P.O. Box 997 Even Yehuda, Israel. Tel: +972-54-4283749. Efirstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Member of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University,
We, concerned citizens of Israel, greatly appreciate your contribution to enhancing Israeli institutions of higher learning. Your work and dedication is what makes our country excel. However, we are in a time of crisis with respect to Israel’s future. Specifically:
· If you are concerned about Israel’s image in the academic world.
· If you believe that Israel’s academics in general and the members of your institution specifically should not be working to delegitimize Israel.
· If you believe that calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli academic institutions is unacceptable for salaried members of the Israeli academia.
Please note the following examples:
Moshe Zimmerman (HUJ, German History) has engaged in a long standing effort to compare Israel to Nazi Germany. He is a favorite among the anti-Semitic left in Germany that uses his work and public appearances to legitimate their own radical stance against Israel. Zimmermann appeared on April 16, 2012 at a meeting sponsored by a radical Palestinian organization "The Palestine Initiative" in Hanover which blames Israel for the Arab-Israeli dispute. On Sept 09, 2012 he wrote to Haaretz equating Israeli treatment of Eritrean refuges to the forced deportation of Polish Jews from Germany in 1938. It is noted that the European Union Monitoring Center (EUMC) had declared that such comparisons - defined as "nazification of Israel” - are part of new form of anti-Semitism. Israel is currently the only Western country in which faculty can engage in "nazification of Israel" under the flag of academic freedom.
Nurit Peled Elhanan (HUJ, Education) has "testified" in South Africa on October 08, 2012 before the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a self-appointed group of radical leftists who accuse Israel of apartheid and advocate boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). In 2012 Peled Elhanan published a book of dubious academic value that accused Israeli text-books of widespread racist depictions of Arabs and Palestinians. During the tour to promote her work she told BBC Brazil on August 20, 2012 that the Israeli "education system teaches children to hate Arabs." On June 02, 2013, the Teheran News Agency quoted Peled-Elhanan stating that Israel is a real global threat, "Islam like Judaism and Christianity is in itself not a threat to me or to anyone, but American imperialism is, European indifference is … and Israeli racism and its cruel occupying regime is."
Amiram Goldblum (HUJ, Medicinal chemistry) is among the organizers of an Israeli anti-apartheid movement; the proposed organization plans to replicate the popular Israel Apartheid Week on Western campuses. On February 20, 2013 in an article for "On the Left Side" he quoted a finding from a poll he had commissioned to "prove" that Israelis are racists and likely to support an apartheid regime.
Amos Goldberg (HUJ. Holocaust Studies) and Asaf Angerman (HUJ, Rosenzweig Minerva), have been busy promoting the Holocaust - Nakba equivalency. A popular topic among radical faculty, equating the Holocaust and Nakba is a variant of the "nazification of Israel" theme. On October 29, 2012 Goldberg lectured in New York "The Holocaust and the Nakba: Traumatic Memories and (Bi)National Identities in Israel-Palestine." On February 09, 2013 Angerman participated in a seminar entitled "Israel and Palestine: Zionism and Nakba - Two narratives mutually exclusive?" In 2009 during his stay in Germany, Angerman who described himself as "German Jew" signed a petition titled “German Jews Say No to Murder by Israeli Army."
Ofer Cassif (HUJ, Rothberg), the head of the international committee of the Communist Party of Israel, wrote an article for the CPI on March 14, 2012 which defined Zionism, "Zionism is a surname: A family of racism and nationalism, exclusion and oppression, occupation and warmongering, class exploitation and imperialism." Cassif teaches a course "Capital & Government," an extension of his political views. By offering a syllabus composed of readings depicting Israel as a racist and imperialist society, Cassif contravenes the 2010 decision of the Council of Higher Education (CHE) mandating a balanced discussion of the topic at hand.
Avner de-Shalit (HUJ, Political Science) has played a key role in the scandal surrounding the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University. According to Dr. Yaacov Bergman, de-Shalit hindered the CHE efforts to improve the substandard department dating back to 2002 when a renowned political scientist reviewed the department and filed a scathing report recommending its closure. De-Shalit served as a second evaluator and filed a favorable report; He was nominated a year later to head a new committee that issued a favorable evaluation. De-Shalit had no moral right to accept this appointment. This unethical and possible illegal behavior should have disqualified him from serving on the Executive Committee of the University.
We, at Israel Academia Monitor believe that much can be and should be done to change the situation:
- The academics of your institution should be discouraged from appearing on campuses worldwide to
falsely besmirch Israel’s image and equate it with the apartheid regime of South Africa or with the Nazis.
- Please convince your institution to take real measures to stop any call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and against your university that emanate from within the university.
- Ask your university to review the extent of academic freedom practiced within your institution. Are courses offered in which students are being indoctrinated instead of being educated? Can students voice opinions freely? Do their grades depend on following the ideological agenda of instructors?
- We have been following the various activities at your institution which we believe are detrimental. We would be honored to discuss these issues with you further. Together, we can create a real change and protect academic freedom.