Home
Search
עברית
Board & Mission Statement
Why IAM?
About Us
Articles by IAM Associates
Ben-Gurion University
Hebrew University
University of Haifa
Tel Aviv University
Other Institutions
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
Anti-Israel Petitions Supported by Israeli Academics
General Articles
Anti-Israel Conferences
Lawfare
Anti-Israel Academic Resolutions
Lectures Interrupted
Activists Profiles
Readers Forum
On the Brighter Side
How can I complain?
Contact Us / Subscribe
Donate
Home

Amuta registration number 58-051-885-0

 

Contact lAM 

 Established in 2004

Subscribe

 

Israel Academia Monitor

Follows

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

bbbbb

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:
(Extract) 
General Articles
 
10.10.19
Middle East Studies and the U.S. Department of Education: The Duke-UNC Consortium Case
 
No doubt that the Middle East plays a significant role in American foreign policy. Shaping it requires a cadre of people educated in the arcane aspects of the region. The Middle East Studies have been created for this purpose and supported by the federal government, but over the years activist-scholars from the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) have been distorting the goal of providing objective knowledge.
Recently, the US Education Department has alerted two universities, Duke and North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that the Duke-U.N.C. Consortium for Middle East Studies program (CMES) which is supported with Title VI funds, is unauthorized and may not qualify as an eligible National Resource Center to receive the grants.
According to the Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the "Congress authorizes grants to protect the security, stability, and economic vitality of the United States" by teaching foreign languages and cultures to American students, required to develop a pool of experts "to meet our national needs." Title VI grants are made to institutions of higher education or consortia, for comprehensive foreign language and international studies centers and programs. Federal funding is conditioned that the given center or program is a "National Resource" for foreign language, providing a full understanding of areas, regions, or countries for research and training in world affairs. "It is unlawful for institutions of higher education to use Title VI funds differently."
The US Education Department raised a number of concerns regarding Duke-UNC Consortium program: First, that of over 6 thousand students enrolled in the program only 960 took foreign language courses. Second, there are collaborations with academic departments that are not aligned with the requirements of the National Resource Centers and are not eligible for the grants. Third, many of the topics taught have little or no relevance to Title VI, for example, Iranian art and film, “Love and Desire in Modem Iran;” "Amihri Hatun: Performance, Gender-Bending and Subversion in the Early Modern Ottoman Intellectual History"; or, "Radical Love: Teachings from Islamic Mystical Tradition." These should not be funded or subsidized by the American taxpayers under Title VI unless demonstrated they are helping American students to become fluent in Middle Eastern languages. Forth, the program appears to be lacking balance and doesn't include, for example, historic discrimination faced by religious minorities in the Middle East, including Christians, Jews, Baha'is, Yadizis, Kurds, Druze, and others. There is a clear effort to present the positive aspects of Islam, such as an outdoor concert series "Islam, music, and social change," but no effort to present the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism, or other religions in the Middle East. Fifth, the program offers very little attention to "understand the geopolitical challenges to U.S. national security and economic needs." Instead, it emphasizes "advancing ideological priorities," such as presenting "dominant American frameworks," or American "aggressively capitalist environment.”
The debate over the abuse of Title VI is not new, IAM reported in February 2018 of a coalition of American Jewish educational groups which has written in request of amendments to Title VI. The groups’ concern was that federal funds "are being misused to promote biased, one-sided, and anti-Israel programming in our nation’s Middle East studies centers" as many recipients of Title VI funds "provide only a monochromatic –and biased, anti-American, and anti-Israel—perspective."
This bias was discussed also in 2016, in an article in the Weekly Standard, contemplating how "US Taxpayer Dollars Contribute to BDS Activity and Anti-Semitism on Campuses.” In 2014, the journal Inside Higher Education noted 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.”
As mentioned earlier, such trends have been promoted by the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), a hotbed of anti-Israeli activity. Unsurprisingly, MESA is also a bastion of academics like John Esposito who have been accused of whitewashing Islam.
In 2001, Martin Kramer, a Middle East expert, made the most comprehensive study on bias in the Middle East studies programs in his widely discussed book, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America. Kramer postulated that "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 requested 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 urged 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." For Kramer, Middle East studies "lack a culture of tolerance for diversity in ideas and approaches." He suggested, "it can be solved only by a deliberate effort to open Middle Eastern studies to debate."
As for the current crisis of the Duke-UNC Consortium, the latest report states that despite the concerns from the U.S. Department of Education over uses of Title VI grants, it received funding for the 2019-20 academic year. Still, it looks as if the Title VI grants for Middle East studies will be under a magnifying glass from now on.
This step has an effect on Israeli academia as well. For two decades, Israeli academics willing to bash Israel were recruited to teach and research by MESA scholars who abuse the Title VI grants, something IAM reported in length.
Criticism of Israel is, of course, a legitimate issue, but it needs to be balanced with criticism of the Arab world and Islam, something MESA members have prevented for too long.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
03.10.19
Israeli Scholars Defend BDS: Two Initiatives, by Moshe Zuckermann, and by Rachel Giora with Kobi Snitz
 
An interim report by Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, was presented at the UN general assembly on 23 September 2019. Articles 17 and 18 of the report are dealing with antisemitism and BDS. In article 17, the Special Rapporteur noted an increase of incidents in "what is sometimes called ‘left-wing’ antisemitism," in many countries. Of individuals who claim to hold anti-racist or anti-imperialist views, employ antisemitic narratives and sometimes even Holocaust denial, when expressing anger at the policies and practices of the Government of Israel. Some have "conflated Zionism, the self-determination movement of the Jewish people, with racism" and claim that Israel has no right to exist. In article 18, the Special Rapporteur noted that the "objectives, activities and effects” of BDS are “fundamentally antisemitic." The movement promotes BDS against those who they think "‘complicit’ in violations of the human rights of Palestinians by the Government of Israel." But in fact, the Special Rapporteur states that BDS, "one of its core aims is to bring about the end of the State of Israel." By often employing "antisemitic narratives, conspiracies and tropes in the course of expressing support for the BDS campaign". The Special Rapporteur emphasized that "expression which draws upon antisemitic tropes or stereotypes, rejects the right of Israel to exist, or advocates discrimination against Jewish individuals because of their religion, should be condemned."
Coinciding with the UN determination of BDS as anti-Semitic, Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs has recently published a report, “Behind the Mask: The Antisemitic Nature of BDS Exposed”. The report, which was presented to the European Parliament on September 25, 2019, showcased numerous examples of the antisemitic nature of BDS. Such as, calls for Jews to “go back to the ovens!”, accusations of poisoning water supplies, equation of Israel with Nazi Germany, and calls for the destruction of the Jewish State, among others. The report includes antisemitic imagery of Jews as pigs, octopuses, Jewish big noses, Jewish obsession with wealth, Jews as controlling the world and the global “Jewish lobby.”
Amid the efforts to define BDS as anti-Semitic, activist-academics in Western universities who are closely associated with Palestinians increased their efforts to defend BDS. IAM has reported on many cases since 2004.
One recent example was featured on September 18, 2019, by the Middle East Monitor, a media outlet run by Dr. Daud Abdullah, the deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain and a lecturer of Islamic Studies at Birkbeck College U.K. The article discussed a German court-case which ruled unlawful the exclusion of a Palestinian organization from cultural events, on account of supporting BDS. The court constituted it is an “unequal treatment”. The ruling came four months after the German Bundestag voted in favor of a non-binding motion defining BDS as anti-Semitic. The court decision upheld the principals of freedom of speech, including the freedom to discuss and promote boycott campaigns, as protected speech. Claiming victory is the European Legal Support Centre (ELSC), representative of the German-Palestinian Women’s Association which was excluded by the City of Bonn for supporting BDS. Among the documents filed by ELSC's Attorney Ahmed Abed, was an expert opinion by Prof. Moshe Zuckermann, emeritus professor at Tel Aviv University. In his opinion, Zuckermann argued that anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel are three distinct categories which must be treated separately and that the attempt to portray the BDS movement as anti-Semitic is “manipulative and guided by ideological interests”. Arguably, Zuckermann himself is ideologically motivated.
Last but not least, another group of Israeli political activists among them academics have launched a campaign to undermine the Israeli attempts to prevent BDS. Some, like Rachel Giora and Kobi Snitz, are the earliest proponents of BDS. Gush Shalom, the Israeli peace group, reported the case, that in a recent hearing at the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice refused to reveal the identity of international law firms that help with anti BDS efforts in Europe. The Petition for freedom of information was filed by Attorney Itay Mac, demanding to disclose the details of the law firms' identity and the nature of the service which they give to the Israeli Ministry of Justice. The petition was originally filed by Mac in November 2017 along with “human rights activists” TAU Prof. Rachel Giora and Dr. Kobi Snitz of Weizmann Institute, among others.
For years IAM has reported on Israeli academics who advance their political agenda while being paid by the Israeli taxpayers. University administrators have been reluctant to put an end to this abuse for fear of backlash by the international academic community which can be easily mobilized to defend the “academic freedoms” of pro-Palestinian academics. The fear of international pressure contributed to the fact that Israel has the most liberal definition of academic freedom, a definition that would not be tolerated in other Western countries. The result is as sad as it is predictable: an outmoded social science curriculum where cutting edge subjects and methodology are pushed aside, to offer slots to radical activists. Despite poor international ranking for Israeli social sciences, nothing has been done to rescue the field.
Hebrew University
 
26.09.19
HUJ Yael Berda Delegitimizes Israel at a United Nations Meeting
 
Dr. Yael Berda is a lawyer teaching Sociology at the Hebrew University. Berda is also a political activist who uses her academic position to discredit Israel, a fact that IAM reported before. In her academic writing she focuses on Israel's permit system in the West bank and East Jerusalem, portraying it a "colonial form of power". Palestinian newspaper recently wrote she is convinced that the "security restrictions on Palestinians have nothing to do with security issues." For her, it’s racial segregation.
Berda has participated in June, at a United Nations meeting in Geneva, titled "the International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem.” Invited by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and sponsored by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an inter-governmental organization with 57 member states. The participants looked for ways of “Preserving the cultural and religious character of Jerusalem,” under Palestinian control. The meeting criticized Israel’s policies and measures "aiming to change the character of Jerusalem". Other speakers included Ambassador Cheikh Niang, Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; ASG Samir Bakr, Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine and Al-Quds Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Ms. Carla Khijoyan, Program Executive for the Middle East; WCC Min. Ahmad Majdalani, Minister of Social Affairs of the State of Palestine; among others.
Berda's speech presented a very dire picture of East Jerusalem under Israel, blaming Israel alone. For Berda, it is Israel's "colonial control" and the residents are “under constant threat of violence". According to her, city tax is part of the "bureaucracy of the occupation", which is "an effective tool against Palestinians". She coined it "colonial bureaucracy" and "racial hierarchy." Berda absolves all Palestinian violence and blames Israel for "rampant arrests," where "youth might find themselves detained." The essence of her talk was that the Jerusalem Municipality, which collects high taxes, gives almost nothing in return, only the security forces are visible. For Berda, the "regime" separates between Palestinians and Palestinians, evidence the regime is not dedicated to security provisions but to other "colonial goals". For her, most of these activities are on administrative bases, such as the court orders and demolitions orders, that can be stopped with political pressure. “It can be incredibly affective if the administration has an active opposition,” she urged the audience.
Just before Rosh Hashana, on Saturday morning of September 28, Berda will speak at the University of Basel in a conference "Comparing Colonialism: Beyond European Exceptionalism" Her talk is "Bureaucratic Tools of Emergency and Citizenship in the Colonial Past and Present: Israel/Palestine and India." Berda investigates the bureaucratic classification of population, based on the "practices of identification, registration, mapping and zoning" and questions "how colonial practices, designed to control subjugated populations, have become organizing principles of the modern state". She will be discussing the "administrative colonial legacies" of the historical colonial rule, with the rise of contemporary colonial forms of power." In particular, Berda will focus on "Israel's military government over the Palestinians 1949-1966 in 'security zones', and its practices of population classification", comparing with "classification practices of Palestinians in Israel's contemporary military rule over the Occupied West Bank."
Similarly, in 2017, Berda was invited to deliver a lecture at Harvard University on Israel's anti-terrorism law. Berda discussed "the colonial origins of these security laws and their relation to citizenship." Berda provided an alternative analysis of the ways the anti-terrorism bill uses the emergency laws by the British Empire. According to Berda, this "legal toolkit" produced a triple bind between security, loyalty, and identity through bureaucratic means. Berda argued that the British colonial roots of security practices, which focus on "population management and its classification as loyal to the state, or suspicious," have formed the boundaries of citizenship. For Berda, the "institutionalization of British colonial emergency laws... deeply impacted the scope and authority of executive power to justify consistent violation to civil rights." by the contemporary state.
Berda, however, does not consider terrorism against civilians to be a major factor for instilling security measures.
Like many of her political comradery, she remade herself an expert on Israeli history. In the spring, she will be teaching a course at India's Jindal Global University on "State and Society from Mandate Palestine to Present day Israel." Berda is often invited to speak at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Given her written record, it is not hard to imagine that her message would be stridently anti-Israel.
Barda's activist career included Machsom Watch and often represented members of the organization International Solidarity Movement (ISM, aka PalSolidarity). In 2004, Berda represented Ewa Jasiewicz, a British-Polish journalist who was detained at Ben Gurion Airport upon arrival, because in 2002, the journalist lived and worked in the West Bank city of Jenin. In an email published by the ISM, the journalist told a story of the son of the family she stayed with, who opened fire on Israelis a few months earlier. The journalist wrote: "I don’t get why activists can’t go and do the Knesset or something, or do a sophisticated politician bump-off like the PFLP?” These are the types Berda represented.
In 2005, after newspapers charged Berda with waging a war against Israel’s secret service she went to the United States for two months. As a lawyer, Berda represented more than two hundred Palestinians trying to obtain labor permits to enter Israel.
Like her other radical peers, Berda receives a salary from the Hebrew University, that is, from the Israeli taxpayer. Even a casual perusal of her activities indicates that she spends an inordinate part of her time traveling and giving talks to delegitimize Israel.
The university authorities are custodians of the public money that enables them to thrive. The question is whether in the case of Yael Barda the HUJ has been a responsible custodian.
Tel Aviv University
 
18.09.19
TAU Daniel Bar-Tal Responds to IAM: "Delegitimization of Me and My Contribution"
 
IAM encourages readers to respond to the posts and publishes them as a matter of courtesy.
Our previous post "The Delegitimization of Israel from the Academy: TAU Daniel Bar-Tal as a Case in Point" enraged Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal and prompted his response.
Bar-Tal wrote, "The reaction was expected because IAM is acting in the spirit of Orwell of "1984" that develops in Israel. The reaction derogates the research, the affiliation and then makes an absurd association with Galtung whom I met once in my life—all in the name of free speech and democracy." Bar-Tal continued, "Anyone who respects Israel, who supports democracy and cherishes moral values, has to be appalled by the activity of such an organization. But In Israel of today there are several organizations of this kind that delegitimizes free research and speech, that is coming with the objective of carrying valid research as well as practicing constructive patriotism. In the present zeitgeist in Israel I take into consideration that a bad thing may happen to me. But I promise to all of you that I will not be afraid and will not scale down my critical and opened minded academic work. Ill continue my line of research because it is our responsibility and obligation to shed light on all the social phenomena that bring bloodshed, misery and suffering in this world.”
Bar-Tal’s answer is in line with the tactics of radical activist scholars who accuse their critics as "Orwellians" who want to stifle all free discourse in the society. Such blanket accusations are convenient because they absolve activists of responding to the particular points raised in the post. Once critics are delegitimized as “Orwellians", their critique can be described as pages from the "1948" playbook.
Indeed, Bar-Tal has either failed to reply to the issues raised by the IAM post or responded in a highly deceitful way.
First, Bar-Tal does not explain how, after being hired to teach and research early childhood education, he ended up writing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Indeed, despite his switch of disciplines, he was promoted and rewarded by Tel Aviv University. A good salary, steady promotion, not to mention a good pension upon retirement, is not exactly hard life. He was very lucky because the Tel Aviv university authorities were too scared to stand up to his career retooling. As IAM has been repeatedly reporting since 2004, Bar-Tal was not alone in taking advantage of the academic leadership's fear to confront their activist faculty.
Second, Bar-Tal had nothing to say about his research methods in his “Masada Complex" studies. Bar-Tal never considered the horrific terror attacks as an alternative explanation to the Israeli reticence to go ahead with the peace process. The Peace Index of Tel Aviv University clearly indicated that in 1993, the public support for the Oslo peace was quite high, but as the suicide bombings took a toll, the good will evaporated. More to the point, when Prime Minister Rabin tried to describe the victims as "victims of peace”, the public reacted with outrage. Bar-Tal and his peace camp comrades should be reminded that it was not the memory of Masada, but the trauma of watching the suicide attacks nightly on television that soured the Israelis on peace.
Third, Bar-Tal dismisses the importance of Galtung to his career. In fact, Bar-Tal cited Galtung and even declared him to be "the greatest peace researcher”. As for “meeting Galtung once,” in a 2012 post, IAM pointed out that in a 2006 conference which was organized by Bar-Tal, Galtung was invited to deliver the keynote address. It was during this lecture that Galtung made invidious comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany, a theme that he pursued before. While one Israeli scholar expressed dismay, Bar-Tal kept silent.
Finally, Bar-Tal simply has no answer to IAM's criticism
Tel Aviv University
 
