever and forever. We have the obligation to be the generation that will end the Occupation and break the cycle of wars," speaking on behalf of the organization IfNotNow, an American Jewish progressive activist group opposing the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 
A student and speaker at the conference Aya Shoshan was interviewed by the BBC in 2013, when she gave up her right to vote in the elections. As described by the BBC, her political concerns "made her doubt Israel's very idea of democracy". She said, "I believe that that the act of voting is far less important than that of creating public awareness...There are almost four million Palestinians living under Israeli rule with no civil rights and in a state of shocking inequality." 
IAM has repeatedly argued that the social sciences in Israel have failed to update their offerings to reflect twenty first century trends. This state of affairs is quite evident when the global academic rankings are considered. It robs graduates of skills necessary in the modern workplace. In particular, the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University is a full-fledged incubator for radial political activists at the taxpayers expense.
General Articles
Misconduct of Education Scholars
An incident at Ben Gurion Airport put under the spotlight two Israeli scholars who teach in the Israel Studies Department at the University of Maryland. 
A couple of weeks ago, a woman has mocked a Chabad rabbi at the Ben Gurion Airport as he helped a traveling businessman to put on tefillin. The incident was captured on a cellphone video and was posted on Facebook. In the clip which Gad Kaufman, the man who was donning the tefillin, posted online, the woman was seen lambasting and mocking the men, then laughing hysterically. She told them in Hebrew to “move because you are bothering me” and asked rhetorically, “Why are you doing this here? There are people here.” When asked to tone down, instead, she became even more aggressive to the point of appearing utterly bizarre. Kaufman, wrote on his post: “An amazing incident took place this morning at the airport, when I was politely asked by a Chabad man if I wanted to put on tefillin... I said yes, and then a woman with a crazy look jumped up and started cursing, harassing and disturbing! It is really shameful that being a Jew in this country means being persecuted by leftist Bohemians. If I were a Muslim or a Christian, would it be more legitimate for her?” 
As it turns out, the woman who was screeching and flailing her arms is Pnina Peri who holds a doctorate in Education. She is a visiting Assistant Professor of Israel Studies and formerly taught at Israel’s Sapir Academic College. Peri describes herself as an expert in multicultural theories. In 2007 she published a book in Hebrew Education in Multi-Cultured Society: Pluralism and Congruence Among Cultural Divisions. One would expect an educator and an expert in multiculturalism to show more decorum, not to mention more understanding, for the orthodox group in the multicultural Israeli society. 
But there is more to the story that meets the eye. Pnina Peri is the wife of Yoram Peri, the head of the Israel Studies Program and a former Israeli left-wing activist. Peri started his career as the editor of Davar, the now defunct paper of the Labor Party. He was also the vice chair and then president of the New Israel Fund (NIF), which has been accused by the Israeli government of espousing an extremely hostile anti-Israel line. Some critics note that the NIF adopted the position that “Jews cannot do any right and the Palestinians cannot do any wrong.” 
Yoram Peri’s work echoes some of the NIF bias. 
For instance, Peri has blamed the IDF for militarizing the Israeli society and sculpting the peace process. So much so that Ambassador Samuel W. Lewis, a persistent critic of Israel, adopted Peri’s critic. He noted that while Israeli military intelligence assessments first encouraged and reinforced peace process they "then gradually shifted to a highly skeptical view of the possibility of making peace with Yasser Arafat." Lewis postulated that Israel refused peace with the Palestinians because of the former military leaders were pushing for war. "For American readers, a subtext of Peri’s account of Israel’s travails is the broader lesson about what can happen to a democratic political system over decades of constant warfare of greater or lesser intensity. Perhaps inevitably, military leaders, active or retired, acquire great public prominence, while civilian politicians, nominally their superiors, shrink in perceived stature. In Israel it has become more and more difficult for either major political party to achieve political success without having a bevy of retired generals in its top posts. The United States has not fallen victim to this tendency, and the American military remains firmly subordinate to civilian leadership. Nonetheless, it is worth pondering the long-term implications of a worldwide “war against terror” without any definite horizon or foreseeable duration. Such an endless state of war against its various enemies has now weakened the fabric of Israeli parliamentary democracy and provides a strong argument for making every possible effort to reach a comprehensive peace soon." 
In 2004 Yoram Peri told the Guardian that the Sharon plan to disengage from Gaza reflected the deep divide within the Israeli public. Peri provided a racist description of one camp while embracing the other. "The majority are western, secular, modern, future-orientated, while the settlers are fundamentalists who look back 2,000 years. They are xenophobic and anti-democratic." 
In 2006 Yoram Peri was interviewed in the Forward during the trial of former Minister Haim Ramon, lamenting on the prosecution and police actions. Peri's explanation was outrageous. “When a country is dealing with a continued war against the Palestinians, it gets accustomed to doing things in a way that bypasses the law, bends democracy and generally does things that are unacceptable." 
In a similar vein, also in 2006, in an article about the Israeli elections Peri provided a racist interpretation. "Like Le Pen, Haider and other right-wing leaders in Europe who preach hatred for foreigners and call for their expulsion, here, too, we have a radical right-wing Israeli leader who is prepared to forego land in the West Bank, and also of sections of the Land of Israel itself, on condition we "clean" the remain territory of unwanted foreign, non-Jewish blood.” 
Pnina Peri seems to be ideologically compatible with her husband. For instance, she was among the signatories of a petition published on the 10th of July 2014, protesting "the conduct of the Israeli media and their coverage of events since the kidnapping of three Jewish boys in the Occupied Territories. The Israeli media has largely adopted the official position that conceals the reality of occupation as the main determinant of Palestinian behavior... While the Israeli pain received extensive coverage and was portrayed in human terms, the main headlines and news pieces ignored the names and the human dimension of the Palestinians injured in the same period. Furthermore, most of the media coverage of the riots involving right-wing Israelis described them as “legitimate demonstrations”, even though the rioters shouted racist slogans and incited and encouraged violence. In contrast, Palestinian protests were presented mainly as disturbances that endangered the safety of Jewish residents. Media institutions that have chosen to adopt the official line on the three boys’ abduction by immediately holding Hamas and the Palestinian Authority responsible... The coverage of Arab protest activity and the statements by Arab MKs has been hostile and dehumanizing, with no attention given to the reality of living under occupation for more than 47 years.” 
Obviously such an ideology has landed her a position in her husband’s department where she is teaching a class on "Investigating Topics in Israel Studies; Israeli Society through History, Sociology and Art.” Her course deals with "The prolonged conflict with the Palestinians and Arab and states and Israeli occupation of the west bank for almost 50 years, had an impact on militarism, political life, centrality of religious-secular relations, gender relations and the Israeli culture as a whole. We will examine the way art and cinema has dealt, with certain cultural issues and what sociology can contribute to our knowledge.” 
Her class performance, however, seems to be quite poor. A questionnaire about her teaching skills was published on the popular website Rate My Professors. While some students praised her pleasant demeanor, virtually all of them questioned her competence as a teacher. “She’s a really nice lady, but she finds it hard to comprehend that not all things can be categorized as either black or white — this caused a lot of tension between her and some students,” as one commentator stated. 
But the airport incident raises a more important issue which Kaufman alluded to. What would have happened if Peri harassed and mocked a “person of color” instead of a Chabad rabbi? The Union of Orthodox Rabbi in America sent a letter of protest to the President of the University of Maryland, but there was no reply so far. It can be assumed that the University would waste no time in disciplining Peri. Ironically, not long ago, Melissa Landa, a Jewish lecturer in another department at the University was let go, allegedly because she was too pro-Israel. 
If Peri is not fired, it would prove once again that there is a double standard in higher education in the United States. Academic authorities are quick to act to protect “persons of color" and other politically correct causes. But they drag their feet when it comes to punishing those who abuse Jews.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Amid Boycott Calls: Boost to Academic and Scientific Collaborations
Academic collaboration is on the rise in recent years. Universities UK, the umbrella body for vice-chancellors in the UK, issued a statement on 3 June, 2015 aimed to “confirm its previously stated position that it is firmly opposed to any academic boycott of Israeli universities [and that it is] firmly opposes academic boycotts on the basis that they are inimical to academic freedom, including the freedom of academics to collaborate with other academics”. 
Last March, the Times Higher Education reported that the UK Universities Minister Sam Gyimah spoke in an event marking the launch of BIRAX Ageing, a new £5 million fund for bilateral Anglo-Israeli research projects and said he is planning to visit to Israel to “deepen our collaboration in scientific research and innovation”. 
Last week Mr. Gyimah has visited Israel and signed several agreements to boost academic and scientific collaboration between the UK and Israel. The agreements are being supported by multi-year programmes to be paid by the two governments. 
During a meeting between representatives of British universities and the heads of universities in Israel, Sir Steve Smith, President of Exeter University, reiterated the “commitment of the British Universities Union against any academic boycott with an emphasis on Israel and the importance of not allowing political or other issues to harm the cooperation between the institutions.” 
While this is a step forward, there were also some negative developments taking place this week. The British University and College Union has held a Congress on the 30 May. Notion number 32 was titled "Antisemitism, Anti-Zionism, and the Defence of Jeremy Corbyn". The congress noted an ‘anti-Corbyn campaign’ which "conflates antisemitism with anti-Zionism" and is "a thinly-veiled attack on Palestine solidarity and BDS." 
BDS also targeted a chemistry conference held in Jerusalem, titled "The Grand Challenges in the Chemical Sciences" from 3 to 7 of June. The advocate of this initiative is David Klein, a mathematics professor at California State University, Northridge. In a letter, he urged conference participants to honor the call by Palestinian academics and civil society for an institutional academic boycott of Israel since the conference is sponsored by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and is billed as a celebration of “the 70th birthday of the State of Israel.” Klein is a member of The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) and his letter was endorsed also by other members of the USACBI. 
The letter presents the key BDS requirements, that Israel "Ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantles the Apartheid Wall; Recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and respects, protects and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194." 
The BDS activists stated in the letter: "We call to your attention that the academic boycott of Israel is directed solely at Israeli institutions, not individual academics. It is regrettable that many in the scientific community have chosen to denounce the academic boycott of Israeli institutions utilizing the justification of protecting academic freedom. That justification is misdirected. Participation in the academic and cultural boycott is not a denial of academic freedom, it is an exercise of academic freedom. It is a choice not to participate in joint projects with Israeli institutions, which are deeply complicit with Israel’s program of ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies." 
The old trope of Israeli apartheid is belied by everyday reality. For instance, just a few days ago Prof. Faisal Azaiza, the Dean of Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences at the University of Haifa congratulated Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri on her new promotion: "Joining the greetings to Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri on her appointment as the Dean of the School of Social Work at the Hebrew University. A proper appointment. Good luck.” It is hard to imagine such a promotion in South Africa under apartheid. 
Equally important, the claims that BDS targets Israeli institutions alone and not individual academics is equally false. A new book, Anti-Zionism on Campus, is detailing harrowing experiences of faculty-on-faculty and students abuse. Co-edited by Andrew Pessin and Doron S. Ben-Atar, the 438 pages comprise of 24 chapters (out of 33) of staff who personally experienced what could be described as an "all-out assault on Jewish identity on campuses,” from private and public universities and colleges. 
A review of this book written by Miriam Ellman notes "Some of the chilling, disturbing, and highly personal case studies of intimidation and harassment... how unhinged anti-Israel hostility is corrupting the academy on just about every level—from scholarship and the production of knowledge to teaching and the free exchange of ideas." 
Anti-Zionism on Campus "meticulously documents how anti-Israelists promote their cause on college and university campuses, and the deleterious effect that they have had on the campus environment over the past 15 or so years. In particular, the book shows how this hostility often morphs into straightforward antisemitism. It includes accounts written by undergraduate students at the University of Michigan, UCLA, Stanford University, Oberlin College, CUNY’s John Jay College, Brown University and the University of Missouri. They each recount their own painful experiences during their college years, especially how toxic anti-Israel BDS campaigns tried to turn their Jewishness into a source of shame—“an inescapably innate sin and stain... The book shows how pro-BDS activism on the part of faculty corrodes scholarship, teaching, and basic collegiality and civility without which an institution cannot run. At least on some campuses, it’s turning intellectual arenas allegedly devoted to the free exchange of ideas in the pursuit of knowledge into ideologically-driven activist training grounds that suppress all dissent." 
Contrary to the claims of the USACBI, the book shows that "The anti-Israel BDS movement on campus targets individual faculty, staff, and students for harm—and isn’t only directed toward Israel’s institutions of higher learning. One of the enduring falsehoods peddled by pro-BDS campus proponents is that the campaign to boycott Israel’s universities and colleges isn’t aimed at individual faculty or students and so doesn’t cause them any harm. Nearly every chapter in Anti-Zionism on Campus shows exactly how absurd this claim is." 
To borrow from the book introduction, "Those in the academy who support Israel, or who merely don’t despise Israel, are finding it increasingly difficult to speak up without risking verbal attack, social and professional ostracization, setbacks to their careers, and sometimes even physical threats. As a result, the Israel-friendly (or merely non-anti-Israel) voice on campuses around the world and in the global “republic of letters” is rapidly being silenced. The implications of this phenomenon, not only for Jews but also, we believe, for free speech, for the academy, and for Western values in general, are chilling. Where some might see in Israel a prosperous (if flawed) liberal democracy, or the only modern example of an indigenous people reclaiming lost sovereignty over its homeland, the new campus orthodoxy sees only an apartheid regime founded on racism, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and colonialist imperialism. Zionism, it believes, can be neither defended nor corrected, because the very idea of a Jewish state in that region depends on the dispossession of others and because the concept of Jewish democracy is an offensive oxymoron that can only perpetuate the unjust and discriminatory status quo. Israel and Zionism are thus cast as illegitimate, incorrigible abominations." 
Anyone who reads these recollections is bound to realize that the BDS campaign with its occasional anti-Semitic overtones is not about the impersonal “institution.” Institutions are made up of people - in this case students and faculty - and the BDS campaigners are out to hurt, demoralize, and silence individuals related to Israel unless they support BDS.
General Articles
Minister of Education and University Heads Reach an Agreement over Ethics Code for the Academia
IAM reported on a number of occasions on the ethics code that Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Education and the chair of the Council of Higher Education, commissioned in Dec. 2016. Bennett asked Professor Asa Kasher to propose the code. 
After a yearlong negotiations an agreement is reached between Bennett and the heads of universities. The Code, as drawn by Kasher, will not be adopted and a law enacting it will not be passed by the Knesset. Instead, the Universities will adopt an institutional ethics code within a year, to be implemented as part of their institutional regulations. 
Bennett expressed his relief by tweeting that "Common sense has won! Today we brought great news to Israeli academia. All Israeli universities have agreed to pass a code of ethics that will prevent politicization on campus. I congratulate the heads of the universities on this important conclusion." Bennett noted the five guiding principles to be adopted: 1. Prohibition of academic boycott. 2. Non-discrimination of students due to their political views. 3. Non-discrimination of lecturers due to political opinions. 4. Prevention to create party propaganda within the framework of the classroom. 5. Prevention to present a personal political opinion of any member of the faculty in a misleading manner, as if this were the position of the university. He ended his tweet with "Congratulations!" 
To recall, already in 2012 Prof. Ziva Shamir, the former head of the School of History at TAU, has written an article on undue politicization which she had encountered. She described complaints received from students on how, for years, some academics abused their privileges at the university such as the office, free postal service, free fax/phone and research assistants, to promote the political party which they belonged to. She proposed an ethics committee to evaluate quality of scholarship: "It is imperative to create an ethics committee to examine the issue of proportionality and not just the quality of the arguments and their scientific soundness in research." 
While a Code would have prevented these abuses, the academic community reaction to Bennett on the Academia-IL Network was furious. 
Isaac (Yanni) Nevo from the Philosophy Department at BGU, explained that "the first principle - forbidding boycott - is of a completely different character. The issue of academic boycott is an issue that is deeply contested, and some support such a boycott as an expression of their political position. The prohibition is political interference in universities and the freedom of expression that prevails in them. Moreover, although this is not explicitly stated, and in light of the annexation measures already implemented through the Council for Higher Education, the purpose of this section is to enforce integration and cooperation with the Ariel Settlers' University (and other academic institutions in the settlements) by prohibiting boycott of them. In this principle, the politics of the settlements, the occupation and the creeping annexation, infiltrating, is disguised as a code of ethics, and enforced on the universities "with their consent." This is a sharp politicization of the university regulations under the cunning guise of the separation of universities from politics, which turns-out (not surprisingly) to be a selective separation as the Master wishes. The consent of the universities to this move, even if intended to take away the threat of legislation, constitutes a strategic failure for a limited tactical achievement. It is better for university senates, who will probably be asked to approve these principles and to create regulations following them, to entirely reject Bennett's code, as its acceptance heralds a new era of political persecution against opponents of occupation and annexation and a change into worse of the stature of universities as free institutions." Nevo ended his post by stating "To clarify this, the author reiterates that he will not cooperate with Ariel University or other settlement institutions in any way. I will not set a foot there and my signature will not appear on any document bearing their names. Any such cooperation constitutes, in my view, cooperation with the settlement enterprise, a violation of international law, and an illegitimate political act. If Bennett's code is passed, Minister Bennett and his many representatives at the CHE are invited to put me on disciplinary charges for a boycott. I will proudly accept the verdict." 
Responding to Nevo, Prof. Uriel Procaccia of the Faculty of Law at TAU protested, "Aren't you falling in the trap that Bennett conceals from you and your ilk? From what you say we can understand that you are "ready to live" with four of the five principles of the code, but you are ready to get on the barricades as to the fifth principle. In my opinion, it is absolutely forbidden to "learn to live" with any principle of the code, not because the content of the "benign" principles are offensive (you are right, most of us agree with them and behave according to them anyway) but because university, the fortress of free thinking, musn't accept dictates from government officials with motives that are not part of the academic values ​​that we believe in. And this you should know: the slope is slippery... a precedent will be set for government officials to dictate norms of morality and behavior to universities." 
But the harshest critique came from the Academia-IL Network moderator, Prof. David Levi-Faur, the head of Federmann School of Public Policy & Government at the Hebrew University, who contended, "this is not a debate on ethics code but about academic populism of an extreme and mediocre politician. An example below is his message on Facebook a few days ago... Bennett is the worst Education Minister in the history of the State of Israel. The damage he has done and continues to do to the higher education system is indescribable. From the dismissal of Prof. Hagit Messer to the appointment of Yitzhaki. Disgrace.” 
Others postulated that in order to deal with just a couple of cases of lecturers who abused their positions and preached their politics, there is no need for the entire academic community to toe the line with an ethics code. 
There were supporters of the Code. Prof. Asher Cohen, head of the School of Communications, Bar-Ilan University wrote, "I am trying to understand why a lecturer will be allowed to praise a certain party in the name of freedom of speech. Let us assume for a moment that we are in elections (which In Israel lasts at least a semester...) And I teach a course 'The Foundations for Regime and Politics in Israel' (Which is indeed true), a course that even earned "exclusion" as belonging to political science and where things are permitted according to the previous proposed code that everyone opposed. Do you intend to say that occasionally, let's say, once in two lectures, I would be able to praise the Jewish Home Party (pardon the majority here ...)? And of course allow a discussion to students about the fantastic party? Perhaps I should surprise you: my praises of one party or another has nothing to do with the course, even though it is about the foundations of the regime and politics in Israel. I may teach about the parties in Israel, but not to praise a particular party. My freedom of speech is not harmed by this. Also, why in the same hour and a half multiply 26 that I receive during the year I am supposed to promote the party I support or the opinion I hold? This is how I act regularly in the course: In the early stages of every course I tell my students who I vote for and where I am located in the right-left, religious-secular continuums and so on. This is only for one purpose: From this point on, I make it clear to them and emphasize, you must constantly examine the extent to which my identity influences the way I teach, the choice of topics and the way they are presented and the way things sound. This is the only way they will develop a sense of criticism towards these topics." 
Dr. Yaacov Bergman, School of Business, Hebrew University, a long time critic of the academy, titled his email "Opponents of the academic code of ethics - you're wrong!". He cited from a policy of one of the best universities in the world, the University of California, where its Board of Regents published a "Policy on Course Content" announcing that ״The Regents are responsible to the people... They are responsible to ensure that public confidence in the University is justified. And they are responsible to see that the University remain aloof from politics and never fun'ction as an instrument for the advance of partisan interest. Misuse of the classroom by, for example, allowing it to be used for political indoctrination, [or] for purposes other than those for which the course was constituted... constitutes misuse of the University as an institution... It is the Regents' responsibility to the very concept of a University to protect the institution from the misuse of the classroom... Therefore, it is The Regents' policy that no campus, no academic college, no department, and no instructor distort the instructional process in a manner which deviates from the responsibilities inherent in academic freedom.״ Bergman also cited another policy by the Regents titled "Policy on Statement of Ethical Values and Standards of Ethical Conduct" which specifically indicated that "All those engaged in research are expected to pursue the advancement of knowledge while meeting the highest standards of honesty, accuracy, and objectivity." 
Bergman’s comments are important because they provide a comparative context to academic freedom in Israel. As IAM has proved over the years, social science scholars enjoy a highly permissive standard of academic freedom, a standard which would never be tolerated on public universities in the West. The result of this state of affair, as IAM illustrated, are lamentable. Low ranking in global academic indices, antiquated and outmoded courses offered in departments staffed with activists who use their tenured positions to propagate a political agenda. Despite poor evaluations by committees created by the Council for Higher Education, not much has changed. IAM identified substantial deficits in quantitative methods, networking analysis, rational choice theory and other cutting edge social scene offering which are standard in the West.
Ben-Gurion University
Neo-Gramscian Scholarship in the Service of Negev Bedouins
In 2012 IAM reported on a court case where the Bedouin Al-'Uqbi tribe claimed in the Negev an area known as Al Araqib. The Bedouins argued their ancestors cultivated the land for centuries. Numerous court cases have dealt with these and other claims. There were several ways to prove rights to land which were discussed in the court proceedings but in many cases the Bedouin tribes failed to provide proof of ownership. 
A new book came out recently, Emptied Lands: A Legal Geography of Bedouin Rights in the Negev, by three scholars, Alexandre Kedar, Ahmad Amara and Oren Yiftachel, presenting the complex relations over disputed ownership of land of these Bedouin tribes in the Negev and the State of Israel and detailing the long litigation process in the Israeli courts which culminated in ruling in favor of the state. 
This book project, as the authors explain, "spans over two decades of research and activist work. During this period, we collaborated with hundreds of people, and it is impossible to mention each by name. However, we want to extend a warm acknowledgment to each and every one for their help, expertise, courage, and humanity in the uphill battle for Bedouin rights and recognition." 
To put it in a simple terms, for two decades these scholars, who specialize in the fields of Geography and Law, have advised a group of Bedouins and guided them how to appropriate land without having the proper proof of ownership. As part of this appropriation some Bedouins invaded land which they consider to be their own which regretfully they can't prove ownership. The scholars promised them success and encourage them to litigate with a vast support from the NGO sector and free service by numerous scholars whose salaries are paid by the taxpayer. The Bedouin tribe was led to believe that in the end of the day they will gain ownership of the land. In the authors wording, "Novel in Israel is that recently a small number of Bedouin claimants have begun to bolster their claims with expert reports and the assistance of academic experts including the present authors." 
The book's central tenet is that the State of Israel has considered all of the Negev land as Mawat, that is, dead and empty land. By claiming this, the state, according to the authors, in effect dispossessed Bedouin rights to the land, that their ancestors cultivated and the State prevented the Bedouins from registering it on their names. The authors prove that contrary to this claim the Negev desert was neither dead nor empty. However, not surprising, the State never claimed this, only that the disputed plots of land were such. 
To make their case, the scholars argued that their position was supported by a declaration voiced by Winston Churchill, the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, who said in a meeting with the High Commissioner in 1921, that the British will not harm the special rights and customs of the Bedouin. The authors interpret this declaration, that Churchill meant it to be a proof of ownership of land by the Bedouins. 
As IAM reported in March 2012 Judge Dovrat was very critical of Yiftachel's conduct as an expert and wrote in her ruling "I felt uncomfortable with Prof. Yiftachel’s cross examination when it transpired that he relied on sources and quoted from them without bothering to read them, instead he quoted from quotes that appeared in a different source. The expert’s squirming on the witness stand on this matter, not only left an uncomfortable feeling, more accurately a sense of embarrassment for the expert, for the predicament in which he found himself. The expert should not only be objective, in offering his opinion, but he should also read the sources to which he refers, or he should immediately state, without prevaricating, that he relied on secondary sources instead of undergoing lengthy and embarrassing questioning, at the end of which he confesses that that is the case, and there is no need to add more. A glimpse of his cross examination will suffice and I will not expound further on this." Instead of admitting making an error in court, in the book the authors claim that "In the al-'Uqbi case Kark faced a strong rebuttal in the form of expert opinions written by one of us (Yiftachel) with the assistance of the other two." 
The authors accused Judge Dovrat of preferring Professor Ruth Kark who gave an expert opinion on behalf of the State. Rather than furnishing evidence of bias, the authors evoke Antonio Gramsci, the Italian communist who inspired the Neo-Marxist paradigm in the academy. Gramsci famously claimed that knowledge and facts are not objective but rather represent the views of the hegemonic classes. They write: "The variegated links between power, knowledge, and dispossession have of course been a subject of much analysis in the social sciences and philosophy. Scholars such as Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault, and Arundhati Roy, to name but a few, have analyzed the power, economic, and political systems that strengthen the tendency of intellectuals to support hegemonic discourses, often on behalf of the state or social elites, while at the same time representing themselves as 'independent' and 'objective' experts.” They state that Kark, is part of the so-called "organic intellectuals" (who represent their own class) [and] tend to legitimize the existing power structure”. For those who are not familiar with the Neo-Marxist, critical jargon, the authors essentially say that Kark, and by exertion the Judges, represent the ruling classes in Israel and should not be trusted. 
In the proceedings of the appeal to the Supreme Court in 2014 Judge Esther Hayut announced dishonesty and misconduct by the authors, as contended by the State: 
"The State further contends that the Appellants acted unlawfully and submitted without permission, within the framework of the appeal, an amended version of the opinion on behalf of Prof. Yiftachel. This is despite the fact that the lower court did not allow its submission and ordered that it be ignored. In addition, within the framework of the appeal and without permission, the Appellants submitted an article written by Prof. Yiftachel regarding the issues that arise in the present proceeding and which allegedly constitutes an adaptation of the expert opinion he submitted in the proceeding (Prof. Yiftachel, Sandy Kedar and Ahmad Amara) "Re-Examining the 'Dead Negev Doctrine': Property Rights in Arab Bedouin Regions" 14 Law and Government 7-147 (2012) (Hebrew)). This article, too, did not stand before the lower court. Therefore the State wishes to ignore the revised version of the expert opinion submitted by Prof. Yiftachel, submitted by the appellants at the stage of the appeal, and the article based on the current proceeding. Also, the State further contends that some of the professional literature submitted by the Appellants in the framework of the appeal were not presented by them to court and therefore should be also ignored. I would like to state first of all, that a perusal of the article to which the claim relates indicates that it is indeed based on the expert opinion submitted by Prof. Yiftachel in the present proceeding, while processing the expert opinion into the format of an academic article, and that the Appellants use it as an additional expert opinion on their behalf, without the article being submitted to the lower court. Also, the appellants quote from various sources to which the article refers to without having been submitted to the lower court or the appeal. The is much sense in the State's claim, when referring to this article and the new added references that he is referring to. In addition, and in accordance with the decision of the lower court dated March 7, 2010, the contents of Prof. Yiftachel's third expert opinion should be ignored insofar as it deviates from the response to Prof. Kark's expert opinion." 
Unsurprisingly, missing from the book are the all court proceedings that give a totally different perspective on the issue. It is clear that the purpose of the book is to present the reality desired by the authors through the lens of the neo-Marxist, critical paradigm. According to these prisms, the state, with its judges as the Zionist agents, wants to dispossess the Palestinian enemy - in this case the Negev Bedouins - and takeover their lands.
About Us
Political Activism in the Academia
The IAM annual conference took place on the 10th of May 2018 in ZOA House Tel Aviv. A recording of the event can be found here. 
On April 22, 2018, Dr. Amir Yuval, wrote in Haaretz that the Israeli academy should lead the struggle against fascism which, in his opinion, is engulfing the academy. Yuval mentioned IAM as an example of a “fascist” organization. Haaretz published the IAM response on April 30, 2018 Is this the Desired Activism in the Academia? 
Yuval’s piece was just the latest example of the call to fight “fascism” in the academy. In March, at King's College in London, masked anti-fascists from the antifa movement climbed up fences, broken into the university, broke windows and penetrated the hall to shut-down a lecture commissioned by the Libertarian movement on campus, and even caused bruises to personnel who needed medical treatment. Ironically, the antifa movement adopted the tactics of the Nazi students in Germany in the 1930s to protest classes of Jewish anti-Nazi professors. Indeed, when we publicized our annual conference at the beginning of May, Roni Barkan, an activist in the boycott movement (BDS), who has 11,000 followers on Facebook, stated that our conference is "an excellent opportunity for BDS activity in Tel Aviv.” Given the violent protest at King’s College, we feared that activists would invade our venue as well. Is this the activism that Yuval wishes for? 
More to the point, IAM is a nonpolitical NGO which tries to improve the standards of social sciences in Israeli universities. In contrast to exact sciences, they fall below standards in the leading international indices, a fact which we repeatedly document in our postings. There are many reasons for this deplorable state of affairs and, over time, we have discussed them in details. 
One factor stands out in our analysis. Social sciences in Israel are top-heavy with academics who represent the neo-Marxist, critical perspective, the type which Dr. Yuval advocates for. This has an a negative impact on the field. Ontologically, such scholarship is normative, in the sense that it does not acknowledge the validity of the positivist, empirically-based research which dominated the social sciences in the West for decades. Several committees which evaluated the social sciences at Ben Gurion University, the “Mecca” of Neo-Marxist, critical scholars, noted that these scholars publish in marginal outlets which are not part of the indexed journals used by the professional organizations that compile rankings for universities. IAM noted that some of the faculty have hardly published in mainstream journals. 
In a related matter, these academics do not believe in providing counter arguments, something which is easy to ascertain from their assigned reading lists. So much so that reading from Marx and Neo-Marxist luminaries abound, but Adam Smith, let alone Friedrich Hayek or Milton Friedman are not mentioned. Such one sided teaching turns the classroom into an indoctrination tool rather than the “market place" of ideas. 
