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On the Brighter Side
IAM Friday Special- CSU has reinstated its study abroad program to Israel although some faculty opposed it

The CSU Office of International Programs has reinstated its study abroad program to Israel after an almost decade-long suspension.
Cal State students at or above junior-level standing can still submit late applications for the program, which will start sending students to the University of Haifa in Fall 2012. CSU and UC officials froze their study abroad programs to Israel due to security concerns after the U.S. State Dept. issued a travel warning during the Second Intifada in 2002.
Eighty-one California State University faculty, staff and administrators, and 46 students and alumni, have signed an open letter opposing the reinstatement of study abroad programming in Israel. The letter, sent Friday to Cal State’s chancellor, Charles B. Reed, outlines six concerns, among them threats to student safety and the possibility that students of Middle Eastern origin would face discriminatory treatment in entering and moving around Israel.

Friday Special: Stuart Stanton calls TAU to take a stand after call for support of boycott / Words have multiple meanings
* Prof. Stuart Stanton, president of the British Society of Urogynecology and chairman of Hadassah UK, wrote to TAU rector Prof. Aron Shai and president Prof. Yossi Klafter after Prof. Rachel Giora and Dr. Anat Matar, along with 10 other Israeli activists, wrote a letter that was published in the Guardian, calling for British author Ian McEwan to turn down the Jerusalem Prize.
McEwan is set to receive the prize, Israel’s highest literary honor for foreign writers, at a ceremony at the Jerusalem International Book Fair on February 20.
* Our century is the epoch of cheap clichés, vulgar shows and aggressive ignorance. Smug professors accuse their opponents of Stalinism, knowing about Stalinism not more than schoolchildren. Semiliterate journalists use the word “Nazism” for the description of Guantanamo base or Israeli prisons. Pacifists call soldiers dispersing demonstrators in Bilin “fascists”.
Pathology becomes the norm, values have been devaluated.
An adherent of barbarous anachronisms is a true representative of multiculturalism; a religious fanatic becomes a “victim of discrimination”.

Israel Academia Monitor Friday Special
** BGU President: Ethics Committee to decide on preventing lecturers from publishing very radical opinions in the name of the University
In the specific case of BGU, as a result of Prof' Gordon's actions, we will come out soon with a decision from the Ethics Committee that prevents lecturers from publishing very radical opinions like the support of academic boycott against Israel in the name of the university. The decision of the Ethics Committee should be used as a basis for an internal court rulling against lecturers that went beyond the acceptable." However, the university currently has no way to handle people like Prof'; Gordon.
** Dishonest or incompetent?
Op-ed: Israeli academics lack either professional integrity or professional competence
10.12.10 Martin Sherman , YNET
Of late, there has been a major uproar in the media over alleged bias in the Israeli academe. The "eye of the storm" was centered on a research document published earlier this month by the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS), whose findings indicate a sharp bias in favor of post-Zionist perspectives relative to pro-Zionists ones in the sociology departments of all the nation's major universities.
** In Defense of Israel: A Reply to Neve Gordon
Mitchell Bard - October 11th, 2010
Neve Gordon may have good intentions in wanting to change Israeli policy, but he cannot evade the reality that his prescription is fundamentally anti-democratic. Israelis, unlike Palestinians or other Arabs in the Middle East, have the right to petition their government, to change it through elections and to seek judicial redress through the region’s only independent judiciary. The fact that Gordon is dissatisfied with these democratic processes, which have not resulted in support for his views, is a reflection more of his lack of respect of civil rights than any defect in the Israeli polity.
** David Hirsh: As part of a series entitled ‘Universities in Crisis’ on the website of the International Sociological Association, Neve Gordon, a supporter of the campaign to exclude Israeli scholars from the international academic community, writes a report on the state of academic freedom in Israel.
He describes a demonstration in which he took part on his campus at Ben-Gurion University in May 2010, which protested against the Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship which was heading towards Gaza. He then describes a counter-protest the next day in which students demonstrated their support for the Israeli forces. ‘There were … shouts demanding my resignation’, writes Gordon, and ‘one student even proceeded to create a Facebook group whose sole goal is to have me sacked.’ The Facebook page carried personal denunciations and death threats.
** Neve Gordon changed his mind on the boycott
October 10, 2010 — David Hirsh
Only an idiot never changes his mind.
Neve Gordon has changed his mind on the campaign to boycott Israel. In 2003 he wrote a compelling piece under the headline: “Against the israeli Academic Boycott” in the The Nation in which he puts forward some of the central reasons why a boycott of Israeli academia would be both unjust and also counterproductive.

