Haaretz, May 12, 1995
A group of professors from the Hebrew University published as a huge advertisement in Haaretz and sent a letter to the president and rector of the university by which they are employed. After paying some hypocritical lip-service to academic freedom they called - "for the honor of the Jewish people in general and for the university's honor" - for the firing of the expert on the history of Nazism, Prof. Moshe Zimmerman. The reason: the comparison that he drew between Jewish hooliganism in the territories and the acts of the Nazi youth movement.
I asked Tsali Reshef whether any of those people had ever signed a petition of Peace Now. No one in the Peace Now office had ever met them. Apparently those professors do not dirty their hands with worthless protests. They did not publicize a petition when it was found that our Shabak tortured people. They were not shocked when people died under interrogation. They did not lay down on the street when soldiers killed a 50 year-old Palestinian driver who was driving workers to their jobs. They did not violate the curfew when 150,000 Arabs in Hebron area were placed under curfew intended to allow the settlers to celebrate in peace. They did not hear that settlers murdered Arabs and they didn't see Jewish hooligans shooting at homes in Hebron. They did not publicize protests against rabbi Levinger, Yehuda Etzion13 and Hagai Segal.14 Not a muscle in their faces twitched when they heard MK Hanan Porat15 calling for rejoicing on the day of the Hebron massacre and Likud MK Tsahi Ha'negbi - who may be a minister in the next government - proposing on the day of the attack at Kfar Darom to send a few helicopters to Gaza "and mow down whoever was rejoicing there." They did not set out to dismantle the monument on the grave of "Baruch the Hero" in Kiryat Arba and they did not swear that "Goldstein's acts will not be repeated."
They did not do all those things because in their view there is nothing in common between those actions, perpetrated by Jews, and Nazism which was perpetrated by non-Jews. All Jewish acts are innocent, home-made villianous acts which should not shock anyone, especially Jews with sense of honor. The professors who signed the petition are men of honor. Only Zimmerman's statements caused them to shiver with "disgust and horror."
66 professors and some lecturers who butted in signed that do'cument. They constitute an insignificant minority among the 885 professors at the Hebrew University. Yet there was not one professor among the others who managed to organize a counter-petition.16 Buber, who also happened to be a Hebrew University professor, wrote about the treason of intellectuals in WWI. He likened them to the demon which, according to the legend, seduced King Solomon, sent him into the desert, disguised itself as the king and ruled in his place. If the king acts like a demon, Buber wrote, "go seek the real king in the desert." If there are any intellectuals in the Hebrew University they are probably locked up somewhere under the concrete desert of the Mt. Scopus campus.