12.09.19
The Delegitimization of Israel from the Academy: TAU Daniel Bar-Tal as a Case in Point
 
The delegitimization of Israel would have not been possible without the helping hands of Israeli intellectuals, notably some scholars.
Daniel Bar-Tal, the Branco Weiss Professor of Research in Child Development and Education at the School of Education at Tel Aviv University, has been discussed by IAM before. Despite his title, Bar-Tal spent little time researching child development. In fact, he switched his attention to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Bar-Tal recently wrote a short autobiography detailing his academic development in an article published by the American Psychological Association. Titled "The Challenges of Social and Political Psychology in Pursuit of Peace: Personal Account," he explained the shift in career. "The opportunity for the major shift came on my sabbatical at Vanderbilt University in 1981–1982. It was there that I began to conceptualize the phenomena of delegitimization, siege mentality, and patriotism that have absorbed me, especially observing them in Israeli society... Many Jews have seen Arab animosity and hatred as a continuation of European anti-Semitism. Moreover, Israeli Jews view the criticism of Israeli policies and behaviors regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, especially in the context of the occupation, as an indication of world anti- Semitism." Bar-Tal mocked those beliefs because he viewed them as “hegemonic narratives”.
Bar-Tal explains himself as following: "Social scientists also have to recognize that they may pay a price, especially in certain societies, for their research questions and lines of research that advance knowledge, contradicting the hegemonic narrative of the regime. This is also the case in Israel. More than once did I have the honor of appearing on the black lists of various organizations that monitor academia, and I have been reprimanded by politicians who did not like the results of my studies. They thought that I was harming the standing of Israel in the international community. Fear of paying a price robs the mind not only of human beings, but also of scientists. It can affect their research in different ways. Thus, scientists have to be brave and independent in their science making.” In other words, Bar-Tal's "science" was trashing Israel while embracing the Palestinian narrative. More egregiously, he has done it under the auspices of the so-called Peace Studies movement pioneered by Professor Johan Galtung. Bar-Tal, for example, invited Galtung to keynote a conference at Tel Aviv University.
Anyone familiar with the history of Galtung’s Peace Studies knows that this was a cover for bashing Israel and accusing Israelis of all the ills in the region while absolving the Palestinians for any blame. In addition, Galtung turned to be a notorious anti-Semite. Late Prof. Robert S. Wistrich, an expert in research on anti-Semitism, wrote in his 2013 article, "Parallel Lines: Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century," that "Professor Galtung, a veteran anti-American and anti-Zionist leftist declared the notorious antisemitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, to be a serious text for understanding Israeli policy. If that were not enough, he also insisted that the main source of contemporary evils was Jewish-Zionist control of American politics, the banks and the media. For his skewed information, Galtung relied on the bogus statistics of a deceased American neo-Nazi, William Pierce." Wistrich added that Galtung even suggested in 2012, "that the Israeli Mossad was behind the cold-blooded massacre in Norway a year earlier by the lone gunman Andrei Breivik of seventy-seven Norwegian youngsters at a summercamp outside Oslo."
Galtung was one of the first to recognize that in order to deflect charges of anti-Semitism, he needs Jewish, or preferably Israeli academics to partner in his Peace Studies movement. Bar-Tal's self-proclaimed “epiphany” at Vanderbilt University made him an ideal candidate.
Bar-Tal took off to political activism. He became a member of the Israeli NGO Middle East Publications which publishes the Palestine-Israel Journal (PIJ) and became the co-editor of the journal between 2001 to 2005. He has been serving on the editorial board ever since. Notably, NATO's Partners for Peace program, UNESCO, the European Commission, Canadian Rep. Office, The Canadian International Development Agency, Austrian Development Agency, The Fund for Reconciliation & Development, and Ploughshares Fund, among others, have all contributed money to PIJ over the years. PIJ is also closely linked to the American A.J. Muste Memorial Institute For Nonviolence and Social Justice. Not surprisingly, Muste's grantees include several BDS groups. Not surprising, PIJ portrays Israel in a negative light while gives a pass to Palestinian aggression. From the Israeli side, Bar-Tal, Meir Margalit, Hillel Shenkar, and Mossi Raz, are all members of the Meretz Party and from the Palestinian side, Ziad Abu Ziad is a Palestinian politician. While Israeli NGO's are not allowed to take on politics, Meretz members are behind this NGO.
Bar-Tal's popular theory analyzing the Israeli psyche is known as the Masada Syndrome, allegedly because of their defeat by the Romans. Combined with a Holocaust syndrome, Bar-Tal postulates that Israelis developed a siege mentality and a sense of victimhood which prevents them from reaching peace with the Palestinians. Of course, the Masada theory enabled Bar-Tal to ignore the fact that it was the Palestinians, with the help of Arab countries, who rejected the 1947 Partition Proposal. After losing a war which they started, they embarked on decades of terrorism against Israel. He also ignored the key role of Iran in playing a spoiler in the Oslo peace process. As well known, after the 1993 agreement between the Palestinians and the Israeli Labor government, the Iranian leadership ordered its terror proxies - Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad - to launch a series of devastating suicide bombings which eroded the peace process and discredited the Israeli peace camp.
Bar-Tal has published articles blaming the Israelis for the deadlock in negotiations, stating, "We hope that the Israelis will choose the road of negotiation, peace process and reconciliation, rejecting the path of violent confrontation and continuation of the conflict. The Palestinians can do much to encourage this trend. Palestinian attacks against Israelis have to stop. Such attacks generate support for the hawkish candidates in the Israel elections. The Palestinians can indirectly decide who the next Israeli leader will be. At the same time, Israel has to stop all collective punishment measures against the Palestinians, such as closures, sieges, other restrictions and killing Palestinians. This will encourage moderates in that camp by assuring them that there is another way to solve the conflict rather than violence.” Bar-Tal’s effort to sound “balanced” is laughable. He tells the Palestinians to stop the “attacks,” his euphemism for the brutal suicide bombing by the violent jihadis.
Finally, Bar-Tal’s complaints about the “sacrifices” he made for challenging the “hegemonic” narrative sound particularly specious, he was promoted and rewarded by Tel Aviv University despite the fact that he did not research in the field for which he was hired. The administration of Tel Aviv University, or his colleagues at the school of education, did not dare to confront him. This situation, unfortunately, is not unique to Bar-Tal. Over the years IAM reported on numerous cases of scholars who turned their taxpayers supported positions into a platform for radical political activism aimed to delegitimize Israel. Unless the academic authorities in Israel stand up to such practices, new generations of activists would continue to abuse the Israeli taxpayers.
Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
 
04.09.19
(Manchester U) Eyal Clyne: Middle East Centers as Agents of Zionist Hegemony
 
An interesting exchange was posted recently on the blog of the Forum for Regional Thinking. Shimon Shamir, professor emeritus of Middle East History at Tel Aviv University criticized the 2019 book by Dr. Eyal Clyne of Manchester University, Orientalism, Zionism and Academic Practice. Clyne, who interviewed Israeli Middle East experts, portrayed these experts as motivated by selfishness. Since experts see the creation and dissemination of qualified knowledge in Middle East studies as a “mission”, for Clyne, the "mission" is selfish because it involves receiving rewards from the state. It comes to strengthen the expert and expertise and provides more power and status. Shamir rejects Clyne’s assertion that the “mission” is an exercise in seeking the power that is reinforced by various strategies of "hegemony and authority building". Shamir takes issue with Clyne’s overall assessment that the “mission” is a latent expression of a desire for power and national recognition, combined with a "commitment to the state and security system of Zionist ideology". 
Even by the lamentably low standards of anti-Israel scholarships, Clyne's book stands out. He refers to scholars as studying and teaching "within the racist, militarist and capitalist bounds of their society," or, writing on the "imbalance of power (e.g. global imperialism, capitalism, global 'western' hegemony, or Israeli colonialism).” He claims that several Israeli Middle East Centers, "agents and agencies express manifest racist views, [such as] the propaganda works of Efraim Karsh or [Mordechai] Kedar". Clyne even describes Kedar of Bar-Ilan University, as a purveyor of hate statements. To prove Kedar’s alleged “hate speech,” Clyne misquotes Kedar: "The existence of a living Jewish people in a functioning Jewish state threatens the very raison d'être of Islam, which came into being Judaism obsolete', in a piece where Arabs and Muslims are also systematically conflated." But in fact, Kedar wrote that "The existence of a living Jewish people in a functioning Jewish state threatens the very raison d’être of Islam, which came into being TO RENDER [emphasis added] Judaism obsolete." Kedar continues, "For that reason, Arabs and Muslims will never accept Israel as the Jewish State." Kedar explained that "The religious reason is rooted in Islam’s conception of itself as a faith whose mission is to bring both Judaism and Christianity to an end and inherit all that was once Jewish or Christian: land, places of worship, and people. In Islam’s worldview, Palestine in its entirety belongs to Muslims alone because both Jews and Christians betrayed Allah when they refused to become followers of the prophet Muhammad. Their punishment is to be expulsion from their lands and the forfeiture of all rights to them.” Instead of debating Kedar over his statement, Clyne dismissed his argument as hate. 
Clyne is one of a large number of anti-Israel academic activists recruited to trash Israel, as noted in the November 2018 IAM report, "Employment Opportunities Abroad: Critics of Israel Wanted,” the transaction is mutually beneficial. The activist-scholars gain legitimacy by having an Israeli who asserts that Israel is an immoral apartheid state. The Israeli scholars get access to coveted research or teaching positions in a tight job market. 
Interestingly, Clyne’s Ph.D. supervisor at Manchester University, Prof. Erica Burman, is an expert on Developmental Psychology with Cognitive Studies and has been teaching developmental psychology, educational psychology, psychology of childhood, counselling and psychotherapy, human development, and qualitative and discursive research methods. She became a professor of Psychology and Women's Studies. She also co-founded with Ian Parker the Discourse Unit (transinstitutional and transdisciplinary center for the study of the reproduction and transformation of language and subjectivity). As can be seen, nothing in her background relates to Middle East Studies, yet, according to her university webpage, she supervised the thesis "Orientalism, Zionism and the academic everyday: Middle eastern studies in Israeli Universities (Eyal Clyne, full-time, PhD awarded 2016)." Not surprisingly, Burman is also an anti-Israel activist, she was among the signatories of the 2015, the Guardian ad calling for the boycott of Israel, titled "A Commitment by UK Scholars to the Rights of Palestinians," which was signed by 343 academics affiliated with UK academic institutions, pledging that: "Responding to the appeal from Palestinian civil society, we therefore declare that we will not: • accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions; • act as referees in any of their processes; • participate in conferences funded, organised or sponsored by them, or otherwise cooperate with them." Burman was also a signatory in a 2016 open letter by "psychotherapists, researchers and other mental health professionals, write to express our dismay at the decision of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) to hold its next international conference in Jerusalem." 
Clyne, did a review of Burman's colleague, Ian Parker's book Revolutionary Keywords for A New Left, noting that "Parker is an experienced Marxist activist... having surfaced in his years of activism in British radical-left groups," and also praised Parker for "maintaining anti-Zionism without racism.” 
Clyne has worked overtime to uphold his end of the transaction. In addition to publishing the above book, Clyne has been recently engaged in bashing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. He has circulated a “protest” version of the IHRA definition which pro-Palestinian activists bitterly resent because it limits their ability to portray Israel as an irredeemable “racist," “apartheid," “colonial,” imperialist” state. The “protest" version is called "Anti-Palestinian Racism", and replaces the words “anti-Semitism”, “Jews” and “Israel” with the words “Palestinians”, and “Palestine." Clyne sent a version of the “bill” to the Jewish Voice for Labour. As well known, the Labour Party is embroiled in a scandal over its anti-Semitism. 
As for Clyne's statement that scholars are having a selfishly motivated mission, it takes one to know one. Middle East Centers in British universities are a hotbed for pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel activism often fueled by Arab Gulf money.
Hebrew University
 
29.08.19
HUJ Prof. Amos Goldberg Protecting Holocaust Denial for Political Gains
 
IAM reported that Prof. Amos Goldberg, a Hebrew University scholar of the Holocaust, has been a staunch political activist for many years. IAM covered in length some of his activities. 
In recent years, with the support of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Goldberg has been involved in Holocaust Reductionism, that is, comparing the Holocaust to lesser catastrophes thus enabling scholars to claim similarities between the two. This is a softer form of Holocaust denial. An example of this trend is the recent Goldberg's co-edited book with Prof. Bashir Bashir, published in 2018, The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History. As Bashir and Goldberg stated in the introduction, that many Palestinians "find it hard to recognize the Holocaust and the suffering experienced by the Jews. Some prefer to ignore the issue, downplay its importance, or even deny the Holocaust entirely, dismissing it as the invention of a powerful Zionist propaganda machine. In many other cases, even when Palestinians or other Arabs do recognize the historical reality of the Holocaust, they acknowledge it as merely a matter of historical fact. In this view, the Holocaust doesn’t merit any empathy toward the Jews or isn’t linked to their conditions and fate." 
After explaining how many Palestinians refuse to acknowledge the Holocaust, the book contributors compare the Nakba to the Holocaust because this is the only way for Palestinians to relate to the Holocaust: "At times they view it as a deliberate distraction from their own suffering or as an event of which they themselves are the ultimate victims. As such, both the Holocaust and the Nakba, as dominant national narratives, serve to bolster exclusive identities within the two groups. For the most part, each group sees its own catastrophe as a unique event and seeks to devalue or even deny the catastrophe of the other. These two national narratives are, in fact, connected to two far greater narratives embraced by contemporary global culture." 
Instead of exposing Palestinian Holocaust denial, the editors prefer to establish the comparison between the Holocaust - the catastrophe befallen on the Jews when 6 million were murdered - to the Nakba, a self-inflicted loss in a war which they initiated. 
Earlier this month, Goldberg co-authored an article, "Distorting the definition of antisemitism to shield Israel from all criticism.” He lamented that the new definition of antisemitism, formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), "initially sought to combat racism against Jews and Holocaust denialism, but its definition of antisemitism serves as a tool to silence all criticism of Israel." Goldberg explain this logic as "deployed by supporters of Israel’s occupation and nationalistic government in order to delegitimize anyone who dares criticize Israeli policies." As Goldberg sees it, it's an "attempt to silence criticism of Israel’s 52-year-old military occupation (one of the longest running in the world), which includes dispossession, humiliation, expulsions, and daily violence against Palestinians, plays into the hands of avowed antisemites." 
Goldberg argues that the IHRA definition is "catastrophic" because it is diverting attention from "real anti-Semites," and is silencing criticism of Israel and its "ethno-nationalist vision". Whereby viewing "Palestinians – residents of the occupied territories, refugees from the 1948 war, and citizens of Israel (as well as refugees from Africa) – as an existential danger. But the IHRA definition and its derivatives contribute precisely to that. Right-wing politicians, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli right-wing media, have understood that the focus of the fight against antisemitism has shifted from racist nationalists to criticism of Israel, and they use the IHRA definition for their purposes... the right understands very well the powerful potential of the IHRA definition, not only for the purpose of shielding Zionism from any criticism, but also for defending the occupation itself. Using the IHRA’s poor definition of antisemitism, they have succeeded in completely changing the discourse: rather than talk about the occupation, the Nakba, or its violation of national, human and civil rights, the dominant public discourse now revolves around what is or is not forbidden when it comes to criticism of Israel, and to what extent said criticism is antisemitic. In this reality, Israel no longer needs to defend itself against allegation — it has a free hand to throw around accusations." 
For Goldberg, the IHRA definition is unnecessary, because the idea that only Israel is targeted by this kind of criticism "is not only divorced from reality, it aims at creating a chilling effect. It suffices, for example, to take one look at the list of people charged by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which includes not a single Israeli, to ask ourselves whether there is a need for such a provision in the bill, apart from the desire to suppress any criticism of Israel." Goldberg is also unhappy because the New Jersey State Senate introduced a law based on the IHRA definition, adding a clause forbidding peace or human rights investigations to focus solely on Israel. 
Goldberg has been recently involved in attempting to persuade the German Parliament, the Bundestag, to drop their decision equating BDS with anti-Semitism. Not only circulated a petition, Goldberg has also published an appeal, which IAM translated from German by Google Translate. "An appeal from Israel to my German friends," in which he claims that adopting the IHRA definition "endangers the values of democracy." He argues that "I have often heard well-meaning German friends say that they understand my criticism of the policy of the Israeli government towards the Palestinians. Sometimes they even admitted to supporting them. But they did not want to say that out loud." For Goldberg, the "failure to distinguish between anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism becomes moral and intellectual convenience, even laziness. Benjamin Netanyahu announces annexation of large parts of the West Bank… Minister Bezalel Smotrich has suggested that apartheid should be the solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. Education Minister Rafi Perez expressed similarly." For Goldberg, the Germans are also paying the price for passivity. “I observe how the political system in Germany is rapidly eroding free speech when it comes to Israel and Palestine, and how public discourse derives from defamation and character assassination. Bundestag equates BDS with anti-Semitism." 
Goldberg complains that now in Germany, "Palestinians are forbidden to protest, scientists suspected of sympathizing with BDS are not invited to conferences... I warn my friends in Germany about our experiences in Israel: There is more trouble ahead if you vigorously defend the principles of democracy, freedom of expression and principled foreign policy." Goldberg continues, "Democracy needs active citizens, History teaches us, that protecting a democracy requires the courage of active citizens, because if too many decent people refrain from defending their underlying principles and rules, they will stagger or fall. Germans who appreciate these values and care about the integrity of Israel must now overcome their anxious hesitation and join the Israeli and Jewish democratic camps. They must muster the energy to distinguish between anti-Semitism and manipulation that should protect Israel from legitimate criticism of its violations.” 
Also in 2018, Goldberg contributed an article, an extended version originally published in 2012, to MADAR, the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies based in Ramallah. MADAR was established in 2000 by a group of Palestinian intellectuals and academics. Not surprising, it serves as an academic propaganda tool to attack Israel. In their journal Israeli Affairs (Issue no. 70), which focuses on the relations between Israel and Germany, Goldberg's article, translated to Arabic, criticizes the Yad Vashem Museum. The museum, according to its website, "presents the story of the Shoah from a unique Jewish perspective." Goldberg's problem is that "One can also wonder what groups and issues are included in this ‘Jewish perspective’ and in what ways? And which ones are left out?" For Goldberg, "the Yad Vashem ‘Jewish narrative’ is self-contained and is closed to any ‘otherness’ of historicity that makes the story much more complex, and therefore becomes, as I claim, a mythic narrative.” Goldberg protests it excludes non-Jewish otherness. 
Goldberg stated that, "Though very narcissistic and problematic,” this narrative of this victim group tends to adopt such a melancholic narrative, which makes sense in the Israeli context because the Holocaust is “the major pillar of current Israeli victimized identity." Because "According to the most updated comprehensive survey of Israeli Jewish identity conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute together with The Guttman Center for Surveys, 98 per cent of the Jewish population believe that it is ‘fairly important’ or ‘very important’ to remember the Holocaust.” Such a complete consensus, for Goldberg, "has proven itself to be an extremely powerful and useful diplomatic tool in gaining international support in the context of the Israeli-Arab conflict and in maintaining the occupation in Palestine." 
Another problem which Goldberg finds is that most video testimonies are in Hebrew. “The focus on Hebrew is therefore a Zionization of the ‘Jewish perspective’." Goldberg laments the "tendency to experience Holocaust memory by almost exclusively and entirely ‘identifying with the (Jewish) victim’ is a much broader cultural phenomenon that tends to dominate many of the major Holocaust representations.” Goldberg questions "why does the Israeli national (perhaps even chauvinistic) version of the ‘Jewish narrative’ so closely correlate to the global allegedly cosmopolitan Holocaust narrative." The answer is, according to Goldberg, that the state of Israel, “has used the memory of the Holocaust for decades to refute any criticism of its 1948 Nakba or the severe deprivation and violation of fundamental collective and individual human and civil rights of the Palestinians." Goldberg ends his piece by warning that excluding otherness will result in "extreme violence", that is the "basis of the fascist enterprise,” which is now “more than ever relevant to the Israeli context." 
Goldberg was hired to teach and research the Holocaust. But he spends much time and energy peddling Holocaust Reductionist theories. And, as IAM has emphasized, the taxpayers are left to sponsor his activities.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
22.08.19
Anti-Semitic Expressions as Legitimate Speech: the Steven Salaita Case
 