Another factor pertains to the political activism of many of these scholars who essentially use their positions to advocate for their politics. As a result, as soon as they receive tenure they stop publishing in the field for which they were hired and commence to “research" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Needless to say, this creates a surplus of publications on the conflict and a dearth of knowledge in the areas for which these activists were hired for. It goes without saying that the singular fixation with the conflict robs the Israeli social sciences of cutting edge 21st century research and teaching such as in quantitative methods, cyber security, network analysis, and so on. 
The Israeli taxpayers who pay the salaries of faculty deserve better. Unfortunately, the academy as a whole has strongly objected to all efforts of accountability. To remedy this situation, IAM is proud to announce a year long project to provide an analysis of the offerings in social sciences (political science, sociology ,and anthropology), and Middle East studies departments. To avoid charges of bias, IAM would use the methodology developed by the most prominent evaluation groups. The findings of the project and a comparison to a selection of Western universities would be unveiled in our May 2019 conference.
About Us
IAM Conference "The Academy - Where to?" on the 10th of May in ZOA House Tel Aviv כנס "האקדמיה - לאן?" ב-10 במאי, בית ציוני אמריקה תל אביב

You are invited to the conference 
The Academy - Where to? 
 On Thursday 10.05.18 at 13:00 to 18:00 
The ZOA House Tel Aviv 
In Hebrew: 13: 00-13: 10 Greetings - Prof. Gideon Kressel, Chair of Israel Academia Monitor 
13:10-13:30 Prof. Alexander Bligh, Chief Scientist, Ministry of Science and Technology - "The Ministry of Science and its place in the research system in Israel" 
13:30-13:50 Prof. Eli Pollak, Weizmann Institute of Science - "Council for Higher Education - Challenges, Thoughts and Applications" 
13:50-14:10 Prof. Asa Kasher, Tel Aviv University - "Academic Ethics vs. Political Anarchism" 
14:10-14:30 Prof. Oded Balaban, University of Haifa - "Fragile Academic Freedom" 
14:30-14:45 Questions and Answers 
15:10-15:30 Jacob Dalal, Ministry of Strategic Affairs - "BDS in the Academy: Overseas Trends" 
15:30-15:50 Dr. Sharona Goldenberg, Netanya Academic College - "Law and (academic) Boycott: Will the two go together ?!" 
In English: 
15:50-16:10 Prof. Lesley Klaff, Sheffield Hallam University - "The British Academic Boycott: From the National Union of Students to the University and College Union" 
16:10-16:30 Dr. Dana Barnett, Israel Academia Monitor - "From Delegitimization to Antisemitism" 
16:30-16:45 Questions and Answers 
17:00-18:00 Screening of the film "The Fight of Our Lives" by Gloria Greenfield 
Admission is free

Boycott Calls Against Israel
Pro-Palestinian Activism Within the American Academy: It Takes Very Few to Initiate a BDS Drive
IAM reported that the American Studies Association (ASA) voted on December 16, 2013 in favor of a BDS resolution. In response, a lawsuit against the association has been brought to court by members of the association. IAM reported that this BDS initiative was launched by an outside group, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), which helped a few ASA leaders to elect sympathetic board members. The pending lawsuit against the ASA revealed email evidence to support this contention. 
More to the point, the correspondence also revealed that some of the candidates concealed their BDS preference in order not to compromise their “neutral” position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Such formal neutrality is considered a benefit in an academy which strives to present itself as dispassionate and objective. The emails suggest that secrecy was an important component. When individual defendants went for election of leadership positions in late 2012, they revealed the need to hide their boycott agenda from ASA’s voters. For example, Sunaina Maira wrote in an email, “I feel it might be more strategic not to present ourselves as a pro-boycott slate.” David Lloyd wrote “I would definitely suggest not specifying BDS, but emphasizing support for academic freedom, etc.” 
As the email exchange indicates, only one correspondent, Nikhil Singh, has warned that a secretive attempt to win election and then push for a boycott “may well backfire, because it will lack legitimacy.” Clearly, when an outspoken USACBI supporter was running for a position at the ASA he had lost. 
The case of the ASA is not unique. In the U.K in the early 2000s, Steven and Hilary Rose had been founding members of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP). On April 6, 2002 the Roses published an open letter in The Guardian calling for a moratorium on all cultural and research links with Israel. By July, the letter had garnered 700 signatures. One signatory, Mona Baker, had removed two Israeli scholars from the board of a journal that she co-edited explaining that the treatment of the Palestinians “justifies relatively extreme measures such as academic and cultural boycotts.” In a subsequent article to The Guardian, the Roses defended the boycott, stating that the tactic had worked very well against South Africa. 
The British campaign was boosted when Omar Barghouti and a group of Palestinian academics in Ramallah launched the group Palestinians for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) in 2004; it issued guidelines for boycotting Israeli universities that were allegedly complicit in the occupation. Ilan Pappe, a professor at the University of Haifa, urged BRICUP activists to protest his alleged mistreatment by the university. Sue Blackwell, professor of English at Birmingham University and a BRICUP leader, took up Pappe’s cause and, on April 22, 2005, persuaded the executive committee of the Union of Academic Teachers (UAT) to boycott three Israeli universities: Hebrew University for expanding its campus to Palestinian land; Bar-Ilan University because it was linked to Ariel College situated in the occupied territories; and Haifa University because it had mistreated Pappe. After a huge outcry UAT cancelled the decision on May 26, 2005. In May 2006, BRICUP petitioned the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) to pass a motion to boycott Israeli academics because they had not expressed vocal opposition to the occupation. The decision was condemned by British and international scholars and by the British government; it was subsequently rejected by UAT into which NATFHE was merging. But the University and College Union (UCU) that resulted from the merger did not settle the debate. To the contrary, Tom Hickey, a senior BRICUP activist who served on the executive council of the new organization, emerged as a leading boycott advocate. On May 30, 2007, the UCU congress voted to support a petition to boycott Israel sent by Palestinian trade unions; the motion condemned the complicity of Israeli academics in the occupation, stating that passivity and neutrality were not acceptable under such circumstances. BRICUP activists in the UCU initiated campus tours of programs and radical pro-Palestinian speakers. In December 2009, UCU-BRICUP organized a tour of several campuses entitled “Israel, the Palestinians and Apartheid: The Case for Sanctions and Boycott.” Speakers included Ibrahim Mousawi, a Hezbollah spokesman who was later banned from entering Britain. 
The model used in the cases of the ASA and the UAT was borrowed from the communist groups in the 1950s. As a rule, the communists and their fellow travelers would join a bona fide organization, stack the governing board with sympathizers and pass appropriate resolutions . When Barghouti founded PACBI he simply incorporated this method. Lucky for Barghouti, the social sciences in the United States has a large supply of Palestinian and Arab professors ready to take up the BDS concern. 
The litigation against the ASA indicates that professional associations may have to reconsider their willingness to go along with the BDS crusaders. The process is extremely expensive and has drained the ASA coffers. Even if the ASA wins in court, the question is whether the money could not have been spent in a way more beneficial to the association.
About Us
Israel Academia Monitor Conference on May 10, 2018 "?האקדמיה - לאן"
This year’s conference will be conducted mostly in Hebrew and is titled “Israeli Academy – Where to?” where a number of speakers will present topics relating to the academia: 
Professor Alexander Bligh, the chief scientist of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, will speak about the future of start-up 
Professor Eli Pollak of Weizmann Institute, will speak about the Council of Higher Education 
Professor Asa Kasher of Tel Aviv University, will speak about the Academic Ethics Code 
Professor Oded Balaban of the University of Haifa, will debate the Ethics Code 
Jacob Dallal, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, will speak of the battle against BDS 
Dr. Sharona Goldenberg of Netanya Academic College, will speak about BDS 
Professor Lesley Klaff, Sheffield Hallam University, will speak on Antisemitism and BDS in the U.K. 
Dr. Dana Barnett, Israel Academia Monitor, From Delegitimization to Antisemitism 
Screening of the film “The Fight of Our Lives” by Gloria Greenfield 
The documentary explores postmodernism - the ideology which defines public debate, dictates what is acceptable and turns the West against itself. In particularly in the academia where faculty in the social sciences espouse postmodernist ideology and demand student adherence to this dogma. 
The conference is taking place on May 10, 2018 between 1 pm to 6 pm in auditorium 2 at the ZOA House, 1 Daniel Frisch St., Tel Aviv.
Ben-Gurion University
Academic Boycott: Neve Gordon Departs Ben Gurion University
Radio South which broadcasts from the Beer Sheva area has announced that Professor Neve Gordon will not be returning to Ben Gurion University from his Sabbatical in London. 
To recall, IAM reported that Gordon has remade himself as an expert in International Law at the Queen Mary University of London. This was made possible as Gordon is neo-Marxist, critical scholar where empirical evidence doesn't count. Interestingly, as IAM reported, the chair of International Law, Trade, and Policy is the Saudi born Professor Malik R. Dahlan who completed his LLB at the University of Jordan and his Professoriate qualification the (‘Alemiyyah’) Habilitation Higher Doctorate (LLD) in Law and Public Policy at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Dahlan has written in favor of the Arab League peace offer to Israel in 2002, "While Israel has thus far refused to accept the Arab Peace Initiative, it has not rejected it outright, and therefore there is still hope for settlement of the problem with help from regional efforts. More importantly, the mere fact that the entire Arab League has found the consensus necessary to make such a bold offer is remarkable, and proves in some small measure that the region has matured and its leaders capable of coming together for the common good." This ambition could have linked Dahlan to Gordon, just as Gordon's book Israel's Occupation was written during a sabbatical at the University of California, Berkeley, where Nezar AlSayyad has "welcomed me and provided me with the necessary resources to write". 
Gordon's neo-Marxist, critical spell has led him to some obscure observations, under the subchapter Setting up the Means of Control in the Occupied Territories, Gordon listed Israeli efforts to improve the standard of living of Palestinians after 1967's victory. "In the health field practices were introduced to encourage women to give birth at hospitals (a means of decreasing infant mortality rates and monitoring population growth) and to promote vaccinations (in order to decrease the incidence of contagious and noncontagious diseases). Palestinian teachers were sent to seminars in Jerusalem, where they were instructed in methods of "correct" teaching. A series of vocational schools were established to prepare Palestinians who wished to join the Israeli workforce, and model plots were created to train farmers. Many of these controlling devices aimed to increase the economic productivity of the Palestinian inhabitants and to secure the well-being of the population." But for Gordon, all these good measures were merely acts of control, "even eating habits were scrutinized, as was the nutritional value of the Palestinian food basket." 
Obscure observations indeed. His latest article to Al-Jazeera "Gaza's Passover massacre" claims that "For decades Zionists have blamed the Palestinians for Israel's ongoing colonial project. 'If only the Palestinians had a Mahatma Gandhi,' many Israeli liberals have exclaimed, 'then the occupation would end.' But if one truly wished to find Palestinian Mahatma Gandhi all one needed to do is look at the images of protesters on Friday night's news broadcasts." Looking at the images of the protests, one could argue whether the protest was peaceful. As a staunch neo-Marxist, critical scholar, Gordon also blames Israel for colonialism: "The accusation that Palestinians have failed to adopt non-violent methods of resistance, and therefore share responsibility for Israel's ongoing subjugation and dispossession, not only completely disavows the vast asymmetry in power relations between the coloniser and colonised, but, just as importantly, fails to consider the political history of anticolonial struggles, not least the Palestinian one itself. Indeed, it completely ignores the fact that Israel's colonial project has been upheld through attritional, protracted and widespread violence, and, despite what certain Western media outlets might present, the Palestinians have developed a robust and long-standing tradition of non-violent resistance." Only Gordon could construe attacks on Israel as peaceful. 
When Gordon has published his infamous call for boycott on the pages of the Los Angeles Times in August 2009, he contended "Not surprisingly, many Israelis -- even peaceniks -- aren't signing on. A global boycott can't help but contain echoes of anti-Semitism. It also brings up questions of a double standard (why not boycott China for its egregious violations of human rights?) and the seemingly contradictory position of approving a boycott of one's own nation." But Gordon actually failed to answer this contradiction. 
Since calling for boycott almost 10 years ago, Gordon has served as Lenin's "useful idiot" to Arab propaganda against Israel from his cushioned position in Ben Gurion University paid by the Israeli taxpayer. Now he is not coming back, but what took him so long to put his money where his mouth is?
General Articles
The Battle over Ethics Code: Impact on Social Sciences
After a long struggle, an academic ethics code has been approved by the Subcommittee for Academic Development and Policy of the Council of Higher Education (CHE). IAM reported that Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Education and the Chair of the CHE has pushed for an ethics code since 2016 when he appointed Professor Asa Kasher to conduct it. Though, the accepted Code is a shorter version, consisting of five guiding principles. According to the CHE, the subcommittee recommendations are based, among others, on the decision of the CHE in 2010 to prevent students or lecturers from being rejected, silenced, excluded or discriminated against, due to their personal characteristics or views, including their political positions. 
The subcommittee recommends that institutions of higher education should adopt an ethical code at their discretion and will be asked to report back to the CHE on how they handled formulating it. 
The subcommittee approved the following guiding principles to be included in an institutional ethics code: 
Prohibition on calling for an academic boycott of Israel and its academic institutions and/or an activity promoting such a boycott. 
Prohibition of discrimination, favorably or negatively, of students due to their political views. 
Prohibition of discrimination, favorably or negatively, of faculty members or candidates, especially in the process of initial appointment or promotion and in the process of appointment or election to an academic or administrative position, due to political views. 
Prohibition of political party propaganda within the framework of tuition. 
Prohibiting the presentation or publication of misleading personal political opinions as if it were an institutional position. 
In accordance with the recommendations of the subcommittee, the CHE will call on institutions of higher education to act through their disciplinary regulations to enforce the Code. 
The construction of an ethics code as well as the law banning the calls for boycott are in fact a reaction to a group of radical academics who have abused the academic platform in the last two decades. IAM, established in 2004, followed their activities closely. 
There are several ways in which abuse occurred. Many academic activists used their classroom as a platform for their political views. Over years, IAM received complaints from students who noted that lectures were biased, one-sided and opposing views were not tolerated, or even punished. In one case, in the international MAPMES program at Ben Gurion University, a graduate student lodged a complaint of intimidation and harassment after requesting an even-handed approach in teaching. 
Some academics went further, used research assistants and even university mailing privileges to pursue political causes. Professor Ziva Shamir, the former head of the School of Jewish Studies at Tel Aviv University hardly exaggerated when writing that these activists turned their university office into a branch of the political party with which they were affiliated with. 
Radical academics abused tenure when they ceased to research and publish in the field for which they were hired. Instead, they devoted their time to producing polemics on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict thinly disguised as scholarship. Yehouda Shenhav, a sociologist at TAU who was hired to research and teach sociology of organizations, was an egregious offender, as IAM repeatedly documented. Daniel Bar-Tal was hired to teach on early childhood development and education at the TAU School of Education, is another example of a faculty who totally abandoned his field to concentrate on the conflict. Upon receiving tenure, Anat Matar, a senior lecturer in the Philosophy Department at TAU, totally abandoned research in order to concentrate on advocating for Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails. Matar urged the state to reclassify them as political prisoners. 
Recruitment and promotion based on political views has been prevalent in social sciences. This practice, known as cooptation, is based on appointing scholars who use the neo-Marxist, critical scholarship, a marginal approach in social science at the expanse of the more common, empirically based positivist approach. In 2011 the Council of Higher Education appointed an international evaluation committee which concluded that the Department of Politics and Government at BGU was top heavy with neo-Marxist, critical activism to the point that core political science courses were not offered. 
Finally, radical academics pioneered the BDS ideas in Israel, one such an example is Neve Gordon who called for boycott in 2009. Advancing political activism on the expense of scholarship, Gordon is currently on Sabbatical as a professor of International Law at Queen Mary University of London. Evidently, international law is not part of his training. Incidentally, the chair of International Law, Trade, and Policy is Professor Malik R. Dahlan, also the principal of Institution Quraysh for Law & Policy which is providing legal services to the Arab World. Previously, Gordon's book Israel's Occupation was written in 2004 during a sabbatical at the University of California, Berkeley, where Nezar AlSayyad has welcomed him and provided him with the necessary resources to write. 
Not surprising, Gordon has declared "You won't silence us, and we will continue to talk politics in class," in response to the proposed ethics code. 
The Code should address these wide ranging abuse of academic privileges. But so far, the Committee of University Heads (VERA) had decried it in the strongest terms, stating that the universities should not enforce the government's dictates. Having turned a blind eye to previous abuses, the position of the academic authorities does not come as a surprise. Still, this argument is specious in the extreme. The Israeli universities are public institutions funded by the taxpayer and are accountable to the elected officials, of which the Minister of Education is one. Equally to the point, by ignoring these academic abuses, the universities impoverished the Israeli social sciences which receive low ranking from the international evaluation bodies. Social sciences in the twenty first century are dynamic in the sense that graduates need top of the shelf skills in quantitative methods, rational choice theory and cyberspace skills. Instead, they receive an education which is sadly outdated.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
The American Battle over Laws Banning the Boycott of Israel
The current climate in the U.S concerning the legal status of BDS is quite confusing and complex, pushing in various directions. 
In September 2017 in a speech at Georgetown University, the American Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that freedom of speech is under attack on college campuses in America, that political correctness has transformed the academic spaces “into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought.” He mentioned the cancelling of speaking events due to fear of protests as a “heckler’s veto," adding "This is not right. This is not in the great tradition of America. And, yet, school administrators bend to this behavior. In effect, they coddle it and encourage it.” He reiterated that the Department of Justice intend to take action to ensure First Amendment rights, it “will enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression from whatever end of the political spectrum it may come”. 
To some, freedom of speech and the boycott of Israel seem to clash. Last year the bill The Israel Anti-Boycott Act was introduced in Congress, intending to punish those who boycott Israel. The bill would make it a felony to choose not to engage in business with Israeli companies. Civil penalties proposed of up to $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison. However, the bill has not passed yet because opponents such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found it unconstitutional. The bill was amended but the ACLU still finds it unconstitutional. According to ACLU, the proposed legislation violates the First Amendment because political boycotts are fully protected by the First Amendment. "The Supreme Court made that clear when it recognized, in a landmark 1982 decision called NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, that the Constitution protected a 1960s boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi." 
Supporters of BDS argue the boycott is a peaceful way to oppose Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, that boycotting a country "is different from discriminating against people of a certain national origin. Sanctions against other countries ― such as sanctions against Iran for example ― do not amount to national origin discrimination." They also claim that "boycotting Israel does not equate to boycotting the Jewish people, since Israel is a state while being Jewish is a religious and ethnic identity." 
Critics of BDS argue that the boycott is anti-Semitic and delegitimizes the state of Israel. For them, economic boycotts against Israel is a form of discrimination. 
Meanwhile, in the last three years, over a dozen U.S states have passed laws aiming to thwart BDS. The state of Arizona, for example, enacted a bill in 2016 (Arizona 35-393.01) which determines that: 
1. A public entity may not enter into a contract with a company to acquire or dispose of services, supplies, information technology or construction unless the contract includes a written certification that the company is not currently engaged in, and agrees for the duration of the contract to not engage in, a boycott of Israel. 
2. A public entity may not adopt a procurement, investment or other policy that has the effect of inducing or requiring a person or company to boycott Israel. 
In a step to contest this law, Dr. Hatem Bazian, the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Students Association at Arizona State University (ASU) filed a lawsuit against ASU and the Arizona Board of Regents. They challenged the state bill, claiming that it is a “fundamental violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.” 
Bazian is an adjunct professor at the University of California Berkeley and chairs the group American Muslims for Palestine, he also co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine and is a leader in the BDS movement in the United States. He filed the complaint after a contract was sent to him for a speaking engagement due on April, 3 in an event presenting Palestinian perspectives on Middle East conflict and the BDS Movement. The contract included a statement that he is “not currently engaged in” and agrees “not to engage in, a boycott of Israel” for the duration of the contract. Being a staunch BDS supporter he refused to sign. 
The case was resolved in court very quickly and on March 16 CAIR published the following statement, "CAIR Welcomes Victory Allowing Pro-BDS Event at Arizona State University Despite Unconstitutional Anti-BDS Law." It announced that "the CAIR Legal Defense Fund (CAIR) today reached a court-approved agreement," allowing the event with Dr. Hatem Bazian and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) to move forward. But contrary to the victory claimed by CAIR, the lawyer representing ASU explained that “It was a simple mistake that the ASU form containing the certification was used." The certification was not needed for a student group organizing the event because “Student groups are not public entities.” 
No doubt the battle over BDS in America will continue. CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri already announced “we will not rest until Arizona’s anti-BDS law is declared unconstitutional.” At the same time, Jewish scholars and students should make use of the Department of Justice when their freedom of speech is threatened. IAM will report on academic cases as they occur.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Abolishing the Council for Higher Education Judea and Samaria and the Threats of Boycott
After many years, the power-struggle between the Council for Higher Education in Jerusalem (CHE) and the Council for Higher Education of Judea and Samaria (CHEJS) is coming to an end. The Israeli Knesset abolished the CHEJS and now the CHE will supervise all Israeli Institutions, according to the Knesset legislation bringing the higher education institutions in the Settlements under Israeli law. 
The founding of the CHEJS, known in Hebrew as Malag Yosh, is quite unique. It was an academic body operating independently of the CHE. This was made possible because the CHE Law-1958 regulating the supervision of academic institutions in Israel does not apply to the territories. The CHEJS was founded in the early 1990s, after the government decided to establish three new academic colleges: the Judea and Samaria College in Ariel, the Orot College of Education in Elkana and the Herzog College of Education in Alon Shvut. Establishing the CHEJS was a result of Education Minister Zevulun Hammer who requested from the CHE assembly to discuss new curricula for the colleges in the Territories, but to his dismay members of the CHE objected to the move so Hammer initiated the founding of the CHEJS. The first in the trio was the Academic College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel which was founded in 1982, its academic framework was placed originally under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University but gradually became independent. 
However, both right and left wing governments found flaws in having a different body overseeing the Israeli institutions in the settlements. In 2005 Minister of Education Limor Livnat expressed concerns of duplication in the existence of two separate bodies, claiming it damaged planning of the national higher education system. In light of this, the CHE decided to change the composition of the CHEJS assembly to include only members who serve on the assembly of the CHE in Jerusalem. Occasionally they clashed. The government backed the CHEJS when it wished to turn Ariel college into a university, but the CHE rejected the move. When Education Minister Meir Sheetrit was in office the appointments to the CHEJS were made by the Commander of IDF Forces in the Judea and Samaria coordinated with the Ministry of Justice. Evidently, the political rivalry affected the CHEJS status. When Minister of Education Yuli Tamir was in office in 2007 she wanted to abolish the CHEJS, against the backdrop of the approval granted by the CHEJS to transform the Ariel College into a university. The move aroused much criticism and Tamir defined it as a "fraud." 
As for the new Knesset legislation, some see it as potentially fuelling the BDS campaign. Two weeks before the bill was enacted, The Times Higher Education announced that "the Settlement university law set to stoke Israel boycotts" and that "Campaigns for an academic boycott of Israel are likely to be ramped up in the wake of a move to bring higher education institutions in the West Bank settlements under Israeli law, scholars have warned." The article identified Professor Amiram Goldblum as spearheading the campaign against the bill. Goldblum, an emeritus professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the Hebrew University and a life-long political activist, has published a petition against the bill which gained the support of 220 senior academics in Israel. Goldblum wrote in Haaretz that the new bill was a “guaranteed formula for a tsunami against science in Israel,” and told the Times Higher Education, that the legislation would lead to an increase in academic boycotts which would be "mostly hidden boycotts and not explicit ones... already exercised in many cases in the last couple of years.” Goldblum gave examples of hidden boycotts such as international journal editors rejecting papers from Israeli academics, Israeli PhD graduates unable to secure a postdoctoral position abroad, reduction in overseas funding from the European Research Council which required that no funds are transferred directly or indirectly to the settlements, or the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation which does not accept research proposals from the settlements. Goldblum noted that Israeli research universities receive some 50 per cent of their research funding from Europe. 
Dire political predictions are nothing new among radical activists. For decades now, Goldblum and his fellow-activists had relied on the international academic community to foment protests against the Israeli government. Indeed, well before the BDS came into being, during the Durban Conference in 2001, Adi Ophir, then on the faculty of the Hebrew University called to boycott Israeli goods from the territories. The core group around Ophir went on to create Boycott from Within. When the CHE threatened to close down the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University, the president Rivka Carmi, the dean David Newman, among others, urged the international community to protest. This move instigated a barrage of calls for boycott. There is little doubt that Goldblum would like to see a strong response to the current bill coming from the global academic community. 
Like many hard-core activists who live in their own ideological bubble, Goldblum does not seem to realize that the political climate in Europe has changed in recent years. More to the point, Israel is a leader in cutting edge Information Technology (IT) and applied sciences. In fact, a new survey placed Israel as one of the five most innovative IT countries in the world. Israel has received a good share of science grants because of its exceptional achievements, regardless of the status of Ariel University.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Minister of Finance Draft Regulations for the Prevention of Harm to the State of Israel by Boycott
Last week, the Minister of Finance has published a draft memorandum of regulations to sanction supporters of the boycott of Israel, to prevent them from receiving government benefits and from participating in government bids. Translated below, the draft is not the final version memorandum. As noted, the new regulations would apply to all Israeli citizens. The draft is available for public consultation until March 8, 2018. After this date it would be discussed by the Minister of Justice and then by the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. 
As it stands now, the draft memorandum postulates that a potential target of sanctions would be first summoned for a hearing and will be given an opportunity to present his argument against the decision to sanction him. Interestingly, the draft regulations also applies to calls for boycott published prior to the commencement of these regulations. 
Assuming the boycott comes mostly from cultural figures, the draft regulations names the Minister of Culture and Sport as the Minister proposed to have contacts with the Minister of Finance on the question of depriving boycotters from benefits or from participating in Government calls for tenders. 
While the memorandum does not deal specifically with academics, it would most likely apply also to Israeli academics who published or participated in calls for the boycott of Israel. As IAM has repeatedly reported over the years, the following Israeli academics could be affected: Neve Gordon, Anat Matar, Rachel Giora, and Kobi Snitz. 
Matar, Giora and Snitz have been the founding members of the movement Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within. 
Dr. Anat Matar of the Department of Philosophy at TAU, has written a philosophical argument in support of the boycott. She explicitly supports the boycott, as she admitted in a recorded interview. 
Prof. Rachel Giora of the Department of Linguistics at TAU, has proudly written in 2009 that "The BDS movement hit the bull’s eye. It managed to undermine Israel’s international status – a change of mind that finally pierced Israelis’ bubble of indifference". 
Dr. Kobi Snitz of the Weizmann Institute, gave a talk in 2014 in Vancouver, Canada, titled "Support From Within: Israeli Participation in the Palestinian Struggle - from demonstrations to BDS, from Matzpen to Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) - and the legacy of the Bund a talk by Kobi Snitz of Boycott from Within and AATW" at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. 
Prof. Neve Gordon of the Department of Politics and Government at BGU, has published a call to boycott Israel in the Los Angeles Times in August 2009. 
Two more scholars could be affected, Prof. Oren Yiftachel of the Geography Department at BGU, has helped Palestinian scholars to draft the call for academic boycott of Israeli Institutions, as admitted in a book by an Australian scholar Kathryn Attwell, Jewish-Israeli National Identity and Dissidence: The Contradictions of Zionism and Resistance, published in 2015. She wrote about dissent in Israel, that "Yiftachel also helped to draft the academic boycott of Israeli institutions put forward by Palestinian scholars, though he does not go so far as his colleague Neve Gordon in publicly endorsing a general boycott of Israel." 
Prof. Ilan Pappe who called for a boycott numerous times might wish to retire in Israel and could also be affected. 
IAM will report on the final memorandum and its effects on Israeli academics, in due course.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
BDS and Opposition to the Israel Fund at Brown University
Brown University has served as a hotbed for anti-Israel activism. An upcoming conference promoting BDS will take place at Brown on March 8. "Do boycotts foreclose or open up socially productive conversations about the ethics of cultural and academic production?" The conference panelists are expected to pursue this question along the lines of a recently published book, Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production. As usual, both the book and the conference panel use the convoluted language of critical theory replete with esoteric sentences such as " What are the political possibilities embodied in emerging forms of intersectional solidarity around boycott movements, such as BDS?" 
After sharp criticism for its pro-Palestinian bias, Brown University has launched the Israel Fund, a new endowment which offers opportunities for Brown community members to learn about Israel from Israelis. The Jewish Studies program at Brown is expected to host the Israel Fund program. Not surprisingly, the Israel Fund is facing opposition from a leading professor at Brown, Beshara Doumani, a Saudi born Palestinian who heads Brown's Middle East Studies program. Doumani decried the "uncertainty about the agenda behind the Israel Fund," claiming that the Middle East Studies program which he heads “was built slowly, organically, from the bottom up,” by students and faculty. In contrast, according to Doumani, the Israel Fund “completely descends from the top down. Instead of (being) student- or faculty-driven, it seems to be donor-driven,” and the alums donating to the Israel Fund may be politically motivated “to influence perceptions about a particular country or connections to that particular country.” 
Doumani's hypocrisy knows no bounds. As IAM previously reported, Doumani is the lead architect of a deeply politicized anti-Israel scholarship at Brown. To recall, Doumani was also a signatory in the BDS petition in August 2014 "Over 100 Middle East Studies Scholars and Librarians Call for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions." 
Evidently, Doumani's Palestine Studies program mostly attacks Israel. The Palestine Studies 2017 Workshop questioned "What does it mean for the colonized, the disenfranchised, and the displaced to produce narratives through archival and memorial practices? Other theoretical, empirical, and comparative questions follow. How are archives and memories produced, assembled, and mobilized in settler colonial contexts? In what ways are archives and memories sites of struggle and appropriation, and looting?" The Palestine Studies 2016 Workshop description noted that "some of the themes that informed the last two symposiums include the issue of exceptionalism; the promise and limitations of the settler colonial paradigm; zones of visibility and invisibility in historical narratives; the question of archives, and its relationship to research on Israel and Zionism." 
Interestingly, Doumani's idea of a balanced discourse it to invite radical post-Zionist Israeli scholars. As IAM reported, Doumani welcomed the visiting position of Adi Ophir and the tenured position of Ariella Azoulay, who in return adopted the BDS policy. Gadi Algazi, a scholar of late medieval history at TAU who has switched to writing political polemics on the Palestinian-Israeli dispute - something unheard of in the exact sciences - was another invitee to Brown. Also, BGU Neve Gordon lectured in Brown, in December 2015. 
Doumani understands that the Israel Fund, which expects to bring post-doctoral scholars from Israel, would produce a more balanced discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on campus. This would clearly threaten the Israel bashing themes emanating from his Middle East Studies program which have dominated the Brown campus for years. This is the real reason why he opposes the Israel Fund.