Academics ‘prove’ Israel shouldn’t defend herself / Written by FresnoZionism
Even pacifists often agree that violence is justified in cases of self-defense. One would think that most people would agree with the principle that when you are hit, you are allowed to hit back.
Apparently many disagree when those trying to defend themselves are Israelis. In almost every case, from 1948 to the Mavi Marmara, when Israel or Israelis have had to defend themselves, they’ve been accused of everything from ‘disproportionate use of force’ to murder.
But for sheer outrageousness, consider this study which argues that Israel ought not to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism

IDRC settlement with Mada al-Carmel: Organizing and participating in political activities that do not promote peace
Mada al-Carmel may claim to do ‘social research,’ but the evidence clearly shows that its main emphasis is on organizing and participating in political activities that do not promote a peace agreement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; nor do they create an environment conducive to mutual understanding,” says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, a research organization providing detailed analysis of groups such as Mada al-Carmel.
According to Steinberg, “It is difficult to understand how the IRDC provided political advocacy groups such as Mada with taxpayer funds in the first place. If there is a valid reason for government support for such NGOs, this should be made apparent through full disclosure and transparency of decision making.
Mada Al-Carmel Academic Committee:
Chair: Dr. Nadim Rouhana, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University
Dr. Samera Esmeir, Rhetoric Department, University of California at Berkeley
Prof. Mohammed Haj-Yahia, School of Social Work, Hebrew University
Dr. Amal Jamal, Department of Political Science, Tel Aviv University
Dr. Michael Karayanni Faculty of Law, Hebrew University
Dr. Ahmed Sa'adi, Department of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University
Dr. Nedera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Institute of Criminology and School of Social Work, Hebrew University
Dr. Mahmoud Yazbak, Department of Middle Eastern History, University of Haifa

Academic Brainwashing: Anatomy of Israel Higher Education, 2010
Israeli universities were not established with the purpose of promoting any Zionist vision of Israel.
A call for an academic boycott of Israel or a call to dismiss professors from the left or right is worthy of condemnation.
Yet when respected branches of Israeli academia allow themselves to become tools of an anti-Zionist vision and branches of radical left-wing NGO’s – it is imperative to make that known.
The problem arises when the right to publicize and criticize is met with a counter campaign designed to intimidate exposure and criticism, and that is what threatens both freedom of expression and the public discourse.

Israel’s Academic Fifth Column denounced by Professor Alan Dershowitz
Israel boasts the highest level of academic freedom in the world today-if not in theory, then certainly in practice..Israeli academics are free to distort the truth, construct false analogies and teach their students theories akin to the earth being flat-and they do so with relish and with the shield of academic freedom.
But academic freedom is not the province of the hard left alone. Academic freedom includes the right to agree with the government, to defend the government and to work for the government.
As Professor Shlomo Avineri, no right-winger, put it: "The attempt to 'protect' those who belong to the left while employing McCarthy-style methods against those associated with the right is nothing but hypocrisy, which has no place in academia."

Freedom of expression belongs to professors and students alike
According to a recent report in Ha’aretz, students at Tel Aviv University are complaining bitterly about leftist professors. The students are said to be hurt by the professors’ positions, “but are afraid to express contrary views, lest this harm their grades.”
So wrote Prof. Nira Hativa, head of the university’s center for advancement of teaching. She added that in many end-of-year feedback forms, students complained about professors who “attack the state of Israel, the IDF, the Zionist movement and even worse than that.”

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