P.O. Box 997 Even Yehuda, Israel. 054-4283749 firstname.lastname@example.org
To the Ben Gurion University Board of Governors
Concerned about Israel’s image in the academic world?
A number of faculty at Ben Gurion University have traveled abroad, lending their voices to the growing campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Others helped to make the same case in writings and interviews. In Western countries, faculty of tax-supported, public universities are prevented from supporting boycott of their own institutions by a combination of case law and contractual agreement. The same should apply to Israel!
Activities of BGU radical academics in the past year:
[BGU, Politics and Government] Neve Gordon Travels -- Should BGU Dismiss Gordon?
Neve Gordon appeared at a talk Belgium, April 26, 2014 "Palestinians in Israel: Undesirable Citizens?" Organized by Palestine Solidarity, a group supporting BDS. Gordon's lecture helps to create an image of Israel deserving to be boycotted. In the lecture entitled "Ethnic Segregation in Education and its Impact on Israeli Society" he said: "When speaking about Apartheid, it is important to know the boundaries of Israel. The Green Line, the armistice line of 1949, marks the de facto Israeli state. This means that the West Bank and Gaza are not part of Israel. These are the occupied Palestinian territories". He continued, "Jewish children are afraid of the Palestinians, and therefore they are racists". As the invitation for the event demonstrates, Gordon's academic credentials are prominently displayed. The group cites Gordon as saying: "The most accurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state. For more than 43 years, Israel has controlled the land between the Jordan Valley and the Mediterranean Sea…The Palestinians are stateless and lack many of the most basic human rights. By sharp contrast, all Jews - whether they live in the occupied territories or in Israel - are citizens of the state of Israel."
BGU Neve Gordon praises 'Zionism Unsettled'
Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide published by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of a group member of the Presbyterian Church USA, attributes the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to the "pathologies of Zionism." Neve Gordon wrote a warm endorsement for the pamphlet: "In my work I am inspired by the great Jewish prophets’ struggle for justice and freedom, while simultaneously I am often astounded how certain strains in Judaism and Christianity invoke the Bible in order to justify oppression and social wrongs in Israel/Palestine. Therefore I welcome the effort to emphasize a conception of Judaism and Christianity that espouses universalistic ethics – whereby all humans are imago dei – and to use it to expose injustices carried out in my homeland."
[BGU, Social Work] Julia Chaitin: Holocaust-Nakba Equivalency
Journal of Adult Development, November 2013. "'I can Almost Remember it Now': Between Personal and Collective Memories of Massive Social Trauma" by Julia Chaitin and Shoshana Steinberg. In writing up the accounts, Chaitin and Steinberg made sure that the evocative language used by the Palestinian students to describe how their families were expelled from the villages matches that recollection of the Jewish students. The Israeli student seems to be moved to the point of making the same comparison. Along with the Holocaust equivalence, comes the reasonability equivalence, in view of the authors. Amina’s ‘‘memory’’ helped Orit understand what the collective memories of Palestinians and Jews have in common: the feeling of suffering inflicted by others." In other words, the Israelis who inflicted the suffering on the Palestinians are responsible in the same way as the Nazis who inflicting suffering on the Jews.
BGU Haim Yacobi - the "Poster Child" of the Radical-Academic-Activist
The Times of Israel, "On the ruins of a village in Tel Aviv, Jews dream of Palestinian return" October 1, 2013. During a conference "visualizing" the return of Palestinian refugees, Haim Yacobi stated that Israel must go through a process of “decolonization” in order to level the playing field between Israeli “colonizers” and Palestinian “refugees.” He blamed the political reality (meaning the Israeli government) for not taking this debate any further.
[BGU Poli & Govt] Dani Filc interviewed: Israel Fabricates Security Threats
"Hakol Diburim" Reshet Bet radio, October 14, 2013. Dani Filc, asserts that Israel is a serial fabricator of threats as manifested by the allegedly bogus threat of Iran's nuclear program. Filc stated that if it was not for the Iranian threat, the "fear industry" would have been forced to fabricate an invasion of aliens in order to enhance its rule by fear. Filc explained that in order to "rule by fear," the Israeli government needs to invent a bogeyman; as circumstances change so does the identity of the bogeyman.
[BGU, Geography] Oren Yiftachel's Ever Expanding Meaning of Apartheid
U.K: "Professor Oren Yiftachel delivers CITY Journal and UCL Urban Laboratory Lecture on Gray Space and the New Urban Regime 5 February 2014". Yiftachel has made an academic career by promoting the idea that Israel is an apartheid state. The reason for this is obvious: following the Durban conference in 2001 that kick-started the BDS movement, there was a need for "academic proof" of Israel's alleged apartheid regime. After realizing that the apartheid concept - with its South African connotation of race-based segregation and brutal endogamy laws - is an eye-catcher, Yiftachel is now expanding its meaning to the gray urban areas created by "wild capitalism" and socio-economic urbanization."
[BGU, Geography] Oren Yiftachel's Utopia - Paid by the Taxpayer
National University of Singapore, Middle East Institute, 16 Sept. 2013 "Between One and Two: Debating Confederation and One-State Solution for Israel/Palestine" by Oren Yiftachel. The self-proclaimed critical political geographer has been advocating for years for a confederate state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Yiftachel asserts that this is the only just solution to the conflict and one that would save the Israeli Jews from turning into a hegemonic People ruling over a Palestinian minority in an apartheid state.
[BGU Geography] Oren Yiftachel's Progression: From Apartheid to Confederation
Yifachel apparently realized that "creeping apartheid" is old hat, a fact that compelled him to come with new idea. As the dramatic titles “The Political Geography of Israel/Palestine: Apartheid or Confederation?” of a lecture on July 2, 2013 in Belgrade and the January 4, 2013 Singapore lecture "Colonial Deadlock or Confederation for Israel/Palestine?" demonstrate, he has become a convert to the currently fashionable concept of confederation.
[BGU Sociology] Lev Grinberg's Confused Narrative
Even by the decidedly modest academic standards of social sciences at BGU, Lev Grinberg, a sociologist and political economist, stands out. A veteran political activist, Grinberg's academic output tends toward the polemical, especially as it trashes all things Israeli. Like many of his radical peers, Grinberg has been thrilled by the Arab Spring and the street protest in Israel in the summer of 2011. "The J14 Resistance Mo(ve)ment." Calling it a mixture of Tahrir Square and Puerta Del Sol (the protest movement in Spain, 2011-12), Grinberg claims that Israel's "local political crisis is related to the disintegration of society into ‘tribes’ and the complete repression of social and economic agendas by the hostility to ‘external enemies’, and internal hostility between the ‘tribes’."
[BGU, Sociology] Lev Grinberg's Bashing Israel is Constant in a Changing Middle East
"Our Limited Democracy" by Lev Grinberg, Haoketz, 06.07.13. The Arab Spring inspired Grinberg to state that Israel has to learn a lot from the Arab democrats. He claims that Israel's democracy is limited to Jews only, a model known as Herrenvolk democracy practiced in South Africa under the apartheid regime.