General Articles
Pro-Palestinian Groups Create Intolerance on British Campuses
In January this year a video questioning "Are we living in an age of #intolerance?" was posted online. The producer is the UK based Pinsker Center which promotes conferences and dialogues on various UK campuses. The Pinsker Centre was founded in 2016 after BDS activists violently protested the lecture of Ami Ayalon, the Israeli peace activist, at King's College London (KCL). "Campus debate had become toxic," they write, we "sought to create a vehicle which would serve as a platform for intelligent and reasoned debate about the contemporary Middle East. For two years, we have fought to challenge censorship and facilitate open debate. We have reached thousands of students at our panels, debates and lectures." 
The Pinsker Center and several student groups invited Dan Meridor, Israel's former deputy prime minister and minister of intelligence, to speak on three UK campuses: On the 12th of February at KCL, on the 13th of February at Durham University and on the 14th of February at Oxford University. The topic of his lectures was "Israel and the Changing Middle East: Threats and Opportunities." 
It should have been anticipated, based on previous experiences, that pro-Palestinian activists would try to sabotage the event. As been detailed in various media outlets, some 60 yelling crowd by the entrance, shouted “War criminal” and “Shame,” throughout the 90-minute lecture. 
But even before the lecture, the KCL Israel Society has noted that soon after posting the lecture invitation, it began receiving dozens of fake requests to attend with names such as "nein Israel" and "Filasteen," as well as multiple fake requests using the name of a member of the KCL Israel Society. This should have served as a warning sign to what would follow. Interestingly, the KCL security officials had previously assured the organizers that members of the public would not be allowed to protest inside the campus building. However, Tamara Berens, the president of KCL Israel Society complained that “They let us down by betraying their promise and allowing people to enter... There were protestors present who had previously seriously intimidated students at other events.” 
Before the lecture in Oxford University, the Oxford University Amnesty International Society published a call to the organizers urging them to withdraw their invitation to Meridor immediately "in the name of dignity, and of basic human rights," adding that "he is not welcome in our community." The group accused Meridor for "over 30 years Meridor has been party to grave breaches of international law while holding office." 
Israeli speakers should get used to intolerance on British campuses, while pro-Palestinian lecturers suffer no interference at all. After the Ayalon event in 2016, KCL published a statement by Professor Ed Byrne, president and principal of King’s, who said: "We have a duty to uphold freedom of speech within the law and will fight against intolerance wherever it is found. Intimidating behaviour is completely unacceptable and goes against everything that we stand for at King’s. We do not, and will not, condone the use of any form of violent protest." 
Arguably, KCL and other British campuses do not live up to the wonderful values of freedom of speech. Despite all the accolades about free speech they don't do enough to protect Israelis and Jews from the often violent protests of pro-Palestinian activists. This creates a double standard on campus where pro-Palestinian views are widely heard, but pro-Israeli opinions are stifled. Unless academic authorities live up to their declarations, they will perpetuate the current hypocrisy.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
On-Campus Israeli Apartheid Week and the Boycott Calls to Scientists
Activities for the upcoming Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) have been announced recently and a number of universities are participating. 
Leading In the U.K is SOAS University of London, where the IAW is organized by the SOAS Palestine Society. In the University of Leeds it is organized by the University of Leeds Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG) and in the University of Sussex in Brighton it is organized by the Sussex Friends of Palestine Society. In Finland, IAW is hosted by the ICAHD Finland and Students for Justice in Palestine Helsinki, to recall, ICAHD was founded by Jeff Halper, formerly a lecturer at Ben Gurion University. In South Africa, the newly elected IAW National Spokesperson is Justin de Swardt, a student of Law and English at the University of Pretoria. In Canada, the Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine is hosting a Volunteer Orientation for Israeli Apartheid Week 2018 which is mandatory for all volunteers. 
To abolish accusations of antisemitism, Sussex Friends of Palestine Society added a note to their invitation, "Just to clarify... The British Government has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. That definition attests that denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour, is antisemitic. Using the language ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ is an attempt to delegitimise and demonise Israel by comparing it to Apartheid South Africa. That comparison by dint of the IHRA definition is...antisemitic. (No need for thanks!) Oh and I nearly forget, the IHRA definition was also voted on and passed with a huge majority by.....the Labour Party! #JustSaying." 
But some other developments are essentially positive. The International Meeting for Science in Palestine was held at the University of Cambridge, U.K in January, a first international gathering to help building ties between the Palestinian and the international scientific community. The goal is to implement programs and long term visions to strengthen the growth of science in Palestine. The conference focused on issues such as the current status of science in Palestine and the opportunities for international scientists to get involved. Panels debated the "Organisation of the Palestinian Advanced Physics School and other schools"; "Mentorship program and online resources on opportunities in academia" and "Outreach and communication. Video, audio and social media", among others. 
The conference is part of a new trend among younger Palestinians who try to focus on building up their community through science and technology. This imperative became more urgent given that Israel was recently declared one of the top technologically innovative countries in the world. 
However, old thinking still pervades Palestinian BDS activists who offered a panel to discuss the "challenges of doing science under the occupation". 
The Electronic Intifada, a key BDS advocate, commented on the conference under the heading "Why scientists should boycott Israel," that "The meeting was quite effective in disproving the idea that we can talk about science (or anything) in Palestine without mentioning the occupation... Inevitably, one of the issues discussed in this meeting was the academic boycott of Israel and the (non)neutrality of science. Scientists for Palestine has not taken an official position on the academic boycott." The article argued that when you ask a scientist about Palestine "you will hear that the issue is 'too complicated,' and possibly some orientalist trope about Arabs, Islam or both." 
The article noted that the scientific community prefers not to promote boycotts and build bridges instead. "But this assumes that decades of settler-colonial occupation, ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses can be boiled down to an issue of different peoples not talking to each other. Of course, what is being built are not bridges, but little bubbles where everything seems harmonious as long as you don’t look outside the bubble. The key word here is normalization. Israel’s current existence as a settler-colonial, apartheid state to which international law is not being applied, relies heavily on its projection of itself as a modern, hi-tech, Western-style liberal democracy. Prestigious conferences and joint scientific ventures, either in the name of advancing science or building bridges, all contribute to cementing this narrative. Boycotts can be extremely effective, and the panicked Israeli reaction to the BDS movement is a testament to that." Urging the scientist community to boycott Israel, the article ended with a plea that the "idea of helping science in Palestine is just a charitable exercise, rooted in a Western-savior mentality," so "the scientific community needs to understand that it has a role to play, and boycotts have proven effective." It would be interesting to see if the new initiative to engage Palestinians in scientific collaborations with the global community would be able to resist pressure to boycott Israel. 
No doubt the Palestinians would gain a lot from the development of science in their society. Had they stopped blaming Israel for every aspect of their lives, they would have thrived scientifically and financially. The purpose of BDS is to keep the Palestinians poor and uneducated, a permanent exhibit of the "evils of the Zionist enemy."
Hebrew University
The Number of Arab Students on the Rise and so is the Apartheid Analogy
Surveys indicate that the number of Arab students enrolled in the Israeli universities is on the rise. 
One such a survey was conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). "Higher Education in Israel - Selected Data for 2016/17 On the Occasion of the Beginning of the New Academic Year. It concluded that "in recent years, the percentage of Arab students has increased significantly in all levels: undergraduates - from 9.8% in 1999/2000 to 16.5% (17.4% in new students) 13.6% and in postgraduates - from 2.8% to 6.6%, respectively". Another survey, conducted by the Council of Higher Education (CHE) also indicated that the number of Arab students in Israeli universities is on the rise. The number had grown from 26,000 in 2010 to 47,000 in 2017 by 78.5% over the past seven years. Arab students accounted for 16.1% of undergraduate students, rising from 10.2 % in 2010. In the graduate programs the percentage of Arab students since 2010 has doubled from 6.2% to 13%. In the postgraduate programs Arab students rose from 3.9% to 6.3%. The CHE survey was intended to assess the success of a program integrating Arab Israelis into the higher education system. Between 2012-2016 the government spent NIS 300 million ($88 million) on this program. 
As a result of this success, the government decided to extend it to the year 2022 totaling a budget of NIS 1 billion ($294 million). This program aims also to prevent Arab students from dropping out of university. 
Similarly, in December 2016, Prof. Peretz Lavie, the president of the Technion said of the Technion, that the number of Arab students has tripled over the last decade to 20%. Twelve years ago just 7% of students were Arab, then the Technion began a program for Outstanding Arab Youth, preparing students to meet the admission requirements by offering them free of charge 10 months camp in mathematics, physics, English and Hebrew, paid by Jewish philanthropists. 
To encourage Arab candidates, in October 2017 Prof. Rivka Carmi, Ben-Gurion University's president, announced that beginning in next year, the University will be accepting Arab students without having to take the psychometric exam usually required to enter the university. 
Despite these impressive statistics, the calls for BDS intensify with charges against Israel of conducting apartheid policies. 
Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists lead such charges. Dahlia Scheindlin, formerly of the BGU Department of Politics and Government published an article on April 3, 2017 "Why 'it's not apartheid' arguments fail: Response to NYT op-ed" arguing that Israel is an apartheid state. She based her argument on the writing of Yael Berda, and wrote "according to Dr. Yael Berda Permits are wielded collectively, racially and demographically. There are no permits governing movement for Jews." Berda, a lawyer representing hundreds of political activists who were denied entry to Israel, is an adjunct professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University. Berda's scholarship focuses on "Israel's Expanding Permit Regime" and its "racial hierarchy". Berda suggests that it is a racial intention that drives Israel to be vigilant to Palestinian acts of terrorism. While studying in Princeton University, Berda was a member of the Princeton Committee on Palestine (PCP) which "works to end the occupation in Palestine, defend Palestinian human rights, and raise awareness in the Princeton community about the Palestinian narrative." As a member of Machsom Watch, "Advs Lea Tsemel and Yael Berda called on the court to recognize the racial discrimination practiced by the Israeli police." 
Berda's newly published book Living Emergency, "offers a first-hand account of how the Israeli secret service, government, and military civil administration control the Palestinian population." As Berda sees it, while "terrorism, crime, and immigration are perceived as intertwined security threats, she reveals how the Israeli example informs global homeland security and border control practices, creating a living emergency for targeted populations worldwide." 
Berda has also written of checkpoints "Searching and Stripping," that the "perverse relationship between Israelis and Palestinians is a depressing B movie that the entire world daily watches. Many actors, spectators, and producers take part in the Mis-en-Scene: soldiers, civilians, international observes, humanitarian organizations, to name few. Despite the attraction to the action, not many realize that the Israeli occupation is all about the body: sweat, heavy breathing, desire. There are several principles to the erotics of the occupation, such as stripping and searching." For Berda, “the desire for the exotic other and his appropriation. Racism becomes more pronounced the greater the desire for appropriation is. In the delirious colonial encounter, the colonizer wants to separate, enclose and protect himself, yet is attracted to the other through the senses as to entertainment or to a cooking spice.” 
Berda's work influences many. For example, in Nili Belkind's PhD thesis at Columbia University she adopted Berda’s final conclusion that "the occupation bureaucracy does not exist only within the West Bank Occupied Territories. Its racialized principles and practices have ‘leaked’ into the very core of governmental, judicial, and other sites of centralized, as well as privatized, governmentality practices within the Green Line as well. According to Berda, This includes the IDF central quarters in Tel Aviv, the government offices in Jerusalem, the police stations, the courts, the border patrol jeeps, Israeli buses in which security personnel profile Palestinian passengers via visual indicators – to which one might also add here – the various agents dealing with foreigners who are guilty ‘by association.’ This too is the byproduct of the spatial management of ‘porous borders.’ For anyone working under these constrictions, the bureaucratic managerial practices of these borders foreground the mundane banalities of the occupation, as manifestations of its appalling dimensions." 
Stephen Lendman cited Berda's calling the measures of Israeli surveillance as “scary and undemocratic…criminalizing an entire population for identifying with an organization that Israel considers terrorist (true or false).” Lendman continues that according to Yael Berda, “(y)ou don’t have to do anything to be considered a terrorist. You can publish an article or make a comment in cyberspace, and you will be criminalized... If you are located in the physical environment of terrorist activities, you are guilty.” 
Currently, Berda is supervising in the department of Sociology at the Hebrew University, the PhD thesis by Leehee Rothschild, a staunch BDS activist, titled "Body Searching and Security" with Prof. Edna Lomsky-Feder. Rothschild BDS activities were described in length in AlJazeera's "Boycotting Israel ... from within." Also, in September 2011 Ali Maniku, a member of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) published an interview with Lehee Rothschild in Scotland, announcing that "Lehee joined at the weekly SPSC Perth Branch Stall and gave us this wee interview". In her interview Rothschild has said: "Hi, my name is Leehee Rothschild I am 27, I am an Israeli who enjoys the privileges under the Israeli apartheid regime. I may be really persecuted for saying that, since 2011 Israel has passed a law which bans calling to boycott Israel, nonetheless, I am calling you to boycott, divest and sanction Israel until it complies with all three Palestinian basic rights and international law, the right of return, the right for freedom and the right for equality." Rothschild was also celebrated in an article in 2014 "Boycotting the land you love: Israeli activist Leehee Rothschild on BDS and the struggle for Palestinian rights." 
Berda's racial allegations against Israel provide the scaffolding for the apartheid analogy. While the Israeli Government spends fortune to encourage Arab students to study, Israeli universities provide positions to political activists masquerading as academics who tarnish Israel's standing in the world.
General Articles
US Educational Groups Urge American Higher Education Reform of Middle East Studies Programs
The Civil Rights Act, updated on July 28, 2017 appears under the title Types of Educational Opportunities Discrimination of the US Department of Justice. It notes that "The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the landmark legislation prohibiting discrimination in several areas including housing, employment and education. The sections of the Act relating to education are Title IV, protecting students from discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin by public elementary and secondary schools and public institutions of higher learning; Title VI, prohibiting discrimination by recipients of federal funds on the basis of race and national origin; and Title IX, permitting the United States to intervene in pending suits alleging discrimination. Additionally, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 prohibits, among other conduct, deliberate segregation on the basis of race, color, and national origin." 
Although the Civil Rights Act is clear, on January 24, 2018 a number of Jewish educational groups have written a letter to the U.S Senate Committee of Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in support of amendments to Title VI of the Higher Education Opportunities Act. The groups concern is that federal funds "are being misused to promote biased, one-sided, and anti-Israel programming in our nation’s Middle East studies centers." Although in 2008 the Congress addressed this issue by requiring that recipients “reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views,” yet, many recipients of Title VI funds continue to support programs that "provide only a monochromatic –and biased, anti-American, and anti-Israel—perspective." The groups requested a clear enforcement of the Act. 
Much of the abuse of federal funds and worse was discussed in 2016, by Endowment for Middle East Truth which published an article in the Weekly Standard, contemplating how "US Taxpayer Dollars Contribute to BDS Activity and Anti-Semitism on Campuses." It detailed the misuse of funding from the Title VI educational grant programs as an underlying factor in contributing to the growth of BDS and anti-Semitic activities on American college campuses. 
All this was discussed also in September 2014 by the journal Inside Higher Education. The article reported that a "coalition of Israel advocacy organizations concerned by what they describe as the prevalence of anti-Israel programming at federally-funded Middle East studies centers." The coalition is lobbying for "changes in the Title VI program". Two main requests were reported: "recipients of Title VI funds to establish grievance procedures to address complaints that programs are not reflecting diverse perspectives and a wide range of views” and that the "U.S. Department of Education to establish a formal complaint-resolution process similar to that in use to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” The coalition published their report “The Morass of Middle East Studies” issued by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law" which stated that already "Six years ago, Congress recognized the need for “diverse perspectives” in federally funded Middle East Studies programs. Congress had created the so-called “Title VI programs” in 1958 to address Cold War national security demands. After September 11, 2001, it was more important than ever to provide United States intelligence and armed services agencies with a pipeline of skilled workers. Unfortunately, Title VI programs were not serving their intended purpose." The statement referred to the H.R.4137 - Higher Education Opportunity Act by the 110th Congress which was introduced in 11/09/2007 to the House Committees of Education and Labor; Judiciary; Science and Technology; Financial Services by the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. 
The allegations about the bias actually go back to 2001. Martin Kramer addressed the maladies of Middle East studies programs in his widely discussed book, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America which was published soon after the tragedy of 9/11. Kramer postulated that "it has been a long time since scholars of the Middle East looked critically at themselves. In the 1970s, the field underwent a wrenching crisis, prompted by Middle Eastern turmoil, academic radicalization, and budget cutting. It ended in a great shakeout and a shift of academic power. The new leaders of the field claimed to be more competent, and prided themselves upon possession of more potent paradigms for explaining and understanding the Middle East. They would not make the mistakes of their predecessors. For more than twenty years they have interpreted and predicted Middle Eastern politics with a supreme confidence in their own powers. Only now have hesitant voices been raised from within the ramparts, pointing to serious problems. They run even deeper than insiders are prepared to admit. It is no exaggeration to say that America’s academics have failed to predict or explain the major evolutions of Middle Eastern politics and society over the past two decades. Time and again, academics have been taken by surprise by their subjects; time and again, their paradigms have been swept away by events. Repeated failures have depleted the credibility of scholarship among influential publics". Kramer intended to "probe how and why a branch of academe once regarded with esteem has descended to such a low point in the public estimate, and what might be done about it." 
Kramer concluded by calling for amendments to Title VI funding. "Changes in Title VI can help erode the culture of irrelevance that has pervaded Middle Eastern studies. But no amount of tweaking this program can cure the more fundamental ailments that afflict the field. This healing can only be achieved by the guild: the physicians must heal themselves." Kramer wished that a new generation will emerge to save Middle Eastern studies, "they will have to cast aside the monopolizing practices of their teachers and actively promote intellectual diversity." For Kramer, Middle East studies "lack a culture of tolerance for diversity in ideas and approaches." he suggested that, "it can be solved only by a deliberate effort to open Middle Eastern studies to debate." 
The repeated requests dating from 2001 to 2018 to amend Title VI funding, ring hollow. In fact, the latest appeal to the U.S Senate Committee, mentioned above, did not get any media attention. Instead, the news reports focused on "Why Trump’s pick to head the Education Department’s civil rights office is so controversial." Marcus who heads the Brandeis Center, already headed the Education Department’s civil rights office in the Bush Administration. But according to the media, Marcus's "ardent support of Israel" has "sparked protests" mostly by Muslim Advocates, which confirms a public anti-Israel bias intended to silence the debate. 
The Middle East is a highly important part of the world and has played a huge role in American foreign policy. Shaping this policy requires a cadre of people who are educated in the arcane aspects of the region. The Middle East studies have been created for this purpose but over the years activist-scholars from the Middle East Studies Association have distorted the goal of providing an objective knowledge. It is incumbent upon Congress to assure that the original mission is preserved.
Anti-Israel Conferences
"Israeli Sexual Violence and Aggression... Inherent to the Zionist Settler Colonial Project" According to a London Scholar
A lecture at the University of Warwick by Dr. Sigrid Vertommen, a researcher at the department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London, has become the center of controversy. Her lecture was hosted by the Warwick for Justice in Palestine on January 17, 2017. Vertommen scholarship concludes that "Zionism’s demographic arithmetic directed at manufacturing a Jewish majority at the expense of Palestinian life". According to her, Israel is engaged in a "reproductive sabotage framework" [of the Palestinians] because it subsidizes multiple fertilization procedures for its citizens “primarily aimed to serve the reproductive rights of its Jewish population at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population." 
Vertommen deals primarily with the sexual and reproductive issues of Jewish Israeli and Palestinian women in the context of "settler colonial control and resistance." Yet, according to Vertommen, Israel's military incursions are "particularly gendered and sexualized ones in which discourses of war, sex and reproduction are tightly intertwined. These extremely militarized episodes of Israeli sexual violence and aggression towards Palestinians magnify tendencies that are always present in Palestine/Israel and that are inherent to the Zionist settler colonial project." For Israel, Vertommen continues, Gazan women "deserve to be annihilated simply because of their threatening ability to reproduce the next generation and to assure the continuance of the Palestinian people." Moreover, "While the dominant Israeli discourse is urging the Israeli army to collectively eliminate the Palestinian population in Gaza" pronatalism "represents the intimate connection between war, demography and reproduction in Israel/Palestine and symbolizes the Israeli urge to reproduce the nation through soldiers." Israelis are being encouraged to be fruitful and multiply, while "Gazans and Palestinians in general are being encouraged to die as quickly and massively as possible." 
Vertommen also gives a historical brief: "in Historical Palestine that started at the end of the 19th century when Jewish pioneers, inspired by the Zionist ideology and evading European anti-Semitism, immigrated to Palestine and started accumulating indigenous land. This process of territorial expansion was accompanied by a structural dispossession of Palestinian farmers. The Holy Land was to be depopulated from its Palestinian inhabitants and repopulated with Jewish settlers. The raison d’être of the Zionist settler colonial project has been the perpetual de-Palestinization and Judaization of Historical Palestine." 
While she details in length the outstanding success of Israel's state-of-the-art stem cell research, she relies on work such as “Palestine, Project Europe and the (un-)making of the new Jew. In memory of Edward Said”, in Edward Said: the legacy of a public intellectual or scholars such as, the British Israeli-born and former Matzpen activist Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis and Dr. Yali Hashash of Tel Aviv University, Hashash's research opened with the statement "Feminist and sociology researchers in Israel over the last two decades have consistently claimed that Israeli reproductive policy has always been, and remains, an expression of the State's nation-building efforts." Within this framework "Israel's reproductive policy primarily aims at winning a 'demographic race' against the Palestinian Arabs." 
Stretching this argument, Vertommen discusses the "ongoing Zionist settler colonial project" by focusing on the "Zionist demographic politics which aim to consolidate a Jewish majority in a Jewish state and - by consequence – aim to eliminate the indigenous Palestinian population by symbolically preventing it to be born". Vertommen decided not to "frame the Zionist project in Israel/Palestine as a nationalist project, but rather as settler colonial one where - similar to the United States, Australia or Canada - Europeans have settled in an already populated alien territory and where their descendants have remained politically dominant over the indigenous populations." 
Vertommen's scholarship should have been expected. She has written her PhD thesis in Ghent University, Belgium, under the guidance of Sami Zemni, professor in political and social sciences. Zemni's work includes, "Luxemburg on Tahrir Square: reading the Arab Revolutions with Rosa Luxemburg's the mass strike" and "The shaping of Islam and Islamophobia in Belgium", among others. Naturally, Zemni is pro-Palestinian. He co-hosted a conference "Geographies of aid intervention in Palestine" in September 2010 in Birzeit University, sponsored by the Birzeit University Ghent University Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad – University Development Cooperation (VLIR-UOS). The conference focused on "the little effectiveness of the aid industry in the 1967 occupied Palestinian territories, and even its complicity in sustaining the Israeli occupation." Similarly to Vertommen's thesis, Zemni also guided the PhD thesis by Omar Jabary Salamanca on "Fabric of life: the infrastructure of settler colonialism and uneven development in Palestine" in 2014, which "represents an attempt to resist and complicate dominant accounts of occupation and development in Palestine but also to make a vital contribution to a broader scholarship in critical urban studies and settler colonialism." 
In a newly published research Vertommen repeats her politically-driven and groundless accusations of Israeli fertility and stem cell research aimed at eliminating Palestinians. 
Horrified with Vertommen's work, the Jewish community in Britain was fuming over her lecture. Shimon Samuels from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in an interview that Vertommen's charges resemble the “blood libel” historically leveled at Jews. Taking this argument a step further, Vertommen's scholarship actually falls within the category of antisemitism as described by the Working Definition of Antisemitism which the British Government has adopted in December 2016. 
Such scholarships should be expected to dominate the social sciences and humanities in Western universities in the years to come due to the large number of scholars coming from Arab and Muslim countries who influence students - aimed at debunking Israel's achievements - to focus on "Zionist colonialism" and the "settler colonial state."
Tel Aviv University
Ariel Handel of TAU Minerva Humanities Center: Political Activism Disguised as Scholarship
"Israelis Studying the Occupation" is a compilation of articles in the journal Critical Inquiry published by University of Chicago Press. The current edition was edited by Dr. Ariel Handel and Dr. Ruthie Ginsburg of The Minerva Humanities Center (MHC) at Tel Aviv University. Among the authors in this volume are Amira Hass, Dr. Hagar Kotef, Dr. Maya Rosenfeld, and Dr. Hilla Dayan, are known as staunch political activists. 
MHC has been the subject of numerous IAM posts. In April 2016, IAM reported that Handel replaced Prof. Adi Ophir as an academic co-director at the MHC without going through the standard process of publicizing the position and seeking competitive candidates. To appoint Ophir's Ph.D student to replace him is quite unethical. Also troublesome is the fact Handel is a classic neo-Marxist, critical scholar, an approach which is overrepresented in the Israeli academy. Last November IAM reported on a MHC workshop series intended to "advance academic professionalization from a critical perspective" where IAM noted that critical theory is not accepted by mainstream academic journals. 
MHC's Handler is a political-critical researcher according to his self description. This is attested by his latest publications. In his newest book, Occupation: The Politics of Everyday Life in the West Bank Settlements, co-edited with Marco Allegra and ‎Erez Maggor, the authors provide the following acknowledgment, "We would like to commemorate the memory of our former colleague, Michael Feige, who was one of the four victims of the terror attack that took place in Tel Aviv on June 8, 2016. Michael, an admired teacher and a renowned scholar of Israeli society, was trained at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and taught at Ben-Gurion University, where he most recently served as the head of the Israel Studies program. A scholar of the national-religious settler movement and author of several key studies on Gush Emunim, Michael was among the most vibrant participants of the workshop held at the Minerva Humanities Center in 2014; his death came as a shock and represents a great loss for us all." But in essence, terrorism is what lies behind the dispute between the two Peoples, something the authors prefer to ignore. 
In the introduction to the compilation the authors contend, "it seems that the very possibility of maintaining a relatively open and democratic regime in Israel in the 1948 borders is largely based on the fact that millions of Palestinians are deprived of civil rights like voting for parliament and freedom of speech and assembly. Willingly or not, the critical researcher is also part of the mechanism. The relative freedom of speech granted to the researchers by academia is part of the privilege granted to them as Jewish Israelis." The authors move on to describe how Israeli critical researchers stay in Israel in order to "criticise it from within," even when it means they too are to be blamed for the occupation. While the authors intend to show it as an act of heroism, one could argue it is an act of convenience. 
The type of work Critical Inquiry has published concerning Israel illustrates its negative approach: "'Ethnocracy' and Its Discontents: Minorities, Protests, and the Israeli Polity" by Oren Yiftachel, Jul 2000; "Is There Anything We Might Call Dissent in Israel? (And, If There Is, Why Isn't There?)" by Daniel Dor, Jan 2006; "The Right to Refuse: Abject Theory and the Return of Palestinian Refugees" by Dan Rabinowitz, Mar 2010; "Declaring the State of Israel: Declaring a State of War" by Ariella Azoulay, Jan 2011; "The Post-Zionist Condition" by Hannan Hever, Mar 2012; "Potential History: Thinking through Violence" by Ariella Azoulay, Mar 2013; "Palestine as Symptom, Palestine as Hope: Revising Human Rights Discourse" by Ariella Azoulay, Jun 2014; among others. But missing from the list is criticism of the Palestinians, from over 40 items discussing Palestine and Palestinians none is a critical inquiry. 
The neo-Marxist, critical scholarship dominates some social science departments. It is a convenient tool for political activists because it gives academic legitimacy to those who argue that Israel can do no right and the Palestinians can do no wrong. Tel Aviv University should be more alert to political activism advanced by MHC.
General Articles
Patronage in the Academia
Dr. Yaacov Bergman, emeritus faculty of HUJ Business School, is an expert on academic governance in Israel. He recently wrote to the Academia-IL Network community arguing that there is an excess of doctoral students in Israel. He explained that the universities budget is calculated based on the number of Phd graduates they produce. Bergman advised that the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) "should seriously reconsider its PhD students criterion in budgeting the universities, with the intention of eliminating it altogether." And that the PBC should also "consider recommending to the universities that the PhD criterion be eliminated from those that qualify faculty members for the "Academic Extra (Toseffet)" in their salaries, as it may distort incentives significantly." In other words, the incentive, according to Bergman, is causing an excess of PhD holders in Israel while the higher education system can recruit only a trickle. 
As a result, many PhD holders who seek employment at the universities are turned down. One question to the Academia-IL Network community was where is a list of openings in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Most answers were quite pessimistic admitting that in any given department, without a "patron" from within even the best of candidates will have little chances to win a position. 
The problem of Dr. Galina Weinstein is a case in point. Academia-IL Network moderators introduced Weinstein, who is currently in search for an academic employment. Weinstein describes herself as following: "I completed my doctorate in 2000 at the Hebrew University in the field of history of physics, the Einstein legacy and the Special and General theory of relativity. After my doctorate I did several post-doctorate studies in Israel, Europe and the USA. I published three academic books in England and many articles... In 2004, Prof. Mara Beller, who was my doctorate supervisor, died of cancer. She was a good and dedicated supervisor who cared for me until 2004. Before her death she helped me get a GIF Foundation post-doctorate fellowship until 2007. After that I was left without an active supervisor in Israel, without a patron, which led me to a state of unemployment and lack of income despite my achievements." 
Already in 2011 Weinstein published an article in the Hebrew media YNET arguing that the humanities in Israel are being degraded because of a the lack of academic opportunities. She stressed that "The number of professors in the humanities is declining and will continue to decline, the budget has been cut and some departments are in danger of extinction. Decision-makers talk about the return of brain drain, but the state does not invest in the evaporating humanities." The Keren Neubach Reshet Bet radio program "Seder Yom" in 2015 also discussed Weinstein's search for an academic position. Evidently, not much has changed since 2011. 
There is, however, a possible source to the problem for Weinstein. She has published on her personal blog a complaint of plagiarism, a dynamic which could have caused her employment opportunities to diminish. 
Whatever the source of Weinstein's predicament, it seems odd that the academy would use the institution of patronage to appoint scholars. The university should be a place where achievements are rewarded and not who you know.
Anti-Israel Conferences
The Non-Political MESA Hijacked by Palestinian Agenda
The Middle East Studies Association (MESA), an ostensibly non-political association which was established in 1966 to foster the study and public understanding of the Middle East, has some 2,700 members and holds annual meetings, the last one was on November 18-21, 2017. 
MESA, as reported by IAM, passed a resolution at the 2014 annual business meeting affirming "that calls for institutional boycott, divestment, and/or sanctions are protected free speech and legitimate forms of non-violent political action; it affirms the right of MESA members to engage in open and transparent discussion of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions in the context of the Annual Meeting and other forums." Simply put, the non-political association has bent over to help the Palestinians. 
