Israel Academia Monitor's constituted board of Governors (since March 2010)
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, (chairman); Mel Borenstein; Brenda Katten; Bernhard Lazarus; David Mandel;
Prof. Eli Pollak, comptroller; Dana Barnett, editor; .
IAM is a non-profit, grassroots organization comprising citizens who, while strongly advocating free speech and academic freedom, are seriously concerned about the growing tendency to distort and abuse these two essential characteristics of a democratic society. Of particular concern are academics who defame their own universities and advocate measures that will harm Israel in general and their universities in particular by using unbalanced prejudiced arguments that fail to live up to the scholarship standards expected of the universities they represent.
Our goal is to present the truth by making the activities of those academics more widely known and challenging their distortions and bias.
IAM endorses the following principles set out in a 1940 statement by The American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
"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".
"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".
Largely thanks to the work of IAM, the 2010 annual meetings of the Board of Governors of Israeli universities discussed, for the first time, the disturbing influence of anti-Israel ideologue professors on Israeli university campuses and how these faculty have often taken a leading role in anti-Israel activities. This year, the work of IAM was also enclosed in two important reports delivered to the Knesset Educational Committee and the Minister of Education. In the first report*, IAM detailed recent calls by Israeli academics for a boycott of the very academic and cultural institutions that employ them. This same report also documented instances where pro-Israel students faced intimidation and discrimination from these anti-Israel ideologues. The second report** includes many postings taken from the IAM website.
As a response to these reports, the Ministry of Education is now determined to act against such anti-Israel faculty. An example of such determination on the part of the Israeli government to take action against such Israeli academics is the initiative by Israel’s Education Minister, Gideon Sa’ar, to publish a “document of guiding principles” for faculty at Israeli educational institutions. This document seeks to put into place an ethical code at Israeli universities that would ensure freedom of expression, balanced teaching, pluralism, and fair treatment of students.