An article published by the journal Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, the official publication of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, deserves attention. "Regulating Rude: Tensions Between Free Speech and Civility in Academic Employment" was written by three authors, Lilia M. Cortina, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan; Attorney Michael G. Cortina, SmithAmundsen, LLC, Chicago, IL; and, Jose; M. Cortina, School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University. 
The authors provide several examples of how free speech is curtailed in universities. One of their case-studies is Professor Steven Salaita. Like the general public, Cortina at al. assume that the Salaita story, as printed in the press, is a simple case of extramural freedom of speech by a professor. Think again. Cortina at al. rightly explain that in August 2014, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign blocked his academic appointment because of profane tweets about Israel. But they overlook Saliata’s long history of expressing irrational hate and contempt of Israel. 
Already in April 2001, Salaita charged Israel with undertaking one of the "most vicious civilian slaughters of this century." In August 2001, as a doctoral student, Salaita visited the West Bank and wrote an opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle, stating that Israel is fundamentally an apartheid state, because "Christians and Muslims are required to carry identity cards stating their religion, on which movement and privilege are predicated. License plates are also color-coded based on the driver's religion. Only Jews are afforded the full benefits of citizenship.” Salaita’s facts are outright lies, all Israelis carry identity cards stating their religion and all Israelis receive equal privileges. There are no color-codes for car’s license plates. All Israelis are afforded full benefits and citizenship. But worse, with regards to Palestinian suicide bombing which Salaita morally approves of, he affirms that “specific historical and political realities lead to violent actions… Palestinians revolt, sometimes with violence." 
In an article “Why Americans should oppose Zionism,” published by The Electronic Intifada in 2010, Salaita claimed that “Zionists always intended to ethnically cleanse Palestinians, a strategy they carried out and continue to pursue with horrifying efficiency.” 
He lists four reasons why Americans, and all people, should oppose Zionism (that is, the right of the Jews for a state of their own in Israel). To his mind, “Zionism is unethical and immoral”; “Zionism is racist”; “Zionism contravenes the geopolitical interests of the United States.”, and, “Zionism is fundamentally incompatible with democracy.” 
In 2013, just a short time before the cancellation of his appointment at the University of Illinois, Salaita has published an article, “Academics should boycott Israel”. In his view, the boycott movement, aka Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) has "the potential to topple a colonial empire… I will teach my son the history of Palestine. He will teach it to his children. Our stories will outlast Zionism." 
Salaita’s hate speech can be considered anti-Semitic because he negates Israel’s right to exist, as defined by the widely accepted Working Definition of Anti-Semitism that was adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) committee on anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial, in 2016. Some of the expressions of the Working Definition include: “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”; and, “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”. 
The numerous Salaita’s tweets include the following: 
"Zionists, take responsibility: if your dream of an ethnocratic Israel is worth the murder of children, just fucking own it already." ; "Will you condemn Hamas? No. Why not? Because Hamas isn't the one incinerating children, you disingenuous prick." ; "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." 
The purpose of bringing these examples of Salaita’s outright anti-Semitic expressions is to demonstrate that Zionist students would have felt extreme unease and intimidation facing Salaita in the classroom. 
Cortina et al. even suggested that if a university president felt that a professor had failed to act in an appropriate level of dignity, then the university could publicly dissociate and express their disapproval of such objectionable expressions, without having to cancel his appointment. 
The authors are wrong in their suggestion that Salaita’s job could have been saved. It is quite clear that Salaita is anti-Semitic and would have upset Jewish students. But more to the point, abusive language should not be tolerated, no matter which segment of the society it targets.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
14.08.19
Update on the BDS Proposal at the APSA section Foundation of Political Theory
 
Two weeks ago, IAM published a post about a new attempt to boycott Israel in the American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting. A group within the private APSA section, the Foundation of Political Theory, aka section 17, requested a discussion on BDS and brought a BDS resolution. 
A few days ago, Prof. Robyn Marasco, the chair of the APSA Foundation section, wrote a letter to members of the Foundation to clarify her position. She explained that a BDS proposal was brought to her by some members of the Foundation and they requested a discussion on this topic. She decided to have an open meeting. She explained that there will be no vote on the BDS resolution at APSA this year because based on the Foundations by-laws, votes on new policy can only take place at the business meeting. The business meeting is scheduled to lunchtime while the open meeting is later, in the evening. 
She explained about herself that throughout the years she has taken "no position on BDS or this particular resolution, neither in my capacity as chair of Foundations nor in my own scholarship. Never have I made any public statements about BDS." 
She added that the organization has not been “captured” by activists. 
But, Marasco may be unaware of the group Political Scientists for Justice in Palestine (PSJP), which "works to further BDS at APSA and the discipline overall." Marasco should note that some members of her Foundation, those who brought the BDS proposal, are members of PSJP. PSJP has a Twitter account and a Facebook group since 2014. The admins of the closed Facebook group of 118 members are all members of APSA, Isaac Kamola; Shirin Deylami, a council member in the Foundation; Ayten Gundogdu; Susan Kang; Eli Meyerhoff; and Meghana Nayak. 
Such a BDS activity at APSA is actually not a new one. In 2015, a group of Palestinian-engaged political scientists has hosted a workshop, "Politics at APSA: New Political Science, Anti-Apartheid Movements, and Israel/Palestine," during the APSA annual meeting. As indicated in the workshop brochure, the workshop was to question "Where is the line between the study of politics and an engagement with politics? What relationship should Political Scientists have with difficult political issues?" These questions were purposely pushing APSA to become "a viable space for political organizing", not wanting APSA's social fun'ction to "remain limited to professional development" alone. They wanted to focus on the "current debate about the conflict in Israel/Palestine and the growing number of academic associations taking explicitly political positions on the matter," and in particular, the boycott of Israel. The group was not happy that "APSA is prohibited from taking positions on political matters." Since the Caucus for a New Political Science published a condemnation of apartheid South Africa, they were hoping this workshop will "debate these political and professional questions concerning position-taking at APSA." In order to compare Israel to South Africa, they first had to establish the "relationship between APSA and the NPS to develop a shared understanding of what kinds of spaces exist within APSA for taking political positions." But they emphasized, "that this is not a workshop on the Israel/Palestine conflict." Leila Farsakh was scheduled to present BDS in "a comparative study of scholarly responses to the situations of South Africa and Israel". Farsakh has endorsed BDS in two petitions in 2014 and participated in a teach-in on "BDS and Anthropology" at Harvard University by "anthropologists and activists" who discussed "BDS strategy for justice," in 2016. The workshop brochure then proposed Sunaina Maira to orchestrate "an open discussion about solidarity organizing within universities and professional associations, specifically with regard to Israel/Palestine and academic boycott." Maira is a founding organizer of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI). Marasco should pay attention to how these activists work to "capture" APSA.
In response to our previous posting, some readers asked why IAM called the BDS resolution anti-Semitic. 
The answer is twofold: First, the resolution negates Israel's right to be a Jewish (and democratic) state. It states, "The conflation of Israel with either Judaism or Jewish people is both empirically inaccurate and ideologically objectionable to many Jewish people around the world." It doesn't matter if there are Jews who object to Israel, still, Israel is the state of the Jewish People. Negating this right is anti-Semitic. Second, it singles out Israel. It states, "It is true that the academic boycott resolution does specify and pertain solely to Israel." While they claim they might work to boycott other countries in the future. This is mischievous, if they don't want to be considered as anti-Semites, they should start with boycotting the most-worthy country to boycott first, and along with the list of countries to boycott, get down to boycott Israel. But targeting only Israel is anti-Semitic. 
Those who attend the open meeting should address these issues.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
08.08.19
'Scholasticide' Accusations against Israel: Birzeit University as a Case in Point
 
Academics are gearing up to attack Israel from another front. Accusations of "Scholasticide," that is, the "systematic destruction by Israeli forces of centres of education," are now resurfacing. It was coined in January 2009 by Prof. Karma Nabulsi, a former PLO representative and a professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. 
Nabulsi won "inspiring leader” by The Guardian University Awards in 2017, when she directed "The Palestinian Revolution", a bilingual Arabic-English digital teaching resource for exploring "Palestinian revolutionary thought and practice". The award was supported by HSBC Bank, which in Dec 2018, decided to divest from the Israeli company Elbit for human rights causes, claiming that HSBC “strongly supports observance of international human rights principles as they apply to business.” 
Borrowing the concept of "scholasticide" from Nabulsi, Prof. emeritus Herman De Ley, former director of the Centre for Islam In Europe at the University of Gent, Belgium, and a leading activist with the Belgian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI), announced that since last year BACBI launched a "global academics' solidarity campaign with our Palestinian colleagues and students.” He referred to a recent article by Amira Hass in Haaretz, "As Israel tightens entry rules, foreign lecturers at Palestinian universities forced to leave," De Ley accused Israel of "scholasticide policies... clearly driven by the desire to weaken our institutions and destroy the Palestinian future." There was another article by Hass in Haaretz two days later, "Israel’s Academy for Indifference," questioning why should Israeli professors and students care if Israel is subverting academic freedom and interfering with Palestinian universities hiring of foreign lecturers? 
In reality, things are a bit more complicated. Just days before the Hass Haaretz articles, on 2nd of July, Israeli security forces detained five Hamas operatives inside Birzeit University while raising money and recruiting activists. This was just another instance of a foiled Hamas attempt under the guise of students belonging to the Islamic bloc at Birzeit University. Members of the cell were arrested, and money was confiscated, including a vehicle funded by Hamas. The detainees were named as Ma'ad 'Abed, Muhammad Nakhla, Usama Fakhuri, Bara' Atzi, and Bilal Hamed. The purpose was to raise funds and recruit new Hamas operatives to execute terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, as Hamas tries to establish itself within the West Bank. Unsurprisingly, Hass did not mention the security angle of the story. 
Birzeit has a history of association with Hamas. Just recently, in March 2019, about 150 Palestinian students threw firebombs and rocks at Israeli soldiers who responded with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets. This protest broke out after Israeli forces, in a night-time raid, arrested three students at Birzeit University identified with the Islamist group. Shortly before that, in October 2018, the Israeli security services said it arrested 3 members of Hamas terror network that has been recruited by a network of Hamas military wing members in the Gaza Strip to carry out attacks beyond the Green Line. Their cell is alleged to have been established in 2015 and has been devoting efforts to recruit engineering students at Birzeit University. Two of the arrested Palestinians, 21-year-old Issa Shalalda and 20-year-old Omar Ma’soud, were active in the Hamas-affiliated Islamic bloc at Birzeit University. According to the Israeli security forces, the pair also underwent military training during their recruitment. Likewise, in March 2018 Israel arrested two Birzeit University students for receiving funds from Hamas. 24-year-old Omar Al-Kiswani and 20-year-old Yahya Alawi had received $178,000 after contacting Hamas operative in Gaza and members of the movement in Turkey asking them to cover Hamas activities at Birzeit University. 
In July Israel commemorated the 17th anniversary of the Hebrew University cafeteria bombing. Clearly, Israel's security concerns do not attract attention, instead, protesters present Israel as deliberately evil. Times Higher Education has reported on the prevention of visas, quoting Prof. David Palumbo-Liu, a long-time endorser of BDS for alleging of "privations Palestinians suffer" at the hands of Israel. Also quoting Amira Hass accusing Israel of the “onslaught against the Palestinian people is multisystemic." 
Even the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) tried to intervene by writing a letter "Arbitrary arrests of Birzeit University students," addressing the Israeli Prime Minister but ignoring Hamas recruit of students for the purpose of terrorism. 
These reports also ignore a racist law which surfaced in Birzeit University. In 2014, Hass attended the conference "Alternatives to Neo-Liberal Development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – Critical Perspectives,” organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and the Center for Development Studies at Birzeit University. Hass was told to leave because Birzeit University has passed a law making it illegal for Israelis to be present on the university grounds. This was highly ironic because Hass has been one of the staunchest defenders of the Palestinians. 
Also worth noting that none of her articles paid any attention to the Hamas-Fatah bitter split inside Birzeit University. In December 2018, the University suspended all its activities for two days after a brawl erupted between the student blocs of Hamas and Fatah after Palestinian security forces wearing civilian attire attempted to arrest a student belonging to the Islamic Bloc, Hamas’ student wing. Gunshots were reported, but no one was injured. Enraged by what had happened, Birzeit students yelled at the security personnel and hurled insults about the PA, angering members of Fatah's student party, Shabiba. An altercation developed into a brawl. The school canceled courses for the next day, and classes resumed two days later. The Islamic Bloc members at the West Bank universities say they are constantly hunted by Palestinian security forces due to the students' school activities designed to raise money from students. Yet, students who are arrested are often charged with serious crimes such as sectarian violence, libel, defamation, or even receiving funds from illicit parties or possessing weapons. Hamza Abu Qaraa, a student and the Islamic Bloc's coordinator at Birzeit University, was also arrested in June 2018 by PA intelligence affiliates as they started shooting in the air, "they caught me, handcuffed me and beat me in the street." Abu Qaraa was held for 19 days. More than 400 students from various West Bank universities have been arrested during the school year, Abu Qaraa said. About 24 Birzeit students have been arrested since May, when the Islamic Bloc won student council elections for the fourth year in a row, in December 2018. 
But no one protests Palestinian security forces arresting students, only Israeli security forces. 
The timely accusations against Israel prompted also Israeli academics and peace activists to write a letter in protest to the leaderships of both the Hebrew and Ben Gurion Universities, stating "We are a group of faculty and emeriti concerned about the violation of the academic freedom of Palestinian universities as reflected in restrictions on exchange of students and lecturers with academic institutions abroad and employment of lecturers from abroad. As you can see in the attached documents, this is not a single harm. We appeal to you to raise your voices against the systematic violation of academic freedom. We are very anxious about violating our academic freedom, but academic freedom is indivisible to national affiliation, and just as we are anxious about our freedom, we must be concerned of its prevention from our neighbors. This is for moral and even selfish reasons: as history has taught us, those who are paralyzed while others are hurt end up being hurt as well." Prof. Amotz Agnon has initiated the letter. His partner Daphna Golan-Agnon has published an article a year ago, "Destroying Palestinian Universities" where she lamented that "Foreign lecturers as well as Palestinian lecturers who studied or taught abroad are being expelled from West Bank academic institutes with a form of bureaucratic violence." She ended her piece by questioning whether Israel’s "bureaucratic violence" would lead to similar restrictions imposed on Israeli students and academics. Evidently, De Ley and the BACBI campaign of "scholasticide" are gaining support. Haaretz published a piece "It is Time to Boycott Israeli Academia." 
According to Adalah, the NGO which deals with Palestinian minorities rights in Israel, between 2017 and 2019, four full-time foreign faculty members, and three part-time lecturers were forced to leave after Israel refused to renew their visas. In 2019, Israel denied entry to two international lecturers with Birzeit contracts. Adalah plans to take the case to the Israeli High Court of Justice. 
IAM will report on the case in due course.
 
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
31.07.19
New BDS Attempt Targeting the American Political Science Association Upcoming Annual Meeting
 
The 115th American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting & Exhibition will be taking place from August 29 to September 1, 2019, in Washington, DC. APSA is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 11,000 members in more than 100 countries. It was founded in 1903 and brings together all fields of inquiry and regions to deepen understanding of politics, democracy, and citizenship. 
Last year, the conference also held a roundtable "BDS and Political Theory," which was described as a "conversation" on BDS. "This will not be a debate – we have no interest in giving another platform to BDS opponents – but an opportunity for political theorists sympathetic to BDS to advance and develop the critical, analytical, and normative stakes of the movement." 
William Clare Roberts of McGill University was the chair, and the speakers were C. Heike Schotten, University of Massachusetts Boston; Corey Robin, Brooklyn College and the City University of New York; Jakeet Singh, York University; Jodi Dean, Hobart & William Smith Colleges; Elisabeth Robin Anker, George Washington University; Jack Jackson, Whitman College; Kevin M. Bruyneel, Babson College; and, Dana Olwan, Doha Institute. Worth noting that the general director of the Doha Institute is Azmi Bishara, the former MK who is suspected of supplying information to Hezbollah. 
A summery of the proceedings of the roundtable were published in an article earlier this month, "Critical Exchange: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and Political Theory." 
The speakers are associated with the group PSJP @PS4PalJustice, described as "Political Scientists for Justice in Palestine works to further BDS at APSA and the discipline overall. Decolonize Political Science / Free Palestine!". The article thanks them for their work. 
Publishing the article just a short period before the annual meeting aims to influence participants and to generate interest in holding a session and a vote for BDS. Bruyneel, who is pictured wearing a Kaffiyeh around his neck, has also endorsed the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), with some of his colleagues. He wishes "APSA to pass a resolution in support of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. As a next step to that end, I endorse the passage of the following resolution by the Foundations of Political Theory section of APSA: ‘‘Be it resolved that the Foundations of Political Theory section endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions’’ (unpublished document)." The unpublished document appears below. 
The Foundations of Political Theory Section of APSA, aka Section 17, is a Private Section with 880 Members aiming to "advance the linkage of political theory and philosophy with political science as a discipline." A group within it recently discussed a BDS resolution which will be brought further to the Foundation and later to APSA. 
The Resolution is replete with distorted and bias information. It states that "We are acutely aware of the ways that Israeli academic institutions are complicit in Israel's settler colonization of Palestine, and the attendant ethnic cleansing, dispossession, military occupation, and apartheid policies that constitute this colonization. Moreover, we are cognizant of the ways that this colonization consistently violates the academic freedom of Palestinian students and faculty to attend school, conduct research, and make contributions to knowledge. The colonization of Palestine is the silencing of Palestinian scholarly contributions to knowledge." It then moves to resolve, "Be it resolved that the Foundations of Political Theory section endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Be it also resolved that the Foundations of Political Theory supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine and in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement." 
The Resolution is accompanied by a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet. It asks "Plenty of other countries in the world engage in human rights violations. Doesn’t this academic boycott resolution single out Israel?" To which it answers, "No. It is true that the academic boycott resolution does specify and pertain solely to Israel; however, this does not mean that Israel is the only country worth boycotting or that other boycotts should not be undertaken of other countries elsewhere in the world." 
It asks, "Isn’t boycotting Israel anti-Semitic?" It answers "No. Israel is a state with many citizens, not all of whom are Jewish. Critiquing the actions of that state has nothing to do with criticizing or condemning its citizens, much less Judaism or Jewish people. Not only are not all Israelis Jewish, but not all Jewish people support Israel or aspire to become Israelis. The conflation of Israel with either Judaism or Jewish people is both empirically inaccurate and ideologically objectionable to many Jewish people around the world, who do not speak with one voice on the subject of Israel and are only presumed to do so by folks who think it reasonable to believe all Jews think alike." 
To the question "What about Palestinian violence?" It actually approves Palestinian violence. It says, "Palestinians have the right to defend themselves. All too often this internationally recognized right of self-defense is mobilized solely with regard to Israel and used to justify its massive, disproportionate, genocidal brutalities in, for example, the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired by Hamas, or in the West Bank in response to teenagers throwing stones at soldiers. Yet the overall context of colonialism and occupation are never taken into account as the defining and precipitating factors of those rockets or stone-throwings. Palestinian violence can and should be understood as the exercise of the internationally recognized right of self-defense by a people facing eliminatory colonial and military violence." 
Clearly, the FAQ proves to be anti-Semitic because it postulates that Jews have no right for a state, and it does single out Israel. The FAQ sheet ends with the hope that the resolution is adopted, and we "inshallah, succeed in making some sort of political change, no matter how minimal." 
As a rule, APSA has very few panels devoted to the Palestinian question. Pro-Palestinian activists are now trying to push their anti-Israel agenda by setting up sections and panels using a page from their strategy in other professional associations. APSA community should be alerted to this blatant attempt to politicize it.
 