This should come in no surprise as over the years, MESA has shown a strong pro-Palestinian bias. For instance, the group became involved with Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) which was established in 1998 to promote Palestinian studies and exchange among scholars interested in Palestinian affairs. PARC boasted that in the latest MESA annual meeting it had 50 fellows and board members who participated 63 times throughout the conference. PARC also sponsored some of the MESA panels. 
One observer, Professor Cary Nelson, the former president of the American Association of University Professors, recently wrote his observations after hearing two panels. "MESA is now an academic association deeply compromised by political convictions. Even conference sessions that aimed for evidence-based criticism of the Jewish state were tainted by the organization’s pervasive anti-Zionist political consensus." 
Interestingly, in 2005 MESA objected to an academic boycott of Israeli universities. Professor Ali Banuazizi, the then president of MESA wrote "The Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) is writing to express its profound disagreement with the recent decision of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) calling on its members to 'refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, or joint projects' with Haifa University and Bar Ilan University, in Israel. We strongly urge the Association to withdraw or rescind this resolution to boycott these universities and blacklist their faculty at the very earliest opportunity... We find thoroughly objectionable the call of the AUT to refrain from any and all scholarly interaction with the entire professional staff of two universities because of the policies of the state in which they are situated." All this changed in recent years. 
But MESA is not alone. Last month IAM reported that USACBI, the U.S. campaign focused on a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions, secretly "took over" the leadership of the American Studies Association (ASA) to impose Israel boycott. 
Similarly, in December 2015 IAM reported of an "Unethical Conduct of the AAA Task Force". To recall, in November 2015, the executive board of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) has decided to recommend a boycott of Israeli institutions. The decision was made following the recommendation of a Task Force commissioned in 2014, to investigate the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. To prevent the appearance of bias, Task Force members were expected to be neutral and “no one with publicly identified positions on the issue." The investigation by IAM indicated that the Task Force did not live up to the AAA mandate of neutrality, as three members were known to be pro-Palestinian and some even supportive of BDS prior to their commission as Task Force members 
The pattern is clear. Professional associations are taken over by Palestinian activists who maneuver the agenda toward attacking Israel while preventing any serious debate on the troubled Middle East.
General Articles
The Working Definition of Antisemitism and its Abuse by BGU Neve Gordon
The Working Definition of Antisemitism was first published in 2005 by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, later in 2007 was adopted by the U.S Department of State. On May 29, 2017, it was adopted by the European Parliament in a resolution which "Calls on the Member States and the Union institutions and agencies to adopt and apply the working definition of anti-Semitism employed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)(4) in order to support the judicial and law enforcement authorities in their efforts to identify and prosecute anti-Semitic attacks more efficiently and effectively, and encourages Member States to follow the example of the UK and Austria in this regard." Bulgaria followed suit last October. Interestingly, Israel hasn't officially adopted the Working Definition yet. 
The European Union takes this matter seriously. On December 7, 2017 The European Parliament has held a conference on "New-Antisemitism" hosted by MEP Péter Niedermüller, Member of the Delegation for relations with Israel, by MEP Heinz K. Becker, the chair of the European Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism and by MEP Fulvio Martusciello, the chair of Delegation for relations with Israel. The conference was organized into two panels of academics and representatives of Jewish advocacy organizations. The first panel dealt with "The new Antisemitism in politics" featured Jonathan Rosenzweig of the Mission of Israel to the EU & NATO; David Hirsh, senior lecturer of Sociology and author of the book Contemporary Left Antisemitism; Raya Kalenova, the executive vice-president of the European Jewish Congress; Antony Lerman, senior fellow of Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue; and Daniel Schwammenthal, the director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Transatlantic Institute which is based in Brussels. The second panel, "New Antisemitism and the young generation" brought together young Jewish activists and representatives from different European backgrounds to explore challenges and solutions. One speaker stressed that the IHRA working definition, the European Commission Code of Conduct and the upcoming EU Fundamental Rights Agency survey are essential tools in combating antisemitism. 
Soon after, Thomas de Maiziere, the German Interior Minister called in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag for the creation of an anti-Semitism officer who will tackle increasing violence against Jews in Germany. He said that "hatred towards Jews must never be allowed to take hold again in Germany... Each crime motivated by anti-Semitism is one too many and shameful for our country," and that the number of disparaging remarks, inappropriate jokes and discriminatory behavior against “our Jewish citizens" has increased. "We cannot tolerate it when a country's flag is burned in public... It is the symbolic annihilation of a country's right to exist." 
The Working Definition declares that criticism of Israel per se is not antisemitic but some forms of criticism include anti-Semitic elements. For instance, "denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor"; "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis," and; applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation" are construed as anti-Semitic. 
The Working Definition does not deal with the identity of the critics, be it Europeans, Arabs or, for this matter, Jews. The emphasis is on the content of the critique. 
For example, Professor Neve Gordon, who is currently on Sabbatical at SOAS London University fits the Working Definition well. Earlier this month he participated in a meeting held at the House of Commons as part of a group "Free Speech on Israel" where he delivered a talk requesting that "the equation between antisemitism and anti-Zionism must first be rejected". Gordon postulated that the "Israeli government needs the ‘new antisemitism’ to justify its actions and to protect it from international and domestic condemnation. Antisemitism is effectively weaponised, not only to stifle speech... its purpose is ‘to cause pain, to produce shame, and to reduce the accused to silence’ – but also to suppress a politics of liberation. The non-violent BDS campaign against Israel’s colonial project and rights abuses is labelled antisemitic not because the proponents of BDS hate Jews, but because it denounces the subjugation of the Palestinian people. This highlights a further disturbing aspect of the ‘new antisemitism’. Conventionally, to call someone ‘antisemitic’ is to expose and condemn their racism; in the new case, the charge ‘antisemite’ is used to defend racism, and to sustain a regime that implements racist policies. The question today is how to preserve a notion of anti-antisemitism that rejects the hatred of Jews, but does not promote injustice and dispossession in Palestinian territories or anywhere else. There is a way out of the quandary. We can oppose two injustices at once. We can condemn hate speech and crimes against Jews, like the ones witnessed recently in the US, or the antisemitism of far-right European political parties, at the same time as we denounce Israel’s colonial project and support Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination." 
By evoking anti-Zionism Gordon negates the right of Jews for self-determination. 
Gordon's comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany is included in his article "Don't Fence me in" from 2002. He wrote of "explicating and trying to understand the continued widespread use of barbed wire" after the Holocaust: "For example, examining the architectural similarity and differences between the camps Israel has constructed to hold Palestinians and the concentration camps Jews were held in during the Holocaust, urges one to ponder how it is that the reappearance of barbed wire in the Israeli landscape does not engender an outcry among survivors." 
As for applying double standards, Gordon's found striking similarities between Israel and South Africa under apartheid. In his book Israel’s Occupation he compares the South African model of apartheid to the Israeli “model of apartheid.” He finds only one major difference between the two regimes, notably, the apartheid regime in South Africa was institutionalized, while “in the West Bank no legislation was introduced to support this practice, and no official government decision was taken to put such legislation into effect". This, according to Gordon, is the only difference between them. 
There is no reason why Ben Gurion University should tolerate such an abuse of academic standards.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Policing Project by Bar-Ilan University Under Threat of BDS
A remarkable Bar-Ilan initiative, LAW - TRAIN, a police training using virtual reality environment funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is under threat by BDS pressure. 
The EU project LAW‐TRAIN, which kicked‐off in June 2015 at Bar-Ilan University, "aims to develop a mixed‐reality serious gaming platform, which will provide training opportunities for teams of international interrogators anytime and anywhere." Within this platform, a virtual suspect which generates verbal and physical response can be interrogated. The system provides tools to easily generate new characters and scenarios. An intervention agent would follow the training and comment online on the team members’ performance. Augmented reality glasses will be used to create enhanced realism of the interrogation situation. 
The LAW-TRAIN rationale postulates that crime such as drug trafficking is a multi-national phenomenon which often leads to cross-border investigations. These are beset by obstacles and miscommunication due to different cultural and legal aspects. With LAW-TRAIN, the police forces can cut costs while effectively train their officers in the conduct of joint investigative interviews through the virtual reality training platform. LAW-TRAIN is a multinational project, having technical, methodological and end-user partners from different countries, to create a new and innovative way of training of joint investigative interviews. The project offers the opportunity to train within a virtual reality environment, with both virtual and real characters. The partners of this project intend to create a framework and scenarios for teaching interviews concerning international drug trafficking, in order to train police personnel in such interviews. 
The coordinator of the project is Professor Sarit Kraus, the head of department of Computer Science at Bar Ilan University and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on intelligent agents and multi-agent systems of people and robots. 
In addition to Bar-Ilan University and the Israel Police, another Israeli partner is Compedia, a leading developer of interactive educational systems, content and technology. The international partners include the University of Leuven in Belgium and the Belgian federal prosecution service; the armed forces of Spain, and the Vienna-based USECON consultancy agency. At the latest consortium meeting which was held in Vienna by the end of November, the partners had the chance to view and interact with the latest version of the state of the art 3D virtual reality environments. 
However, just like in any realm of activity that involves Israel these days, in August 2016 one of the initial partners, the Portuguese government, pulled out from the project possibly as a result of pressure directed from the Palestinians. The Portuguese Government denied that the departure was a result of political pressure and the spokesperson of the Justice Ministry of Portugal explained the move was due to internal re-prioritization and shortage in manpower. This was a major blow to the project as Portugal is a main entry point of illegal drugs into Europe. 
Palestinian groups continue to pressure European entities. In March 2017 the The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine published a dossier addressing the European Parliament Committee of Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). 
Unfortunately, on the 6th of December 2017, Luc Sels, the rector of the University of Leuven. Belgium stated that the university will complete the current stage of the project but not take part in the next stage due to commence in April 2018. He wrote, "The Israeli Ministry of Public Security's participation does indeed pose an ethical problem in view of the role played by this strong arm of the Israeli government in forcing an unlawful occupation of the Palestinian territories and the associated repression that the Palestinian population is undergoing. Several credible sources, including Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch (to whom KU Leuven rightly awarded an honorary doctorate last year), have documented these violations of international law. I therefore do not consider it appropriate to submit follow-up projects with an identical consortium." 
It's worth noting that the drug trafficking prevention was dealt a major blow in recent years when, as it was revealed, a U.S. task force that intended to target Hezbollah's billion-dollar drug traffic and money laundering network spanning four continents, was blocked by the White House's ambition for a nuclear deal with Iran. In June, the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs has held a hearing “Attacking Hezbollah’s Financial Network: Policy Options" noting that that the Obama administration was keen to get a nuclear deal with Iran therefore “disbanded,” “derailed,” and “put on ice” key investigations and prosecutions of Hezbollah leaders. The hearing transcript stated that prior to the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. Government was seriously disrupting Hezbollah’s financial network, but to appease Iran, the Obama administration stopped key investigations. 
Israel needs to double its effort to promote projects like this, which was pioneered by Bar Ilan University. Drug trafficking is a serious international problem which affects Israel as well. Simha Landau from the Hebrew University demonstrated it in a chapter "The effects of terrorism on crime patterns in society: the case of Israel." He noted that there is strong evidence that drug trafficking and smuggling into Israel is closely related to terrorism. For instance, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine- General Command has been using infrastructure in Lebanon to support drug trafficking as one source of income. 
Israeli military sources confirm that Palestinian terrorist groups are closely involved in these operations. Terrorist groups generally rely on activities associated with organized crime in order to finance their activities. One of the reports mentioned by Landau demonstrates the activities of at least 30 ongoing terrorist campaigns all over the world as supported by illegal drugs, the chief commodity of organized crime. Radical Islamic groups including Hamas and Hezbollah have been operating in the U.S., South America, and the Middle East. 
From the perspective of the Palestinians, the focus on the Bar Ilan program serves two goals. It is one more front in the diverse BDS campaign which the Palestinians and their supporters have launched in the past decade. But it may also serve to prevent information on the widespread use of drug trafficking by Palestinian terror groups.
Tel Aviv University
Delegitimization of Israel at SOAS University of London Legitimized by TAU Faculty

Last month Britain saw some 176 anti-Israel events, in churches, community centers, galleries and over 70 of them were on university grounds. Many related to the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Leading in the list is SOAS University of London, which hosted an event by its Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law. The conference was titled "Balfour@100: A Century of International Law In Palestine," on November 18. IAM reported before that SOAS is well-known for anti-Israel activism due to the large number of Arab students and faculty. The conference invitation reads, "For international lawyers, the centenary provides an occasion to reflect on a century of international legal engagement with Palestine: from Balfour 1917 to the United Nations Partition Plan 1947; from the Occupation in 1967 to the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in 1987." The four panels of speakers were titled as following, Panel 1: Balfour@100, Panel 2: Partition@70, Panel 3: Occupation@50, and Panel 4: Intifada@30. 
Participants were all anti-Israel who attacked it from every possible angle. One such a speaker was Nimer Sultany of SOAS, a staunch supporter of BDS. In general, Sultany's scholarship is on attacking Israel, for example "Redrawing the Boundaries of Citizenship: Israel's New Hegemony" postulates a new consensus in Israeli Jewish society with regard to the Arab minority, "the New Zionist Hegemony"; "Activism and legitimation in Israel's jurisprudence of occupation" claims that "Colonial law need not exclude the colonized in order to subordinate them"; Israel and the Palestinian Minority 2004, analyses, inter alia, "Expressions of Racism and Discrimination." In this conference Sultany's lecture was "Against Zionism (including Liberal Zionism)." 
Two Israeli scholars, Anat Matar and Aeyal Gross, both from Tel Aviv University, provided "Israeli flavored" legitimacy. The former spoke on "Securing Occupation: The Threat of the Political Prisoner." The latter's lecture was titled "Occupation: Between Fact and Norm; Between Form and Func'tion," he is a visiting academic at the SOAS Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law, as well as an associate member at the Centre for Palestine Studies. 
The conference has made an unethical use of the LGBTQ community by hosting a panel at the end "Queer in Populist Times." Ironically, the Palestinians, the focus of the conference, persecute the LGBTQ community. Gross, who himself a member of the community, like most of his pro-Palestinian peers, does not deal with the violence against LGBTQ in the Palestinian society or, for that matter in the Muslim world. Instead he resorts to cheap rhetoric such as in 2009 when he accused Israel of killing Palestinian children and youth: "the obvious question is whether in a society where shooting at children of the 'other' is the norm, we should be surprised that GLBT children become the target of similar violence. Do rallies of the sort held in Tel-Aviv allow not only the cabinet ministers who participated, but also the general public which came to offer its support, to feel enlightened and liberal, while it is in fact indifferent or worse to Israel’s widespread killing of Palestinian youth?" Gross should know better, Israel offers refuge to fleeing Palestinian LGBTQ. 
IAM has previously noted that, like Matar and other academic activists, Gross spends an inordinate amount of time on his political pursuits. He recently applied for a position as a mandate holder at the UN Human Rights Council. In his application form he wrote of how the academia enables him free time to pursue activism, "I have no doubt I can dedicate a total of three month a year (at least) to the mandate: As my employment is in academia, and I am a tenured full professor, I can dedicate time to the mandate with the flexibility that academia allows. My teaching is usually spread over two terms of up to four months each, so the remaining four months of the year can be mostly dedicated to the mandate, this in addition to time I can dedicate to it during term alongside my teaching and my academic research. This beyond the overlap between my research agenda and the mandate - I am sure they will enrich each other. I can schedule most travel and visits off term but if needed can accommodate travel during term. Also hope to be on sabbatical for 1 or 2 years in the next few years which will allow even more time." 
Much of Gross's activism is detailed in the acknowledgments of his latest book The Writing on the Wall: Rethinking the International Law of Occupation, "Back at Tel Aviv, I benefited from my involvement with several human rights organizations. I am a member of the board in two of them – the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Gisha: Legal Center for the Freedom of Movement. At ACRI, I especially thank the lawyers who headed the department dealing with the Occupied Territories – first Limor Yehuda and later Tamar Feldman. Interaction with them and with the practicalities of legal work regarding the Occupied Territories enriched my perspectives. At Gisha, I am particularly grateful to the founders, Kenneth Mann and Sari Bashi. Sari was the organization's first executive director. By (literally) asking me on board, she and Kenneth ensured my constant interaction with their work on Gaza, which has been extremely significant to my research and my writing. Many thanks to Eitan Diamond, who succeeded Sari as Gisha's executive director, for his continued engagement and for our many conversations on related topics, also during his previous positions first in B'Tselem and later with the International Committee of the Red Cross. My consultative role in the reports that Gisha issued on the occupation of Gaza after the disengagement, the first one written by Kenneth and Sari, and the second by Sari with Tamar Feldman (when Tamar worked at Gisha before moving to ACRI), intertwined with and broadened my writing. ACRI and Gisha were involved in some of the litigation discussed in the book. The opinions expressed in the book, however, are solely my own. Some of the discussion concerning Gaza in Chapter 3 draws on an article I co-wrote with Tamar Feldman on food security in Gaza, and I am grateful for this cooperation. My first academic article on occupation was co-written with Orna Ben-Naftali and Keren Michaeli, and the ideas laid out in that article form the basis for some of the arguments in Chapter 1 of this book. I am grateful to them both. I owe special and warm thanks to Orna for our many years of thinking together on the topic over much wining and dining, and for her enduring friendship. I am grateful to Duncan Kennedy at Harvard Law School for his interest in this project and for his support ever since he was one of my dissertation advisors." 
IAM has never denied that academic freedom is essential to the university. But Gross, Matar and others abuse this right. The tax payers who support the faculty would feel cheated had they known that activists spent so much time, as Gross noted, on extra curricular work which does not help the student. In no other Western country such flagrant abuse would be permitted in a public university. No wonder then that Gross can devote so much time to "thinking together on the topic over much wining and dining." As the saying goes, "nice work if you can get it."

Boycott Calls Against Israel
BDS Could End 20 Years Academic Partnership of Canada's York University and Arava Institute
Israel sees many collaborations with universities from abroad. Since 1998, Canada's York University Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) has an academic partnership agreement with Israel's Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES). The agreement enables up to three York University Bachelor students in Environmental Studies annually to receive credit for studying at Arava, and up to three graduates from the Arava to enter York's Master in Environmental Studies program. Beyond the exchange of students the agreement includes collaboration in research, teaching, faculty development, and more. 
The agreement is bearing fruit according to Maxwell Brem, manager of external relations at FES as he wrote in 2001, "in a small corner of the Negev desert, specialists and students from around the region are coming together to address environmental problems under the auspices of a regional environmental centre with growing ties to York. The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies brings together Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian, Egyptian and some international students, including Canadians, to do applied research on ecosystem issues affecting the Middle East region. The students fuse an ecological identity that brings Middle East ecosystems into consideration, not just the particular conditions in their home areas." As well-known, Arava is a unique environment, as explained by Rabbi Michael Cohen, the outreach director of AIES, it "is not only a centre for Middle East environmental studies but for leadership development as well, preparing future Jewish and Arab leaders to solve the region's environmental challenges cooperatively. Students have a unique opportunity to study and live together for an extended period of time. Students live in special dormitories built on the Kibbutz for the institute, but eat their meals in the communal dinning room of the Kibbutz and are adopted by Kibbutz families. Together, they build networks and understanding that will enable future cooperative work in the Middle East and beyond. By encouraging environmental cooperation between peoples, the Institute is working towards peace and sustainable development on a regional and global scale." 
Interestingly, just recently York reported that Arava held a conference on September 13 to 14, 2017, the second annual Track II Environmental Conference, entitled “Promoting environmental agreements between Jordan, Israel and Palestine, to improve lives, protect the environment, and support sustainable resolution of conflict”, which was aimed to highlight the progress of the Track II working groups which was launched at the previous year’s conference. The conference attracted 85 participants from Israel, Jordan, Palestine and the United States, including some members of the Knesset and Palestinian politicians, as well as high ranking environmental stakeholders. The conference included Palestinian speakers such as Tahani Abu Dagga and Dr. Ziad Darwish from the Palestinian Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, who praised the Arava Institute for discussing regional problems and expressed hope for a common sustainable future in the region; Dr. Shaddad Attilli, a policy advisor for the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department and former PA Minister of Water and Head of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA); economist Ahmad Hindi, a member of the Palestinian Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society; Eng. Ahmad Yaqubi, Gazan water resources expert; and Salah Mohsen, Director of the Research Department at Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement; The conference hosted also United States Ambassador Dennis Ross, the facilitator of the peace process of both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, who spoke on the role of Track II in cross-border agreements. He reviewed the history of negotiations during his time with the Clinton administration. 
While the cooperation was well received, pressure from pro-Palestinian groups is now forcing York University to trim its relations with Arava. On November 6, 2017 Rhonda L. Lenton, York University president & vice-chancellor, published a statement "York University responds to false claims regarding the Faculty of Environmental Studies". She was responding to a student group which claimed that York would boycott Arava. Lenton wrote that the student group "publicly and falsely claimed that York’s FES Faculty Council declared an academic boycott against the AIES. No such academic boycott was considered or voted on." 
However, President Lenton actually admitted that the "Faculty Council did pass a motion by a vote of 15-7, to recommend to the Dean that the FES not seek a new agreement with AIES." The academic partnership agreement between the two institutions expired on September 25, 2017. She ended her announcement by stating that "no Faculty Council has the authority to boycott any academic institution." 
But contrary to the president's announcement, that "nor was the term “boycott” included in the motion", the issue of the boycott was very much on the table. The group Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University (SAIA York)‏ tweeted a series of Tweets on November 7, "We are proud to have been given the opportunity to present to the Faculty of Environmental Studies Council at #YorkU"; "Our presentation highlighted Israel's violations of human rights and international law and its destruction of the environment"; "In the end, Council voted NOT to seek to renew its partnership with the Arava Institute"; "York University's president Rhonda Lenton and the Israel lobby can deny that any vote on our campus had anything to do with BDS"; "But with public opinion shifting in the favour of Palestine's liberation from occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid..."; "there's only so much you can deny and for so long"; "It remains clear to the rest of us which way the wind is blowing: towards freedom, justice and equality." 
But this is not surprising, Ghada Sasa, a Palestinian student wrote her Master's thesis "Israel: Greenwashing, Colonialism and Apartheid" supervised by York FES Professor Sabah Alnasseri, submitted in July 26, 2017. Sasa wrote in the opening: "I decided to write my Major Research Paper (MRP) on Israel, as a Palestinian who lived under Israeli occupation and who witnessed Israel’s social and environmental injustices first-hand. I wanted to understand how people I met in Toronto could describe Israel as an environmental steward, as it oppresses my people and I have seen the Israeli army protect Israeli settlers, as they burned my village’s olive trees. In addition, I wanted to understand how Israel’s environmental policies fit within Israel’s system of oppression. By highlighting how Israel’s self-image as an environmental steward is false, I hope my research can refocus attention on Israel’s oppression of the indigenous Palestinians and urges readers to join the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel." Sasa's dissertation was rated an outstanding paper at York. 
Although President Lenton denied that the faculty has the right to boycott Arava, the decision on whether to renew the collaboration is still pending. IAM will report on this development.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Legal Scholars Call to Boycott a Law Research Forum at the Hebrew University
Palestinian and pro-Palestinian activists have been quite busy with new BDS efforts. In the latest endeavor posted on a Critical Legal Thinking website, legal scholars and international lawyers called on the European Society of International Law (ESIL) not to hold the 2018 research forum at the Hebrew University. Scheduled to take place between 28 of February and 1 March 2018, the research forum is titled "International Law in Times of Disorder and Contestation." 
The purpose of the 2018 research forum in Jerusalem is to address "challenges to the international legal order emanating from dynamics of disengagement from multilateral governance, a perceived erosion of support by states and other stakeholders in existing international institutions, contestation of universal values, shifts in hegemonic power at the global and regional level, and the rise in populist, antiliberal, anti-institutional and isolationist political sentiments in various regions of the world. Such processes occur in tandem with growing concerns about the suitability of the existing international legal structures and approaches to address global phenomena such as migration, cyber-security threats and climate change, and to influence the conduct of non-state actors such as corporations. It is the combination of the ‘re-emergence of the state’ from out of the shadows of multilateralism and international governance, a growing discontent and backlash from multiple sectors of society directed against existing international norms and institutions and the limited ability of the latter to address serious contemporary problems, which generate a sense of crisis and a possible plunge towards world disorder (Although, it may also be claimed that the current state of affairs creates new opportunities for introducing much needed reforms in international law)." 
In an internal email from the organizing committee to members of ESIL they promised "to make a good faith effort to involve Palestinian scholars in the event; to facilitate visa formalities for conference participants and arrange video conference facilities for speakers who are unable to travel to Israel; to ensure that no part of the RF takes place in the occupied territories; to include Palestinian-owned hotels in East Jerusalem in the list of recommended places to stay; to not invite government officials to speak at the event; to carefully monitor security and inform the Board of any developments." 
Yet, such intentions were not good enough for the Palestinian and pro-Palestinian group of "Concerned International Lawyers" which endorsed the "widespread boycott of Israeli academic institutions by Palestinian scholars (who also call on other academics to boycott)." The group issued a statement which reads: "We believe that holding the annual forum on international law in an occupied territory legitimates this occupation and all of the other human rights violations that are part of it. While we are aware that the original buildings of the Hebrew University are located in the area that was designated in 1948 as the “Demilitarised Zone”, whose status is contested, the University has expanded significantly since the 1967 occupation, and significant parts of it fall beyond the “Demilitarised Zone” line and are in the Palestinian occupied territory. We believe that it is unbecoming for an organisation that is committed to the rule of law and international law to hold its annual forum in an institution whose campus is at least in part on an occupied territory. It is more so when this occupation is in its 50th year. Therefore, we shall not participate in this event, and we urge ESIL to reconsider its decision." 
But from their explanatory note they omitted the fact that the Hebrew University's official inauguration was in 1925, long before the 1948 and 1967 wars. 
The contemporary Middle East has been buffeted by unprecedented violence, Islamist terrorism, the collapse of the state, and widespread lawlessness. Concerned scholars have not yet organized enough conferences to address these issues which had turned the lives of millions of people in the region into hell. Given the collapse of civilizational norms in large swaths of the region, obsessive focus on Israel by Palestinian and pro-Palestinian groups is all the more glaring. It is also a testimony to intellectual and moral bankruptcy.
General Articles
The University of Amsterdam: Home for Anti-Israel Activism
University of Amsterdam (UoA) has been the home of anti-Israel activism. A combination of a large number of Arab students and staff and the lack of interference by the university authorities made it a fertile ground for this activism. 
UoA is a home of gate48, a group of former Israeli academics - a subject of previous IAM reports - which embraced the Palestinian narrative and tries to promote the boycott of Israel. This month, Gate48 is involved in organizing events at the UoA focusing on the centenary of the Balfour Declaration intending to present Israel in a negative light. 
Erez Tzfadia of Sapir College, Israel's largest public college, was invited to UoA and gave a talk, "Beyond the Balfour Declaration: navigating everyday life in contemporary Israel/Palestine". Tzfadia's lecture dealt with "how colonization is shaped and reshaped in social and cultural practices and discourses within the dominant society – the Jewish society in Israel/Palestine" and how Israel - "To realize territorial control, practices of demographic engineering were implemented, including eviction of the ‘enemy’." Tzfadia's masterclass "Colonization, Culture and the Production of Space in Israel/Palestine" was organized by Noa Roei, the chairperson of gate48. 
UoA has also hosted David Cronin who spoke on "Balfour’s Shadow. A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel," detailing how Britain "facilitated the dispossession of Palestinians". Cronin is described as an Irish journalist and political activist living in Brussels, author of the Europe’s Alliance With Israel: Aiding the Occupation, and a contributing editor at The Electronic Intifada. 
UoA PhD student Mikki Stelder is working on a thesis titled Queer Visibility and Visions of Palestine-Israel: On Pinkwashing and Resistance, she is also the author of "Zionist sexual politics and the formation of settler subjectivity". Not surprisingly, Stelder is a Palestine solidarity activist at the University of Amsterdam. 
This is not new, among others, in 2015 UoA has held the conference "The politics of cultural freedom" which addressed "different questions in relation to the growing global boycott movement like: Should culture and art be regarded as standing “above politics” and therefore be spared the growing boycott against Israel? Is the cultural boycott inherently in conflict with freedom of speech and freedom of the exchange of ideas? Is it fair to compare Israel to South African apartheid despite the obvious differences? What impact can the cultural boycott have on the global struggle for Palestinian rights, justice and equality? How can Israelis be part of the global boycott movement?" Speakers included Omar Barghouti, Eyal Sivan, and Anne de Jong of UoA. Gate48 was a co-organizer. 
While delegitimizing Israel is taking place by the UoA, pro-Palestinian initiatives are on the rise. Next month, on December 05, the UoA is planning to host Palestinian Ambassador Rawan Sulaiman, head of the Palestinian mission to the Netherlands and Thomas Seiler, the desk officer of the ‘occupied Palestinian territory’ at the European External Action Service. The public lecture titled "The EU and state-building in Palestine: EU policies and Palestinian perceptions," described in the invitation as, "since the 1993 Oslo Accords the EU, more than any other international actor, has heavily invested in the Palestinian state-building with the aim of helping the Palestinians build their own institutions". The invitation explains the "rationale behind this was that the building and well fun'ctioning of Palestinian institutions would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state living alongside Israel in peace and security." The invitation also states that "This was also the rationale behind the Roadmap as well as the Palestinian former Prime Minister’s Salam Fayyad Plan entitled "Palestine — Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State”. Despite the fact that the EU was the main contributor to Fayyad’s plan, its member states failed to reach a consensus in the 2012 UN vote upgrading Palestine to a ’non-Member Observer State’." In particular this event aims "to take stock of the EU’s policies towards the Palestinian state-building, shed light on recent initiatives as well as analyse Palestinian perceptions towards them." 
Also, UoA scholar Dimitris Bouris of the department of Political Science, is publishing a paper with the Italian Istituto Affari Internazionali titled "Imposing Middle East Peace: Why EU Member States Should Recognise Palestine." He implores the EU member states for a "clear paradigm shift," and "real revision of EU policies," as recognizing Palestine is "a moral duty." To his mind a "consensus in Brussels and pressure from big member states can help, acting as potential paradigm and norm setters while encouraging the bandwagoning of other states." By recognizing the state of Palestine, EU member states "would also force the US into action under the weight of an overwhelming international consensus." He argues "while Israel might react badly to this move... recognition would actually send a strong signal that the EU wishes to legitimize the state of Israel within the 1967 borders while clearly delegitimizing the occupation. In the long-term, recognition will help protect Israel from criticism as well as from the eventuality of a one-state approach which Abbas has again promised to endorse if the latest US peace plan is not successful." Bouris suggests that "Recognizing a Palestinian state is cheaper than maintaining (and paying for) the occupation. The EU spends around 500 million euro a year on Palestine." More to the point, "just as the EU’s differentiation policy has activated the Israeli research and economic community to put pressure on the government to resolve the dispute in order to allow them to receive EU grants and research funding, recognition might do the same with Israel’s broader political landscape by sending a strong signal that there is a cost to Israel’s continued occupation." Bouris postulates that recognizing the state of Palestine "will also help to strengthen moderate elements within Palestinian factions and parties". 
