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Tel Aviv University
Radical anti-American TAU Faculty protest academic honors to Mr Mofaz, previous Israeli minister of defence, April 23, 2006

The following letter of protest to the President,

Rector and Dean of Humanities at Tel Aviv

University has been sent on the specified date.

The letter is self explanatory. Following its dispatch,

a correspondence started between the signatories

and the addressees and the whole affair

has been published in the Israeli press. Here is

the letter and the list of signatories:


Professor Itamar Rabinovich, President,

Tel Aviv University

Professor Danny Levitan, Rector,

Tel Aviv University

Professor Shlomo Biederman, Dean of

Humanities, Tel Aviv University

April 23, 2006

Dear Sirs,

Tomorrow a one-day conference will be held

celebrating the inauguration of Tel Aviv

University's Center for Iranian Studies and the

Iranian Jewry Research Program. The ceremony

will be attended by the President of Israel, the

Minister of Defense, and by yourselves, the

President of Tel Aviv University, its Rector and

the Dean of the Humanities.

The participation of the Minister of Defense in

this ceremony as a key speaker at the conference

is an unacceptable blemish on Tel Aviv

University's reputation.

The new Center, which is supposed to be dedicated

to the study of Iranian culture and the history

of the Iranian people, and to serve as an

inter-cultural bridge, appears to have been

recruited by the propaganda campaign that

brands Iran as the ultimate threat to Israel, the

Middle East and the entire world, thereby identifying

it as the next target of U.S. (and possibly

Israeli) military escapades in this region.

Rather than subjecting this approach to responsible

criticism, as would befit a self-respecting

academic institution, one of its most outspoken

representatives has actually been invited to

deliver the inaugural speech at the conference.

The Minister of Defense's participation in the

opening ceremony of the Center for Iranian

Studies raises further concern that the University

is now including another body that will offer its

services to the Government instead of carrying

out independent critical research.

The very fact that the Defense Minister is invited

to speak at an academic conference held at

Tel Aviv University, severely hampers the

required separation between government and

academy. It also, in this case, is tantamount to

approval of an Israeli politician who should be

held directly accountable for the war crimes that

Israel is perpetrating in the Occupied Territories.

In his functio'n of Chief of Staff, and later as

Minister of Defense, Shaul Mofaz developed

and/or conducted the methods of warfare that

have caused the deaths of thousands of

Palestinians - including hundreds of children -

wholesale house demolitions, the uprooting and

destruction of agricultural land and olive groves,

grave interference with the freedom of movement

- all of which have contributed to turning

the Occupied Territories into a disaster zone.

In a more just world, Mofaz would have had to

stand trial before the International Court of

Justice in The Hague on grounds of war crimes.

In a more just university, staff would have been

ashamed of hosting this man at an official occasion

and would organize to struggle against him

and his methods - methods which have brought

Israel to an unprecedented moral decline.

We believe that in order to enable the

University's existence as a free academic institution

that encourages liberty, reflection and critical

thinking, the academic acknowledgement

that the University bestows on the Government

should be reduced. Such honor and praise

should go to those who deserve respect rather

than condemnation.

Of the little an Israeli academic institution is

currently able to do in the face of the state's

criminal conduct in the Occupied Territories,

refraining from inviting those who are deeply

identified with this conduct, is one possibility.

This is how we expect you to act as leaders of

the University. Only thus can you be true leaders,

conscientiously and intellectually alike.


Prof. (Emeritus) Aharon Eviatar

Prof. Adi Ophir, Cohen Institute of the History

and Philosophy of Science

Prof. Gady Algazy, Dept. of History

Prof. Anat Biletzky, Dept. of Philosophy

Dr. Avner Ben Amos, School of Education

Dr Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni, Dept. of East Asian

Studies, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology

Prof. Rachel Giora, Dept. of Linguistics

Dr. Snait Gissis, Cohen Institute of the History

and Philosophy of Science

Dr. Haim Deuel-Lusski, Dept. of Philosophy

Prof. Haim Ganz, Faculty of Law

Prof. Yisrael Gershoni, Dept. of Middle-Eastern

and African History

Prof. Uri Hadar, Dept. of Psychology

Dr. Amalia Ziv, Dept. of Literature

Prof. Shlomo Zand, Dept. of History

Prof. Hava Yablonka, Cohen Institute of the

History and Philosophy of Science

Prof. Ben-Zion Munitz, Dept. of History

Dr. Anat Matar, Dept. of Philosophy

Dr. Ovadia Ezra, Dept. of Philosophy

Prof. Yoav Peled, Dept. of Political Science

Prof. Gidon Freudenthal, Cohen Institute of the

History and Philosophy of Science

Prof. Yeshoshua Tsal, Dept. of Psychology

Prof. Moshe Zuckerman, Cohen Institute of the

History and Philosophy of Science

Prof. Yehuda Kupferman, Dept. of French

Prof. Zvi Razi, Dept. of History

Dr. Yosef Schwartz, Cohen Institute of the

History and Philosophy of Science

Prof. Yehuda Shenhav, Dept. of Sociology


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