Recently, Israel Academia Monitor posted an article writen by Dr. Nir Eisikovits which was published by Christian Science Monitor:
Israel's slipping democracy: This beacon of freedom is becoming more like its authoritarian neighbors
There are, of course, well-known problems with this democratic self-understanding. Our basic constitutional documents speak of a "Jewish
democratic state" while about 20 percent of our citizens are non-Jews. We have no separation of synagogue and state. We have, for over 40 years, maintained illegal settlements and a harsh military occupation in most of the Palestinian territories captured in 1967.
One does not need to be a constitutional scholar to worry about a democracy that eliminates access to its courts, curtails the right to be elected, and chooses to protect its police rather than detainees. Since all these measures were widely popular with Israelis, it is worthwhile reiterating an obvious point: Democracy is not only about the rule of the majority.
Rather, its essence lies in empowering the majority without allowing it to tyrannize the minority. Such a balancing act is possible only if a robust set of political rights is in place. A state that jettisons these in favor of national security will probably stay safe, but it will rarely stay democratic.
A few days later Israel Academia Monitor (IAM) posted another item:
Anti-Israel Dr. Nir Eisikovits is on Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Academic Speakers Bureau, Boston
Nir Eisikovits appears on Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Academic Speakers Bureau:
The Department of Academic Affairs, Consulate General of Israel to New England
Israel Diplomatic Network
Academic Affairs: Speakers Bureau
Israeli Academic Fellows
Professors & Researchers
Nir Eisikovits teaches legal and political philosophy at Suffolk University. He is also a fellow at the International Center for Conciliation.
As a result of the two posting, the following letter arrived by an IAM board member:
To my understanding the aim of Israeli Academia Monitor that I am proud to belong to, is to identify and bring to public attention to Israeli academics who systematically and maliciously harm Israel by presenting and framing information in a manner which is placing the country in a negative light.
Dr. Nir Eisikovits is certainly not the right target for such activity and should not be on the list of Anti Israeli academics. For the sake of proper disclosure I need to state that I know Nir since he is 16. His father Prof. Eisikovits is my mentor and presently my colleague. I am therefore writing this note based on my longstanding acquaintance with him and his family context. Nir was and remains a devoted Zionist with deep attachment to Israel and commitment to its well being. He was an officer in the IDF and while overseas he continues to be a devoted citizen and solder defending Israel in often hostile situations.
Given this I urge you to remove his name from the list and publish this clarification as soon as possible.
I must add that I don't identify with Nir views as expressed in the article. I see Israel's settlements as a basic Jewish right. The Arabs are the occupiers, not the Jews. And I don't see Israel as losing one inch of its democracy because it does not allow those who travel to enemy country to participate in the election. Israel must defend itself not just from terrorists with guns, but also from those enemies who use democracy as a weapon against the Jewish state.
As I declare the issue is not Nir's views, it is the person. Dr. Nir Eisikovits is wrong, he is not anti-Israeli.
Eli Buchbinder, Ph. D.
School of Social Work, University of Haifa.
Dr. Nir Eisikovits did not repspond.