It is worth noting that there are no positive conferences of Israel at the UoA and the Israeli perspective is not being presented. The authorities of UoA should make sure that activities pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are balanced. Regrettably, by refusing to get involved, they allow a group of pro-Palestinian activists to turn the university, a seat of prestigious learning, into a source of poisonous propaganda against Israel.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
USACBI Secretly "Took Over" the American Studies Association to Impose Israel Boycott
On December 16, 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) declared its support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The announcement read: "The members of the American Studies Association have endorsed the Association’s participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In an election that attracted 1252 voters, the largest number of participants in the organization’s history, 66.05% of voters endorsed the resolution, while 30.5% of voters voted no and 3.43% abstained. The election was a response to the ASA National Council’s announcement on December 4 that it supported the academic boycott and, in an unprecedented action to ensure a democratic process, asked its membership for their approval." 
However, many long-time ASA members were upset. IAM reported in April 2016 that four members of the ASA filed a law-suit against the ASA for illegally boycotting Israel. According to the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, the law firm representing the professors, the “ASA’s stated mission has nothing to do with boycotting a foreign nation" and that ASA support for BDS "violates the law that governs nonprofit corporations.” 
In April 2017 IAM reported again, that the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that the lawsuit Bronner v. Duggan, could go ahead, after the ASA asked the court to dismiss it. The Court also rejected ASA’s claims that the case infringes on its First Amendment rights. 
Recently, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint, on November 9. Based on a disclosed email exchange among the defendants, the new complaint shows that activists with the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) which is the American chapter of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), "took over" the leadership of the ASA without disclosing their intentions. The complaint also added four new defendants, among them Jasbir Puar and Steven Salaita. 
Jasbir Puar, a USACBI leader who sat on the American Studies Association’s Nominating Committee, acted to ensure that only signed supporters of USACBI were to be nominated for the ASA council and president. In an email by one of the defendants Sunaina Maira sent to other defendants, she wrote, “Jasbir is nominating me and Alex Lubin for the Council and she suggests populating it with as many supporters as possible”; Puar wrote in an email, “I think we should prepare for the longer-term struggle by populating elected positions with as [many] supporters as possible.” The complaint was able to determine that since the 2012 election, continuing for four consecutive years, any candidate that the Nominating Committee selected to run for President was a USACBI endorser and an active member of the boycott movement. 
The plaintiffs claim that the ASA boycott motion actually adopted the position of USACBI and PACBI without any reservation. The ASA relied on USACBI materials in drafting the boycott resolution and related documents. Omar Barghouti, the leader of BDS and a founding member of PACBI and USACBI, personally advised ASA on this. Maira consulted Barghouti over the motion, “I just wanted to send a quick update and request, if you have time, related to the ASA academic boycott campaign... If you have a few minutes, would you mind reviewing the attached FAQ's sheet quickly? Just in case you catch anything that is inaccurate that we may have missed,” to which Barghouti responded, “Great! We shall discuss this among PACBI colleagues and get back to you ASAP. A quick reading of the first part showed at least one factual sentence that needs editing to be as accurate as possible.” In another email exchange between the defendants they wrote, “We are making an FAQ sheet for the upcoming ASA conference, at which we will be trying to pass a boycott resolution. I'm still waiting on final edits from Lisa Taraki and Omar Barghouti,” and that “The text is still being edited by Omar Barghouti and PACBI but I could send you the draft.” 
With regards to BDS, the plaintiffs cited Barghouti as not merely calling to "end the occupation", but rather the end of Israel as a Jewish state. In one interview Barghouti stated that, "you cannot reconcile the right of return for refugees with a two state solution. That is the big white elephant in the room and people are ignoring it — a return for refugees would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. The right of return is a basic right that cannot be given away; it’s inalienable." 
Steven Salaita was added to the complaint because he is a member of the USACBI Organizing Collective, and also, since July 2015, member of the ASA National Council. At the time the Council changed the bylaws to allow large withdrawals from the ASA Trust and Development Fund. These withdrawals covered the expenses related to the boycott resolution. 
Pursuant of the email exchanges, the complaint stated the USACBI endorsers on the ASA Nominating Committee "had turned the American Studies Association National Council from a body primarily comprised of American Studies professors and scholars, and otherwise diverse members... to one overwhelmingly comprised of individuals with a singular focus on adopting the USACBI Boycott". 
The complaint also accused the defendants of blocking opposing voices prior to the vote and abusing the financial resources of the ASA to advance their agenda.
The lawsuit raises important questions about the transparency of elected officials and the use of funds for political purposes not immediately associated with the goal of the association. 
IAM will report on future development in the case.
General Articles
Balfour, Churchill and the Rewriting of Israel's History
The marking of the Balfour Declaration Centenary has mobilized academic pro-Palestinian activists. For instance, Ilan Pappe and Avi Shlaim participated in panels such as "Britain and Palestine 1917-2017 One hundred years of broken promises" and "Palestine, Britain & the Balfour Declaration 100 years on." 
As can be expected, these and similar events have intended to rewrite the history of the founding of Israel. In fact, efforts to rewrite the history have been associated with the so-called New Historians, a group of Israeli historians which included Benny Morris, Ilan Pappe and Avi Shlaim. Palestinian scholars have welcomed the Israeli academics because it legitimized their own narrative. The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, published in 2001, was a case in point. The book included a chapter by Rashid Khalidi "The Palestinians and 1948: the causes of failure"; Benny Morris "Revisiting the Palestinian exodus of 1948"; Avi Shlaim "Israel and the Arab coalition in 1948"; and chapters by Laila Parsons; Eugene Rogan; Charles Tripp; Fawaz Gerges; Joshua Landis; and Edward Said wrote the "Afterword: the consequences of the 1948 war". 
The book synopsis highlighted the contribution of the Israelis. "Since the late 1980s, however, a group of 'new historians' or revisionist Israeli historians have challenged many of the claims surrounding the birth of the State of Israel and the first Arab-Israeli war. The present volume was conceived as a contribution to the ongoing debate about 1948. The War for Palestine brings together leading Israeli new historians with prominent Arab and Western scholars of the Middle East who revisit 1948 from the perspective of each of the countries involved in the war. The resulting volume offers new material and new insights that add to our understanding of the historical roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict." 
In a review of the book, Prof. Efraim Karsh noted that by Rewriting the history of 1948, the "Israeli academics and journalists who call themselves the 'New Historians' have been pushing this theme since the late 1980s... adds little new or original to these efforts except that they have invited some sympathetic Arabists and Arab academics, including Edward Said and Rashid Khalidi, to join in their efforts. The contributors whitewash the violent Palestinian attempt to abort the United Nations resolution of November 1947. They downplay the pan-Arab invasion of the newly-established state of Israel in May 1948." Khalidi speaks on the Arab side: "the Palestinian people were victims, regardless of what they might have done differently in this situation of formidable difficulty, and of the sins of omission or commission of their leaders." According to Karsh, "Khalidi and Said make no use whatsoever of archival source material and instead engage in sweeping and misconceived assertions about the origin and scope of the Palestinian exodus; others, such as Rogan and Fawaz Gerges, quote the odd docu'ment in support of their case." Avi Shlaim claims to have "overturned the myth of the Arab Goliath" during the 1948 War "but there is nothing here from the archives of the Israeli Defense Forces or its pre-state precursor, the Haganah. Benny Morris makes the IDF and Haganah foremost culprits of the Palestinian exodus but has not consulted the archives of these two military organizations." Karsh quoted Morris as saying, "when writing The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem 1947-1949 in the mid-1980s, I had no access to the materials in the IDFA [IDF Archive] or the Haganah Archive and precious little to first-hand military materials deposited elsewhere. Nonetheless, the new materials I have seen over the past few years tend to confirm and reinforce the major lines of description and analysis, and the conclusions, in The Birth and in a subsequent volume, 1948 and After, published in 1990." Karsh didn't mince words, "Morris inadvertently reveals the falsehood of 'new historian' scholarly pretensions. This group insists on tracing its origin to the opening of Israeli state archives in the late 1980s but now its foremost member admits to having written the single most influential 'revisionist' work without the use of the most important archives". Karsh mocked Morris who "made no use of the Israeli archives due to his own ignorance," after Morris admitted to "some of the material relating to the [Palestinian exodus] may have been open to researchers in the early and mid-1980s, when The Birth was written, but I was not then aware of its existence." 
Distortions and falsifications are not new, Pappe was caught falsifying a quote by David Ben Gurion. When the NGO CAMERA contacted University of Exeter requesting the University to open an inquiry, Exeter refused. 
When Morris reviewed Ilan Pappe's 2010 book The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian Dynasty: The Husaynis, 1700 1948 he noted Pappe's erroneous claim that "While the text of the Balfour Declaration remained unpublished, it was the subject of all kinds of rumors. But these were dispelled that February [1920], when the British government made it public." But in fact the Balfour Declaration was already published in 1917 - one of the many errors Morris found in Pappe's book prompting him to declare, "At best, Ilan Pappe must be one of the world’s sloppiest historians". 
Likewise, Shlomo Sand, another revisionist, stated that "Winston Churchill is said to have stated that 'An anti-Semite is one who hates the Jews more than is necessary'." Sand admits there was no proof it was Churchill," but according to Avi Shlaim it was Isaiah Berlin who coined the term: "What is anti-Semitism? Isaiah Berlin defined an anti-Semite as 'someone who hates Jews more than is strictly necessary!'" Sand attributed to Churchill another statement, "It is, however, true that he wrote about Jews in 1937, that 'they are inviting persecution...they have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer…The central fact which dominates the relations of Jew and non-Jew is that the Jew is 'different'. He looks different. He thinks differently'". But according to Churchill's official biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, it was not Churchill who wrote this but Adam Marshall Diston, the author of "How the Jews Can Combat Persecution." Churchill briefly employed Diston to write rough drafts for the popular press. Diston's membership in Sir Oswald Mosley's fascist party suggests his sentiments. However, Gilbert noted that Churchill refused to have Diston's article published because it was not his work and did not reflect his views, as Diston has too drastically departed from the guidelines Churchill had sent him earlier. Churchill's assistant wrote a note, "Mr.Churchill thinks it would be inadvisable to publish the article." 
Such disregard for facts among the pro-Palestinian academics should not be surprising. They assert that the "official" version of events is part of the "hegemonic" narrative of history, which gives more weight to the Jews and other "hegemons" at the expense of the indigenous populations such as the Palestinians. Hence, they feel obligated to "correct" the record, notably by distorting history and pushing outlandish interpretations of other facts. Regrettably, this radical revisionism has created a narrative in the study of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict whereby the "Jews cannot do anything right and the Palestinians cannot do anything wrong."
Anti-Israel Petitions Supported by Israeli Academics
Balfour Declaration Centenary and the Academic Radical-Left
Last week, on October 26, 2017 members of the Israeli Political Working Group (PWG) sent a petition to the UK Government titled "Britain’s Broken Promise: Time for a New Approach." They urged the British Government, upon marking the Balfour Declaration Centenary, to issue a statement expressing recognition of the State of Palestine which they believe should correct "historical wrong" and complement the original Declaration. The petitioners suggested that Britain should state that "both the Israeli and the Palestinian people have equal rights to self-determination in two states – Israel and Palestine — living side by side along the 1967 borders in peace, security, and prosperity." 
The PWG group includes a number of academics such as Dr. Alon Liel, Prof. Amiram Goldblum, Prof. Dan Jacobson, Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, Prof. Eli Barnavie, Prof. Galia Golan, Prof. Menachem Klein, Prof. Nura Resh, Prof. Itzhak Schnell, Dr. Dmitry Shumsky, among others. 
Interestingly, PWG admits that "The year 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of United Nations Resolution 181 which terminated the mandatory powers of Great Britain in Palestine and paved the way for its partition into a Jewish and an Arab state." But as well known, Resolution 181, did admit that both the Jews and the Palestinians have a right to self determination and offered a bigger state to the Palestinians and a very small one to the Jews who accepted it. The Palestinians, on the advice of the Arab nations, rejected the proposal, started a war and suffered grave consequences after losing it. 
Camp David II offered the Palestinians another chance of independence. After arduous negotiations mediated by President Bill Clinton, the Palestinian delegation headed by Yasser Arafat was offered to create a Palestinian state which with minor territorial adjustments would reflect the 1967 borders and a capital in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The Old City and the Holy Sites were to be co-administered by the Palestinian and Israeli states. But Arafat rejected the proposal and, soon after, the Palestinians started the bloody Second Intifada. In their memoirs, the Americans present at Camp David - Clinton, his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and the CIA director George Tenet, expressed dismay at the erratic behavior of Arafat and lamented the missed opportunity. Ironically, Benny Morris, a leading New Historian and critic of Zionism, was profoundly shaken by these developments. In a series of searing articles in the New York Times and other premier media, Morris denounced the Palestinians as historical losers and questioned their fitness to run a state. He was joined by others who pointed out that the Palestinian Authority which the Oslo Agreement created in 1993 was a corrupt, lawless, and violent entity. If anything, the Gaza Strip, under Hamas management since 2006, has rejected anything the PA was offered. Hamas and the smaller Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran, have never been shy about their plans to make Israel disappear from the map. 
The petition is a vacuous gesture of the radical-left, a symbol of its utter failure to admit that the Palestinians are to a large degree responsible for what had befallen them. But then again, what can be expected of a group who has stayed silent about the unparalleled evil which the Jihadists have inflicted on civil populations? These are the same type of academics who spent untold hours in conferences and seminars denouncing the ills of Israeli treatment of the inhabitants of the West Bank, but have failed to discuss the treatment of populations in territories occupied by ISIS, including murder, heinous torture, sexual enslavement of Yazidi and Christian women, among others. 
By their obsessive concentration on Israel, this group and other radical-leftist academics have lost their intellectual and moral footing as purveyors of a balanced view of reality.
General Articles
Polemics as Scholarship: The Case of Accusations of Ethnic Cleansing of the Palestinians
In May 2017 the University of Haifa banned the use of the term "ethnic cleansing" contained in the text of leaflets handed out by students on campus. The leaflets distributed for a Nakba Day events at the university organized by Hadash, a leftist Jewish-Arab party. A leaflet which mentioned an “exhibition of photographs of villages and cities that underwent ethnic cleansing in 1948" was not approved by the university authorities. In a letter to the organizers, Jenny Kurman, the dean of students, wrote that the words “ethnic cleansing” breached the terms of tolerance and undermined public order at the university. 
Benny Morris, a New Historian, was the first Israeli scholar to mention ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. Morris, who coined the term "partial ethnic cleansing" subsequently retracted this allegation. But Ilan Pappe, another New Historian, formerly of the University of Haifa, made the alleged ethnic cleansing the gist of his academic career. 
After leaving Israel where his scholarship was throughout discredited, Pappe received a cushy job at Exeter University, England. Not incidentally, over the years, Exeter University received generous donations from countries in the Middle East. For instance, Exeter was recently criticized for its links to the ruler of Sharjah, the most conservative emirate in the UAE, who gave more than £8m over 20 years and was described as "the university’s single most important supporter" in the 2007 annual report. 
There is a connection between recruiting post-Zionist scholars and Arab donors to Western universities, as Professor Anthony Glees, of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at Buckingham University, explained, "By donating to higher education institutions, Arab and Islamic states are able to dictate a research agenda and influence public opinion." 
Other radical Israeli scholars have popularized the term "ethnic cleansing." Neve Gordon published an article, "Portrait of an occupation: Human rights of the settler" in Al-Jazeera co-authored with Nicola Perugini in Sept. 2016. The authors posited that "it is crucial to remember that state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing and ongoing human rights violations are what enabled the Jewish settlers to occupy the lands on which they live in the first place." In another article by Neve Gordon and Moriel Ram titled "Ethnic Cleansing and the Formation of Settler Colonial Geographies," the authors refer to ethnic cleansing as defined by the UN in 1994: "By ethnic cleansing we do not mean a genocidal campaign, but rather ‘a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas’ (United Nations, 1994)." Then the authors abandon the UN definition and move on to looking at a different realm of "settler colonialism" which they hoped to conjunct. As they wrote, "In order to advance this argument, we tap into the existing literature on settler colonialism." 
Gordon and co-author failed to prove ethnic cleansing. Instead, they use Foucault's theory of biopower: "as we will show, the biopolitical techniques that were utilized were predominantly illiberal." While they repeated the term ethnic cleansing 62 times, not once they provided vigorous evidence that Israel ethnically cleansed the West Bank or the Golan Heights. Using statements such as "We now turn to demonstrate how the difference in the degree of ethnic cleansing shaped the two colonial geographies by outlining the differences in the production of space and the character of the legal regime in each region." Or, in another, "there appears to be a relation between the degree of ethnic cleansing and the precise configuration of law-preserving and lawmaking in the colonized space," they looked at the latter but not the former. In the end, the authors failed to prove that Israel had "a purposeful policy designed... to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas." As defined by the UN. 
The self-serving scholarship of Pappe, Gordon and others, is not grounded in empirical reality. The 1948 war does not fit the model of ethnic cleansing defined by the United Nations. The war broke out after the Palestinians and their Arab backers rejected the 1947 UN proposal to divide mandatory Palestine into two entities, a larger Palestinian one, and a smaller Jewish one. The Jews accepted the proposal and were caught by surprise when the Palestinians, followed by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria attacked them. The belligerents were confident that they would vanquish the small and vulnerable Jewish community with ease. Had Pappe, and others bothered to look at the literature on the decision making of the Palestinian and the Arab countries, they would have found references to the coming victory over the Jews and the plans to expel them. That the Palestinian leadership was not prepared to tolerate Jewish presence should have been clear from the plans of Haj Amin al Husseini. As well known, al Husseini travelled to Berlin to discuss with Hitler the Final Solution of the Palestinian Jews. It was only the victory of the allies over the Rommel Army in El Alamein in 1942 which saved the Jews from a similar fate of their brethren in Europe. 
As it happened, the overconfident Palestinians lost and suffered the fate of other losing belligerents. In the chaos of war some fled, some were forced to leave and some opted to stay. As the much-chagrined Morris now admits, there was no master plan to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians, and there was little "violent and terror-inspiring means" toward the civilian population. 
Morris is the only New Historian who had the courage to admit that his early work might have overstated the case for ethnic cleansing. Pappe and the others have used polemics masquerading as scholarship to feather their academic nests. In the process they became pawned in the game of cash for scholarship.
Tel Aviv University
Academic Professionalization from a Critical Perspective: Whitewash for Political Activism by TAU Minerva Humanities Center
In the last couple of months we are witnessing a collaboration between the TAU Minerva Humanities Center (MHC) and the activist group Academy for Equality. 
The two are promoting a workshop series for the 2017-2018 academic year in order to "advance academic professionalization from a critical perspective" for first generation research students in the humanities or the social sciences. The brochure explains that "The workshop will combine guided reading in critical texts concerning academia, with practical training in various academic skills: reading and writing academic texts (including research proposals, theses and dissertations, papers and articles etc.), writing CVs and abstracts, applying for conferences and scholarships, approaching journals, junior academic employment, academic networking, etc." The brochure adds that participants "will be mentored by senior researchers from the Minerva Humanities Center and the Academy for Equality group." 
To those who are not familiar with the jargon, the neo-Marxist, critical thought is normative, based on the view that the scholar needs no empirical evidence to his claims. Based on such methods, Palestinian and pro-Palestinian scholars were able to distort history, in particular the founding of Israel. 
Serious scholars should note that this type of scholarship is not accepted by mainstream academic journals. 
The following are two examples of scholarship from a critical perspective: 
Dr. Michal Givoni of BGU's Politics and Government department was in 2009-2010 a postdoctoral fellow, at the MHC at TAU where she is still a fellow at Lexicon for Political Theory. Her doctoral thesis proclaimed that witnessing was not about facts, but rather the projection by the witness of his or her morality on the situation. To put it in simple terms, a fact is what a witness wants it to be. Givoni made quite a career out of bashing Israel. She will participate in a conference to be held in Leiden, The Netherlands, on December 13th 2017. Givoni's paper is titled "Resilient Witnessing: Occupation Testimonies and Left-Wing Despair in Israeli Documentaries". This is an adaptation of a paper she delivered last July in Berlin where she used "the case of the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories in order to interrogate the politics of witnessing and testimony" and looked "at two documentary films that were recently produced in Israel, which turn the spotlight on the reenactment and reiteration of testimonies about the Israeli occupation." Adding to it the "failure to delegitimize the occupation in the eyes of the Israeli public." The films, "amplify and help identify despair as the structure of feeling that currently prevails in the Israeli left". And she asked "what remains of the political promise of witnessing when hope for a better future seems bleak and witnessing appears to sustain a melancholic attachment to bygone, and currently deceptive, ideals?" In order to academize her political activism, Givoni has based her assertions on the work of the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, enabling her to claim that "left-wing despair is a far more complicated attitude than its association with passivity, impotence or depression implies." Not to be cynical, but Givoni, who is piling frequent miles flying from one conference to another, does not seem to be passive or depressed. 
Another example is Dr. Dotan Leshem, formerly of University of Haifa's Political Science department who moved to Columbia University in NY. Recently he posted on the Academia IL Network a lengthy angry email accusing University of Haifa of not giving him tenure, the reason for his departure. According to Leshem, a lecture he gave at TAU a year ago in a conference on "Five Years to the Social Protest" was the main concern of Haifa. His fifteen minutes presentation was titled "How Democratic Social Protest Gave Rise to Right-Wing Populism." The gist of his presentation was "three moments in the short history of the protest: The democratic social protest of 2011 both social and democratic; The violent crashing of the democratic social protest of 2012 by the authorities; The rise of economic right-wing populism that appropriated the protest to itself through distortion of the protest context led by the extreme right-wing paper Haaretz-The Marker." He then discussed actions taken by the Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, such as the bi-annual economic plan and the struggle over the gas monopoly. This is certainly not an academic lecture but polemics. But this is not surprising, Leshem was a member of the TAU MHC political economy research group for three years. In his book The Origins of Neoliberalism: Modeling the Economy from Jesus to Foucault, Leshem thanks the MHC for granting him a post doctoral fellowship at the Political Lexicon Group headed by Adi Ophir. Interestingly, he also noted that the road for publishing his book began a decade earlier as a dissertation that was written at the Hermeneutics and cultural studies program at Bar Ilan University under the supervision of Ariella Azoulay and Yuval Yonay. Bearing this in mind, Leshem spoke in December 2013, at the MHC event to celebrate the first Hebrew translation of Hanna Arendt’s The Human Condition, by Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir. 
David Hancock of Buckinghamshire New University who reviewed Leshem's book noted that the text is sometimes unforgiving in its "exegesis of this unfamiliar terrain (from the perspective of one who is not familiar with the intellectual history of late antiquity)." 
That the MHC is trying to proselytize a new generation of scholars is not surprising. The MHC is arguably one of the most ardent neo-Marxist, critical outfits in Israel. Unwilling to rattle the cage, the authorities at Tel Aviv University essentially gave up all control over the Center. However, the brochure which promises "mentoring" should make them realize they are paying the salaries of faculty who are supervising students from other colleges and universities.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Controversy of the book Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production
A new Palestinian initiative to delegitimize Israel comes in a form of an academic-cultural book: Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production, edited by Kareem Estefan, Carin Kuoni, and Laura Raicovich, due to be published in October 20, 2017. It is based on a 2014 a series of lectures held at the New School of Social Research New York, where Kuoni who is a director/curator. In May 2017 the authors and editors promoted the book in New York paid by the New School Vera List Center for Art and Politics. 
The book discusses boycotts by and large but is essentially an attempt to legitimate BDS against Israel. Coming from the New School of Social Research in New York is no surprise. The house of the Frankfurt school of thought, the founding fathers of the critical theory concept which enables adherents to refrain from providing bona fide evidence to their claims, something that Palestinians and their supporters happily embrace. 
The latest BDS brouhaha was in August when the third book editor, Laura Raicovich, director of Queens Museum, turned down a request by Israeli officials to rent the hall where the General Assembly voted for partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states on Nov. 29, 1947. While Israel’s mission to the United Nations reserved the space in June for the November 70th anniversary, Raicovich contacted Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the UN, in August after it became known to the public, to inform him that the reservation is cancelled due to pressure by the "Palestinian friends of the museum". After some pressure, the Museum agreed to reinstate the reservation. 
The book's targeted audience is creative leaders and cultural practitioners. It examines boycotts such as the historical precedent of South Africa, the current cultural boycott of Israel, freedom of speech vs self-censorship and activism, and the use of boycotts for civil rights, most notably today in its adoption by the BDS movement. The book also explores the land wars in 19th century Ireland, when Irish farmers defied actions by Captain Charles Boycott and English landlords. In the 20th century boycott played central roles in the liberation of India, South Africa and the U.S. civil rights movement, such as the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, a turning point for the movement against black and white segregation. 
But the book's main goal is to put the boycott campaign against Israel on the same ontological plane as these successful historical boycotts. As can be seen, most of the contributors are Palestinian and pro-Palestinian activists. The book includes essays by Nasser Abourahme, Ariella Azoulay, Tania Bruguera, Noura Erakat, Kareem Estefan, Mariam Ghani with Haig Aivazian, Nathan Gray and Ahmet Öğüt, Chelsea Haines, Sean Jacobs, Yazan Khalili, Carin Kuoni and Laura Raicovich, Svetlana Mintcheva, Naeem Mohaiemen, Hlonipha Mokoena, John Peffer, Joshua Simon, Ann Laura Stoler, Radhika Subramaniam, Eyal Weizman and Kareem Estefan, and Frank B. 
There are two Israeli academic contributors, Ariella Azoulay (Brown University) and Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths, University of London), both staunch supporters of BDS who made names to themselves by attacking Israel. In January IAM reported that Azoulay, formally of the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University has contributed a chapter, reproduced below. Her chapter is full of venom against Israel. A short example is, "Acknowledging the Nakba is a prerequisite to join the BDS movement, but it cannot be enough for Israeli Jews. The destruction of pre-1948 Palestine should concern them not only as a problem of or a catastrophe for the Palestinians, but also as a crime against humanity for which they bear responsibility. Hence, in recognizing Palestinian rights, they should also supplement them with a right of their own—the right not to be perpetrators, the right to refuse to inhabit the position allocated to them by the Israeli regime. In the context of this regime, under which Jewish responsibility for the destruction of Palestine and the perpetuation of the catastrophe is still widely denied by many Jews, the universal value of the right not to be a perpetrator can be acknowledged today mainly by Palestinians and within the BDS movement." 
Weizman's reading of Israel is quit similar. Yagil Henkin of the Institute for National Security Studies at TAU, who reviewed Weitzman's book notes: "Reading Hollow Land, one is left with the impression that Israel can do nothing at all of which Weizman would approve. Quite simply, the Jewish state contaminates everything with which it comes in contact. Frequently this stance leads him into flagrant contradictions, such as when he condemns Israel both for dismantling evacuated settlements and for considering the possibility of not doing so; both for making life difficult for Palestinian residents of the territories and for preventing a humanitarian crisis there (in order to consolidate its control, of course). He attacks the IDF’s decision to use precision-guided munitions with special warheads (which cause fewer civilian casualties) because, he argues, it renders targeted killings (of terrorists, that is) more “tolerable,” and he denounces Israeli architecture in Jerusalem because it aspires to a false “Orientalist” authenticity. To Weizman, even the shingled roofs used in settlement housing are just a means of demonstrating distinction from Arab homes, although almost every community in Israel has them. His use of data is also decidedly selective." 
Indefatigable Palestinians and their supporters try to delegitimize Israel on every occasion. Among them is a substantial contingent of radical Israeli academics. Indeed, as IAM has frequently pointed out, their job security seems to depend on how much they can trash Israel. It is a sad commentary on the universities which employ them.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Drop in Anti-Israel BDS Campaigns on US Campuses: Are the Winds Changing?
Israel on Campus Coalition, a group dedicated to Israel-related events on US campuses, published a report on 2016-2017. The report counted a total of 4,327 activities - 1,172 anti-Israel activities and 3,155 pro-Israel ones. The figures represent an almost 20% decline from the 1,437 and 3,886 respectively in 2015-2016. More specifically, with regards to BDS, there was a 40 percent decrease in activities, in 2016-17 there were 20 BDS campaigns while in 2015-16 there were 33. 
This is not surprising since Pro-Palestinian groups have claimed that measures to legislate law prohibiting BDS are restricting their freedom of speech. Palestinian BDS groups assert that Palestinian advocacy is now being targeted. They note facing new threats from anti-BDS organizations. 
It should be noted that there has been a recent uptick in anti-BDS activity. The OutlawBDS, a New York based anti-BDS group that was established to “provide support for New York State Senate Bill S2492” is a case in point. The group published a ‘blacklist’ of BDS supporters in New York and upon passage of anti-BDS law, an entire list of individuals compiled by the group “will be immediately delivered to state authorities, to ensure nothing is hidden from those who wish a better hope for this country.” The group emailed BDS activists to warn them that "According to new legislation in New York State, individuals and organizations that engage in or promote BDS activities with US allies will no longer receive public funding or support. Moreover, the state and its agencies will no longer engage in business or hire these organizations and individuals as they have been deemed problematic and anti-American. You have been marked. You have been identified. You have a limited window of opportunity to cease and desist or face the consequences of your actions in legal proceedings. In case you have ceased your past wrong-doing, please contact us at admin@outlawbds.com for your profile to be removed from the Blacklist." 
Palestinian BDS activists responded that “The goal is to scare these activists before the beginning of their professional careers so they can drop activism for Palestine... if you would like to find a job, you should quit the Palestinian cause—or we will make it impossible for you.” 
Sunaina Maira, professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California Davis, and member of the US campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, has spoken about this blacklisting: “As faculty advisor to Students for Justice in Palestine and member of Faculty for Justice in Palestine at UC Davis, and an academic boycott organizer involved in national campaigns, I've noticed the chilling effect that Zionist blacklists and smear campaigns have had on activists involved in the Palestinian justice movement, especially on campuses where administrators routinely discipline students who dare to demand equality and justice for the Palestinian people... The tactics that alt-right activists and white nationalist groups are using to attack faculty and undermine academic freedom have long been used by Zionists across the US to create what Steven Salaita called the 'Palestine exception' to free speech." 