General Articles
 
24.07.19
Infiltration of "the Zionists" at Oxford University Conference on African Studies
 
A conference hosted by Oxford University's Africa Studies Center, on June 27-28, 2019, caused a stir. Five delegates have written an article "Zionism and the infiltration of global African studies," protesting how "Zionists and their apologists are infiltrating and co-opting the academy." 
The Oxford University conference, titled “Racialization and Publicness in Africa and the African Diaspora,” co-hosted with the School of Global and Area Studies, aimed to “address the contemporary problem of racialization in Africa and the African Diaspora.” The conference intended to explore how “people of African descent are racialized" as well as "why and how racial identities and categories are constructed, imagined and inscribed (in)to the social, political and economic processes, practices and relationships in Africa and the African Diaspora." 
But the five delegates who participated, Samar Al-Bulushi of UC Irvine; Zachary Mondesire of UCLA; Peter James Hudson of UCLA; Corinna Mullin of New School; and Jemima Pierre of UCLA, wrote their critique on the conference, that it was "co-opted into a project to legitimize the settler-colonial, apartheid state of Israel and 'black-wash' its racist policies and practices... in light of Israel’s ongoing attempts to normalize its relations with African states in coordination with US imperialism." 
Now, who are these five delegates? Three of them are pro-Palestinian activists with the BDS movement: Al-Bulushi is a signatory of "Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions," in 2015. Al-Bulushi already expressed anti-Israel sentiments in a co-authored article "Violent Rhetoric" protesting "Israeli brutality" against the Palestinians in 2013. Mullin signed the PACBI Statement "Campaign to Boycott the Oral History Conference at Hebrew University of Jerusalem," in 2013. Mullin legitimized Hamas murderous methods, in 2010, claiming that "the West, and often Israel, its civilization proxy, is constructed as ontologically innocent, rational and peaceful in nature, in contrast to the Islamist terrorist, who is inherently guilty, irrational and violent... jihad, misconstrued as an ideological concept. As these movements are reduced merely to the tactics/strategies they sometimes employ," ignoring the circumstances "such as brutal occupation, dispossession, daily humiliation and international isolation, and hence the motives behind their use." Pierre is the author of "Zionism, Anti-Blackness, and the Struggle for Palestine: Jemima Pierre on the Boycott", in 2015, which described "The Zionist dehumanization of Palestinians and its culture of anti-Blackness." Pierre has also written, in 2012, that "The Palestinian cry for dignity especially demands Black support," urging to "recognize that Palestinians are living under military occupation, a stifling and racist apartheid system." Likewise, Hudson and Mondesire also expressed pro-Palestinian, and anti-American sentiments. 
The five delegates, Al-Bulushi et al., complained that out of the 12 panels, two were part 1 and part 2 of “Notions of Diaspora and Homeland: The Impact of the Contemporary Emergence of Racism(s), Antisemitism(s), Nationalism(s) and White Supremacy in the Age of Globalization.” The problem is, that these two panels were organized by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) which is, "an advocacy body, not an academic organization." They claim that the founder of ISGAP, Charles Asher Small, is a "Canadian without a permanent academic position who holds a degree from St. Anthony’s College, Oxford." 
But, Al-Bulushi et al. should have checked their facts, a perusal at the ISGAP website reveals that Dr. Small is an accomplished academic. He was previously the Koret Distinguished Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and currently, is the Goldman Fellow at the Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Centre for Middle East and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. In September he will be a visiting scholar – senior member, at St. Antony’s College of Oxford University. 
What Al-Bulushi et al. find most troubling is that in a January 2019 interview, Small described ISGAP as “an intellectual grassroots movement within the academy” whose main aims include fighting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a movement Small has equated with anti-Semitism. The ISGAP works by “conducting strategic research and providing intelligence” in order to “influence future generations of policymakers, scholars and community leaders.” 
Contrary to the Al-Bulushi et al. assertion, ISGAP posted information on its website about the panels explaining that this interdisciplinary panel aims also to examine the "re-emergence of white supremacy – which has a long history of impacting African and Jewish diaspora communities," among other issues. The speakers and lectures fit well with the conference themes. For example, MK Avraham Neguise spoke about the Ethiopian Jewish community. But for Al-Bulushi et al., he is a "Likud Party member of the Israeli Knesset." 
According to Al-Bulushi et al., at first glance the panel title seemed "innocuous" and even "properly scholarly, if slightly outdated, and appeared to fall within the expressed themes of the conference." Then they claimed that the ISGAP panel composes a "strange unit," while, admitting that "Many of the presenters on the two ISGAP panels were from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States." 
But, according to Al-Bulushi et al., "The HBCU connection is important” because “In recent years, the right-wing American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been recruiting at Black colleges, targeting students and faculty interested in international politics. The AIPAC has sponsored travel to Washington DC to meet with politicians who are supporters of Israel, and provided all-expenses paid trips to Israel. Its aim is to cultivate sympathy for Zionism while driving a wedge between Black and Palestinian liberation struggles." Al-Bulushi et al. did not explain what is the relevance of this information to the conference. 
Al-Bulushi et al. have also claimed that Israel is "a state founded on ethnic cleansing and the dehumanization and dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian population." 
They warned the "future Black Studies and African Studies conference organizers who may encounter similar tactics by Zionist organizations." They are worried about the "potential backlash," and cannot "let the study of Global Africa be hijacked by Zionists." They cannot "support the defamation and desecration of the history of pan-Africanism by academic charlatans and agents of a racist, settler-colonial state... a continuation of Zionist racism, dressed up in the finery of academic language." 
Mullin and Al-Bulushi spoke in a panel on the ‘War on Terror’ in Africa and beyond. Mullin spoke about counter-terror in Tunisia, and Al-Bulushi spoke about East Africa Warscape. Al-Bulushi explained in an article, that in an Al-Jazeera film, “members of the Kenyan security apparatus report that they have received direct orders from the US government for the targeted assassinations of terror suspects.” So, for Albulushi, “Africans, rather than Americans, are the most visible agents of counterterror abuses.” 
Interestingly, A-Bulushi et al. voiced no criticism over a panel titled “A British National Dialogue on the Big Conversation of Racism: Beyond the Hidden Resistance,” which included only independent scholars with no affiliation. 
For those unfamiliar with the jargon, the "infiltration of the Zionists" is a shorthand for delegitimizing respectable scholars by pro-Palestinian activists. This is a new trend in the anti-Israel academic circles. We should expect more of this approach in the future.
 
General Articles
 
17.07.19
The Campus War Against Israel
 
Over the years, the academy has become a prominent venue for anti-Israel activity. Arab oil-wealthy states invested large sums of money in Western Universities, to buy influence. With Middle East Centers or Islamic Centers, it gave them the opportunity to teach a revision of history tainting Israel in a negative light, and to influence who would be invited to teach and research in the social sciences. Staunch enemies of Israel were recruited, as well as Israelis who are critics of Israel. For example, Ilan Pappe, Neve Gordon, Adi Ophir, Ariella Azoulay, Hagar Kotef, Merav Amir, Amir-Paz Fuchs, and Uri Gordon, among others, were all recruited to Western campuses upon publicly expressing post-Zionist (read: anti-Zionist) views. 
Last week, the New York Times published an article "Why Is There So Much Saudi Money in American Universities?" Which details Saudi investments in Western campuses, adding that the benefits to Saudi Arabia from these investments are clear. The Kingdom gets access to the brain trust of the world's top academic institutions when planning to modernize its economy. Equally important, the entree to Ivy League schools softens the image of Riyadh. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, hostile to women and LGBTQ with neither free press nor freedom of expression. Its associations beyond its borders intend to present it as an honorary Western nation. According to Robert Jordan, an ambassador to Saudi Arabia under President George W. Bush, "It’s a way of spreading soft power... in the same way the U.S. has done for years around the world.” 
As it happens, last month, due to concerns of foreign money coming from China, among others, "Trump administration reviewing foreign money to US colleges," revealing that the "U.S. Education Department has opened investigations into foreign funding at Georgetown University and Texas A&M University as part of a broader push to monitor international money flowing to American colleges." 
Still, Western countries haven't investigated the hatred and attacks against Israel, largely brought by the Arab-invested money, along with the paradigm change in social sciences with the rise of post-modernist teaching. Interestingly, when working the other way around, investments made by China on Israeli soil prompted the U.S to object to such collaborations for fears of harming American interests. 
The war against Israel is also driven by some Jewish organizations, J-Street comes to mind in this context. Jewish American scholars deflect accusations of anti-Semitism. They are writing polemics against Israel while ignoring abuses of human rights by Arab regimes, including the Palestinians. By criticizing Israel alone, they subscribe to the notion that Israel can do no right and the Palestinians can do no wrong. One such a Jewish anti-Israel scholar is Rebecca L. Stein, an associate professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University who often publishes articles and books attacking Israel. In 2009 she was among a group of academics who signed a "call for divestment and pressure against Israeli apartheid" and in 2014 she signed a call "Operation Protective Edge: Stop the Carnage!" declaring that "We, the undersigned, are united in calling for an end to Israel's obscene assault on Gaza." 
Stein recently published a report on a new Palestinian initiative intending to defame Israel through scholarships. Billed as a collaboration between the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (known as the Doha Institute) in Qatar, which is headed by former MK Azmi Bishara - who sought refuge in Qatar after escaping allegations of spying for Hizballah - and Birzeit University (BZU). Inaugurated a Master's program in the field of Israel Studies, which began operating in 2015. The first round of some 30 postgraduate students is due to complete their studies in the summer of 2019. 
The purpose of the program is to "produce Palestinian knowledge of Israeli society” aimed at the "fundamentally remaking the dominant paradigm of Israel Studies as it has been configured in the United States and increasingly in Great Britain, with its proud 'advocacy' mandate on behalf of the Israeli state. Birzeit’s program turns this paradigm inside out, providing students with a radical alternative." 
For decades, institutions of higher education across the Middle East were teaching Hebrew and "Zionist ideology" to Arab students as part of a "know your enemy" educational paradigm. Such educational projects also existed in the 1970s, when the PLO research center in Beirut had its own educational program along these lines, teaching Arabic translations of foundational Zionist writings. 
Stein reveals the background behind the making of this program, which began informally in 2010 in conversations between Birzeit faculty and president, with the Ramallah-based Institute for Palestine Studies. Disagreeing weather to call it “settler-colonial studies,” or “Israel Studies,” it was later approved by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, and the funding was secured from Qatar. 
The program director, Dr. Munir Fakher Eldin, a historian of modern Palestine, declares that his "basic strategy" is to show students that "all of the atrocities of Zionism and the occupation are basically comparable atrocities." He explains that in one of his classes, "we don’t only speak about settler colonialism and the Zionist land grab. I also talk about capitalism, because settler-colonialism benefited from the history of private property." 
The program encourages students to continue to Ph.D. at Western universities to produce anti-Israel scholarships. One such a student is Izz Al-Deen Araj, during his MA studies, he "started to think about Israel as a settler-colonial society, not [merely] as soldiers...We understand the conflict through one model: settler-colonialism or apartheid". When another student, Marah Khalifeh, began the program, "Israel was something abstract: the enemy, the colonizer." Now with the "in-depth knowledge about Israeli society…It’s part of knowing your enemy, part of the knowledge of resistance." According to Khalife, "It’s all about the type of knowledge we are trying to produce. We are trying to produce a Palestinian knowledge of Israeli society… to create our own tools." 
One professor in the program is Magid Shihade, an Israeli Arab resident of the Galilee and an expert in postcolonial theory. Shihade has taught in the program from 2015-2018. One of his courses was on the "1948 Palestinian society and politics", teaching the history of "Israeli state-sponsored discrimination, de-development and de-education within its Palestinian communities." Another professor is Nabih, who also holds a faculty position at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. 
There is no regional equivalent of the Israel Studies program in Birzeit outside of Palestine due to fear of accusations of normalization with Israel. In fact, the BZU’s Israel Studies program has a strong anti-normalization stance and supports BDS. 
In striking contrast, in Israel, a Hebrew University Prof. David Levi-Faur, protested through the pages of the Academia-IL network, against Israeli security measures refusing to extend visas to foreign lecturers in the Palestinian territories, echoing an article by Amira Hass in Haaretz on the issue. “I do this also to say that we care, but also to ask for additional comments on the conduct of the Population Authority. Is it true that the abuse is only of Palestinians or is it the abuse of tourists and visitors because they are the 'other'? Are we indifferent…? It seems to me that the abuse is also committed against students and lecturers who come to Israeli universities. I believe that on the level of maltreatment of the 'other' by immigration authorities, Israel is high, alongside immigration authorities like the US and Britain." In response, long-time activist Dr. Efraim Davidi assured him, yes "there are those who deal with solidarity with the Palestinian universities! It is the organization of lecturers from the left in Israeli higher education: the "Academy for Equality". 
Now, the question is, when will the West take notice of the war against a single country, that is Israel, on its campuses?
Ben-Gurion University
 
11.07.19
"Standing Together" of BGU Dani Filc Initiating Civil Unrest
 
IAM has reported on how political activist-academics abuse their university tolerance and resources to push their political agenda. 
The Ethiopian protest following the killing of Solomon Tekah by an off-duty police officer is the most recent case in point. 
Although the general public did not realize it, the violent protest was adopted and apparently encouraged by radical left-wing groups. According to one Ethiopian protester, the groups that joined the protest were "inciting the young people of my community against the State of Israel... [they want to] see blood in the streets more than they want to help our community. They push themselves into any legitimate struggle and turn it into a struggle against the state.” 
One such a group is "Standing Together," which distributed ready-made placards. The images of "Standing Together" taking part in the protest didn't escape the international media, see below some examples, even Iran reported on these events. 
"Standing Together" is a political group formed by various activists and academics, among them BGU Prof. Dani Filc, Sapir College Dr. Yeela Raanan, TAU Prof. Roy Kreitner. "Standing Together" is registered in Israel as a Company for the Benefit of the Public (acronym: Halatz). 
In 2016, Filc explained the raison d'être of the new movement while it received financial support from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, a German foundation associated with the German Socialist Left Party. Writing on the Rosa-Lux website, Filc stated that "Standing Together” is an “attempt to build a broad Left Jewish-Arab movement... [against] the attacks by the government on democratic freedoms and on the Arab-Palestinian minority." 
Filc also listed several events of civil unrest which his group initiated, sometimes collaborating with other groups: "'Standing Together' initiated a peace march in the center of Jerusalem (October 17th, 2015), attended by 2,000 Jewish and Arab participants (CNN Report). This was quickly followed by a Jewish-Arab rally in the southern Arab-Bedouin town of Rahat (October 31st) and in northern city of Haifa (November 1st), attended by hundreds. When the Right-Extremist group 'Im Tirtzu' launched a smear campaign against 'Breaking the Silence' and other organizations, 'Standing Together' organized in December 19th, 2015, a 3,000-strong march in Tel-Aviv (Times of Israel). Since November, they hold monthly Israeli-Palestinian peace demonstrations in the occupied territories, organized jointly with 'Combatants for Peace'. Hundreds attend these demonstrations, called the 'Freedom Marches.' (Jerusalem Post)." 
Filc also listed the plans for the future, "a rally in Tel-Aviv on May 20th, in support of the Arab-Bedouin unrecognized village of Umm El-Hiran. They have begun the planning of a long-term process towards a broad 'Equality March', to be held in late 2016, that will march from Nazareth to Jerusalem, bringing together, under one umbrella, the demand for equality for various groups in Israeli society: Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, immigrants from the former USSR and from Ethiopia, Mizrahi (‘Sephardic’) Jews, precarious workers, women, the LGBT community, etc." 
Filc ended his piece by expressing hopes that "Standing Together" will be the next Jewish-Arab political movement for both NGOs working together with electoral parties. "In order to combat apathy and demoralization, They need a political movement which occupies the vast empty space between the electoral parties on the one hand and the NGOs on the other hand. This Jewish-Arab movement will be inclusive, pluralistic, activist-based and democratically operated. hopefully ‘Standing Together’ will be the beginning of such a movement.” 
Obviously, Filc forgets that teachers are not allowed to take up political activities, as published by the Ministry of Education in 2009, that the "teaching staff, as being trusted and responsible for students, must be seen as impartial, including in private communications, as neutral and objective as possible. He must act with restraint and tolerance, and not encourage or give preference to one political position or another." While it is accepted that campuses host student chapters of political parties, still, members of staff affiliated with these parties may find themselves preferring students from their own party, while rejecting students affiliated with the opposition. Such cases could present bias. 
The list of activists in “Standing Together” is composed of current and former students. There are four student chapters, Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University, Ben Gurion University, and the University of Haifa. By recruiting students, Filc and his comrades use university facilities and resources. 
Filc is a longstanding political figure who was once elected to the board of directors of Meretz. The Meretz website lists his activities. He is currently affiliated with the Communist Party which recently announced the publication of his new book, co-authored with MK Dov Khenin. 
The academic-political nexus of Filc is also evident in his supervision of graduate students. Filc was a second supervisor of a Ph.D. thesis of Dr. Abed (AlKader) Kanaaneh at the Hebrew University, who wrote a dissertation on "Hezbollah in Lebanon: The Muqawamah as a Contra-Hegemonic Project" under the supervision of Prof. Eyal Zisser and Filc. Zisser is a renowned expert on Syria and Lebanon, but Filc is a medical doctor focusing on academic-medical topics. Not surprisingly, Kanaaneh is a member of the Communist party and Hadash, as well as the former parliamentary advisor of MK Dov Khenin, and the director of the department of equality policy of Sikkuy, the Association for Civil Equality in Israel. 
As a radical left wing activist, Filc writes academic papers on the "Political Radicalization in Israel: From a Populist Habitus to Radical Right Populism in Government" which analyzes the "process of radicalization of the Likud party". And also co-authored an article with Dr. Amit Avigur-Eshel, another member of Meretz. 
The political activism by academics is unethical because the Israeli taxpayer is essentially subsidizing their political agenda, which in return instigate civil unrest.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
03.07.19
Pro-Palestinian Activists Take-Over Professional Associations in order to Promote BDS: BRISMES As a Case in Point
 
In recent years IAM wrote of the many attempts by professional associations to endorse the boycott of Israel. Last year IAM reported that the leadership of the American Studies Association (ASA), was "taken-over" by a group of BDS activists, supported by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI). 
Another attempt was thwarted last week when the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) has voted in favor of BDS during the annual general meeting (AGM) in Leeds. The resolution was proposed by BRISMES Council Member Prof. John Chalcraft from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and seconded by Dr. Rafeef Ziadah of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). According to the BDS resolution, BRISMES endorses "the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions until these institutions publicly end their support and complicity in violating Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law". 
Charlcraft is a veteran anti-Israel activist. In 2007 he wrote an opinion piece in the Guardian, "Should we vote for a boycott" advocating for a boycott. Since then he has signed many petitions endorsing BDS. In 2009 he was a signatory in a letter to the editor of the Guardian, urging the UK Government to revoke its support for any new agreements with Israel, as well as urging the European Parliament to refuse to any upgrades of EU benefits to Israel. In his article "Israel's Bankrupt Politics," first posted in 2009 and updated in 2012, Chalcraft describes Israel as a "settler society adopting the colonial languages of cultural superiority, and based on the expulsion and dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian-Arab population, whose nationalist resistance is often called terrorism." He ends his piece with a direct call for BDS. 
His 2015 MESA paper "The BDS Movement and the Question of Radical Democracy" focuses on BDS and explores "the radically democratic characteristics of the movement" which deserves recognition. Charcraft also "draws out homologies between the BDS movement and other democratic movements of recent origin in the region." 
Suzanne Morrison, Charcraft's Ph.D. student in LSE, have submitted a thesis on "The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement: Activism Across Borders for Palestinian Justice", in 2015. 
In the 2017 Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual conference, Charlcraft organized a panel, Protest in the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa: strategic interaction perspectives, where he presented the paper "Transnational activism and Veolia: A dynamic interaction analysis," discussing the French environmental and transport services, Veolia, which withdrew in 2015 from participating in the Jerusalem Light Rail. His paper begins with the first challenges to Veolia’s involvement in 2005-6 and aims "to shed light on the causal mechanisms at work: how did actions by the BDS movement translate into pressures on Veolia? What activist strategies were viable and effective? How were actors reconstituted over time? The case-study aims to shed light on the possibilities and limits of the BDS movement, to offer tools for studying transnational activism, and to address debates about strategic interaction perspectives on protest." 
The perception that Israel can do no right and the Palestinians can do no wrong also occurs in the recent BRISMES annual conference. For example, on the 26 June, a panel titled Interdisciplinarity, Academic Freedom, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, and Palestine, was organized by Chalcraft. The first paper, "A praxis of solidarity: Palestine, Stop G4S and the Prison Industrial Complex" was presented by Rafeef Ziadah of SOAS; next paper was "BDS and the Boycott of Study Abroad Programs to Israel" by Bill Mullen, Purdue University; Followed by "The Academic Boycott Movement in the US: Academic (Un)Freedom and Decolonizing Palestine" by Sunaina Maira, of the University of California, Davis; and then "Transnational Solidarity with Palestine: lessons about the articulation of struggles from participatory action research" presented by Chalcraft. Not even a single paper opposing BDS was presented. In fact, the program is replete with anti-Israel papers, not one presenting Israel in a positive light. All papers on Israel/Palestine were in favor of the Palestinians and no criticism was offered. 
Another BRISMES council member is Nicola Pratt who has posted on Facebook on the eve of the 24th of June, after the vote, that "The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies made history today by being the 1st UK scholarly society to vote to endorse the academic boycott of Israeli universities until they end their complicity with the occupation and violations of Palestinian human rights. It’s so rare that I’m on the winning side that I can’t believe this has happened." Various Palestinians and pro-Palestinian colleagues have congratulated Pratt for her success, her FB friend Ronit Lentin, an anti-Israel academic- activist, wrote, "Mabrouk comrades!! Shukran." Pratt responded to another FB friend that "MESA next I hope." 
Pratt has already hit the news once. In 2010 an Israeli student of Pratt, Smadar Bakovic was completing an MA in Warwick University, Department of Politics and International Studies and Pratt was her assigned supervisor. After noting that Pratt chaired an anti-Israel event on campus, Bakovic discovered that Pratt was a vocal advocate of BDS. Bakovic requested to be assigned to another supervisor but was refused. Later that year Bakovic received her grade from Pratt, a pass. Bakowic accused Pratt of under grading her due to anti-Israel sentiments. In her feedback, Pratt wrote Bakovic, that she had the tendency to "adopt Israeli/Zionist narratives as thought they were uncontested facts." Bakovic decided to appeal against her grade and requested a regrading. After seven months the Complaints Committee agreed to have her dissertation re-marked and in 2011, she was awarded a distinction. 
But the BRISMES case has a twist. Immediately after the announcement that BRISMES is endorsing the boycott - which was first published by the Middle East Monitor, a media outlet dedicated to attacking Israel - the officers of BRISMES have published a notice on their website explaining that BRISMES "has not endorsed the academic boycott of Israeli Institutions as advocated by BDS.” While the AGM has voted in favor of a boycott, “This vote is not binding on the Society". 
BRISMES was established in 1973 "to encourage and promote the study of the Middle East in the United Kingdom... and to bring together teachers, researchers, students, diplomats, journalists and others who deal professionally with the Middle East." In reality, it was highjacked to promote pro-Palestinian agenda and to besmirch Israel, acting against British interests.
Tel Aviv University
 
