Political activism is rampant on US campuses today, with people who smokes illegal substances during the 1960’s and 70’s now teaching the youth about fake ideals like democracy and human rights. No, the ideals are not fake – but the teaching is. What they preach is modern universities and colleges is to respect rights of others – unless the ‘others’ are Americans you do not like.
Well, similar trend is ferociously spreading throughout Israeli high education institutions, and we are here to present single example out of many others.
On May 26th, some Hebrew University students took to the streets, under the slogan ‘Occupation Is Here’, walking from HU campus to Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Besides the students, several lecturers were planned to participate in the protest.
The neighborhood is a constant source of news in recent months, after several Jewish families moved into a building in this Arab-populated area. Left-wing and international Palestinian Rights activists expressed fury over the expulsion of the Palestinian families – allegedly for failing to pay rent – as well as for Jews moving in. Radical Left-wing activists claim the move is part of Israel’s strategy to ‘Judaize’ East Jerusalem, some going as far as claiming Jerusalem’s mayor Barkat implements ethnic cleansing.
College or university students protesting against the government is nothing new. All around the world – from the Los Angeles to Tehran to Tiananmen, students cause uprising, urging their governments to change policy. The disturbing trend, however, is lecturers and deans demonstrating beside the students. On their Hebrew website, organizers of the protests claim that many of lecturers students knew nothing of – politics-wise – joined the protest. The organizers also ‘swear’ they counted at least 600 participants.
Academic staff should have all the rights of expression every citizen of Israel enjoys. The staff protesting together with the students, though, casts grave doubt over the objectivity of said lecturers, as well as their ability to keep politics away from class. Just as the organizers claim, some lecturers express their political views while educating their students, thus it is likely their worldview is slanted towards the Left-wing, liberal side. Such bias is unacceptable in an academic institution, whose goal it is to educate students to keep an open mind and think for themselves.
Israelis can learn this lesson from the Americans: radicalism, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is now deeply rooted in some liberal colleges and universities in the Land of the Free. It now seems that Israeli students will not be taught to think for themselves, but would be fed views by activist professors.