Echoing this tone, the American center Palestine Legal, an independent organization for the civil rights and liberties of people supporting Palestinian freedom, has published an analysis of the legal status of BDS in New York. It says in March 2017, "with almost no notice, no public hearing, no opportunity for public input, the New York State Senate passed three anti-protest bills targeting Palestine advocacy. S.2492 would create a state-sponsored blacklist of individuals, organizations, and companies that support boycotts for Palestinian rights, and would unconstitutionally deny them state benefits." Palestine Legal also mentioned that "On June 5, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order No. 157 (EO 157) Directing State Agencies And Authorities To Divest Public Funds Supporting BDS Campaign Against Israel." 
Arguing that BDS is not considered free speech, Marc Greendorfer, an experienced attorney in legal advocacy and scholarship, postulates that BDS support is not protected by the First Amendment because while commercial boycotts have a history in the United States, "Boycotts that conflicts with established government policy are not protected.” Because BDS violates the rights of Jewish and Israeli American that are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. In addition, existing federal law prohibits support for foreign-sourced boycotts of Israel. He stressed that both Congress and the Supreme Court have followed the principle that when a boycott interferes with commerce or disrupts important policy goals of the government, the right to boycott is vulnerable to government infringement, particularly if the boycott is not in furtherance of the protection of a substantive right held by United States citizens." Greendorfer clarifies that the American "Supreme Court found that boycotts that are political protests intended to punish foreign nations for their offshore conduct may be limited by the government." He concluded that "It is paradoxical that BDS supporters attempt to cloak their unlawful activities with First Amendment protections.... First, opposition to boycotts of Israel has been longstanding U.S. government policy... Far from being civil rights activists, BDS is nothing more than a thinly-veiled hate group." 
In a recent paper "Boycotting the Boycotters: Turnabout Is Fair Play Under the Commerce Clause and the Unconstitutional Conditions Doctrine," Greendorfer reviewed "the constitutionality of state laws that prohibit the state from investing in, or contracting with, parties engaged in certain boycott activity." He found that "as the boycotts subject to state regulation are often connected to the so-called 'BDS movement' that has been active in promoting commercial and academic boycotts of Israel, the paper focuses on the background of BDS and how the nature of BDS impacts the analysis of Commerce Clause and Unconstitutional Conditions Doctrine applicability." 
Prof. Maira, the BDS supporter, has, of course a different opinion as expressed in her forthcoming book Boycott!: The Academy and Justice for Palestine, to be released on January 31, 2018. According to the blurb, "The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) has expanded rapidly though controversially in the US in the last five years. The academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions is a key component of that movement. What is this boycott? Why does it make sense? And why is this an American Studies issue? These key questions and others are answered in this essential short book. Boycott! situates the academic boycott in the broader history of boycotts in the US as well as Palestine and shows how it has evolved into a transnational social movement that has spurred profound intellectual and political shifts. It explores the movement’s implications for antiracist, feminist, queer, and academic labor organizing and examines the boycott in the context of debates about Palestine, Zionism, race, rights-based politics, academic freedom, decolonization and neoliberal capitalism." 
By the time the book is published, Maira and her fellow BDS activists might discover an entirely different BDS scene that will keep evolving in the US and beyond.
General Articles
Anti-Semitism on the Rise: German Government Adopts the Working Definition of Antisemitism
The rising number of anti-Semitic incidents has forced decision-makers to seek solutions to the phenomenon. To recall, in 2005 the European Union Monitoring Center (EUMC) has proposed a “Working Definition of anti-Semitism” which confirms that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. It was later adopted by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights which replaced the EUMC. The Working Definition categorizes that certain expressions such as comparing Israel to Nazi Germany - known as the “nazification of Israel” - are considered modern or neo-anti-Semitism. 
Unsurprisingly, opponents to Israel found the Working Definition controversial and tried to undermine it by claiming it limited the freedom of speech. For a while they were successful, IAM reported in December 2013 on the "Removal of the "Working Definition of Anti-Semitism" by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights." But the Working Definition received a new lease of life when the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), chaired by Romania's special representative Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, adopted the Working Definition of Antisemitism in May 2016. Soon after the European Parliament adopted the Working Definition, Romania, as well as the US house of representatives. 
Then in December 2016 the UK Government announced its plan to adopt the Working Definition and two months later, the University of Central Lancashire cancelled an event part of "Israel Apartheid Week" activity on its campus. The spokesperson for the university said it contravened the definition of antisemitism adopted by the government and was “unlawful”. 
Recently, the German government announced it adopts the international definition of anti-Semitism. Figures on anti-Semitisms in Germany indicate that the decision is very timely. The German authorities recorded 1,468 anti-Semitic offenses in 2016, a 7.5 percent increase. Per the request of the government, a 311 page preliminary report published in April 2017 provides a breakdown of the incidents. Muslims are the most prevalent group among those accused of anti-Semitic offense. Researchers note that the Middle East conflict has spurred a high level for anti-Semitism among the Muslims. The findings are only partial, however, because only 18 imams volunteered to participate. The experts behind the study acknowledged that far more research is needed to determine the extent of anti-Semitic attitudes, including the impact of Muslim immigration to Germany. 
The report concluded that anti-Semitism exists on both the extreme right and to a lesser extent on the extreme left as well as among Muslim communities. It pointed out that right-wing anti-Semites committed the greatest number of actual anti-Semitic crimes. And the experts were at pains to emphasize that anti-Semitism among people of Arab or Turkish backgrounds had less to do with their religion than with their socialization. Juliane Wetzel, researcher and the the Expert Group co-coordinator said that "A pilot study commissioned by the expert group about the attitudes of imams in Germany was unable to identify any radical anti-Semitism." After reviewing a substantial number of studies on the topic, the Expert Group said that while the traditional forms of anti-Semitism had somewhat declined, it was modern anti-Semitism, for example, criticism of Israel being extended to Jews in general, remained alarmingly popular. Politicians agreed that criticism of Israel is often used to justify anti-Semitism and that "Forty percent of the German population agrees with statements that attack Jewish people by way of remarks that are hostile to Israel." The Expert Group promised to release more findings on the growing modern anti-Semitism. 
According to Deidre Berger, the director of The AJC Berlin Ramer Institute for German-Jewish relations, "The lack of a unified definition has led to anti-Semitic incidents being all too often ignored in recent years... The fact, for example, that the courts considered an arson attack on a synagogue in Wuppertal as non-anti-Semitic illustrates the necessity of a definition." 
Absent a definition it would be harder for law enforcement to combat anti-Semitism. The importance of the Working Definition can not be overestimated.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
South Africa as Battleground for BDS: Palestinian Groups Intensify Pressure for Academic Boycott
While suffering legal and political defeats in the United States and Europe, the BDS initiative has flourished in South Africa. Palestinian groups are strong and well organized there and use their leverage to promote BDS. At the University of Cape Town (UCT) the Palestine Solidarity Forum has organized a series of seminars to debate the issue of boycotting the Israeli academic institutions. 
A local paper The Daily Vox, run by Khadija Patel and Azad Essa, published an editorial "UCT, Decolonisation And The Academic Boycott Of Israel. Patel and Essa, who also work for the Al-Jazeera English edition, claimed that "Israeli universities are especially critical targets for boycotts because of their func'tion of ideologically, politically, economically and militarily propping up the Israeli colonial project... international opposition against colonialism is critical to building the progressive solidarity and ideological clarity necessary to reshape the world". Interestingly, the "new journalism" that this paper claims to promote sought donations from George Soros' Open Society Foundations. 
As always, the BDS advocates recruit Israeli supporters to legitimize their work. Ronnie Barkan, a staunch BDS activist, is a trusted stand-by. In an interview promoting BDS Barkan mentioned Israeli academics: “When [historian] Ilan Pappé and [professor of linguistics] Tanya Reinhardt were targeted for calling for the academic boycott, we decided that it makes sense to speak out as a group.” His aim was to show there is support for BDS in the Israeli academic community. 
However, there are drawbacks to an institutional BDS according to a American law professor David Bernstein of George Mason University. Bernstein has warned UCT that “They are trying to isolate Israel, but they may find that the University of Cape Town is internationally isolated instead... There would be a substantial number of professors like myself who would have nothing to do with UCT should they adopt an academic boycott of Israel.” He explained that the UCT currently has partnership agreements with many American universities in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arizona. These three states are among the 22 US states to have passed anti-BDS bills in 2016 which prohibit state governments and agents from doing business with entities that boycott Israel. In other words, should UCT adopt a BDS resolution, it would impair its academic contacts in the United States. 
The Palestinian groups have hitched their wagon to the popular movement for the decolonisation of South Africa. In a symbolic act, UCT removed the statue of Cecil John Rhodes on 09 April, 2015, following weeks of protests and deliberations. Rhodes was a British businessman and politician in South Africa who served as a Prime Minister of the Cape Colony in the 1890s. Since he was an ardent believer in British imperialism, having his statue at UCT removed is "a metaphorical call for the transformation of the university's curriculum, culture and faculty, which many blacks feel are alienating and still reflect a Eurocentric heritage". UCT Vice Chancellor Dr. Max Price said the statue has been moved to a safe storage location as the university awaits a decision from the Western Cape government for the statue's future. 
Noting the climate of change, Professor Mahmood Mamdani, a former lecturer in Columbia University who returned to the University of Cape Town after a 16-year absence, who lectured recently in UCT and argued that the university has a "once-in-a-generation opportunity to change direction – from a colonising outpost to a decolonisation project." Mamdani agreed to return to the University of Cape Town “because Rhodes fell”. In his lecture Mamdani said that the institutional form of the modern African university was not African and there was ‘no connection’ between the institutions of learning we know of and celebrate in pre-colonial Africa, whether it’s in Cairo or in Timbuktu. “The universities of contemporary Africa are based on the European model. The European model of a discipline-based gated community with a distinction between clearly defined groups, administrators, academics, and fee-paying students”. By speaking about university fees he aligned himself with the new movement "Fees Must Fall" which is calling to reduce university fees. 
Its worth noting that Mamdani also supports the BDS movement. In 2010 he was among more than 100 academics across South Africa, from over 13 universities, who pledged their support to a University of Johannesburg initiative for ending collaboration with Ben-Gurion University. 
South Africa is a particularly fertile ground for Palestinian BDS groups because of its history of apartheid. Indeed, radical Israeli scholars have used the apartheid analogy for some two decades now. The South Africans followed suit. The book Apartheid Israel: The Politics of an Analogy, published in 2015, brought eighteen prominent South African scholars to reflect on the analogy between apartheid South Africa and contemporary Israel "with an eye to strengthening and broadening today’s movement for justice in Palestine." Ahmed Kathrada, a veteran anti-apartheid activist and former political prisoner reviewed the book. "A South African who is not white does not need more than one day's stay in Palestine to be thrown back to pre-1994 and realize that apartheid is very much alive under Israel as a colonial power... The essays in Apartheid Israel: The Politics of an Analogy powerfully remind those of us who brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa that we must join with our Palestinian brothers and sisters in their fight to bring down the apartheid regime in Israel.” 
But there are other voices to the debate who take a more pragmatic tone. As political scientist Itumeleng Makgetla wrote recently, "Given South Africa’s recent experience with the 2016 drought, and future preparation for potential phenomena given the changing climate, it is important to note that Israel is leading in water technology." 
In December 2017 the ANC, South Africa's ruling party, would decide whether to downgrade the Embassy in Israel to a liaison office. South Africa would soon have to decide whether to take the ideological position or the practical one. Same with the universities in South Africa that would need to make this choice too. In a world threatened by climate change and Islamist terrorism, a rigid adherence to an equally rigid cause does not pay.
Anti-Israel Conferences
"Freedom of Speech and Higher Education: The Case of the Academic Boycott of Israel" in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
IAM reported in April on Ronit Lentin, a retired professor of sociology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) who is one of the organizers of the conference "Freedom of Speech and Higher Education: the Case of the Academic Boycott of Israel" that took place in 11-12 September 2017. She is the chairperson of "Academics for Palestine," a group which has been set up to promote the academic boycott of Israel. The call for papers stated that "The conference does not propose to debate the pros and cons of the academic boycott of Israel but rather to make links and draw lessons about the role of the public university in fostering academic freedom, and the freedom to express critical, even if controversial views." Lentin published a letter in support of the academic boycott of Israel in the Irish Times in January. 
Steven Salaita, profiled by the IAM's posts was one of the featured speakers at the conference. After an introduction by Lentin, he spoke about the circumstances under which he lost his offer of a position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The university argued that his tweets were egregiously anti-Semitic, but Salaita chose to present a different narrative. In his speech posted on YouTube he claimed that many people have lost their jobs for being anti-Zionists. He added that when it comes to Palestine, there is no freedom of speech, because of threats and that "Zionists tell bullshit lies about this world;" (33:15) that "Israel commits ethnic cleansing" (36:27). Salaita actually apologized in his lecture for being so angry in the summer of 2014 and tweeting the tweets against Israel (39:18). 
Contrary to the conference assertions about promoting freedom of speech, it was Ze’ev Boker, the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, who was prevented from speaking at the TCD earlier this year by the group Students for Justice in Palestine. TCD provost Patrick Prendergast condemned this incident and said it represented “the antithesis of what Trinity stands for”. Equally important, a number of proposals for alternative views for the conference where turned down although the University issued a statement that "There will be speakers who have opinions both for and against the academic boycott of Israel in attendance and speaking during the event.” Lentin and her cohorts use such events as a propaganda platform against Israel. 
The conference attracted little public attention not least because in the international environment is full of real and grave problems. Huge natural disasters, threats of atomic weapons from North Korea, the violence of ISIS, the still active civil war in Syria, the plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, to name just a few. 
But to the radical academics, the suffering of millions and millions of people means little because of their singular obsession with Israel. This type of academy cannot regain its moral authority without addressing its moral blindness.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Anarchist Kobi Snitz of Weizmann Institute Supports the BDS Community
Before the BDS law was passed by the Knesset in 2011 a number of Israeli academics have been involved in BDS activities. After the law, they stopped promoting BDS but did not renounce it. 
Some have mounted legal challenges to the aspects of the BDS legislation and its bureaucratic management. For instance, recently Israeli academic BDS supporters have filed a request via Freedom of Information Act demanding the government reveals the methodology used in deciding to block entry to Israel of BDS activists. Rachel Giora, a linguist at Tel Aviv University and Kobi Snitz of the Weizmann Institute Department of Neurobiology are among four signatories of the information request which Adv. Eitay Mack filed to the Israeli Ministry of Interior and the Population and Immigration Authority. 
The signatories compare the prevention of entry to BDS supporters to "the military juntas in Latin America and dictatorships in Africa which received security aid from Israel. " They also compare the denial of entry to "the case of U.S. citizen Charles Horman, who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered immediately after Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973." Mack alleged that Horman was killed based on "being a radical left activist, transferred to the junta by U.S. intelligence agents." 
The group has asked to receive from the Israeli government the "criteria and procedures that determined which person or organization was added to the blacklist; any protocols or decisions as to how a person or organization was added to the blacklist; any background information gathered on a person or an organization in advance of a decision to add them to the blacklist; details of persons and organizations on the blacklist; messages, appeals and correspondence with foreign entities (airlines, states, foreign security forces, etc.) regarding the blacklist, and persons and organizations on it". 
Previously, the group of petitioners has asked the government to reveal its covert activities against the BDS movement. The group filed requests to both the Foreign Ministry and the Strategic Affairs Ministry, it asked the "government to reveal its financial support to foreign organizations, individuals, journalists or bloggers assisting Israel in its battle against what it calls “delegitimization.”" 
The delegitimization of Israel by Israeli academics is not new, and the university authorities have not reacted because they fear an international backlash. Censuring activists who implicitly support boycott could tarnish a university's reputation in the eyes of the international academic community. As IAM documented, the international academic community threatened Israel with boycott after the Council of Higher Education published a scathing report on the Ben Gurion University's Dept. of Politics and Government. The CHE was forced to retreat its demands behind a flimsy face-saving solution, sending a clear message that activist faculty should be left alone. 
This message has emboldened activists like the self-proclaimed anarchist Kobi Snitz, who has used his position as a faculty member of the Weizmann Institution to engage in anarchist activism. 
In 2010 IAM reported that Snitz has served a 20-day jail sentence for hiding in a house slated for demolition in the village of Harbata in 2004, along with other activists from Anarchists Against the Wall. Snitz was convicted and fined NIS 2,000, "He decided not to pay the fine because he believes he did not do anything, so he went to jail," as reported by a fellow anarchist. 
Snitz who is serving as a webmaster for a Washington D.C. tenants rights group (TENAC) has found an American platform to publicize his grievance. TENAC has published a press release stating that Snitz has apparently been “shot at, fined, jailed, and constantly harassed” for his peace activism. TENAC was "outraged" at these actions. "We strongly support his efforts to secure peace there. We also support the outstanding work of the North American Rabbis for Peace in Israel, who are engaged in the same hard, dangerous work.” One leader of TENAC said that there’s a direct correlation between affordable housing in the District and bulldozed houses in Gaza. “We have a loud voice here on tenant rights and the like... Tenants rights begs the whole rights question. This is a civil rights question in Israel.” The TENAC international outreach encompasses Arab and Israeli issues. There are 350,000 tenants that TENAC represents, about two-thirds of the population are people of Middle Eastern background, Arabs, Jews and others. "We are constantly made aware of the terrible hardships suffered by these populations. We have demonstrated against the murderous, genocidal rule of Bashar al Assad, who has virtually slaughtered his own nation, and we have also strongly supported the peace movement in Israel." What is troubling here is that TENAC likens Israel to other dictatorships in the region and uses Snitz as a symbol. Since the TENAC website says "TENAC is very indebted to Kobi Snitz, our website creator" and web administrator, it goes without saying that those of Middle Eastern origin could potentially be influenced by Snitz. 
Snitz is the director also of Calyx Institute which aims to create an internet service provider that "keeps customer traffic private, away from prying governmental eyes." Calyx Institute provides services helping to avoid the National Security Agency monitoring. "Wouldn't it be nice if we were free to surf the web free from fear of having our traffic monitored and emails scraped by the NSA?" 
It is not surprising that Snitz's sees the Israeli state as a problem as he described, "the joint struggle faces only one main problem: the Israeli state." To emphasis this point he said in an interview that, "the activists who protest with Palestinians are quickly transformed by it and join a core of anti-Zionists living in Israel." More to the point, he was recently interviewed praising BDS. "Kobi Snitz, an Israeli member of the Boycott from Within campaign, says that: BDS tactics are the only example I can think of where the Palestinian movement has a built-in advantage and the Israelis have no effective way to suppress it." 
IAM has repeatedly documented Snitz's extensive involvement in multiple anarchist activities in Israel and abroad. Being an anarchist is a full time job which probably requires overtime as well. Snitz can do all this and more because he receives a salary from the Weizmann Institute. His modest academic record for which he is paid indicates that the Weizmann Institute and the Israeli tax payers receive very little in return.
Tel Aviv University
Brown University M.E. Center Seeks Post-Zionist Academics: Gadi Algazi TAU Medievalist Researches Israel's First Decade
Beshara Doumani, the Director of Middle East Studies at Brown University, has expanded it to include a Center for Palestinians Studies, which was inaugurated in 2014. Like many such outlets, its sole mission seems to be a radical critique of Israel to present it as a colonial state which subjugates the native population. Needless to say, the colonial paradigm, normally applied to the study of European colonialism in Africa and Asia, does not recognize the historical link between the Jews and the Holy Land. 
But Doumani, well versed in the anti-Israel discourse, understands that recruiting Israeli scholars would make the colonial paradigm more credible while avoiding charges of anti-Semitism. Doumani has been hosting well known critics of Israel as Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir. 
Professor Gadi Algazi, a scholar of late medieval and early modern social and cultural history at Tel Aviv University is another guest at the Center. After receiving tenure, Algazi, a life-long political activist, switched from his appointed subject, to writing political work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a colonial perspective, something that in the exact sciences is unheard of. 
While at Brown, earlier this year Algazi took part of a panel titled "Archives, Diaries, and Colonial Appropriation." His paper, "Profits of Military Rule" promised to analyze colonialism and "profit-generating mechanisms" between 1948–1958. In particular, he focused on the "appropriation and of the social groups who owe their wealth to the military rule imposed on Palestinians in Israel". 
To show how far he had traveled from his original training as a medievalist, the paper is bristled with neo-Marxist, critical jargon such as "class formation under settler colonialism" and other phrases beloved by scholars eager to show their neo-Marxist bona fide. The paper begins with "oral accounts of Bedouin deportation and dispossession, originally encountered in the context of my political work" and ends with the goal of establishing the "legacy of past colonial violence and unequal access to modes of transmission." 
Turning his activism into academics, Algazi finds audiences to his theory. He also spoke at the Colgate University Center for Peace and Conflict on "Making Them Pay: Israel and the Political Economy of Military Rule, 1948-1958" detailing the "intersection of military rule and political economy in Israel." More recently he spoke on the subject of "What do we do against colonialism?" at a conference organized by the platform of Balad party, the group which opposes the idea of Israel as a Jewish state, and favors binational state. 
Algazi was never shy of admitting his activist credentials. In a lengthy interview Algazi spoke about growing up in a activist home and his decision to refuse military service while being a student at Tel Aviv University in 1980. He also mentioned his "dear friend" Leon Sheleff from Tel Aviv University's Law School who defended him in court on charges of refusal. Joining the academy was the next logical step, where, as noted, activist faculty could launch a career in political polemics supported by the tax payers. It is this path that led him to the lush campus of Brown University. 
It would be interesting to know whether Algazi is familiar with the encampment of the Pokanoket Nation, a native American tribe, which has been protesting the theft of its land by Brown. So far, the Ivy League school has offered a vague promise to study the charges. Even if he is familiar, he probably would not elaborate on the subject and neither would his host Doumani who served as a discussant at the "Archives, Diaries, and Colonial Appropriation" panel. After all, it doesn't serve their political agenda. 
This is not academically sound. For the sake of proper academic conduct Tel Aviv University should have reined in its staff's penchant for political activism.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Anat Matar's Group Calls to Boycott Israeli Cancer Research Congress Organized by TAU Professor
In September 10-14, 2017 the Israeli Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, headed by Prof. Abdussalam Azem, hosts in Jerusalem the 42nd Congress of the Federation of the European Biochemical Societies (FEBS). FEBS promotes and supports biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, molecular biophysics and related research areas. Founded in 1964, it is one of Europe's largest organizations in the molecular life sciences, with over 36,000 members across more than 35 biochemistry and molecular biology societies. 
This Congress will be held in Binyanei Hauma and is entitled "From molecules to cells and back" covering the entire spectrum of molecular life sciences. Professor Abdussalam Azem, who signed the invitation is a leading Arab researcher from Tel Aviv University, the head of the TAU Laboratory of Molecular Machines. His lab members, the Azem Group, includes Jewish and non-Jewish members. 
Much to everyone's surprise, the French Association of Academics for the Respect of International Law in Palestine (Association des universitaires pour le respect du droit international en Palestine - AURDIP), headed by secretary Ahmed Abbes, mathematician and director of research in CNRS, Paris, has published a call for the boycott of the FEBS event in Jerusalem. AURDIP was created in cooperation with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel PACBI and with the British organization BRICUP. 
AURDIP has gathered some 90 signatures of international academics. There are several Israelis and former Israelis, including Azem's colleague at TAU. Such as Dr. Anat Matar, Philosophy, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Emmanuel Farjoun, Professor of Mathematics, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Dr Ronit Lentin, Retired Associate Professor of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin ; Chair, Academics for Palestine, Ireland Dr. Hilla Dayan, sociologist, Lecturer at Amsterdam University College, Netherlands; Prof. Haim Bresheeth, Professorial Research Associate, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK; Moshé Machover, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of London, UK; Dror Warschawski, biophysicist, CNRS, France. 
Others are worth noting as they are the most prominent activists of the academic boycott movement: 
Mona Baker, Professor of translation studies, University of Manchester, UK; Mike Cushman, Research Fellow (rtd) London School of Economics, UK; Terri Ginsberg, Assistant Professor of film and director of the film program, The American University in Cairo, Egypt; Tom Hickey, Principal Lecturer in Philosophy and Aesthetics, University of Brighton, UK; Ghada Karmi, Research Fellow, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK; David Klein, Professor of Mathematics, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, USA; David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English, University of California, Riverside, USA; Sunaina Maira, Professor of Asian American Studies, University of California-Davis, US; Mazin Qumsiyeh, Biology Professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, Palestine; Steven Rose, Emeritus professor of neuroscience, The Open University, UK; Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research, London School of Economics, UK; Dr Derek Summerfield, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College, Univ of London, UK. 
The group urge to cancel participation in the forthcoming congress for the following reasons: 
Israel’s direct attacks on Palestinians’ right to education, including the bombing of schools and universities, and the obstruction of access to educational sites. The restrictions Israel places on the teaching and research of our Palestinian colleagues have severe consequences not only on research and educational opportunities, but also on Palestinians’ health. 
The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is as low as 30% in Gaza, which Israel has besieged for the past ten years, as compared to 86% in Israel. In 2016, only 44% of Gaza patients who requested access to Israeli hospitals were admitted ; more than half of those refused entry were cancer patients. 
Israeli military authorities forbid students from Gaza to attend universities in the West Bank, and vice versa, and the system of Israeli checkpoints that crisscrosses the West Bank makes school attendance a matter of painful hardship for most Palestinian students. In addition, Palestinian scholars and researchers are regularly denied permission to travel abroad to further their education, attend conferences and participate in joint projects. 
Within Israel, Palestinian students face institutionalised discrimination. Israeli military forces have not hesitated to violently target educational and research institutions. In April 2002 the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology in Ramallah suffered extensive destruction during the IDF’s incursion into the West Bank, as did most of West Bank university laboratories. Regular invasions of their campuses have now become a fact of life for Palestinian universities. 
During the 2014 Israeli invasion of Gaza, six public and private schools, eleven kindergartens and three higher education institutions were completely destroyed ; 450 additional educational facilities sustained serious damage. 
The FEBS Congress is sponsored by Israeli academic institutions that are deeply complicit in Israel’s human rights violations. Tel Aviv University and Technion, for instance, have developed weapon systems and military doctrines employed in committing what Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned as war crimes, while the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus is partially built on illegally confiscated Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem. 
Despite the differences, it is inspired by the academic boycott of South Africa, which was called for in 1965 by 496 academics from 34 universities in the United Kingdom. 
Last year, only one third of invited speakers confirmed their attendance to the FEBS conference scheduled to take place in Turkey. The conference was later canceled, after expressing “solidarity with the Turkish scientific community” which is facing the “curtailment of academic freedoms in Turkey.” 
They end their appeal with: "We urge you to heed the call of Palestinian academics who have called for a boycott of Israel until their basic human rights are met, and to cancel your participation in the upcoming FEBS Congress in Jerusalem. Refraining from lending one’s name to a system of injustice is not a charitable act ; it is a basic moral duty." 
The boycott petition recycles some of the specious arguments against Israel. As a matter of fact, many Palestinian patients are being treated in Israeli hospitals and there are also many Palestinian students and lecturers in Israeli universities. Omar Barghouti as an example. The organizer of the congress is an Israeli Arab and a leading scholar in his field. Perhaps the congress is receiving sponsorship from Israeli universities, but so is Dr. Anat Matar, receiving a salary from Tel Aviv University. 
Signatories such as Mona Baker or Steven Rose are hard core "BDS warmongers" whose activities go back to the early 2000s. Having lost the boycott debate in the University College Union, they are grasping at straws. 
As for the call to exercise "moral duty," the radical left has always been very selective, it stems from the paradigmatic posture that the Jews can do no right and the Palestinians can do no wrong. This logic led to some very tortured explanations in the past and has guided the reference to Turkey in the current petition. As well known, President Erdogan had hundreds if not thousand faculty fired and some were thrown in jail, together with scores of journalists and cultural figures. In Israel, Arab academics occupy a range of important positions and can denounce Israeli policies as some of the IAM posts have suggested. 
Creating this type of "moral duty" is just one more example of the moral bankruptcy of the BDS advocates.
Hebrew University
The New Israel Fund and the Academe: the Case of Avner De-Shalit
The New Israel Fund (NIF) is a multi-million politically engaged, left-leaning foundation designated to transform Israel into a society in which progressive values should trump its Jewish character. As the NIF leadership sees it, democratic and Jewish values in Israel are not compatible. To this end, NIF has donated some $30M annually to progressive and pro-Arab groups. For years large supporter of NIF was the Ford Foundation which launched in 2003 an initial grant of $20 million and in September 2007 another $20 million for extending its partnership in Israel in order to "support civil society, human rights and social justice organizations in Israel." 
Both Ford and NIF are considered controversial and were criticized by some American Jews and Israelis. 
NIF has strong connection to the Israeli academy. The former Hebrew University professor Naomi Chazan served as its president between 2008-2012 and there are many others involved. Professor Avner De Shalit, a political scientist at the Hebrew University and a former dean of the social sciences has been involved with NIF for about two decades, also by serving on NIF's international board. 
His politics is in accordance to NIF's ideology and is quite evident in his writing. In his 2004 "Being Israeli," he writes about Haifa, "one knows that there had been life there before the Jews came. Much of this land was bought for money rather than taken by force, but still . . . Could it be because the price of saving of the Jewish nation – and probably without Zionism preceding the Second World War, most the Jewish nation (at least in Europe) would have vanished in the Nazi gas chambers – was humiliating another nation? Or was it a necessary price? It seems that living with those guilt feelings and hesitations is part of being Israeli. It is morally and emotionally impossible to be indifferent to these feelings. Most Israelis either become obsessed by them or become engaged in a process of denial. So either one tries to prove that, despite what has happened, we Israelis are basically goodhearted, we have been and are ready to divide the land, to negotiate, to compensate, and so on; or one simply denies that a problem exists. ‘There is no such thing as a Palestinian nation’, Golda Meir, Israel’s prime minister between 1969 and 1974, used to say. Some right-wing fanatics in Israeli still claim so. Others admit that saying so would appear ridiculous. Of course there is a Palestinian nation; however, they claim, Israel must not allow this nation to have its own state because it would imply a threat to Israel’s sovereignty. Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Affairs Minister at the time of writing this paper, argues so." 
As a scholar, De-Shalit takes great pride in his alleged academic neutrality and impartiality, according to his 2006 article "Teaching political philosophy and academic neutrality. 