 27.06.19
Omar Barghouti: Milking the Tel Aviv University Cow
 
Tel Aviv University has a long history of supporting politically-motivated scholars, a trend on which IAM has frequently reported. 
One such an example is late Prof. Marcelo Dascal, a professor of Philosophy and a former Dean of Social Science at TAU who recently passed away. As reported in Haaretz, Dascal resided in those years in Jaffa where he was busy facilitating Jewish-Arab gatherings at his home, aimed at condemning violence on both sides. Omar Barghouti, who co-founded the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), was one of Dascal's students. In 2001, Barghouti has joined the MA program in Philosophy which jump-started his activist career. 
It didn't take long for Barghouti to enter the philosophical circles with the help of Prof. Anat Biletzki, Dascals' colleague from the Philosophy Department and a leading political activist in her own right. In 2003, Barghouti joined Dascal, Biletzki and other TAU Philosophers and traveled to Turkey to participate in the World Congress of Philosophy. Interestingly, Barghouti was listed as coming from Palestine although he was studying in Israel. While the main topic of the conference was philosophical, there were plenty of political undertones. One panel, "The Opposition between Universalism and Politics in the Sphere of Human Rights" was organized by Biletzki, and featured Barghouti, among others. 
Barghouti, who studied at TAU for nearly a decade, until 2010, became quite active in academic circles. His first publication appeared in a book, The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid, edited by Roane Carey, in 2001. Barghouti who described himself in the book as a doctoral candidate in philosophy (ethics) at TAU, contributed the chapter "Palestine's Tell-Tale Heart.” He started off by discussing the short story by Edgar Allen Poe, "The Tell-Tale Heart,” about a person who killed an old man because he couldn't bear his vulture looking eyes and dismembered his corpse, Barghouti compared Israel to the "tell-tale heart of the old Palestine after it was dismembered." Barghouti moved on to assume that Israel exaggerated the threats it faces, he then negated Israel's right to exist by stating that there are "problematic assumptions: that Jews are a nation, and that such a nation has a right to exist as such in Palestine.” 
During his studies at TAU, he published 27 articles in Counterpunch, a radical leftist publication known for its extreme hostility to Israel. 
From the very beginning, Barghouti's work was anti-Semitic. For example, his article "The spirit of Auschwitz" which was published in Al-Ahram in 2002 states that: 
"several Israeli policies evoke a strong analogy with the Nazis." 
"Some of the wicked practices of the Nazis in concentration camps were even imported, wholesale and unabashedly, by Israeli army officers." 
"The victims of one of history's worst crimes against humanity are increasingly resorting to some of the same tools of racist hatred and collective punishment to complete the job that the founders of Zionism had envisioned: a 'pure' Jewish state." 
"The victims of the Holocaust are victimizing the byproduct victims of the Holocaust yet another time." 
Another article, "'The Pianist' of Palestine: Reflections on Israel’s ubiquitous abuse", published by the Electronic Intifada in 2004, discussed the Oscar-winning film "The Pianist," declaring: 
"I could not help but compare the Warsaw ghetto wall with Israel’s much more ominous wall caging 3.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in fragmented, sprawling prisons." 
"Many of the methods of collective and individual 'punishment' meted out to Palestinian civilians at the hands of young, racist, often sadistic and ever impervious Israeli soldiers at the hundreds of checkpoints littering the occupied Palestinian territories are reminiscent of common Nazi practices against the Jews." 
"Unsettlingly similar to the way persecuted Jews were marked during the Holocaust, young Palestinian have been tattooed by Israeli soldiers during the current intifada." 
Soon after, Barghouti contributed a chapter to Dascal’s co-edited book in philosophy, Controversies and Subjectivity, published in 2005. Barghouti's chapter "Ethical implications of de-dichotomization of identities in conflict" was illustrating the 9/11 attack and brought examples of cases, reflecting on the "New York calamity". One of his listed cases was of a Holocaust survivor from the Warsaw Ghetto and Maidanek concentration camp. Barghouti described the Holocaust survivor as she reflected on the news which filtered back during the Second World War, that the Russians were "indiscriminately bombing German cities with a massive toll of civilian lives", to which the Holocaust survivor replied "I wanted the Germans to die… I knew I wouldn’t live, so I wanted them to die, too. We cheered the Russians. We wanted them to destroy anything and everything German. We wished [the Germans’] death every second of the day because we faced death every second of the day". Clearly, Barghouti intended to present the Holocaust survivor as evil. 
It is clear why Barghouti used the legitimacy of TAU to publish material that was anti-Semitic, even before the widely adopted international definition of anti-Semitism. What is difficult to understand is why Tel Aviv University not only put up but evidently encouraged this student to engage in anti-Semitic calumnies under the guise of academic research.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
20.06.19
When BDS Meets anti-Semitism
 
In May, IAM reported on a group of sixty Jewish and Israeli scholars who signed an open letter to German political parties, requesting not to equate BDS with anti-Semitism. They argued that supporting BDS is supporting Palestinian human rights, therefore, conflating the two is "incorrect, unacceptable and a threat to the liberal-democratic order in Germany." The group insisted that Palestinians "refrain from violence when opposing the occupation of their land and the ongoing discrimination and oppression they are exposed to. BDS is essentially a non-violent movement, which protests serious human rights violations." 
Their reference to the BDS movement as non-violent is misleading. Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin, a left-leaning American-Israeli researcher, formerly of BGU, has written in 2011, that methods of disruption such as "Heckling of Israeli Orchestra in London spews hatred, not solutions". The hecklers were "shutting down the BBC’s broadcast of the performance, I felt all sorts of prickly anger." She concluded that "the assault on people’s attempt to be knowledgeable, makes me doubt how informed the hecklers themselves are. It is frighteningly clear that a cheap, one-sided reduction of the conflict to a message of 'hate all things Israeli' will lead to dangerously reductionist solutions. If you want to change their minds, don’t force them – convince them." 
BDS activists hating "anything Israeli" was evident at the violent incidents which took place at King’s College London in Jan 2016. Pro-Palestinian activists raided a talk by an Israeli speaker, Ami Ayalon, former head of the Security Agency who switched to peace activism, breaking windows, throwing chairs and setting off multiple fire alarms. These violent forms of BDS activism fit the global definition of anti-Semitism. 
American campuses have looked at evidence suggesting that violence is present during BDS protest. A year ago, the Algeminer editors published the "2nd Annual List of the Most Challenging North American Campuses for Jewish Students" for 2017. There are approximately 400,000 Jewish undergraduates at colleges and universities in North America. The report establishes that "high percentages of Jewish students say they have witnessed, experienced or heard antisemitism on their campus." The report finds that "those campuses with the most active Jewish communities are also home to the most antisemitism." The report also refers to the success of the BDS campaign as a significant factor. In particular when there is an active presence of both anti-Israel groups and pro-boycott faculty members, creating a hostile environment. Also, the Amcha initiative, a group protecting Jewish students on North American campuses, published in late 2017 a study revealing “How Faculty who Boycott Israel Increase Likelihood of anti-Semitism”. Their report brings the first empirical evidence to explain how faculty promotion of an academic boycott of Israel is different from other advocacy on campus and poses a threat to Jewish students. 
Going back to Germany, another attempt to dissuade the German government from equating BDS with anti-Semitism was expressed in a letter, this time signed by 240 Jewish and Israeli scholars, disseminated by the BDS movement. While repeating the claim that BDS is non-violent, they ignore the amount of hostility, intimidation, and harassment by BDS supporters. 
But the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that “Germany is accused of downplaying anti-Semitic attacks by Muslims”. The German government blames mostly the far-right for anti-Semitism, even the annual al-Quds Day demonstrations in Berlin have been classified by the authorities as forms of far-right anti-Semitism. Last month, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that supporters of far-right groups were responsible for about 90 percent of the 1,800 recorded anti-Semitic incidents in in 2018, a 20 percent increase from the previous year. This goes in contrast to a 2016 survey of hundreds of German Jews who had experienced anti-Semitic incidents when 41 percent said the perpetrator was "someone with a Muslim extremist view," and 16 percent identified their aggressor as someone from the far left. Only 20 percent identified their aggressors as belonging to the far-right. According to Daniel Poensgen, a researcher at the Department for Research and Information on Anti-Semitism (RIAS) "It means we can’t really use the official statistics on anti-Semitism in Germany." He gave an example for the German confusion when the German court ruled that anti-Semitism was not the motivation behind the attempt by three Palestinians to set fire to a synagogue, later the higher court affirmed this ruling. 
Unlike Germany, an Austrian report on anti-Semitism included a section on "Imported antisemitic narratives" which surveyed the "imported" or "immigrant" anti-Semitism in a nationwide representative survey by 300 interviews. The respondents, including two groups of Turkish and Arabic speakers, almost consistently agreed with anti-Semitic statements more than the general Austrian population. For example, the respondents were given a statement, "If the state of Israel no longer exists, then peace prevails in the Middle East." In response, 76% of Arabic speakers and 51% of Turkish speakers agreed with this statement. These results indicate a greater level of anti-Semitic feelings coming from Arabic and Turkish speakers, respectively. 
In Germany, no such distinction is measured. The vote of the German Bundestag declaring that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic and therefore illegitimate has spurred another confrontation. Those who fight against BDS expect the German government to adopt this motion, and those in favor of BDS, such as pro-Palestinian activists and scholars, including some Israelis, write petitions against it. 
The intense debate shifted the focus to Peter Schaefer, the director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin (JMB), who expressed support with the petition and, following criticism, quit his job. In response, Prof. Amos Goldberg of the Hebrew University, a pro-Palestinian activist who equates the Palestinian Nakba to the Jewish Holocaust and one of the initiators of the petition, wrote an email (below) to fellow-activists expressing support with the museum director: "What we’re witnessing is pure incitement, designed to intimidate the JMB and others into silence. It’s an outrageous assault on the freedom of speech and on the principle and value of a free, fair and open discussion. Goldberg ended with a plea, "consider contributing to the several discussions on twitter... These are simple steps but might be highly influential." 
IAM will report on the developments in Germany in due course.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
13.06.19
Case Study on Three BDS Activists Working for Israeli Universities: Tom Pessah, Ronnen Ben-Arie and Merav Amir
 
IAM has been reporting on academic BDS for years. BDS in general, including the academic BDS, has prompted the Israeli Knesset to pass the Anti-BDS Law in July 2011 entitled "Law Preventing Harm to the State of Israel by Means of Boycott." By the definition of the Law, "Boycott" is a civil wrong. "He who knowingly publishes a public call for a boycott against the State of Israel, where according to the content and circumstances of the publication there is a reasonable probability that the call will lead to a boycott." 
Universities, like all other institutions, are expected to abide by the anti-BDS Law. 
Still, IAM found three examples of academic BDS propagators with direct ties to Israeli universities. 
Dr. Tom Pessah has been pursuing postdoctoral positions at the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University and has taught two courses: "Ethnicity and 'Race' – A Global Perspective" at the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Ben-Gurion University, and "Violence and Politics – Selected Topics" at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University. Pessah is a sociologist from the University of California, Berkeley. His 2014 Ph.D. thesis focuses on internal debates regarding ethnic cleansing within settler colonial societies. Pessah's endorsement of BDS began before the anti-BDS Law was passed. In 2010, a bill in "Support of UC Divestment from War Crimes," referring to Israel, was co-authored by Pessah. Also, on October 29, 2018, in a teach-in at the University of Michigan, titled "What is BDS? And Why Does it Matter?" Pessah spoke as an expert on the BDS movement. As reported by the press, Pessah said: "BDS has been a model of solidarity from my knowledge of participation in the movement... You see many Palestinians, many Jews, many Israelis working side by side, acknowledging the rights of Palestinians." 
Dr. Ronnen Ben-Arie is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa and an adjunct lecturer at the Technion Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning. Before the anti-BDS Law, Ben-Arie was among the signatories in a 2010 letter to the rock band Pixies urging them to "postpone your performance in Israel." In another petition, Ben-Arie was a signatory to "Dissident Israelis support Marrickville BDS plan" that was published in April 2011. After the Law was passed, Ben-Arie is promoting divestment from Israel in a co-authored book, From Shared Life to Co-resistance in Historic Palestine, published in 2017. The book asks "In what ways can we divest from settler arrangements in the present-day? Exploring the Zionist takeover of Palestine as a settler colonial case." The book suggests "How do we contribute to the decolonisation of Palestine?" And charges Israel with an "attempt to eliminate native life involved the destruction of Arab society"; "settlerist process of dispossession of the Arabs"; "elimination of shared life", among other accusations. The book offers an "Arab-Jewish co-resistance as a way of defying Israel's Zionist regime, to oppose "an unacceptable state of affairs." The book discusses "possible futures," exploring ways to divest from Israel, as mentioned before. 
Dr. Merav Amir is a senior lecturer in Human Geography at Queen's University Belfast who is often involved in academic publications of Israeli universities. Recently, she co-edited the Tel Aviv University Minerva Humanities Journal Mafteakh Issue 13. The Journal aims to create an open "political lexicon". In 2012-2013, Amir was a fellow at the Hebrew University Davis Institute. In 2014 Amir participated in the journal Public Sphere of the Tel Aviv University School of Political Science. Amir is a long-time supporter of BDS. She was a contributor to the 2012 book The Case for Sanctions Against Israel. In 2015, Amir was described by a Dutch-Palestinian initiative as "an activist in the BDS movement." She is also one of the initiators of a 2016 petition "Jews Across Northern Ireland Support Sanctions Against Israel," stating clearly "We support boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, as called for by Palestinian civil society." The petition also claims that "The State of Israel does not represent the Jewish people" and protests against those who "conflated Jews with Zionists, which is frankly offensive." 
The case study of the three BDS activists shows quite clearly that university authorities do not keep a close watch on their faculty. Since universities are supported by the tax payers, it behooves them to pay attention to the laws which are passed by the Knesset.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
06.06.19
Scientists Protest Against the 50th International Physics Olympiad in July in Tel Aviv University
 

The 50th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) 2019, is taking place on July 7-15, 2019 in Tel Aviv. The IPhO 2019 is organized in collaboration with Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Exact Sciences and the Ministry of Education. 
The IPhO is an annual international physics competition for secondary school students aimed to enhance the development of international contacts in the field of school education in physics. The first IPhO was held in Warsaw (Poland) in 1967 to create an event which prizes the knowledge in physics of the best students around the world. Participating countries take a turn in hosting the IPhO, an event which is typically organized by the Ministry of Education, the local Physical Society or another appropriate institution of the country where the competition is being held. The competition lasts for two days, one devoted to theoretical problems, and the other to experimental problems, with at least one full day of rest in between. 
Like all international events in recent years, the competition which is due to be hosted in Israel next month is provoking a barrage of opposition and protests by the Palestinians and their allies. This time, twenty scientists from various universities around the world, including Prof. George P. Smith, the 2018 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, wrote an open letter to the organizers to protest against holding it in Israel. 
The letter explains that the event is promoted by the "denial of Palestinian human rights, including the right to education." The group of scientists claims that "Under the present circumstances, citizens of many countries are de facto excluded from entering Israel and attending the IPhO, not to mention Palestinian students from the West Bank and Gaza... The people in Gaza live under a harsh blockade, students and academics cannot leave even if they have a scholarship to study abroad. The people in the West Bank live under military occupation, and are routinely detained by Israeli forces." To prove their point the group of scientists provides one-sided reports from Haaretz and B’Tselem. 
They end their letter with a plea: "We call on all students and mentors from all over the world not to participate to the next International Physics Olympiad in Israel and to stand for Human rights of the young Palestinian pupils and students, including their right to education. We call on the boards of other International Science Olympiads to refrain from organizing their future contests in Israel, as long as it continues its military occupation and apartheid policy, in defiance of international law." 
As often the case, among the signatories are two Israelis: Emmanuel Farjoun, Professor of Mathematics, Hebrew University; and, Dror Warschawski, Biophysicist, Research Associate at the National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, and at Université du Québec à Montréal. 
The group of scientists ignores the fact that members of the Olympiad include countries such as Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, among others. By singling out Israel alone and ignoring countries with a far worse record of abusing human rights, the group of scientists follows in the footsteps of anti-Israeli activists who perfected the tactics of double standards. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism holds that such double standards amount to anti-Semitism. 
Interestingly, Prof. Farjoun, one of the signatories, is a long-time activist of the radical anti-Zionist group Matzpen. Another signatory is Prof. Dror Warschawski, the son of Michel Warschawski, another long-time Matzpen activist. While the virulently anti-Israel group Matzpen disbanded decades ago, its message has been propagated by academic-activists around the globe.

Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
30.05.19
Tackling Anti-Semitism and BDS
 
With the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents on a global scale, a number of initiatives to tackle the problem have emerged, drawing a link to the BDS movement. 
Earlier this month, the Florida Senate has unanimously approved a bill prohibiting anti-Semitism in Florida public schools and universities. The legislation determines that students or employees or "institutional policies motivated by anti-Semitic intent [should be treated] in an identical manner to discrimination motivated by race.” Based on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition, the bill describes anti-Semitism as following: A certain perception of the Jewish people, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jewish people; Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism directed toward a person, his or her property, or toward Jewish community institutions or religious facilities. Like the IHRA definition, the bill also provides examples of anti-Semitism, such as: Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews, often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion; Accusing Jews as a people or the State of Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust; Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations. The bill also provides examples of anti-Semitism related to the State of Israel, such as: Applying a double standard to Israel by requiring behavior of Israel that is not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation; Delegitimizing Israel by denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination and denying Israel the right to exist. The American version, in addition to the IHRA definition, also includes: Peace or human rights investigations focusing on Israel alone. 
The bill now awaits Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign into law. DeSantis referred to the bill in a recent appearance, stating "we have an anti-Semitism bill, which is one of the strongest in the nation, that I’ll sign into law, actually I think I will sign it into law when we’re in Jerusalem doing a Cabinet meeting." DeSantis, however, has met with strong opposition to signing the bill in Israel, when a watchdog group and a number of media outlets, filed a lawsuit against him and the members of the Florida State Cabinet, because meeting in Israel violates the Florida state constitution and state open government laws requiring Cabinet meetings to be held with public access. DeSantis arrived in Israel for a few days with some 90 members of the state trade delegation and signed agreements with various Israeli companies in a number of fields such as space, agriculture, water, and cybersecurity. DeSantis also visited Ariel University to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ariel University and Florida State University. In Israel, DeSantis joined Florida Atlantic University, the University of North Florida, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, and Miami Dade College, as they signed an MOU with the University of Haifa. 
The University of Haifa has also recently hosted Prof. Melvin L. Oliver, the president of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, who defied internal pressure to boycott the exchange agreement with Haifa and vetoed the vote. Oliver has given a keynote lecture at the University of Haifa annual board of governors meeting. In an interview, Oliver notes that the BDS motion began when Prof. Dan Segal, the adviser of the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, has led the campaign to suspend Pitzer’s program with Haifa. Segal’s BDS motion was one of the first and was faculty-led. Shortly afterwards, an initial BDS vote was passed by the Pitzer faculty, and then the students' governance body has voted to suspend the following semester of the Haifa program. At the same day, Oliver announced that he would veto the resolution. Oliver adds that a boycott of Israel "sets us on a path away from the free exchange of ideas, a direction which ultimately destroys the academy’s ability to fulfill our educational mission." Oliver notes it was an uncomfortable situation for Jewish students who felt singled out for "having positions that SJP gave to them or were assumed to have as defenders of Israel." 
But drawing a direct link between BDS and anti-Semitism occurred on May 15, when the German Bundestag became the first parliament to pass a resolution designating BDS as anti-Semitic. The resolution states that the campaign to boycott Israeli goods along with the “Don’t Buy” stickers, recalled "the most terrible chapter in German history." It argues that the pattern of arguments and the methods used by BDS activists is anti-Semitic. It resolved not to fund an organization which questions Israel’s right to exist, calls for a boycott of Israel, or actively supports BDS. 
The resolution comes after a “growing unease” of the German Jewish community, as anti-Semitism has increased tremendously in recent years. 
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union party, and it's Social Democratic coalition partner, along with the liberal party and the Greens, have brought the resolution to the Bundestag. 
In response, the Palestinian BDS National Committee issued a statement condemning the "anti-Palestinian, McCarthyite and unconstitutional resolution." They urged "people of conscience" to defend the "sanctity of universal human rights and freedom of expression by protecting the right to BDS". The BDS Committee also declared that BDS “rejects all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism" and that the academic and cultural boycott of Israel is "strictly institutional and does not target individual Israelis.” But contrary to these claims, IAM noted in April, individual Israeli scholars were in fact targeted when they were disinvited to a conference in South Africa, due to pressure from BDS activists on the organizers. None of the Palestinian BDS leadership intervened to oppose the targeting of individual Israelis which contradicts the published goals of BDS. 
Interestingly, some radical academics joined the criticism of the German parliament. Some sixty Jewish and Israeli scholars, many of them who research Jewish history and anti-Semitism, signed an open letter, "A Call to German Parties not to Equate BDS with Anti-Semitism." According to the group, supporting BDS is actually supporting Palestinian human rights and the conflation between supporting BDS and anti-Semitism is "incorrect, unacceptable and a threat to the liberal-democratic order in Germany." The group insisted that Palestinians "refrain from violence when opposing the occupation of their land and the ongoing discrimination and oppression they are exposed to. BDS is essentially a non-violent movement, which protests serious human rights violations." 
To isolate BDS from the Palestinian violence against Israelis and Jews is misleading. The group also failed to warn the BDS leadership that the South African conference which boycotted Israeli individuals breached the published goals of the BDS movement, making such incidents anti-Semitic.
Hebrew University
 

HUJ Daphna Golan-Agnon Accused by Students of being Biased and Aggressive

23.05.19
In March 2019, IAM was contacted by an international student who studies at the International School of the Hebrew University. The student claimed an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic atmosphere on campus. The student also felt been treated differently and discriminated against, for being visually Jewish. But the student was unable to provide IAM with any written material to prove this case. In general, IAM is cautious when approached by students who may be unhappy with their grades only to blame the institution for political bias. 
A few days ago, the media reported a complaint by students from the same International School at the Hebrew University, titled "Hebrew University’s International Graduate Professor Spouts Anti-Israel Rhetoric," as well as "Hebrew U. Prof Accused of ‘Systematic Misinformation,’ Political Bias.” This time the student provided proof, including a print-screen of an email arriving from Prof. Daphna Golan, who teaches this class, saying: “I am not sure why you are studying in my course – but both of your handouts are disgraceful... You are a student whose presence in class is very disturbing to the whole group and your remarks are very unpleasant. I am sorry I had to read your unpleasant and not intelligent papers. You got zero on both.” The print-screen shows this email was also sent to the program director Rula Abu Zayyad. 
The media also interviewed another student from this class who said in response about Golan, that “The way she had attacked him [the student] was not okay... everyone in class was upset by the way she spoke to him.” The friend from class added that the assigned paper of this student was actually professional. “You could tell that the professor was very biased and aggressive to people whose positions weren’t the same as hers.” 
A perusal at the syllabus of Golan's course "The Role of NGOs in Promoting Human Rights and Transitional Justice" reveals a one-sided picture and excess of activism. Students learn "the importance of the Nakba for Israelis and Palestinians." Golan’s reading assignment presents the Palestinian narrative alone and refers to Palestinian and Israeli NGOs protecting Palestinians rights. There is no effort to include the Israeli point of view. 
Hebrew University is failing its duty to promote a more balanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is especially regrettable because many American universities have taken steps to curtail the one-sided presentations driven by pro-Palestinian activists on campus. 
Also, with regards to discrimination, Hebrew University should seriously look into all these cases by speaking to all the students participating in Golan's class. It should re-evaluate the student's assigned paper by an external examiner in order to determine whether the failing grade was a political bias on Golan's part. Whether it is or isn't, her use of language aimed at this or other students is unacceptable. 
IAM will report in due course on further development of this case.

General Articles
 
14.05.19
Protest Over the Summer Special Issue of Israel Studies
 
A special summer issue of the journal Israel Studies, "Word Crimes; Reclaiming The Language of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," created the academic equivalent of a hurricane. Edited by Donna Robinson Divine, a professor emerita of Jewish Studies and Government at Smith College, the issue covered the one-sided vocabulary used these days to describe Israel as an apartheid state, a colonial usurper in the Middle East, and a country which commits war crimes toward the Palestinians. Divine explains that Israel, once a trope for self-sacrifice and solidarity, now "stands accused of practicing apartheid, genocide, ethnic cleansing" and colonialism. The issue explores this "lexical transformation" and describes "how and why it acquired its totemic standing". 
For those familiar with the history of social sciences in the West, the answer is quite simple. In the 1970s, driven by political and social upheavals, the dominant positivist paradigm was replaced by the neo-Marxist, critical approach, which, over the years, painted Israel as a purely colonial power with no historical rights to the land. Unsurprisingly, the new paradigm depicted the Palestinians as the victims of the colonial machinations of the Jews and their Western allies. Edward Said’s Orientalism became the icon of the new paradigm. With the wealthy Gulf States investing in Middle East Centers on Western campuses, the new paradigm was spread globally. Equally important, this investment enabled them to influence who would be hired or invited to lecture in the Middle East Centers and the Israel Studies Departments, hence, the critics themselves. 
A discussion of the merits of the two paradigms to depict the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is legitimate and, indeed, desirable. However, the critics chose to ignore all this, and instead chose to attack the scholarship of the journal contributors by writing that the journal "ignores basic standards of academic scholarship, is heavily slanted in favor of Israel and relies on contributions from lightweights in the field." So much so, that Prof. Ian Lustick, who serves on the board of the Association for Israel Studies (AIS) stated that "the board would 'reconsider' its relationship with the journal". 
In a public letter to the AIS, the group of critics voiced their concerns, "we were dismayed" because the issue "fell far short of standards expected of academic journals... we believe has done serious damage to the reputation of the journal, and could cast a long shadow on the AIS and the field." Because the issue features essays on key terms in "critical scholarship of Israel/Palestine". They argue that "The castigation of intellectual categories as 'word crimes' is not a starting point for a good-faith discussion: it is a call to arms. By describing terms as 'linguistic transgressions' and scholarship as lacking in 'sanity', the issue made clear that its aim was not to contribute to vigorous debate, but rather to police and shut down this debate." The critics also claimed that "barely a third of the 17 contributors to the issue could claim academic expertise in the subject they were writing on. Disciplinary boundaries are not sacred, but the selection of so many non-specialists (including non-academics)." 
The critics argue that "It is not clear why an archaeologist was chosen to write on "Human Rights", and a communication professor served as an expert on "Apartheid". The essays made minimal and inadequate reference to relevant scholarship. The pieces on “Anti-Zionism” and “Occupation” did not have a single footnote. The essay on “Arab-Palestinian Refugees” failed to refer to key works by Benny Morris, Yoav Gelber, Walid Khalidi, and other scholars. The essay on “Colonialism” did not engage the rich literature on settler-colonialism from the last 15 years. These are a few examples of the numerous and pervasive failings of the issue. Overall the special issue read as a partisan and polemical exercise in advocacy rather than serious scholarship." 
The critics also issued a veiled threat: "Inability to make the distinction between advocacy and scholarship could threaten the future of the AIS as a vital scholarly space for research and discussion of contemporary Israel. The journal Israel Studies must undergo a serious overhaul to address these concerns in order to save its reputation and prevent such failures in the future. If such effort is not undertaken, the AIS should end its sponsorship of the journal and disaffiliate from it." 
As noted, a proper debate on the issue of academic coverage of Israel, and the Arab-Palestinian conflict is long overdue. In the meanwhile, three notes are in order. 
The critics railed against the fact that some of the contributors did not have the proper qualifications to write on the subjects. They should be reminded that many of the radical scholar-activists, which IAM covered for almost two decades, switched from their original disciplines to write about the Arab-Israeli conflict. For instance, Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal who was hired to teach and research child development and education has switched focus to the conflict; Prof. Yehouda Shenhav who was hired to teach and research on the sociology of organizations ended up writing about the conflict. Indeed, the Israel Studies Association gave him a prize for this work; Dr. Anat Matar was hired to teach and research philosophy and not Palestinian prisoners; Avner Ben Amos, a researcher in education who switched to the conflict; Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a researcher on child education started lecturing on the conflict; Prof. Gadi Algazi is an expert of late medieval and early modern history and not the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; Prof. Shlomo Sand, an expert on French cinema and culture became an "expert" on Judaism; Among others. With the sole exception of IAM, no one has ever questioned the fact that they were not qualified to do so. 
The critics had complained that many of the articles did not follow accepted scholarly standards. They should be aware that the 2011 Evaluation Committee report by the Council of Higher Education on the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University noted that many of the faculty published in neo-Marxist, critical journals which did not maintain mainstream, (read: positivist) scholarly standards. 
The critics chastised the contributors for failing to refer to the key works on refugees such as Walid Khalidi or Benny Morris. They should be aware of the fact that Khalidi’s work on the refugees was criticized for lack of proper academic standards. As for Benny Morris, the question is what version of the 1948 story needs to be included. It is well known that after the failure of the Oslo peace process, Morris became disenchanted with the Palestinians and soon after revised his 1948 narrative about the refugees. 
In fact, as the list of signatories of the petition reveals, the critics themselves are not all coming from this field of expertise. 
In response, the journal editors Prof. Ilan Troen and Dr. Natan Aridan, wrote that the next published issues of Israel Studies would allow critics to analyze the "controversial" issue. This is the proper academic resolve. Using academic tools, critics should be able to debate. Calls to silence the opposition is nothing but charlatanism.
General Articles
 
09.05.19
The Latest Round of Academic Controversies
 
A number of controversies erupted recently stemming from the continuing efforts of some academics to mix politics with scholarly pursuits. 
Over the years IAM has reported on hundreds of cases in which academics mixed their political agenda with scholarship. TAU professor Yehouda Shenhav has been a leading figure among the political activists in the academy. Originally, a researcher of the sociology of organizations, he switched to focusing on his politics. 
Although retired now, he is still very much in the public view. Most recently, he attended the reception for Amir Makhoul who was released from prison after nine years. Makhoul was arrested by the Shin Bet in early May 2010, in an affair that stunned Israeli society. He was a prominent leader in the Arab community, a member of the Follow-Up Committee, as well as the head of Ittijah - the umbrella organization for the Arab society. His brother Issam Makhoul is a former member of Knesset of the Hadash party. Makhoul confessed to contacts with a foreign agent, a connection to the enemy during wartime, and serious espionage in favor of Hezbollah. The charges stated that he provided information about military bases and security facilities of the army, the Shin Bet and Mossad, to a Hezbollah man whom he met in Denmark. The presiding judges ruled that Makhoul befriended the "most bitter enemy" of Israel. 
Hezbollah’s record is well known. Under guidance from Iran, the organization has waged a bloody campaign against Israeli citizens and the IDF. Hezbollah chief, Hassan Nasrallah, has been very open about his desire to eradicate Israel from the map of the Middle East. The question is why Shenhav rushed to greet Makhoul. As IAM repeatedly noted, the irony is that the Israeli taxpayers provide Shenhav with the means to embrace enemies of the state. 
Another leading activist is BGU Prof. Oren Yiftachel. He recently participated in a conference organized by Middle East Monitor (MEMO), a pro-Hamas publication created to fill the "growing need" for supporters of the Palestinian cause. The conference focused on the Palestinian citizens of Israel, their history and the challenges they face in the "wake of Israel’s controversial Nation-State Law, which last year deprived the community of its right to national self-determination and effectively rendered 1.8 million people second-class citizens within Israel." 
Yiftachel discussed the "Israeli apartheid" and promoted political group A Land for All he co-founded. As reported by Al-Jazeera, Yiftachel's talk was about a "New stage in 'settler-colonial' process." Yiftachel was "comparing Israel with apartheid South Africa, whose government corralled the indigenous majority into self-governing 'bantustans'." Accordingly, Yiftachel said, "the Nation-State Law opens a new stage in the Israeli 'settler-colonial' process, which he called one of 'deepening apartheid'… Apartheid, of course, is illegal, it is a war crime, it is a crime against humanity." IAM has been reporting on his kind of lectures for close to two decades, including his trademark warning about “deepening apartheid.” Still, the likes of Al-Jazeera are always happy to quote him and other radical Israeli academics. 
In another controversial move, a group of political activists, among them several scholars, published their petition to the Israeli Supreme Court, against the Knesset, the Government, and the Attorney General, about the law “Israel and the National State of the Jewish People. 
Of course, there has been a robust debate about the new law. However, the signatories adopted a rather bizarre approach, calling it an “Ashkenazi petition.” They describe themselves as “Israeli citizens of Ashkenazi-Western origin” or “those to whom Western culture is a component of identity.” The petition states that it follows a petition by 60 intellectuals and academics of Mizrachi origin or the so-called “Mizrahi petition.” 
The petitioners repeat the assertion of the “Mizrahi petition” that the new law discriminates not just against the non-Jewish population of the country, but also against Jews of Mizrahi origin. The reason for that far-fetched assertion is that bill relegates Arabic to the status of a “second language,” which allegedly hurts the Mizrahim, by reflecting their “second class status.” It was Yehouda Shenhav, as a member in HaKeshet HaMizrahit, a group of Mizrahi academics, who published a book in the 1990s to the effect that the Mizrahim are “Arab Jews” whose Arab heritage was destroyed by the Zionist establishment. Framing the petition in the language of ethnic origin of Ashkenazi or Mizrahi, in order to argue against the new law, would not serve the petitioners purpose. Scholars should have known better, as they have a responsibility to the public. 
In fact, the study Academic Freedom in Israel: A Comparative Perspective indicated that faculty in Israel enjoy academic freedom which surpasses anything that their peers in public tertiary education could dream. Not incidentally, this state of affairs has distorted the teaching and research in social science. As a number of reports for the Council of Higher Education noted, some departments, notably in Ben Gurion University, are top-heavy with neo-Marxist, critical scholarship at the expense of the mainstream empirically-based research. Because neo-Marxist, critical research is not published in mainstream journals, Israeli social sciences score poorly in comparative evaluations.

