As you know, academics have taken a lead in a campaign to delegitimize Israel; some of them are employed by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Under the guise of academic freedoms, they have utilized the legitimacy and the good name of the university to launch relentless attacks on Israel.
- Dr. Nurit Peled Elhanan teaches education, she is one of the most virulent critics of Israel, calling it a racist, apartheid state, while urging civil disobedience against the fascist-style government. She testified before the Russell Tribunal, a self-appointed radical leftist group, that Israel is an apartheid state deserving to be boycotted. In her latest book, she “found” that Israeli textbook teach children hatred and xenophobia that turn them into killers of Palestinians.
- Professor Hannan Hever, Department of Literature, is a veteran political activist who collaborates with Zochrot, a group dedicated to raising awareness of Nakba as an equivalent of the Jewish Holocaust. Hever has used research in literature to imply a connection between the two.
- Professor Moshe Zimmermann who teaches German History, has compared young settlers to Hitler Youth and claimed that “Jewish Nazis” exist. Zimmermann’s efforts to prove that Israeli behavior is comparable to that of Nazi Germany is a ploy to establish that Palestinians were innocent victims of Israeli aggression and should be granted the right to return.
- Dr. Louise Bethlehem, senior lecture of English and Culture Studies, has used literature to show the similarities between Israel and the apartheid regime of South Africa.
- Dr. Merav Amir of the Lafer Center is the co-founder of Who Profits from Occupation? which supports BDS. Amir’s research promotes the view that Israel is a colonial, apartheid state; she views the separation fence as a symbol of “racialization” of Israel.
Those who claim that these and other utterances are protected by academic freedom of research and expression should consult the European Union initiative to fight anti-Semitism. In 2005 the European Union Monitoring Center published guidelines stating that certain anti-Zionist expressions such as equating Israel to Nazi Germany or an apartheid state should be considered a form of “new anti-Semitism.” The EU guidelines have been used by law enforcement agencies and influenced legislation such as the British Equality Act of 2010. It is ironic that Israeli scholars are free to contribute to new anti-Semitism, something that their peers in Europe would find hard to do without violating the law. We would urge you to act to remedy this situation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Best wishes for a successful conference,
Israel Academia Monitor - board and staff
Tel: 054-4283749, www.israel-academia-monitor.com