He writes: "In 2002, while I was teaching in Israel, I was very worried about the immorality of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians. A group of several colleagues and myself initiated a petition. The petition set out our position, as university lecturers, on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It was published in the press and we were interviewed about the moral grounds for our view. The next day, when I entered my MA seminar on ‘Political Philosophy and Practice’, one of the students challenged me: ‘How dare you tell us that political philosophy can change the world if you, Israeli political theorists, have failed to put forward the argument that would stop the occupation?’ Many students joined him, saying that academics in general, but political theorists in particular, were having rather little impact on the state’s policies. As if this was not enough, when I left the classroom I bumped into an ex-student of mine. He was furious: I am so disappointed. You exploited your position as a university professor when you signed this petition as ‘Professor so and so’. You must distinguish between your political opinions and your position as a university professor. This is the opposite of what you have always taught us about the profession of teaching politics. ‘Is that what I taught them?’ I thought to myself while rushing to my room; ‘Can’t be’. I looked at the textbooks they had read in their first year of undergraduate studies. Indeed, they discussed academic objectivity and neutrality. Funny, because I had been feeling during the years following the collapse of the peace process in the Middle East, that political philosophers couldn’t afford the luxury of not referring to the ‘situation’. They were even obliged to put forward their moral arguments and provoke the students to use the tools we had given them, such as concepts, theories, and the like, to reflect more profoundly on these issues. In fact, political philosophers were doing so in any case by the very fact that they were teaching political philosophy in the context of the conflict. So were the books wrong?" 
De-Shalit concludes that "while university lecturers should not adhere to academic neutrality, they should be impartial." 
But a look at some of De-Shalit's actions seem to indicate that, while he talks the talk he does not walk the walk. 
De-Shalit harnesses NIF affiliates as Phd students. Noam Hofstadter was part of the Courage to Refuse Signers' List in 2002. As mentioned above, De-Shalit signed the petition "Open Letter from Faculty Members", who wished to "express our appreciation and support for those of our students and lecturers who refuse to serve as soldiers in the occupied territories" and "our readiness to do our best to help students." 
Hopstadter is being introduced by a NIF think-tank as a "post-doctoral Fellow at Ben Gurion University, where he teaches political science. Previously, he served as Director of Peace Now and as spokesman for B’tselem." Hopstadter's PhD thesis The Expression of Values in the Practice of Not-for-Profit Human and Civil Rights Organizations, explores three NIF grantees The Association for Civil Rights in Israel; Physicians for Human Rights – Israel; and Yesh Din. He writes, "My own activism has taught me lessons that I as of yet have not found in any book... but nevertheless I wish to convey my deepest appreciation to my partners-in-activism, whose determination, creativity, mistakes, experience and companionship have laid the cornerstones for this thesis." 
There is something unethical about it. As a member of the international board of NIF De-Shalit was in conflict of interests and should have not signed on a dissertation which is an academic hagiography of NIF's grantees. 
De-Shalit seemed to fail his own advise on impartiality and objectivity in another issue. In 2001, the Council of Higher Education appointed a two member committee to evaluate the Department of Politics and Government of Ben Gurion University's request to offer a BA program. Professor Zeev Maoz, a leading political scientist and a former head of the Jaffe Centre for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, found that the department did not offer core political science courses and that its faculty were ill equipped to fill the void. He recommended closing the department but the second evaluator, Avner De-Shalit disagreed and, in November 2003, the CHE appointed a new committee under De-Shalit which in 2004 decided that the department offered a "unique program" and approved the department's request. The questionable goings-on in the Department came up again when in 2011, the CHE appointed an International Committee for Evaluation of Political Science and International Relations Programs in Israeli universities. Chaired by Professor Thomas Risse of Berlin’s Free University, the Committee seemed to side with Maoz's 2001 review. The report identified serious problems in the department: weakness of core political science offerings as well as excessive "community activism" and lack of balanced views in the curriculum and the classroom. 
There may be, of course, legitimate explanations as to why De-Shalit's view was at odds with the evaluations of Maoz and the Risse committee. Still, it would be reasonable to question if De-Shalit's service with the NIF had influenced his judgment. 
As his 2006 essay on academic neutrality and impartiality indicates, De-Shalit understands that scholars should not be tainted by suspicions of political partiality. Unfortunately, he does not practice what he preaches.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Campus Ultimate Missionaries: Steven Salaita as a Case in Point
In a recent Facebook post, Steven Salaita shared his plans for leaving the academe. "My immediate plan is to write and give talks," he wrote. "Despite applying to positions on four continents, I was unable to find an academic job, so I no longer count myself among the professoriate... A number of colleagues have attempted to recruit me, but their efforts always get shut down by management." To recall, Salaita was offered in 2013 a tenured position in the Department of Native American Studies at Illinois University in Urbana-Champaigne but the University withdrew its offer in response to the string of Twitter messages by Salaita in the summer of 2014. 
He tweeted, "Zionists, take responsibility: if your dream of an ethnocratic Israel is worth the murder of children, just fucking own it already." ; 
"This is not a conflict between Israel and 'Hamas'. It's a struggle by an Indigenous people against a colonial Power." ; 
"Let's cut to the chase: If you're defending Israel right now you're an awful human being." ; 
"Will you condemn Hamas? No. Why not? Because Hamas isn't the one incinerating children, you disingenuous prick." ; 
"Zionist uplift in America: every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime." ; 
"Israel's message to Obama and Kerry: we'll kill as many Palestinians as we want, when we want. p.s.: fuck you, pay me." ; 
"You may be too refined to say it, but I am not: I wish all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing." ; 
"The IDF Spokesperson receives money to justify, conceal, and glamorize genocidal violence. Goebbels much?" ; 
"Israeli Independence Equals sustenance of the European eugenic logic made famous by Hitler," among others. 
After being turned down by University of Illinois, Salaita was offered a visiting position at the American University in Beirut, but ran into some problems and now he is back in the U.S. 
Salaita is the classic anti-Israel activist. In February 2009 IAM reported on the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) which published a petition inviting academics to join the boycott of Israel. Signatory number 174 was Steven Salaita from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. 
Salaita is also fond of Zionist conspiracies, writing, "Zionists have worked overtime to incriminate me, but they’ve never found anything incriminating—not from a lack of diligence, but because there’s nothing to find but plainspoken disdain for settler colonization." Salaita explains his disdain to Israel in his book Israel's Dead Soul (2011). "There is no false advertising in the title: I have no affinity for Israel or Zionism and I wanted to make that clear... my belief that Zionist settler colonization is unsustainable." 
Salaita's anti-Israel stance has evidently began in his upbringing as he stated in his 2003 PhD thesis, "I was raised in Appalachia by Arab immigrants who nurtured my childhood interest in the Middle East, Palestine particularly. My entire life has thus been dedicated to Palestinian politics and activism, and nothing has occupied my thoughts more than Israeli brutality and the way it is described so euphemistically in the United States, if even it is mentioned at all. For the majority of my life. Native America was nothing but an abstract backdrop to the old leftist politics I have since outgrown. I knew, as most Americans do, that the United States was constructed on other peoples’ lands, and that terrible domestic atrocities occurred in America’s past." 
Armed with this missionary vision, Saiaita went to graduate school at the University of Oklahoma. In his doctoral work, Salaita states his goal "to contribute to a culture working hard outside the Academy to eliminate colonialism.... in a way that might satisfy academics as well as any reader interested in issues of justice for Indigenous peoples, especially if they are concerned with formulating resistant strategies or incorporating theoretical models into public debate." As a good missionary that he was, he wrote, "Since entering doctoral school at the University of Oklahoma three years ago with a clear vision of my dissertation topic— a comparative analysis of Native Americans and Palestinians, with attention to how politics influence literary production". 
Although Saiaita managed to secure a position after graduation in Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, his true passion was anti-Israel activity and his egregious social media "production" bordering on the anti-Semitic caught up with him at the University of Illinois. 
Still, as Salaita stated, he is now starting a new career as a freelance writer and speaker. This should not be too difficult as there are many venues in which bashing of Israel is fashionable. For instance, he will speak in the upcoming conference "Freedom of Speech and Higher Education: The Case of the Academic Boycott of Israel" in Trinity College Dublin on 11-12 September 2017, as a keynote speaker. The invitation reads, "Steven Salaita. Author of Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom, Steven was denied a Professorship in University of Illinois due to his views on Israel/Palestine and will speak on “Freedom to boycott: BDS and the modern University”." 
There is little doubt that from now on he would present himself as a martyr for the cause of academic freedom. Salaita's progression from missionary to martyr is probably a fitting epitaph for his career. 
Ben-Gurion University
Complaint by Prof. Rivka Carmi to the Knesset Ethics Committee
On May 24, 2017 the Knesset Committee of Education, Culture and Sports has held a quick hearing questioning BGU's support in BDS. The hearing was initiated by MK Anat Berko (Likud), MK Amir Ohana (Likud) and MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) and titled "Fears of continued support of Ben Gurion University in BDS". MK Berko explained that ”There is a problem in Ben-Gurion University's Politics and Government Department, where they call Israel a 'shaved-headed state'." MK Smotrich argued that professors sign petitions with the title professors at Ben-Gurion University, unrelated to academic freedom. ”Freedom of expression, yes, but do I have to fund these people? Of course not”. 
Professor Rivka Carmi, President of Ben-Gurion University rejected these accusations as ”false” and ”detached from reality. ” She added that Ben Gurion University ”is at the forefront of the fight against the BDS movement.” Carmi also said that professors who voice support for BDS do so on their own behalf and do not represent the university's views. 
Education Committee Chairman MK Yakov Margi (Shas) said, ”I had no doubt that Ben-Gurion University does not support or encourage BDS activity... There is no doubt that there is agreement on the need to fight the BDS movements, and this is why we called on the Council for Higher Education to examine how to do this through policy, while allowing a variety of opinion to be heard in [university] courses.” 
But shortly after the hearing Professor Carmi has filed a complaint with the Knesset Ethics committee. She wrote that the title of the hearing did the university a great injustice, since the university is "one of the leaders in the struggle against the BDS movement," and certainly does not support BDS activities. 
There are apparently deep seated grievances that Prof. Carmi has against the hearing. She has apparently felt that the hearing served as a cover to publicize the position of Mr. Michael Gross, one of the members of the Board of Governors of the University. Mr. Gross has been critical of the university's handling of lecturers and activities that seemed to support BDS. According to him, the university retaliated by trying to remove him from the Board and returning his donation. In her complaint to the Ethics Committee, Professor Carmi singled out MK Yoel Hasson. Although MK Hasson disclosed during the hearing that he had received financial support from Mr. Gross in the primaries in 2009, he also attacked the university for its attitude to Mr. Gross. MK Hasson demanded that the university not remove Mr. Gross from the Board of Governors. 
In conclusion, Carmi noted that "it is difficult to avoid the feeling that a member of the Board of Governors" ostensibly "bought" a hearing of a committee of the Knesset using a "baseless political pretext and contempt of the university, in order to prevent what he thought was a move to remove him from the Board of Governors." 
After serious considerations the Ethics Committee concluded as following: 
1. Indeed, in the headline proposed by the initiators could cause damage to the university when official bodies of the state hold a hearing at the Knesset with such a title, and it could even damage the Israeli struggle against BDS supporters, with the title of an official hearing in the Knesset as well as Knesset members claiming that an Israeli university itself supports BDS. Indeed the title of the hearing was intended to defame the university and to attribute it, as an institution, support in BDS - something which had no grounds in the findings presented to the Education Committee. 
2. The BDS issue did serve as a platform for discussion of Mr. Gross's case, Mr Gross's case was not even mentioned in the proposal which lead to the hearing. It would have been appropriate to present it to the Knesset presidency in their detailed request prior to the hearing. 
3. The Ethics Committee found that MKs Berko and Smotritch violated Rule 1A(5) of the Rules of Ethics, according to which "Member of Knesset will carry out his duty in the Knesset with responsibility and fairness." Yet the Committee did not find it necessary to impose sanctions on them. Regarding the claim concerning MK Hasson, who did not initiate the hearing and even objected to the claim that the university supports BDS, the Committee concludes that MK Hasson did not violate the ethics rules. 
4. But the Committee also commented to the university administration, that they must also maintain appropriate manners toward Knesset members, they were wrong to have alleged "buying" a hearing, while the three initiators of the hearing have expressed that they did not receive any contribution from Mr. Gross. Also the university's rector, Prof. Zvi Hacohen, inappropriately expressed his opinion toward the Knesset members. 
As expected, the Ethics Committee focused on the narrow question of the ethics of the hearing, including its provocative title. Thus, the conclusions should be viewed within the narrow mandate of the Committee. Unfortunately, the personal conflict between Mr. Gross and Ben Gurion University has actually distracted from the broader issue at stake here. 
The Department of Politics and Government at BGU has a long history of radical political activism which, in many ways, is equally damaging to calls for BDS. In 2012 an International Evaluation Committee created by the Council of Higher Education (CHE) produced a devastating review of the Department and its offerings. The Council actually threatened to shut down the Department, a move that created a firestorm in the academic community at home and abroad. At the time, Professor Carmi and the Dean of Social Sciences David Newman called upon the international community of scholars to protest the censure. Following thousands of petitions and threats of boycott by a large number of professional associations, the CHE caved in. After reaching an agreement based on a face saving formula of alleged changes, the Department was allowed to operate with small changes in the curriculum with the same activist faculty. 
The abysmal failure of the CHE vis-a vis the Department ended virtually all efforts to impose higher standards on social science departments of Israeli universities. As IAM has repeatedly documented, Israeli social sciences, staffed by devotees of neo-Marxist, critical scholarship, offer outmoded courses and lag badly behind international standards. Similarly, an Evaluation Committee of the Sociological Department of the Hebrew University found a paucity of courses in quantitative methods and other cutting-edge subjects. 
With few exceptions, Israeli universities are public institutions supported by the tax payers and accountable to the elected representatives of the public. The tax payers should expect better than an outmoded paradigm of teaching and research that does not train students for the competitive economy of the twenty first century.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
First BDS Conference in Sydney University
First time in Australia, Sidney University's Department of Peace and Conflict Studies will host a BDS conference on campus on the 28-29 July 2017. The conference is supported by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network. Speakers include notoriously anti-Israel academics Jake Lynch, Sol Salbe, and Marcelo Svirsky among others. 
The conference includes many non-academic activists. One such group, the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) which announced its BDS activities in 2017 online, added that "2017 will also be the year of close collaborations with our pro-Palestinian friends interstate with a national BDS conference planned for 28-29 July in Sydney." 
Sydney University's vice-chancellor Dr. Michael Spence spoke on the topic of BDS activities on campus last year. He said: “BDS is not university policy... We think that we should have academic relations with universities wherever good academic work is being done... Exceptional academic work is being done in Israel and we have relationships across the board, most recently in nanotechnology and agriculture with universities in Israel, so that’s not an issue... We have strong academic relations with Israel, a great tradition of relationships with the Jewish community, a flourishing program in Hebrew and Jewish studies that remains internationally renowned and is very important to us." 
But he also commented on Jake Lynch, the leading force behind BDS in Sydney University. He said “Academic freedom means that there’s nothing I can do to stop him taking that position... I also can’t censure an academic for holding a view or advocating a view, because that’s what academics do.” 
To recall, Lynch was involved in a number of BDS incidents. In 2012 Lynch blocked a request of Dan Avnon, a Hebrew University professor, to spend a sabbatical at Sidney University. In March 2015, Colonel Richard Kemp, a decorated British Army officer, visited the University of Sydney. A group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators led by Lynch interrupted his talk. 
One of the featured speakers in the BDS conference by the end of this week is Dr. David Faber, a co-convenor of AFOPA’s BDS group who "has spent considerable time over the last year preparing for attempts by Zionists in Israel and Australia to steal part of our ANZAC history. The centenary of the Charge of the Light Horse Brigade will be commemorated on 31 October 2017 and David as a historian and AFOPA as a political organisation will be vigorously countering the Zionist claim that young Australian soldiers died on that battlefield to help set up the apartheid state of Israel." Farber's attempt to rewrite Australian history borders on the anti-Semitic. 
Sydney University should be aware that an academic conference should be balanced in the sense that all sorts of views need be presented. There is a huge difference between a legitimate panel and the type of political activism that Lynch and his cohorts have been associated with. Also, Sidney University should not be taking the easy way out to hide behind the shop-worn excuses of academic freedom to avoid dealing with the abuse of academic legitimacy by Palestinian and pro-Palestinian activists on campus.
General Articles
University of California Press One-Sided Recommended Reading
The University of California Press (UCP) announced a recommended reading to commemorate the anniversary of the Six Day War and promote the understanding of the occupation. The UCP announcement is biased against Israel, ignoring the historical background of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, which include prior Arab assaults against Israel that culminated in the restriction of Palestinian polity. The UCP announcement includes the following statement: "Fifty years ago this week, the Six-Day War transformed the Middle East. Fought from June 5-10 in 1967 by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, the conflict lasted just six days, yet its impact endures today. For Palestinians, this year marks fifty years of military occupation. During the war, Israeli forces captured east Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories — the West Bank and Gaza — as well as the Golan Heights and Sinai. In observance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Six-Day War, we’ve selected a list of recommended titles for understanding the nature of the occupation, the reasons for its longevity, and its impact on Israeli and Palestinian lives, with the following deeply researched titles." 
These are the recommended books: A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict by Gershon Shafir; Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom by Norman G. Finkelstein; Enclosure: Palestinian Landscapes in a Historical Mirror by Gary Fields; Israel’s Occupation by Neve Gordon; One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States edited by Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg; Sustaining Conflict: Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine by Katherine Natanel; Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel edited by Mark LeVine and Gershon Shafir. 
Gershon Shafir, Norman Finkelstein, Neve Gordon and Gary Fields are self-proclaimed neo-Marxists, who put much of the blame to the ills of the world on capitalism. Neo-Marxist cohorts cherry-pick evidence to fit their arguments while dismiss evidence which counter their arguments. All of the books present Israel in a negative light while none provide a factual historical account. Most importantly, they all downplay the role of Palestinian aggression. More to the point, most of the authors are also academic activists, some with a history of engaging in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. 
The following is an overview of the recommended books: 
A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict by Gershon Shafir, 2017, The book has three chapters: 1. What is the occupation? 2. Why has the occupation lasted this long? 3. How has the occupation transformed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?. Much of the book is ignoring historical facts which lead to the loss of the Palestinians in a war which the Arabs have started. A good example of the author's twisted logic can be seen in the following statement: "I suggest that it is time to replace the Israeli assertion of being 'the only democracy in the Middle East' with the claim of being the 'most legalistic country in the Middle East'. This is not particularly surprising. After all, the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Mandatory Palestine) has been the long-term beneficiary of international legal bodies and frameworks. From the League of Nations' incorporation of the Balfour Declaration into the British Mandate for Palestine, through the UN General Assembly's November 1947 resolution to partition Mandatory Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, to the rejection of claims of Israeli aggression in Security Council Resolution 242 (which concluded the 1967 War), it has been a favored party and wishes to remain so in the future." (p. 23) First, the author does not provide evidence for the assertion that Israel is no longer the only democracy in the Middle East. Second, the author's reading of the history of the conflict is questionable. Israel was legally created by the international bodies he correctly named. But the Palestinians and their Arab supporters had rejected all these decisions and started wars which they had the misfortune to lose. At the very least ,Shafir should have informed his readers that in the dominant realist paradigm in International Relations, belligerents who lose a war suffer the consequences. Even if Shafir does not accept this paradigm, it is important that he explains why the Palestinians should be exempt from the rules of international relations. Absent such an explanation, the book is an emotional exercise in favor of the belligerent Palestinians. 
Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom by Norman G. Finkelstein, 2018: Finkelstein became notorious for accusing the Jews of creating a "Holocaust industry" to subjugate the Palestinians, he had lost all academic credibility along with his academic position. Hardly chastened by the experience, his new book presents some of the same selective and, at times, tortured logic. The blurb for the book states: "Gaza is among the most densely populated places in the world. Two-thirds of its inhabitants are refugees, and more than half the population is under eighteen years of age. Since Israel occupied Gaza in 1967, it has systematically de-developed the economy. After Hamas won democratic elections in 2006, Israel intensified its blockade of Gaza, and after Hamas consolidated its control of the territory in 2007, Israel tightened its illegal siege another notch. In the meantime, Israel has launched no less than eight military operations against Gaza—culminating in Operation Cast Lead in 2008–9 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014—that left behind over three million tons of rubble. Recent UN reports predict that Gaza will be unlivable by 2020. Israel’s actions of the last decade. He argues that although Israel justified its blockade and violent assaults in the name of self-defense, in fact these actions were cynical exercises of brutal power against an essentially defenseless civilian population. Based on hundreds of human rights reports, the book scrutinizes multifarious violations of international law Israel committed both during its operations and in the course of its decade-long siege of Gaza. It is a monument to Gaza’s martyrs and a scorching accusation against their tormenters." Finkelstein's writing reflects another popular genre of academic apologists for the Palestinians, namely the eternal victim who is not responsible for any action. Not once does he mention that Hamas, a terror organization, has ruled Gaza with an iron fist. Finkelstein who lists all of Israeli violations of international law is quite shy about admitting that the military wing of Hamas, the Izzadin al Qassam Brigades has routinely dispersed its military assets among the civilian population, including schools and hospitals. 
Enclosure: Palestinian Landscapes in a Historical Mirror by Gary Fields, 2017: The author put Israel in a colonial setting of land-grabbing, ignoring the legal title to the land by the League of Nations, as the following blurb indicates: "Enclosure marshals bold new and persuasive arguments about the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians. Revealing the Israel-Palestine landscape primarily as one of enclosure, geographer Gary Fields sheds fresh light on Israel's actions. He places those actions in historical context in a broad analysis of power and landscapes across the modern world. Examining the process of land-grabbing in early modern England, colonial North America, and contemporary Palestine, Enclosure shows how patterns of exclusion and privatization have emerged across time and geography. That the same moral, legal, and cartographic arguments were copied by enclosers of land in very different historical environments challenges Israel's current rationale as being uniquely beleaguered. It also helps readers in the United Kingdom and the United States understand the Israel-Palestine conflict in the context of their own, tortured histories". Quite clearly, the author views the entire conflict from the colonial perspective, a fashionable paradigm among radical academic critics of Israel. Fields does not bother to mention that this is not the only paradigm through which the creation of Israel has been explained. Not surprising, the author is an endorser of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. 
Israel’s Occupation by Neve Gordon, 2008: As described by the author, "This first complete history of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip allows us to see beyond the smoke screen of politics in order to make sense of the dramatic changes that have developed on the ground over the past forty years. Looking at a wide range of topics, from control of water and electricity to health care and education as well as surveillance and torture, Neve Gordon's panoramic account reveals a fundamental shift from a politics of life—when, for instance, Israel helped Palestinians plant more than six-hundred thousand trees in Gaza and provided farmers with improved varieties of seeds—to a macabre politics characterized by an increasing number of deaths. Drawing attention to the interactions, excesses, and contradictions created by the forms of control used in the Occupied Territories, Gordon argues that the occupation's very structure, rather than the policy choices of the Israeli government or the actions of various Palestinian political factions, has led to this radical shift." But there is enough evidence to prove that Gordon is highly biased. For example, when he listed the initial efforts to improve the standard of living of the Palestinians after 1967, he wrote, "In the health field practices were introduced to encourage women to give birth at hospitals (a means of decreasing infant mortality rates and monitoring population growth) and to promote vaccinations (in order to decrease the incidence of contagious and noncontagious diseases)". While most people would applaud the progressive and beneficial measures improving the lives of the Palestinians, to Gordon they were instances of control mechanism. Also, Gordon was one of the first to argue that Israel is an apartheid state and in 2009 he called for boycotting Israel on the pages of the Los Angeles Times. 
One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States edited by Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg, 2014: The project was initiated in 2008 and later received support from the Swedish Foreign Ministry and the Swedish Research Council, orchestrated by Sweden's Lund University. The book description states that, "One Land, Two States imagines a new vision for Israel and Palestine in a situation where the peace process has failed to deliver an end of conflict. 'If the land cannot be shared by geographical division, and if a one-state solution remains unacceptable," the book asks, "can the land be shared in some other way?' Leading Palestinian and Israeli experts along with international diplomats and scholars answer this timely question by examining a scenario with two parallel state structures, both covering the whole territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, allowing for shared rather than competing claims of sovereignty. Such a political architecture would radically transform the nature and stakes of the Israel-Palestine conflict, open up for Israelis to remain in the West Bank and maintain their security position, enable Palestinians to settle in all of historic Palestine, and transform Jerusalem into a capital for both of full equality and independence - all without disturbing the demographic balance of each state. Exploring themes of security, resistance, diaspora, globalism, and religion, as well as forms of political and economic power that are not dependent on claims of exclusive territorial sovereignty, this pioneering book offers new ideas for the resolution of conflicts worldwide." Mark LeVine is a known supporter of the one-state solution, and the book which he co-edited essentially discredit the current two-state solution. Of course, academics can support whatever solution they prefer, but it is highly dishonest to construct a book which pushes one proposal only, under the guise of academic scholarship. 
Sustaining Conflict: Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine by Katherine Natanel, 2016: The blurb states, "Sustaining Conflict develops a groundbreaking theory of political apathy, using a combination of ethnographic material, narrative, and political, cultural, and feminist theory. It examines how the status quo is maintained in Israel-Palestine, even by the activities of Jewish Israelis who are working against the occupation of Palestinian territories. The book shows how hierarchies and fault lines in Israeli politics lead to fragmentation, and how even oppositional power becomes routine over time. Most importantly, the book exposes how the occupation is sustained through a carefully crafted system that allows sympathetic Israelis to 'knowingly not know,' further disconnecting them from the plight of Palestinians. While focusing on Israel, this is a book that has lessons for how any authoritarian regime is sustained through apathy." This is an adopted version of the author's PhD thesis in SOAS, Gender studies. In a typical convoluted phrasing, she writes, "Yet despite its seeming polarity, normalcy at the (Jewish Israeli) end of the road relies upon and arises through the relations of power which necessitate agricultural subsistence within cityscapes, lock academics at Birzeit University within metaphorical and material prison cells, and fashion understandings of ‘freedom’ through experiences of oppression at the border. Read thus, continuity replaces disparity as occupation, colonisation and domination trace a thread binding Israel with Palestine and Jewish Israelis with Palestinians." But if this is not clear yet, the author aligns herself with the Neo-Marxist, critical scholarship, "including history (Shlaim 2000, 2010; Abu El-Haj 2001; Masalha 2003; Khalidi 2006; Pappe 2006; Pappe and Hilal 2010), sociology (Lentin 2000; Shafir and Peled 2002; Ron 2003), political economy (Gordon 2008; Hever 2010; Abdo 2011) critical geography (Yiftachel 2006; Weizman 2007) and activism (De Jong 2011; Richter-Devroe 2011, 2012; Weizman 2013)". No wonder the book has won the Palestine Book Award in 2016. 
The book Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel, is a compilation of articles, moving from the British Mandate, to "a nation is born a nation is dispersed" to a questionable shared future, The book discusses figures such as Benni Gaon, Jonathan Pollack, Yigal Amir and Hillel Kook among others. It includes two chapters that stand out. The first chapter "Becoming a Hamas Suicide Bomber" by Bader Araj detailing with great sympathy the story of Na'el abu-Hilayel, a suicide bomber, recalled by his father the last meeting with his son "with mixed feelings of pride and sadness... He always cared about the afterlife, not this life... He realized his wish to die as a martyr". Na'el carried on his attack in 2002 when he wore an explosive belt packed with five kilograms of explosives and shrapnel, detonating himself on a crowded bus in Jerusalem. The attack killed eleven Israelis including five children. The author complained of the harsh actions taken by Israel against families of suicide bombers. Another suicide bomber discussed in this chapter is Maher Hubashi who detonated himself on a bus in Haifa in 2001. Both suicide bombers were working and earning an income. The author questioned the motives behind these suicide attacks whether they were religion, revenge and liberation. The chapter ends with praising the good personality of Maher and how he supported his family financially before his death. In the ending acknowledgements the author thanks the families and close friends of the two suicide bombers. The second chapter by Sonia Nimr, "Abdul Rahim Hajj Mohammad and the Arab Revolt" describes the "most respected leader of the Great Revolt" and his guerrilla warfare against the British troops and the Jews. The chapter compares the Arab revolt of 1936-9 to other Palestinian violent aggression and offers an account to the emergence of grassroots armed struggle since the 1920s. The author also acknowledges the importance of civil disobedience, as an important part of the revolt since its earliest days. The author postulates that the rebel leaders were "very strict and declared anyone who dealt with the British to be a collaborator... and the sentence was usually death by shooting... They killed anyone suspected of collaboration even without a trial." The author noted it was a widely known fact that during the revolt the Haj Amin al-Husseini faction and others got rebels "to assassinate their traditional rivals". 
Analyzing the recommended reading leaves the reader with the impression that the UCP is promoting pro-Palestinian views including terrorism. Missing from the reading list is the Israeli perspective. By publishing Israeli authors UCP hoped to present a balanced view but this is not the case. By promoting Israeli neo-Marxist, critical scholars known as post-Zionists, their reading list looks exceptionally imbalanced. But this is the case with the UCP books as a whole, not just the recommended reading. A glance on their website reveals that most books on Israel and Palestine present a pro-Palestinian stance, avoiding any criticism of the Palestinians. This kind of literature resembles the notorious polemical genre "Israel cannot do anything right and the Palestinians can not do anything wrong." 
It is deeply disheartening to see that the UCP books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict take a place of pride in this discredited category.
Hebrew University
Political Activist at the Hebrew University: Areej Sabbagh-Khoury as a Case in Point
IAM often reports on political activists masquerading as academics. A young cohort of academic activists is now making a debut. For instance, Hebrew University has recently announced that Areej Sabbagh- Khoury was hired by the department of Sociology, commencing her position in the academic year of 2018-2019. 
A close look at her CV reveals she mixes academics with political activism: 
"Areej Sabbagh-Khoury is the Inaugural Post-doctoral Research Associate in Palestine and Palestinian Studies at Brown University 2016-2017. She is also an associate researcher at Mada al-Carmel – The Arab Center for Applied Social Research. Her current book project, now under contract with Stanford University Press, examines relations between members of leftist Zionists kibbutzim and Palestinian villagers in Northern Palestine within a settler colonial framework. Sabbagh-Khoury completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. She contributed to several book chapters and articles on citizenship, memory, gender and settler colonialism, among them “Palestinian Predicaments: Jewish Immigration and Refugees Repatriation.” She also co-edited two volumes of The Palestinians in Israel: A Guide to History, Politics, and Society: the first volume was published in 2011 and the second on December 2016 (both volumes were published in English, Hebrew and Arabic). She has received several awards and grants for her research, among them the Fulbright Post-doctoral Scholar Award year 2015-2016; the 2015 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Columbia University; the Meyers Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Taub Center for Israel Studies at NYU year 2016, the Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Humanities at Tufts year 2017-2018 and the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) - Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Social Sciences 2017-2018." 