Other Institutions
 
18.04.19
The Final Hurdle for the Ariel University Faculty of Medicine
 
After years of development, Ariel University announced that it opens the School of Medicine in the fall of 2019. However, In December 2018, the university had to put its plans on hold. Dina Silber, the Deputy ‎Attorney General, ruled that a ‎conflict of interest involving one member of ‎the Council for Higher Education (CHE) Planning and ‎Budgeting Committee (PBC) rendered invalid her vote in favor ‎of opening the medical school. However, in February, when IAM reported on "Ariel University Medical Faculty: The Battle between the Government and Universities is Coming to a Head," the CHE in Judea and Samaria overturned the decision by the PBC which blocked the establishment of the Medical Faculty. 
Another moment of doubts came on Monday, when the High Court of Justice heard a petition submitted by two scholars, Prof. David Harel of the Weizmann Institute, vice president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and Prof. Alon Harel of the Hebrew University, claiming conflict of interest in the decision-making process of the establishment of the medical school. The petitioners claimed that Ariel decision was casting a "heavy shadow on the decision making process in higher education." Alon Harel stated that the petition is "against the corrupt process by which it was decided to establish the faculty of medicine in Ariel. My interest in petitioning the Court in this case is to protect the council of High education (Malag) from political pressures imposed by the Minister of Education, Naftali Bennet". 
Responding to the petition, the High Court ruled that since the CHE approved the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine on April 11, 2019, it is at the hands of the PBC to deal with the budgetary issues at the latest by July 2019. The High Court ruled to delete the petition but urged Ariel University to notify students that the budgeting for the actual operation of the Faculty has not yet been allocated. 
The same day, a team of researchers from Ariel University won praises for their research. Professor Shiri Navon-Venezia, from the Molecular Biology Department, presented a research at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease in Amsterdam, which found that petting zoos could be a breeding ground for drug-resistant superbugs. The results of the study were quoted by the international media. Petting zoos are very popular in the West where there is also a growing awareness of superbugs. 
Now the question is if Ariel University Faculty of Medicine is about to overcome the final hurdle.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
11.04.19
The Debate over Student-Soldiers at the HUJ Campus and the Threats to Boycott
 
A couple of weeks ago, Professor Barak Medina, the Hebrew University rector, announced that the IDF has chosen the Hebrew University for the Havatzalot Program, in which soldiers study for an undergraduate degree. Some fifty exceptional students would participate in the combined program of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies with a specialization in Political Science and either, Philosophy, Economics, Mathematics or Computer Sciences, combined. Medina said that he sees an advantage in the integration of Arabs and soldiers and that it could benefit both sides. 
Hebrew University's good news has upset the radical academic fraternity. For example, the group Academia for Equality has published a letter describing the Hebrew University move "an attack on the principle of academic freedom in Israel." According to them, "such instances of militarization of the academic space,” disrupts normal academic life. The group claims that the army is "intervening in academic content in clear violation of the principle of academic autonomy and equality in access to higher education." Their letter also reveals that the group conducts a project which "consists of documenting and monitoring through our 'Complicit Academy' database". The group has threatened the Hebrew University that unless the program is terminated, it would urge international academics to boycott the Hebrew University. "Academia for Equality believes that if the plan is executed and becomes a normalized reality this should have severe implication on The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s international standing and on the entire higher education system in Israel." The group specifically urged its peers to take the following steps: "Putting on hold any 'business as usual' communications with Hebrew University authorities" and "Considering the standing of current as well as planned professional cooperation and exchange in light of this development."
One member of Academia for Equality is Dr. Anat Matar, a long-time activist of Boycott from Within. For Matar, a Philosophy professor from Tel Aviv University, “students in uniform are a dissonance, they are a grating noise that if we have not yet developed an ear sensitive enough to hear, we should do it urgently." 
The Boycott Law which the Knesset passed in 2011, offers remedies against those who threaten a boycott of Israeli institutions. It is not clear whether the law can be applied to the Academy for Equality, but the Hebrew University should treat such threats seriously. To recall, the Ben Gurion University’s leadership and faculty mobilized the international academic community to protest against the closing of the Department of Politics and Government which intensified the calls for a boycott. 
Israel and its allies abroad have faced an uphill struggle in combating BDS initiatives around the world. It stands to reason that this effort should start at home.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
03.04.19
The Battle over BDS in South Africa: an Analysis
 
At a 30 March 2019 meeting, the Council of the University of Cape Town rejected the motion to adopt a BDS resolution and referred the matter back to the Senate. The Council noted that a number of issues required clarification including a full assessment of the sustainability impact of the Senate resolution which was adopted two weeks earlier, and a more consultative process was necessary before the matter could be considered any further. The Senate resolution which required the vote of the Council stated: "UCT will not enter into any formal relationships with Israeli academic institutions operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as other Israeli academic institutions enabling gross human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories". 
But the BDS activists don't always wait for a vote. A few months ago, BDS activists threatened to "blow up" a conference if Israelis took part in it. This threat prompted the conference organizer to ask the Israeli scholars not to participate. To recall, in November 2018, IAM reported on this international conference which disinvited three Israeli scholars due to pressure from the BDS movement. The conference, "Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation: The Light and Shadow of Historical Trauma" took place in December 2018 at the University of Stellenbosch. The chair of the organizing committee, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, was responsible for disinviting the Israeli scholars. Prof. Shifra Sagy of Ben Gurion University, whose research deals with the possibilities for promoting understanding and dialogue between groups in conflicts, is one of the three Israeli scholars who was disinvited. She explained that "The organizer of the conference contacted me and told me about the difficulties she was facing. At first, she reported that it had worked out, but later she called to apologize and said it wouldn't be possible for us to appear... The [BDS] activists sent a letter to the organizers and threatened to 'blow up' the conference if Israelis took part." Sagy also mentioned that a researcher has canceled a scheduled meeting with her due to BDS. Gobodo-Madikizela and Sagy have actually known each other for years as they have both worked extensively in reconciliation and dialogue. Gobodo-Madikizela explained her reasons, “I have been thrown on the horns of an ongoing dilemma. On the one hand, I want to protect Stellenbosch University from protests and ensure that this conference, which I have worked so hard to organize, goes well, and not allow any organization to control how discussions are conducted, and what conversations are permitted. On the other hand, knowing that the flare-up is because of Israeli participation, I wanted my Israeli colleagues to understand the pressure that this imposes." 
But Gobodo-Madikizela has a longstanding connection to Israeli academics, dating back to 1998 when she worked with Dan Bar-On, the late professor of psychology. “I hosted Bar-On the previous year, when he visited South Africa to observe the public process of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. And his colleague Sami Adwan, the Palestinian Professor of Education. For Gobodo-Madikizela both Adwan and Bar-On are among the "leading figures in peace scholarship and activism that seeks an alternative form of engagement to the one that dominates Palestine-Israeli relations", she said. "The late Bar-On’s book on the children of Nazi perpetrators influenced my own work and became one of the foundational pillars in my scholarly pursuits,” she added. She never wanted to silence or isolate Israelis – quite the opposite. "We, of course, believe in academic freedom, and we believe in the right to boycott, given the role that this played in our own struggle against apartheid. But I also know that our conference was not the appropriate vehicle for the application of the boycott”. 
Soon after the incident, Stellenbosch University officials tried to deny capitulating to BDS. In a statement on 30 November, Wim De Villiers, Stellenbosch University's rector and vice-chancellor, presented the disinvitation as a misunderstanding by the Israeli scholars. “When the first statement expressing opposition to the participation of Israeli speakers came to the attention of the organizers, a strategic decision was taken to remove the names of individuals and their institutions from the website as a precautionary measure to prevent academics and their institutions from being targeted, and to prevent the conference from derailing.” The Israeli scholars were still appearing in the program, he explained, but the “Israeli delegates decide to withdraw their participation as a result of circumstances beyond the control of the university and the conference organizing committee”. Obviously, Gobodo-Madikizela did not disclose to him that she specifically requested Sagy not to come. 
To overcome the distrust by the Jewish community, during a meeting in January 2019 between Stellenbosch University and South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies the parties announced that "The University will, as in previous years, continue to welcome Israeli scholars." 
The Israel Academic Boycott is a program of the University of Cape Town Palestinian Solidarity Forum which was founded in 2010 and has promoted an academic boycott of Israeli academia ever since. South Africa is hospitable to BDS for a number of reasons. The Jewish population in South Africa is diminishing, currently numbering less than 80,000, while the Muslim population is increasing amounting to one million. The Palestinian influence is gaining strength. The PA has had strong ties with South Africa, but since 2015 so does Hamas. In a 2015 visit, Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas leader, received red carpet treatment and was introduced to many important players including the South African President Jacob Zuma. Although South Africa's governing political party, the African National Congress (ANC) has had informal liaisons with Hamas for a long time, this visit represented a significant warming up. ANC announced that "There are those who think that by ignoring any of the players it will bring the region closer to a peaceful solution. Our experience in South Africa was that the process of negotiations involved all players irrespective of their views and beliefs." 
in December 2018, the ANC signed an agreement with Hamas’ Foreign Minister Mahmoud Al-Zahar. The agreement seeks to “introduce practical steps in mobilizing the international community to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestine, including working towards the full boycott of all Israeli products”. Also that month, South Africa’s National Freedom Party leader, Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam, tabled a draft resolution calling for the unconditional downgrade of the South African Embassy in Tel Aviv. 
The BDS activists recruited a number of key players. In his recent article "UCT Must Take ‘Moral Stand’ And Boycott Israeli Institutions," Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestine Territories (2008-2014), and emeritus professor of International Law at Princeton University, wrote in favor of the boycott, a day before the UCT Council voted: "it is important to appreciate that the academic boycott that Palestinians have called for and that your Council is considering boycotts complicit Israeli institutions, but it does not interfere with the activities of individual academics." Contrary to Falk's assertion, as noted earlier, Israeli individual academics were in fact targeted at the University of Stellenbosch conference in December. 
Falk, who is Jewish, has offered some convoluted explanations as to why target Israel alone: "As far as singling out Israel, there exist special justifications for the emphasis on Israeli wrongdoing. It should be remembered that Britain exerted control over Palestine as ‘a sacred trust’ on behalf of the international society until the establishment of the United Nations. At that point, the UN took over the responsibility to find a solution for Palestine in a manner that existed with respect to no other country in the world. The failure of the UN and international diplomacy to find a solution after seven decades reinforces the positive argument for relying on the role of civil society, which should be a decisive encouragement for the Council to endorse the Senate decision and so move with the flow of history toward freedom, justice, and the protection of basic human rights;" he wrote. As a long-time professor in international law, he should be aware that the Palestinians and their Arab States allies rejected the 1947 UN Partition proposal and started a war soon after, but he has not mentioned it. 
Another Jewish activist recruited by the BDS activists is Mitchel Joffe Hunter, member of South African Jews for a Free Palestine. In his article "Why Jews support academic boycott of Israel", he claims that Jews who support the calls for Palestinian liberation are not anti-Semitic. That, "academic boycott is an expression of Jewish ethics." While "Antisemitism is a form of racism against Jews as Jews, [the call for a boycott] is not a targeted attack against Jews or Jewish organizations but against Israeli state sponsored institutions.” 
Not surprising that Hunter mentioned that, "Jewish Israeli academics also support the academic boycott such as Rachel Giora, a professor of linguistics at Tel Aviv University and prominent Israeli feminist. Hunter quoted from her letter in 2009 to an academic boycott meeting of British academics stating that "in fact Israeli academia is no different from any other Israeli institutions, and in many cases it plays an active if not vital role in supporting Israeli apartheid practices against the Palestinians... the growing number of Israelis who are now supporting cultural and academic boycotts will rejoice in your achievements". 
On the other hand, there are some calls opposing the boycott, such as Rhulani Thembi Siweya, member of the ANC who announced that "BDS-SA undermines South Africans." According to her, it is a "reckless manner in which the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement in South Africa (BDS-SA) handles the Israel-Palestine conflict." They "selectively discriminate against entrepreneurial and business opportunities by corporations linked to Israel." if this is not challenged, it "may lead to a huge collapse of the South African economy". She questions "Why is BDS-SA so willing to sacrifice its fellow South African workers for its own self-serving position... It is strange that the BDS-SA selectively singles out only the Israeli “occupation” — part of a geographically disputed area still subjected to a two-state peace process — while South Africa continues to enjoy bilateral trade relations with many other “occupations"". BDS-SA has been deafeningly silent about other occupations in the world. "Something does not add up here. Closer to home, it’s a disgrace that on our own continent, in Libya, we still have slavery... This is slavery of fellow Africans on our continent. Why is BDS-SA silent on this?" Moreover, she noted, "Israel continues to be the Palestinian Authority’s most important trading partner. In fact, Palestinian Authority officials were recently seen at a meeting sitting around a table that has on it, several juice bottles, all products from Israel. How does BDS-SA call on South African companies to boycott Israeli products while Palestinian leaders themselves are not boycotting those same Israeli products?" 
But as mentioned earlier, the main concern here is that BDS activists threaten to "blow up" conferences hosting Israelis. This should be acknowledged by the universities administrations. IAM will report on the developments in South Africa in due course.
General Articles
 
27.03.19
Would President Trump's Executive Order Stop Antisemitism on Campus?
 
Last week President Trump signed an executive order protecting freedom of speech on campus. Trump said he was taking a "historic action to defend American students and American values that have been under siege". The president declared it is the first step the administration intends to take in order to defend students' rights. According to Trump, universities that seek taxpayers dollars should promote free speech, not silence it. However, opponents describe this step as "alarming" fearing it could leave federally funded research vulnerable to political influence. 
While there are questions on how it would be implemented, the executive order should have a strong impact on the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiments on campus. 
Some of the many instances were reported by the student group, Tikvah: Students for Israel, at the University of California, Berkeley. The University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) has refused to host their guest speaker, Danny Ayalon, a former Knesset Member and the Israeli Ambassador to the US from 2002 until 2006. CMES, Tikvah argues, is hosting countless of anti-Israel events, and has shown an "undeniable pattern of double standards and anti-semitism". Tikvah also published a long list of anti-Israel events which CMES hosted in 2017 and 2018. For years, CMES is known for holding anti-Israel views. To recall, the former CMES chair invited Israeli Professor Neve Gordon for a sabbatical, to write his notorious book Israel's Occupation in 2004. The only Israeli speakers they invite are the likes of Profs. Oren Yiftachel and Lev Luis Grinberg. In 2017 Tikvah reported also that CMES Prof. Hatem Bazian posted a number of tweets targeting Jews. One tweet which he shared had a picture of an Orthodox Jew, with the wording: "Mom, look! I is chosen! I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs and steal the land of Palestinians ‘Yay’ #Ashke-Nazi". Another tweet showed North Korea’s leader wearing a yarmulke, saying "God chose me," and "I just converted all of North Korea to Judaism. Donald Tlump (sic): Now my nukes are legal and I can annex South Korea and you need to start paying me 34 billion a year in welfare." Bazian later apologized for the antisemitic tweets. 
Many campus cases were documented, some have even reached the court. Last week, the California State University agreed to settle the legal case Volk v. Board of Trustees, which charged it with antisemitism. It involved two Jewish students, Liam Kern, and Charles Volk, alleging that university officials prevented Hillel from participating in the fair "Know Your Rights" in 2017. They claimed the organizers deliberately excluded Hillel from the fair, and no action was taken against the organizers. Kern and Volk also alleged that the university failed to respond effectively to other anti-Semitic incidents on campus. In Spring 2016, Hillel invited Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat to speak on campus. Barkat’s speech was disrupted and eventually shut down by "a mob of near-violent activists screaming antisemitic epithets through megaphones." As part of their settlement CSU will publish a statement acknowledging that for many Jews, Zionism is an important part of their identity. The university must also hire a coordinator for Jewish student life and refer cases of religious discrimination to an outside investigator. It would also have to allocate $200,000 to support education outreach efforts promoting viewpoint diversity. 
In a 2011 litigation which was dismissed by Court, Jessica Felber a student at Berkeley, sued the regents of the University of California, alleging they tolerated the "development of a dangerous anti-Semitic climate" on the UC campuses, and "failed to adopt policies, regulations, and procedures to protect Jewish students from threats, intimidation, and harassment" by members of two student groups, Students for Justice in Palestine (“SJP”) and the Muslim Student Association (“MSA”). Based on the court proceedings, a violent incident took place during the Israeli Apartheid Week in March of 2010, when Felber participated in an event called “Israel Peace and Diversity Week,” and held a placard reading "Israel wants Peace". Another student, Husam Zakharia, a leader in SJP, allegedly rammed a shopping cart into Felber intentionally, causing her physical injuries that needed medical care. Felber had previously encountered Zakharia more than a year earlier, at a political rally, where Zakharia allegedly spit at her and yelled, “you are disgusting.” Felber recounted being fearful to walk on campus alone. The proceedings also mentioned that in January of 2011, SJP and MSA protestors disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador, which resulted in indictments brought against eleven students. The District Court Judge who first dismissed the case on free-speech grounds, had credited the university administrators with taking the steps to ensure the students' rights were protected and to minimize the protests' potential for violence. 
Too early to note if the tide is turning, but Jewish and Israeli, students and faculty should pay close attention to how the executive order would affect their rights.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
21.03.19
The Annual Ritual of Israeli Apartheid Week Challenges Western Universities
 
As IAM reported previously, the BDS movement has been gearing up to the annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). The official media of the Palestinian Authority just announced the inauguration of the 15th international IAW, on Saturday the 16th of March, planning to host "more than 80 events in 40 cities across Europe, North America and Palestine." The IAW is expected to feature protests, lectures, film screenings, music, and cultural events in more than 200 cities worldwide. It officially kicked off in the "occupied" Palestinian city of Al-Bireh, where the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) convened the Sixth National BDS Conference, "a grassroots, civil society gathering with over 900 participants." The movement, which is sustained by many groups, originated in Canada in 2005. 
While pro-Palestinian activists are busy depicting Israel in negative lights all year round, in February and March they double their efforts. It is possible to deliberate in which country Palestinians are exercising the most strategic influence. Canada and Ireland are leading the list, but the U.K, France, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Finland and Austria, and others, are following. 
Activists claim that Israel is an apartheid state, that Israel was from its inception a racist endeavor, see examples below, and worse. This evening, the University College London Friends of Palestine Society is hosting on campus "A Witness of Genocide," charges that promote hostility and prejudice against Israeli and Jewish students, leading to their harassment and victimization. 
In 2016, The British Government adopted, and shortly after other countries followed, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. The contemporary examples of antisemitism include denying the Jewish people their right to self‐determination by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor; and, applying double standards by requiring of Israel to behave in ways that are not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. By adopting this definition universities such as the University of Exeter and University of Central Lancaster, have canceled IAW activities. 
Anti-Semitism aside, there are also concerns of links to terrorist activities. The Israeli Prime Minister's Office has recently published a brochure titled "Terrorists in Suits” which details the ties between NGOs promoting BDS and terrorist organizations. The report notes that the BDS initiative, which is led by a network of Palestinian NGOs, is linked to Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The report examines thirteen NGOs worldwide, such as the Boycott National Committee (BNC), the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) PACBI), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCI-P); North American NGOs – American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Samidoun; UK NGOs – Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), the Palestinian Return Center (PRC); Belgian NGO – European Coordination of Committees for Palestine (ECCP); South African NGO – BDS South Africa. These NGOs employ thirty terror operatives, identified in the report, most of whom served time in Israeli prisons and some were even involved in deadly terror attacks. For example, the BNC is formed by a coalition of 28 Palestinian groups, among them the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces which include Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Islamic Jihad. According to the report, there are two NGO operatives active in the UK who are members of Hamas, named as Zaher Birawi and Muhammad Sawalha. 
Activists claim that IAW and BDS events are protected forms of free speech. But it should be noted that some activists harassed and shouted down pro-Israeli speakers. IAM covered violent incidents such as at the University College London, where Jewish students were barricaded in a small room. In King's College London, they faced a barrage of abuse from pro-Palestinian activists and in another incident at King's College London during a talk about peace negotiations by Ami Ayalon, windows were smashed, chairs thrown and people assaulted. The meeting was stopped and the building was evacuated by the police. 
Much to their credit these universities took a stand against the violent disturbance. But all universities should follow by making sure that pro-Palestinian students should not benefit from their double standards. Even more to the point, colleges should exercise vigilance in not allowing terrorists or terror groups to hide behind legitimate activities.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
14.03.19
BDS, Israeli Apartheid Week and the Accusations of Antisemitism
 
The Palestinian BDS movement has published its schedule for the upcoming Israeli Apartheid Week in the U.S and Europe, on March 16 and 18, 2019 respectively. Unlike in previous years, the number of events seems to be smaller. Still, Israeli and Jewish students and faculty need to be on alert. 
Wealthy Arab states as well as the universities themselves, sponsor these Israeli Apartheid events. For example, the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate, the main governing body for Tufts undergraduate students, has passed various resolutions on March 10, among them approving the supplementary funding requests from student organizations. Students for Justice in Palestine, for instance, sought $3,520 to cover speaker costs for events during Israeli Apartheid Week. Another group, the Arab Students Association, sought $3,460 for additional speaker costs for Israeli Apartheid Week, which was also approved by the TCU Senate. 
Pitzer College Council will be voting today whether to suspend Pitzer’s only study abroad program in Israel with the University of Haifa. 
There are some pro-Israel successful cases, for example, the Columbia College Student Council voted down a referendum supporting BDS, on March 10. 
However, not all Israelis agree on what is good or bad for Israel. A few days ago a group of Israeli and international scholars, led by Dr. Yaara Beneger-Alaluf, and Prof. Amos Goldberg, have written an open letter to the Academia IL Network titled "Stop false accusations of Antisemitism in Germany!” They complained against the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of anti-Semitism. They also lamented that BDS is often perceived as anti-Semitic. In their words, "As you probably know a battle over the definition of antisemitism and its relations to harsh critique of Israel, opposition to Zionism and support of the BDS, is being waged in Europe and America." The battle, "rather plays into the hands of the right-wing forces who wish to reduce the space of free speech when it comes to a discussion over Israel." 
The group's open letter postulates that the conflation between criticism of the state of Israel and anti-Semitism "obscures valid critique of Israel’s war crimes and violation of human rights, undermining the Palestinian struggle for freedom and equality and discriminating against the Palestinian community in Germany by preventing Palestinian people to freely express their opinions, their grief and sorrow. In light of both the increase in anti-Semitism and racist crimes in Germany and the escalation in Israeli violence against Palestinians, we urge the German authorities, media, educational and academic professionals and institutions to act responsibly and put an end to this manipulative and dangerous conflation." 
Contrary to their assertion, the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism states clearly that "criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic," but it certainly accuses of double standards of those targeting Israel alone. If they were actively promoting human rights for Palestinians by criticizing Hamas and the other violent groups for breaching human rights of Palestinians, that would have been acceptable, but ignoring Hamas and targeting Israel alone is classified as antisemitic. 
In many of the Israeli Apartheid Week events, Palestinian activists chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”. Benger-Alaluf and her fellow-activists might assume that these chants mean freedom for all, but they do not. They stipulate the obliteration of the Jewish state. Last month, antisemitic posters with images of pigs were posted on Tufts campus, stating "Destroy Israeli apartheid forces and Amerikkkan pigs which fund it. Free Palestine." Do Benger-Alaluf and ilk claim this is not antisemitic? 
IAM reported that Goldberg is a Holocaust scholar at the Hebrew University who actively promotes the equation of the Nakba to the Holocaust. 
Benger-Alaluf is a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Her Ph.D., completed in 2018 at the Freie Universität Berlin, is The Emotional Economy of British Seaside Holidaymaking, 1870-1918. Her 2013 MA thesis at the Hebrew University Department of Sociology and Anthropology, supervised by Prof Eva Illouz, was titled "Commodification of Emotions in Tourism: Exploring the Production of Relaxation in Club Med Resorts". Even if Benger-Alaluf’s core interest is the sociology of leisure, supporting BDS is considered a good career move when looking for a position in a Western university, given their singular preoccupation with the Palestinians.
The IHRA Definition of antisemitism is: "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. Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis." In other words, singling out Israel while ignoring others is antisemitic in nature.
 