Her lecture at the Center of Middle East Studies at the Watson Institute, Brown University in October 2016 showcases her stance "The Zionist Left: Settler Colonial Practices and the Representation of the Palestinian Nakba in Northern Palestine". The invitation to the lecture reads, "inquiring the responsibility of the Zionist settlers and Israeli society on the displacement of refugees and not less important from controlling the Palestinian lands and property and banning the return of Palestinian refugees. Based on a meticulous examination of local Zionist archives of Ha-Shomer Ha-Tza’ir Kibbutzim in Marj Ibn 'Amer, I will track some of the discussions that accompanied the process of expulsion of 1948 and the pillaging of the Palestinian property from neighboring Palestinian villages. Furthermore, I will explore how the politics of remembering by members of Ha-Shomer Ha-Tzair kibbutzim reconstructed memories of the colonization practices that preceded 1948 Nakba and their role in the Nakba." 
This the type of scholarship is advanced at the Middle East Center by Professor Beshara Doumani, a Saudi-born Palestinian who has turned the Center into a platform for anti-Israel activism. He has invited the likes of Ariella Azoulay, Ilan Pappe and Neve Gordon to bash Israel. In 2014 Doumani was among the 100 Middle East studies scholars and librarians who petitioned to boycott Israeli institutions. In 2015 Doumani succumbed to BDS pressure and backed down from an Adi Ophir conference at Brown because Ophir is an Israeli scholar with ties to Tel Aviv University. 
Sabbagh-Khoury fits well into the academic-activist milieu; her PhD thesis was co-advised by Yehouda Shenhav (TAU) and Joel Beinin (Stanford), both high profile politically engaged scholars. Sabbagh-Khoury's scholarship examines Israel's settler colonialism and argues it has "discrete characteristics of the colonization processes, predicated on not only relations of domination but the dispossession of the natives and their replacement by a colonizing population." She was hailed by the post-Zionist scholar Gabriel Piterberg who found her PhD dissertation "remarkable" because it illustrated the "centrality of the settler-colonial framework". He has noted that Sabbagh-Khoury "contextualized the Nakba" by focusing on the colonization of land. Piterberg also noted she has used a "critical reconstruction of the formation of settler nations by dissenting" it. 
The Hebrew University Sociology Department, like its peers around the country, has been top heavy with scholars who research the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while lacking faculty capable to teach cutting edge subjects in Sociology at large. A number of evaluation committees of the Council of Higher Education lamented this state of affairs, as IAM repeatedly reported. In particular, the evaluation committee to the Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University found that the department lacks quantitative training. The committee found data of the MA programs on recent graduates comprising of 16 in Anthropology, 27 in Organizational Studies, 13 in Sociology, and 4 in Demography. Making Organizational Studies the most desirable subject of learning. 
The committee expressed concerns that since the founding cohort of sociologists and anthropologists were very prominent and the subsequent generation who are now approaching retirement are still an impressive and productive group, "The problem that the department now faces is one of maintaining its excellence and intellectual vigor at a time of transition to a younger set of scholars." How would recruiting the likes of Sabbagh-Khoury redress the department anomalies? 
The problem is that Israeli social sciences have compared poorly in international indices, but nothing has been done to remedy the situation. It is the university authorities who have an obligation to the Israeli tax payer and the elected officials who foot the bill.
General Articles
Academic Earthquake: Part 4
The series of posts by IAM, Academic Earthquake Part 1 and Part 2 on Asa Kahser’s Academic Code of Conduct, were accepted for distribution by the Academia-IL Network, a forum dedicated to academic-related issues. Part 3 however, was rejected by the webmaster who censored it, so far without any explanation. Should an explanation arrive we would notify our readers. 
These posts have elicited a few comments including by emeritus professor Uzzi Ornan from the Technion. Professor Ornan questioned why we use English in our posts instead of Hebrew. He then proceeded to hypothesize that we wrote about the Ethics Code of Kasher in English to bring it to the attention of “foreigners living in other countries, perhaps in order to create a ‘foreign influence’ on what is happening here.” 
To answer Ornan, since its inception in 2004, IAM has published in English because Israeli social science research is conducted by and large in English. 
But if Professor Ornan is truly concerned about “foreign influence,” he should have paid heed to two posts by Prof. Alon Harel on the same subject. On June 9, Harel wrote that "reporting on the Code of Ethics has also reached the most famous legal blog of Brian Leiter." Harel suggested to his readers to "distribute the post of this blog abroad, it is important to arrange translation of the Ethics Code into English in order to recruit people around the world to raise a cry." Harel did not say how Leiter heard of the Ethics Code but Leiter himself disclosed that "legal scholar and philosopher Alon Harel (Hebrew U) wrote to me." In his second post, on June 24, Harel wrote, "Professor Cary Nelson who in the past headed also the American Association of Law Professors asked me to distribute this document which was approved by the Alliance for Academic Freedom." We would suggest that Professor Ornan complain to Harel about his effort to create “foreign influence.” 
Indeed, the academic debate on ethics code does not address the issue of low standards in the social science and the linkage to academic activism. Notably, academic authorities have allowed some social science departments to hire activist scholars, as noted by the International Evaluation Committee of the BGU department of Politics and Government which reported to this effect: 
"In the original report, which covered a five-year period, only a couple of articles of all faculty members combined were published in leading political science journals. During the whole period examined approximately 30 articles were published by faculty members in political science journals covered by Thomson ISI." The report then questioned the quality of teaching, "But the strong emphasis on “community activism” emphasized by the Department raises at least two questions. First, are students receiving a sufficiently rigorous foundation in the discipline of politics and government to equip them with a necessary grounding in the important ideas and understandings common to the subject and the discipline? At the moment, the committee sees major weaknesses with regard to the Department’s core discipline of Political Science which need to be addressed immediately. Second, is there a balance of views in the curriculum and the classroom? Particularly, political science instructors should see to it that their own opinions are expressed as personal views so that students can take a critical perspective and that there is a broad exposure to alternative perspectives in order to widen and deepen their own understanding." 
Poor academic standards would not have been tolerated in sciences and engineering, something that the Technion-based Ornan is probably aware of. Why should they be tolerated in the social sciences?
General Articles
Academic Earthquake: Part 3
This IAM post, Academic Earthquake: Part 3 intends to present the mixing of academics with politics. The list would be very long if we brought all the evidence available in the last two decades. But it is essential to understand the relations between the political activists-turned-academics. A perusal at the TAU Cohn Institute PhD Dissertations showcases the following: Merav Amir, advisors Adi Ophir and Yehouda Shenav; Ariel Handel, advisors Adi Ophir and Tovi Fenster; Michal Givoni, advisor Adi Ophir; Anat Rimon Or, advisor Adi Ophir; Hagar Kotef, advisors Adi Ophir and Anat Biletzki; Roy Wagner, advisors Adi Ophir and Anat Biletzki; Boaz Hagin, advisors Adi Ophir and Orly Lubin; Dani Filc, advisor Moshe Zuckermann; Ariella Azoulay, advisors Moshe Zuckermann and Gila Blas. This list is a clear indication of how political activist academics promote each other. 
We have gathered a short list of some other key players promoting their political stance in their scholarships, some are familiar and some new names: 
In 2013 IAM reported on Yehouda Shenhav (TAU) who was hired to teach and research the sociology of organizations. Soon after gaining tenure, he neglected his field in order to concentrate on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since then, the self-proclaimed critical sociologist has tailored specific topics to suit his political activism. Upon joining the Mizrahi Rainbow in the 1990s, a group dedicated to bringing together Jews from Arab countries and Palestinians, Shenhav wrote a book and a number of articles on Arab Jews, his name for the Mizrahim, to prove that they, like the Palestinians, were victims of Zionism. In the mid-2000s, Shenhav launched a project to create the intellectual infrastructure for a bi-national state. In another project, in 2012 he headed a research group at Van Leer Institute Jerusalem which aspired to locate the discussion on Zionism explicit within the global matrix of imperialism. The group membership was tailor-made to produce such findings. In addition to stalwarts as Hanna Herzog and Hannan Hever, a number of Shenhav's doctoral students participated, Manar Hassan, Yuval Evri, Areej Sabbagh and Benny Nurieli. In addition to privileging Shenhav's students, it was a signal to potential PhD candidates that radical scholarship pays off. 
IAM discussed Assaf Sharon in 2014, in a post titled "The political career of Assaf Sharon sponsored by Tel Aviv University", which detailed how Sharon, a co-founder of "Breaking the Silence" who sits on its board of directors, has joined the ranks of TAU's Philosophy department, the base of operation of the radical political activists, Anat Matar and Anat Biletzki. By all accounts, Sharon has launched a highly activist career since co-founding the political think tank Molad. In a recent Tweet, he wrote "New study by @moladCRID: West Bank settlements are a burden on Israel's national security." 
Another life-long political activist sponsored by TAU is Gadi Algazi, a former IDF refusenik. He joined the ranks of TAU as an expert on late medieval history but, as other activists, spent much of his career on promoting his political agenda. Algazi is especially active in Germany, where he is scheduled to speak at Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Salon in Berlin today, June 29, on "Common perspectives: what links and separates the left in Germany and Israel." 
Aeyal Gross, a legal scholar at TAU, known to be the intellectual architect of Pinkwashing, a theory which holds that Israel has embraced gay rights in order to mask the sins of occupation. Gross was quoted recently in an Aljazeera article titled "In Israel, racism is the law", to the effect that "Equality cannot be recognised on the constitutional level... since that would challenge the inequality created by the complete identification of the state with only one group." He has recently published a book "The Writing on the Wall: Rethinking the International Law of Occupation." Where he offers insight on the 50th anniversary of the occupation, "the law of occupation in its current version to legitimize new variations of conquest and colonialism". He proposes the "need for reconsidering the law of occupation in light of changing forms of control, such as those evident in Gaza." 
A long-time radical political activist Ofer Cassif, was recently filmed comparing Israeli legislation to those of Nazi Germany in a Politics and Government course of a preparatory college program at the Hebrew University. One of Cassif's students objected to the comparison, but Cassif continued with his analogy, stating that it is comfortable to deny the situation in order not to come to terms with reality, which is very dangerous. He said "those who refuse to see the similarities between what is happening in Israel, specifically in the past two years, and Germany in the 1930s, has a problem and will be responsible for the potential situation of the state." Cassif drew parallel in legislature regarding Arabs and Jews, to the policies of Nazi Germany. He stated that the law "allows Jews to take over Palestinian-owned land for themselves, just like Aryans in 1930 Germany were allowed to kick Jews out of their homes." Hebrew University responded to Channel 2 who reported this story, rather typically: "It is unfortunate that there are individual students who choose to record their professors during class, instead of engaging in debate and open discourse on facts and opinions, and who choose to go to the media when these things do not coincide with their views. Academia is exactly the place to conduct deep and free debates. That's its essence and any other way harms this fabric and endangers the principles of democracy". 
A Hebrew University Law school's new recruit is Ahmad Amara. Amara's scholarship surrounds the legal rights to land by the Bedouin community in the Negev, he calls them Palestinian Bedouin-Arabs and wishes to portray Israel in a colonialist nature. He charges Israel of dispossession of the Bedouins. "The indigenous Bedouin Arab population in the Naqab/Negev desert in Israel has experienced a history of displacement, intense political conflict, and cultural disruption, along with recent rapid modernization, forced urbanization, and migration" Recognizing the Bedouins of the Negev as indigenous people he examines the international human rights framework and how it protects the rights of indigenous peoples to determine which group should be considered rights holders. In a recent article he wished to contest the stereotypes of Bedouins as 'nomads' and 'savages' as in the second half of the nineteenth century. As a lawyer he is representing members of the Dawabsheh family in a lawsuit against the Israeli government for compensation of tens millions of shekels over arson attack in the village of Duma, West Bank in 2015. 
Yael Berda of the Sociology and Anthropology department at the Hebrew University boasts about being "highly engaged in social justice activism and politics in Israel" in her university webpage. Barda, like many academic activists has studied the various facets of the military administration in the West Bank. 
Even this very short survey of scholar-activists is indicative of the confluence of academy and political activism. Quite clearly, these academics abuse academic privileges by using their classroom and research to promote a political agenda. There are two consequences of this deplorable state of affairs which is mostly limited to the social sciences. 
First, students of these professors do not receive the type of balanced education in the classroom as a "marketplace of ideas." Instead, the syllabus and reading materials in many of these classes are solidly neo-Marxist and critical theory oriented. How can students develop a balanced view of the economic system, for instance, if they have never encountered a reading from Adam Smith or neo-liberal economics? 
Second, the incessant preoccupation with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict robs sociology and political science of desperately needed subjects such as quantitative methods, system analysis, rational choice theory, and other cutting-edge topics. In an age that social sciences have rushed to study unique twenty first century social phenomena which require these tools, Israeli scholarship and teaching look inevitably archaic. 
For more than a decade now, IAM has been emphasizing the damage done to social sciences in Israel and the cost to the tax payers who are asked to pay the salaries of political activists masquerading as faculty. We have repeatedly pointed out that it is the duty of the university authorities to supervise their social science departments. So far, the authorities which are intimidated by vocal faculty, the fear of bad publicity, and indeed, threats of international boycott (as in the case of the efforts to close down the department of Politics and Government at BGU) have not acted. To the contrary. Given this state of affairs, an Ethics Code is more urgent than ever.
General Articles
Academic Earthquake, Part 2
The IAM post "Academic Earthquake, Part 1" concerning the ethics code proposed by Prof. Asa Kasher to Minister Naftali Bennett has attracted some criticism. The following is a comment by Professor Fania Oz-Salzberger of the University of Haifa, questioning our statement regarding some academics, that are "known to be too radical." She wrote, "Several names are given, which leaves an unfortunate aftertaste of witch hunting. I disagree with these colleagues on many issues, but wholly respect their right to air their views." She ended with, "'Too radical' is a pathetically self-revealing label." But Oz-Salzberger may not be aware that they all called for boycott. 
As before, an attack on us and the need for an ethics code is couched in the language of academic freedom and free speech. 
Just for the record, we were not the only one to raise this issue. In 2012 Professor Ziva Sharmir, the former head of the School of Jewish Studies and head of the Katz Institute for the Study of Literature at TAU, who upon her retirement wrote in 2012 in Kivunim Hadashim. Shamir, a former member in promotion committees came across teaching evaluation forms by students complaining about “missionary” professors conveying political messages. She noted that such behavior "contribute to hypocrisy in the classroom; on the one hand they speak about academic freedom but on the other, their teaching does not encourage pluralism and a free exchange of ideas." Shamir wrote harshly about a "climate of academic rigidity", and "pseudo-research", "where the conclusions are reached ahead of time and empirical surveys are tailored to fit the foregone conclusions." Shamir added that in many fields, "research has been abandoned in favor of the fashionable “discourse.” In many departments it is impossible to express an opinion because the “knights of free speech” will boycott all those who dare to say things outside the parameters of political correctness". Such radical ideas are sometimes "products of self-interested hypocrisy driven by well-paid service to anti-Israeli elements." The problem lies, Shamir noted, when the majority of academics in those departments were silent due to fear. 
Shamir offered solutions, including an ethics committee: 
There is a need to depoliticize academic instruction, noting that the new trends in critical scholarship give the instructor more political leeway. 
Departments should evaluate themselves in addition to being evaluated by an outside body that would determine if they fulfill the original mandate of the CHE. 
Faculty members should stop using their university office as a branch of their political party, while using the postal, telephone and Internet services of the university, and, sometimes, even the services of research assistants. Academic appointments and university budgets are geared toward helping faculty to research and teach, and no other purposes. 
Faculty members should not be allowed to preach their political views in the classroom. Their personal opinions are not more important than the man in the street; the university did not hire him or her because of political opinions. Faculty members, whose fealty to political activism is first and foremost, should take a leave of absence, or consider a switch to politics. 
A committee of relevant experts should be created to evaluate the difference between legitimate research and political propaganda, even in disciplines where the difference may be difficult to discern. Such a committee would be able to determine whether a faculty member whom students have labeled a “political harasser” crossed the line between offering his or her opinions to engaging in political preaching. 
Academic fields that touch upon the political should be approached from a theoretical perspective that encourages pluralistic thinking. Students are not captives of instructors and political harassment, like sexual harassment, should not be allowed. It is legitimate to ask students to express political opinion, but to ask them to participate in demonstrations or sign petitions is political harassment. Students should be able to assume that their refusal to do so would not affect their grades. 
Academic freedom (libertas scholastica) - an argument used by politically-inclined faculty in response to charges of politicization in the universities - is liberty to research and publish without intervention of authorities or outside interests; it is not a carte blanche to turn a classroom into a political platform. Those who wrap themselves in the mantle of academic freedom misrepresent the true meaning of academic freedom - a cornerstone of Western culture that has encouraged freedom of thinking. 
An ethics committee to examine the issue of proportionality and not just the quality of arguments and their scientific soundness in research. 
Despite the vehement opposition, some academics admit that there is a problem. Legal scholar Iddo Porat who opposes the Kasher version of the ethics code, has noted that many of those who attack the code, "suffer from the same syndrome that caused the need for such a code to begin with - a complete denial that there is a problem. There is a problem, and universities can only blame themselves for not making any attempt to deal with it internally, and avoiding any responsibility for it. The Academy is a public asset, financed by the public, and it is inappropriate and unfair that it would serve as a platform for gaining political influence or transmitting a message from one side of the political map. It also makes sense that the defeated party, the right wing, will not want to stand idly by when it happens. When there are internal professional standards such phenomena are tempered by internal pressures, but if internal standards of academic professionalism are eroded, and there are interests of the public that are harmed, it is impossible to complain about attempts to regulate it from above. There is a great risk of regulation. But if you want to avoid it, you have to start with a much more serious process of internal regulation, and before that, of internal debate." 
Porat's comment about the Israeli universities being financed by the tax payer is welcome. For many years now we have empathized this point. We brought detailed statics which indicate that the standards of Israeli universities has deteriorated not just in comparison with Western institutions but also with the newer Asian institutions of higher learning. Social sciences have deteriorated in particular because of the preponderance of critical, neo-Marxist scholarship. 
Substance aside, the tone of he debate is worrisome because it goes well beyond accepted academic standards of speech. Idan Segev of the Hebrew University wrote in opposition to the code labeling the Minister "Bennett and his aggressive and regressive friends". A petition circulated by Eilon Vaadia called the Kasher ethics code a "disgrace" and claimed it was born in sin. 
Bennett, however, responded that the Kasher code serves as a basis for discussion until a solution is reached. Name calling is not a substitute for a debate. 
Academic Earthquake, Part 3 will look back on mixing academics and politics.
General Articles
Academic Earthquake: Part 1
IAM reported in early Dec 2016 that Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Education and chair of the Council of Higher Education (CHE) had appointed Prof. Asa Kasher to write an ethics code of conduct for the academy. The Code was prepared and the next step is for the CHE to either adopt it as is, amend or abolish. The new Code has also reached the public, in particular Israeli academics, which vehemently rejected it. 
Global media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Daily Mail, have all published the following brief, "Israel's university leaders have lashed out at the nationalist education minister's plan to impose a code of ethics they say is aimed at limiting their academic freedom. The umbrella organization of Israel's university heads says they "vehemently object" to Education Minister Naftali Bennett's guidelines calling on professors to refrain from expressing political opinions in class or openly supporting an academic boycott of Israel. Bennett says Sunday he tasked Asa Kasher, an ethics and philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University, to draw up guidelines to protect students from lecturers who impose their "political worldview" on them. Bennett and other hardliners accuse Israel's academia of having a disproportionate liberal bias. The university heads said such a code ran counter to the concept of academic freedom and doubted it would be enacted." Worth noting the jargon used opposing Bennett, labeling him "nationalist education minister" and "Bennett and other hardliners"; The radical left is softly labeled as "disproportionate liberal bias". 
In Israel, among tons of criticism, Aeyal Gross, professor of Law in TAU declared his opposition in a column in Haaretz and Sandy Kedar of the Law faculty in Haifa University was quoted in Times Higher Education, expressing his disproval. The Committee of University Heads (VERA); The Middle East & Islamic Studies Association of Israel (MEISAI); the Israeli Democracy Institute; the Israeli Anthropological Association; among others attacked the Code. The Students Union announced a demonstration to protest the docu'ment. 
Both the foreign media and the Israeli protesters misrepresent the Kasher code. It is well known that many in the liberal arts have been leaning left. Some are known to be too radical. Neve Gordon, Anat Matar, Rachel Giora, Kobi Snitz and others have often used their academic positions to promote their politics. In 2002 over three hundred academics called their students to refuse military service in the Palestinian territories. IAM which was established in 2004 has been reporting on numerous cases, available in our archives. Of course, there should have been no need for an ethics code had the university heads were dealing with their radical academics dating back for twenty years, but preferred to do nothing under the excuse of "academic freedom". In the Israeli system, university leaders rely on the backing of staff to be reelected, an arrangement which virtually ensures ennui. 
Ran Chermesh, a retired professor from BGU, touched on the issue of the activists in a post on Forum Academia. "The main problem with the Kasher doc'ument is not in its details, but in the process of its creation. We mustn't allow the political echelon to erode academic freedom. It is a slippery slope, starts minimal but ends severely. Therefore, there is no point in entering into a text analysis. The details are not important. What is needed now is for the academic institutions unanimously to reject this attack. When the flood stops, there will be time for self-examination and no doubt there is room for it." In other words, the university authorities need to examine their role in going easy on academic activists. 
The debate got heated when Bar-Ilan University announced a conference on BDS which featured Asa Kasher as a speaker. Michael Gluzman of the TAU Hebrew Literature department responded, "To meet Asa Kasher? Why give him this honor? He serves a right-wing government with anti-democratic tendencies. The Committee of University Heads has already announced that Kasher's docu'ment contradicts academic freedom and has rejected it completely. Perhaps instead of holding discussions about the BDS, Bar Ilan University will devote a seminar to the threats to the democratic regime in Israel. 
Many opponents of the Kasher Code argue that the American university code as drafted by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has not dealt with expressing political opinions in class, and thus the Israeli code should not do so as well. Such statements grossly misrepresent the American reality with regard to public universities. In the US the governors of the states appoint the governing board of the universities and, in turn, they pick the presidents and other higher administrative officials. The system makes it easy for presidents to admonish or fire faculty members who use their classrooms as an extension of their political agenda. The courts have also intervened in cases in which the political and the academic clashed. 
Also, opponents to the Kasher Code argue that muzzling academic freedom lowers academic excellence. This bogus argument is easily proved. Over more than two decades now, the Israeli universities have been sliding in competitive rankings, not only in the West but also in Asia. The liberal science in particular gets low comparative grades, not least because, as several Evaluation Committees of the CHE noted, they are staffed with neo-Marxist, critical scholars whose research is not part of the Thomson ISI rankings. For example, the five-year period Evaluation Committee Report 2011, of the BGU Department of Politics and Government, found that only a couple of articles of all faculty members combined were published in leading political science journals. The report noted a strong emphasis on “community activism” which raised the question if students received rigorous foundation in the discipline. The answer was that the committee saw major weaknesses with regard to the Department. Likewise, the 2011 Report of Sociology and Anthropology at BGU noted a concern of the Committee, of the modest training that students in the MA program received in quantitative methods and statistics and pointed out that even if students were interested only in qualitative methods there was a core of knowledge common to the profession to include a sufficient familiarity with quantitative techniques to read articles in the main journals. The report named the three areas of specialization: critical social studies, sociology of organizations, and anthropology and concluded there appeared to be a concentration of the faculty in areas of critical studies. The report suggested the "study of organizations from a rigorously evidenced-based perspective." 
With few exceptions Israeli universities are public, but opponents of the Kasher Code pretend that they should have the same latitude as private universities. The Israeli academy has never accepted the core principle of public universities in the US and other Western countries, namely, that public universities are funded by the tax payer and are accountable to the elected representatives of the tax payers. 
Academic Earthquake: Part 2 will discuss specific examples of political activism by Israeli academics.
General Articles
UK: University College Union Dissociates from the Working Definition of Antisemitism
Last week, the European Parliament voted in favor of endorsing the Working Definition of Antisemitism (WDA) of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), drawing praises from Jewish groups. The resolution calls on EU member states, institutions and agencies to adopt and apply the WDA, which in December 2016 was adopted by the British Government. 
The WDA defines antisemitsm as follows: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” The WDA also lists several examples of antisemitic cases. To prevent accusations of shutting up criticism of Israel the definition includes, "However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic." 
Yet, the British University and College Union (UCU), which represents over 110,000 academics across the UK, voted to dissociate itself from the WDA. The vote was taken during the UCU's congress which met on Monday 29 May 2017. 
This should come as no surprise, the UCU has been considered a hotbed for anti-Israel attitudes at least since 2005. Under its previous name, Association of University Teachers (AUT), it voted to boycott University of Haifa and Bar-Ilan University because of alleged violations of human rights and academic freedoms. Eventually this decision was overturned. 
Some blame this bias on Sally Hunt, the general secretary since 2002. In 2012 the group Academic Friends of Israel had warned that the "union's stance on Israel under Ms Hunt had left supporters of Israel 'between a rock and a hard place'. UCU has adopted 16 anti-Israel resolutions under her leadership", according to the group. 
The UCU congress explained its dissociation from WDA, that the definition "conflates anti-semitism with criticism of the state of Israel and has been used to intimidate academics who are engaged in activities that are critical of the policies of the Israeli government but that are not anti-semitic." It also rejected "government-inspired attempts to ban Palestine solidarity events, naming Israel Apartheid Week." 
The UCU congress also boasted that the UCU has an "exemplary anti-racist work," in particular its "Holocaust Memorial Day materials". A quick search in the UCU website, reveals what the Holocaust Memorial Day means to the organization. It states that the "UCU commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) observed annually on 27 January. It does so in memory of the millions who were murdered in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur and Rwanda in order to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today." 
It should be pointed out that the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), and the new Jewish-led Free Speech on Israel, two radical anti-Israel groups, have taken credit for the decision, writing that their "model resolution has been adopted by UCU Congress." The groups include long-standing pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel activists Jonathan Rosenhead, Mike Cushman, Sue Blackwell, and Tom Hickey. 
It is now left to the British government to enforce the WDA on the UCU.
General Articles
Political Activism at the Israeli Anthropological and Sociological Associations
During the 2009 Gaza operation, while thousands of Global Jihadists were active in southern Gaza Strip and Gaza was full of "tunnels intended for abducting troops, weapons, anti-aircraft missiles, and booby-trapped buildings in civilian centers... and weapons prepared for future attacks, such as motorbikes intended for kidnapping," some five hundred Israelis posted a petition online urging the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Israel. The signatories also urged EU member states to adopt "immediate restrictive measures and sanctions, as well as cessation of all upgrade dialogue with Israel." 
Some of the petitioners were academics. Regev Nathansohn, who teaches Anthropology at the University of Haifa, was one of them. Nathansohn was the winner of the best MA thesis in 2007 by the Israeli Sociological Association supervised by Yehouda Shenhav and Dan Rabinowitz, a former president of the Anthropological Association. The thesis was named "Shooting Occupation: Sociology of Visual Representation." 
Nathansohn participated in the activities of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR) in 2009. IHJR, was established in 2004 in order to launch a series of research initiatives to study history. For instance, "The ‘Historical Memory on Haifa 1948’ project encompasses a series of joint research initiatives whereby Israeli and Palestinian scholars focused on actual events of the period surrounding 1948 and how they affected the lives of Jews and Palestinians in Haifa." In spite of its lofty aim, the actual project was essentially an exercise of rewriting history. A chapter which Nathansohn co-authored attests to this statement: "Joseph’s reply showed familiarity with the various Zionist paramilitary groups of that time: You know, history repeats itself. During that war it was the same as what we have today among the Palestinians. There is the Fatah, there is Hammas, and there is the Jihad Islami. Same as it was back then with the Jewish forces: the Palmach and the Haganah – their handling of things was softer, but there was the Etzel and the Lechi of Menahem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir and all this gang. They only knew how to kill. Whoever they caught they killed on the spot." Even a casual observer would have noted that there is no place to compare the Jewish organizations to Fatah, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. 
In spite of such lapses, Yehouda Shenhav, Nathansohn's MA supervisor, wrote enthusiastically of this project: "In this remarkable project, Jews and Palestinians, write together the history and memory of the city of Haifa. Rather than presenting incommensurable national narratives, they offer a fresh and inspiring alternative: each article is co-authored by Arabs and Jews, thus turning the art of research and writing into a bi-national practice. Addressing 1948 as a benchmark, is crucial particularly today in facilitating not only a new reading of the political story, but also offering political possibilities. Haifa Before & After 1948 is an inspirational book that deserves to be read by everyone who is interested in the history and memory of bi-national societies." Nathansohn is part of the younger generation of sociologists and anthropologists who continue the tradition of radical activists like Shenhav. 
Likewise, Matan Kaminer, a conscientious objector, and an activist , is the newly elected coordinator of the migration and demography community at the Israeli Sociological Association. Kaminer's dissertation is "an ethnographic exploration of the conjunction between settler colonialism and global migration" in Israel. Kaminer "has been active in the Israeli conscientious objectors’ movement, in national and municipal politics and in migrant solidarity work in Israel for the past fifteen years." In 2010 he has taught a semester in Anthropology at TAU, but much of his life he has been a political activist. Kaminer describes Israel as a hollow democracy, "The demoralization of the intellectuals may have grave consequences for the Israeli regime; though financial and military aid for Israel still enjoys public support across the United States and Europe, much of this support depends on the continued credibility of the “only democracy” trope. Thus, what increasingly looks like a shutdown of Israel’s ethnic democracy cannot be understood as a premeditated move to serve the regime’s interests. The current dynamic is probably better understood as an acceleration of a trend inherent in Zionism, as well as in other repressive social formations: the need to identify threatening enemies in order to ensure internal cohesion." 
The 2017 annual conference of the Israeli Anthropological Association which took place last week was featured on the website of MAKI, the Israeli Communist Party. The report introduced the academic-activist Yeela Raanan of Sapir College. MAKI's report noted that "Among the participants are activists of the left-wing lecturers' group at the universities and colleges 'Academia for Equality'." The conference marked solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. In particular the conference addressed Gilad Erdan, Minister of Public Security and urged him to meet the demands of the striking prisoners. Two days after MAKI published the article the Israeli Anthropological Association has posted their statement online. 
There is no better proof of the mixing of politics and academics. Professional associations of this kind should not impose political agenda on the public who sponsor Israeli universities.







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