Hebrew University
 
07.03.19
Research on Palestinian Martyrdom: from the Hebrew University to New Zealand University
 
Mariam Abdul-Dayyem and Efrat Ben-Ze’ev, two researchers from the Hebrew University have published their findings on the concept of Shahid, in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Abdul-Dayyem, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, conducted the research while studying for an MA at the Department of Sociology. She previously studied at Birzeit University. Prof. Ben Ze'ev is an associate fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. 
Shahid is the Islamic martyr who sacrifices his/her life. The concept is part of a collective heritage of Muslim communities, since the early stages of childhood, taught and discussed at home and school as an integral element of public life and space. The research is based on Abdul-Dayyem's two periods of fieldwork, first, a year-long at Birzeit University in 2007–2008 and second, in various locations in the West Bank, from May to December 2017. 
As explained in the introduction, before starting the research, Abdul-Dayyem was concerned that studying in a Jewish institution would be interpreted by the Birzeit students as a betrayal. Due to her hesitation, a Birzeit cafeteria worker, “known for his patriotism”, offered to assist her in locating interviewees. She was then confident to approach students, introducing her research topic and mentioning her affiliation with the Hebrew University. 
In the first period, Abdul-Dayyem interviewed students with diverse levels of religiosity, secularity, and conservatism. Nine of them had no political affiliations, two were associated with Hamas, three with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, one with Fatah and one with the Communist Party. All of them were studying for BA and ranged in age from 19 to 27 years. 
During her interviews, there was generally an admiration for the shahid’s willingness to sacrifice him/herself for the collective. The subjects emphasized that the sacrifice was for "the people” and that "such a sacrifice makes for a more meaningful death.” They even described it as “beautiful”. The researchers noted that the concept of Shahid is relevant for all Palestinians, secular and religious, Christian and Muslim. 
The authors explored the concept of the Istishhadi, when, "he or she who commits a suicide attack against those viewed as invaders." The authors noted that the term is relatively new and appeared in the Palestinian public scene since the early to mid-1990s, following the Oslo Accords, when suicide bombing began. While the authors admit the act was controversial, their interviewees were exploring its positive sides. 
The authors revisited the topic in the second period of research, a decade later, to reassess the role of the Shahid as an icon. This time they focused on the use of new media and digital culture. Thirty-six people were interviewed, both in cities and villages. Abdul-Dayyem's interviewees were activists, journalists, scholars, and students. 
The authors noted the impact of major political changes that had taken place from 2007 to 2017. Attempt to gain independence failed; “the Palestinian Authority was still struggling to func;tion under conditions of a very limited level of sovereignty. The Hamas-Fatah divide grew deeper and the prolonged Israeli siege on Gaza, with intermittent incursions, attacks and killing, continued for an entire decade." Following the Arab Spring, the Middle East has transformed into civil wars, “attracting the media’s attention away from the Palestinian cause".
Only one interviewee was negative about some aspects of martyrdom. Salaam, a 26-year-old activist, and journalist from a village near Jenin was explicit in her rejection of the "veneration of a ‘death culture.’" Salaam stated: "Historically, we promoted the death culture through funerals, through the glorification of the shahīd’s mother, through posters, through calling him a hero. I am against calling him a hero. He should be called a victim, especially if he was a child. They spread the idea of death and it is very ugly, even through the slogans in funerals and demonstrations—‘with soul, with blood, we sacrifice you, ya shahīd’. If someone wants to grieve, it is Ok to grieve; it is your right. It is normal to see someone crying if she lost her son. It is not normal to see her trilling. We spread the death culture. The struggle was used to spread a culture of death. It can be so until you are personally effected. Once you are effected, it stops being your culture. If I will lose my son, I will stop promoting this culture, I will stop yelling these slogans." 
The authors noted that Salam’s attitude is not necessarily embraced by the bereaved families. Salaam thought that "Palestinians should also re-think the representations they used because they address non-Palestinian audiences." Salaam stated "We do not have an awareness of social media conventions. We still post the blood and bodies’ images. It effected the Palestinian cause negatively. Israel has an electronic army and uses social media to deliver its messages in order to tell the Israeli narrative. We still post photos of bodies that make people turn away. Death, blood, bodies no longer arouse identification", Salaam's position, according to the authors, may indicate that "the shahīd and the istishhādī as icons have lost some ground." Based on Salaam's account, the authors questioned if there was too much emphasis on blood scenes, part of the "death culture" which invading daily life, and particularly the media. And, that too little attention is being paid to individual choices as well as to the impact of death on bereaved families. For the authors, "the ideas associated with a culture of death may not be understood by a ‘foreign audience’, nowadays far more exposed to footage coming from the OPT." 
In their conclusion, the authors were not sure whether there was a decline in the role of the Shahid as an icon and were "hesitant to argue that the shahīd has lost its symbolic value altogether. We have witnessed the flexibility of this icon, which has taken on a variety of meanings that often seem incompatiable [sic]. Moreover, the shahīd was present in the early days of Palestinian nationalism, waned and re-emerged. It is likely that the shahīd will not disappear altogether, but time will tell what new forms it will acquire." 
Conducting research on this matter with Palestinians could be more confusing than expected. 
When Ben-Zeev researched for her Ph.D. thesis in the late 1990s, one of her Palestinian interviewees told her: "Whoever comes to talk with us about our problems from the other side, is first and foremost from the other side. We suspect him and keep suspecting all the time... because this data, whatever is written down, will help the other side. Therefore, I mean generally, therefore, people will hide certain things. Certain people will hide things." Strange as it was, Ben-Ze’ev, is a life-long pro-Palestinian activist. For example, she was a signatory to the statement in 2014 by Israeli academics, stating they “wish it to be known that they utterly deplore the aggressive military strategy being deployed by the Israeli government. The slaughter of large numbers of wholly innocent people is placing yet more barriers of blood in the way of the negotiated agreement which is the only alternative to the occupation and endless oppression of the Palestinian people. Israel must agree to an immediate cease-fire, and start negotiating in good faith for the end of the occupation and settlements, through a just peace agreement.” It said. 
Abdul-Dayyem is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Her topic is the impact of social media on social movements within the Israel-Palestine conflict. But New Zealand is not really detached from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. 
The NZ Palestine Solidarity Network is quite active. In May 2018 it hosted Palestinian author Dr. Ramzy Baroud, who spoke on "Reclaiming the Palestinian Narrative," about his work and his latest book The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story. In similar veins, another lecturer questioned: "Are Palestinian people tangata whenua?" Explaining that "Tangata whenua is a peculiarly Aotearoa New Zealand term used by Maori to self-describe and by non-Maori to describe those whom they believe to be indigenous to the land." 
Exploring the issue of Palestinian resistance and Sumud, Dr. Nijmeh Ali completed her Ph.D. thesis last year at the University of Otago, titled "The Hidden Potential of the Palestinian Resistance in Israel: A Grounded Theory Study on Resistance among Palestinian Activists in Israel". According to the abstract, 
After nearly seventy years of adopting the same tools of protest, either by taking part in the Israeli political system through participation in elections or practicing cultural resistance, Palestinian activists feel that they are at a critical juncture, questioning their choice of tools for protest and the efficacy of being an integral part of a political system that oppresses them, hoping to bring change from ‘inside’. The question of effective resistance methods seems to be more acute in the shadow of political, economic and social changes, both among the Israelis and the Palestinians in Israel. These dynamic contexts invite us to investigate the strengths and weaknesses of the Palestinians in Israel in their ability to bring about social change. After years of employing certain tools within the citizenship approach, and the tension between the most appropriate and the most effective methods of protest, it is timely to evaluate their effectiveness and to look to further possible scenarios. It also opens the door for examining the hidden potential of Palestinians in Israel in reshaping the political power structures in Israel. This project, therefore, influenced by resistance theory and constructivist grounded theory as research method, tracks the experiences of Palestinian activists in Israel, their understanding of Sumud and their potential in constructing Palestinian resistance and its potential in transforming the power structure in Israel. 
Ali is a former teacher of civics and pluriculturalism at the Hebrew University Gilo Center for Citizenship, Democracy and Civic Education which was founded and directed by Prof. Dan Avnon. 
New Zealand's University of Otago is becoming the center for terrorist sympathizers. Prof. Richard Jackson from the National Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies is the editor-in-chief of the Journal Critical Studies on Terrorism. The journal, "calls for critical reflection on the state and direction of terrorism research... [since] much of the new research – and much of the early research on political terrorism – fails to meet rigorous standards of scholarship. Related to this, it is also possible to discern a growing and deep-seated sense of unease about the progress and consequences of the global war on terror". Having this approach in mind, Jackson published a paper "Confessions of a Terrorist Sympathiser". Where he stated that "I am a terrorist sympathizer because I can understand how a young woman from Gaza might consider that she has no real future, nothing but daily humiliations, the continued threat of being shot by an Israeli soldier or firebombed by a settler, or being arrested and tortured by the police." 
There is a question to ask, is New Zealand taking the Palestinian side? In December 2016 a United Nations Security Council resolution, co-sponsored by New Zealand, stated that Israel's settlement activity was a "flagrant violation" of international law and had no legal validity. Shortly after, a number of New Zealand's leading academics on conflict resolution and Israel-Palestine slammed the New Zealand government for "dangerous double standard," for not being harsh enough against Israel. 
Stephen Daisley, the renowned New Zealand novelist, wrote in October 2018, in his blog on the Spectator, that "The progressive West must stop fetishizing Palestinian extremists", referring also to New Zealand. 
IAM shall report on these developments in due course.
Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
28.02.19
BDS Analysis: When Radical Academics Whitewash anti-Semitism Palestinian Students Pay the Price
 
BDS is in the front row again from various directions. In the U.S., the faculty of Pitzer College voted in November to end the college's study abroad program with the University of Haifa. The College Council which shapes college policy is scheduled to meet on March 14, where members would discuss the issue and vote. 
Prof. Ron Robin, President of the University of Haifa and the chairman of the Association of University Heads (VERA), wrote, while visiting Los Angeles on a fundraising trip in December 2018, to express his sorrow: "It is sad for me to see that one academic institution is helping to boycott another, in the wake of the pressure of a movement that waged a violent campaign against the citizens of one country. It is ironic that the Senate of Pitzer College chose to boycott the University of Haifa - a model and example of excellent research and teaching in coexistence, multiculturalism, patience, inclusion and cooperation." Rubin called the boycott "a bizarre decision" and expressed hopes that eventually sanity would prevail. He added that while walking in the Getty Museum, not far from Pitzer College, he "was delighted to come across a presentation about the common denominator of the three monotheistic religions." In an interview two days ago, he chose not to discuss the Pitzer College boycott and instead emphasized the grey boycott, in which without any explanation, overseas faculty refuse to collaborate with Israeli peers. He would have liked to see Israeli universities making a “moral” case by stressing their diversity and inclusiveness. For example, in his own university, Arab students make up one-third of the student body. Rubin expressed reservations to the government's measures against the BDS movement, such as promoting anti-BDS legislation and urged: “We need to promote the role of universities in creating an inclusive meritocracy in Israel.” 
The BDS war in Germany is equally intense. Last month, three events in support of BDS were canceled in an effort to stomp out what is seen as a cover for antisemitism. One of the events was featuring the pro-BDS activist Shir Hever (the son of HUJ Prof. Hannan Hever), who was slated to speak on “Israel’s Right-Wing Friends in Europe and in the US.” The event was hosted by the Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East (EJJP), with the Palestinian Community of Germany, and BDS Bonn. In this regard, on March 09, 2019, the German foundation, Dr. Roland Röhl-Stiftung, will be awarding the Göttingen Peace Prize to the EJJP which supports BDS. The ceremony will be taking place at Göttingen University. The Jury awarded EJJP for their ultimatum demands from Israel: "Israel's complete withdrawal from the occupied territories and the destruction of all Israeli settlements located there; Condemning any violence against civilians in the conflict, no matter which side committed; Israel is recognized within the 1967 borders; Recognizing the right of the Palestinians to found its own state in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and in East Jerusalem; Recognizing the right of both states to have Jerusalem as their capital; Israel is called upon to play its part in resolving the Palestinian refugee problem and is committed to negotiating a fair, and practical solution." 
Opponents of the BDS movement argue that BDS is anti-Semitic. One such an opinion was recently expressed by Prof. Evan Gerstmann, a political scientist from Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts in Los Angeles. In his "Why An Academic Boycott Of Israel Is Hypocritical," he argued that while some supporters of the boycott are Jewish, it does not mean the movement isn’t anti-Semitic. Seeking to punish Israel while holding fire on many of the world’s worst human rights violators is "inherently anti-Semitic." 
Indeed. Prof. Daniel Segal who put forward the Pitzer College boycott resolution, and a key activist for the boycott of Israel at the American Anthropology Association, is Jewish. Segal is also a member of the academic advisory councils of both Jewish Voice for Peace and Open Hillel. Interestingly, supporting the BDS movement bore fruits, Segal was accepted in March 2018 by the Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) to a seminar, as one of a dozen US faculty members who participated in the Faculty Development Seminar on Palestine, held from June 20 to July 3, 2018, in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Activities included "visits to Palestinian universities, research institutes and cultural institution as well as roundtable discussions, tours of historic cities and meetings with Palestinian colleagues." 
After wall-to-wall accusations of anti-Semitism against EJJP, radical Israeli academics have written a letter opposing such charges. They claim that "Supporting Human Rights is not Antisemitic and describe themselves "As Jewish and Israeli scholars.” The implication here that being Jewish gives them the immunity from accusations of anti-Semitism. In fact, The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism does not identify the origin of the anti-Semitic perpetrator. 
In Britain, a group of radical Israeli academic sent a letter in September 2018, to the Jewish Voice for Labor. The letter claimed that since the election of Jeremy Corbyn to head the Labor Party he has been "subjected to sustained attacks for his supposed friendliness to antisemitism. We reject the substance of these accusations completely." The group expressed their support to fighting anti-Semitism: "it is absolutely necessary to repudiate antisemitism while also standing up for Palestinian rights and for socialism.” At the same time they accused Israel of trying to "stifle debate" about its "systematic oppression" of the Palestinian people and the "catastrophic impacts" of the military occupation. They chastised the Israeli government for labeling supporters of Palestinian human rights as "enemies of the state, traitors, and, increasingly antisemitic." For them, the IHRA definition of antisemitism is a "highly-politicized and flawed... This document can be dangerously instrumentalized to afford the Israeli State immunity against criticism for grave and widespread violations of human rights and international law." However, contrary to the group's assertion, the IHRA definition of Antisemitism states clearly that "criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic." 
The group ended the letter stating: "We stand for human rights." While any group vouching for Palestinian human rights should be lauded, their support for human rights is misleading. They do not criticize the Palestinian factions Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and others, known for grave breaches of human rights on a daily basis. The United Nations and human rights group singled out Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad for, among other things, using civilians as human shield and locating military outpost in public spaces such as hospitals, schools, and mosques. BDS supporters have never mentioned such violations, making their critique of Israel alone a clear case of double standard. 
As Gerstmann stated: "it is admirable that many Jews want to hold the Jewish state to a higher standard than other countries.” But they need to be equally critical of Palestinian violation. Ironically, by proposing to boycott the University of Haifa, which has a large Palestinian student body, they would be hurting these students as well.
Hebrew University
 
20.02.19
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
 
14.02.18
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
 
07.02.19
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
 
31.01.19
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
 
24.01.19
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
 
16.01.19
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
 
10.01.19
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
 
03.01.19
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
 
 27.12.18
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
 
20.12.18
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
 
13.12.18
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
 
 6.12.18
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
 
29.11.18
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
 
22.11.18
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
 
15.11.18
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
 
07.11.18
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
 
01.11.18
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
 
25.10.18
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
 
18.10.18
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
 
10.10.18
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
 
04.10.18
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
 
20.09.18
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
 
13.09.18
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
 
06.09.18
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
 
30.08.18
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
 
23.08.18
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
 
15.08.18
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
 
08.08.18
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
 
01.08.18
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
 
25.07.18
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
 
18.07.18
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
 
12.07.18
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
 
05.07.18
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
 
27.06.18
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
 
21.06.18
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
 
14.06.18
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
 
06.06.18
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
 
30.05.18
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
 
24.05.18
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
 
17.05.18
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
 
03.05.18
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 
-Break- 
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 
-Break- 
17:00-18:00 Screening of the film "The Fight of Our Lives" by Gloria Greenfield 
Admission is free

Boycott Calls Against Israel
 
25.04.18
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
 
16.04.18
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
 
10.04.18
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
 
29.03.18
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
 
21.03.18
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
 
15.03.18
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
 
07.03.18
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
 
28.02.18
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
 
21.02.18
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
 
14.02.18
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
 
07.02.18
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
 
01.02.18
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.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All articles are Israel Academia Monitor COPYRIGHTS unless stated otherwise

Israel Academia Monitor, P.O. Box 997 Even Yehuda 4053403, Israel

Tel: +972-54-4283749 e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com

 

 
 

Please fill all the fields

your Name
Phone
E-mail
content
Visual Confirmation
Visual CAPTCHA
Developed by Sitebank & Powered by Blueweb Internet Services
Visitors: 243609991Send to FriendAdd To FavoritesMake It HomepagePrint version
blueweb