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Abstracts - "Academic Accountability: Who Finances Israels Delegitimization on Campus?" Friday, 9am at TAU
04.05.15

Financing BDS and beyond: Arab and Iranian Money 
Ofira Seliktar, Prof. (Em.) Gratz College; Chair Intelligence & Strategy Section, ASMEA

The talk will focus on two levels of financing. The first and more important pertains to decades-long effort to influence the substance of research on the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  ARAMCO, pioneered this effort by creating academically-oriented foundations that funded a variety of Middle East programs and publications in the United States. The Saudi royal family, as well as the ruling families of the Gulf States, had followed suit. Presently, Qatar is the leading player in this field. Among others, it has signed cooperative ventures with some of the elite academic programs in the United States.
Iran, through its office in the Foreign Ministry and MOIS (the intelligence ministry) a later arrival in the field of academic sponsorship, has aimed at shaping the field of Islam studies and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Because of the American embargo on relations with Iran, the Iranians have focused on Western Europe, notably Germany.
The second level of financing has focused on BDS and allied infrastructure, including BDS drives, Israel Apartheid Week, etc. The financial nexus here is very complex, as contributions are funneled through a vast network, including Islamist NGOs, pro-Arab and pro-Iranian lobby groups.
The organization and legal structure of academic foundations in the United States has helped in injecting Arab and Iranian money.  For instance, the Tide Foundation, acts like a "clearing house" for contributions, but has no obligation to disclosing the source.
Successive Israeli governments and civil groups have never engaged in a focused effort to analyse these networks.  To the extent that when funding is discussed, it pertains to New Israel Fund, which is a very small player in the field.

German Foundations, Academic Discourse and the Delegitimization of Israel

Dr. Clemens Heni is a political scientist and the director of the Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA), founded in 2011 


In his talk Clemens Heni will focus on the relationship of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies in Germany and anti-Zionism as well as on Islamism or Arab nationalism. Based on his book, “Schadenfreude. Islamic Studies and Antisemitism in Germany after 9/11 (in German, 2011),” he will analyze how leading Islamist figures such as Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, or Yusuf al-Qaradawi, today’s leading Sunni Islamist, are portrayed by today’s mainstream in Islamic Studies. Many of these scholars  are working at universities, which are most often state sponsored in Germany. Some authors, though, also work for NGOs in Israel or in territories of the PA, and reject or distort the analysis of the close collaboration of Nazi Germany and Arab as well as Muslim leaders during the Second World War, for example.


Funding Israeli Scholars to Produce Paradigmatic Literature: A Case Study
Dana Barnett, PhD. King’s College London; Israel Academia Monitor

To preempt charges of anti-Semitism pro-Palestinian activists have favored Israeli scholars. A number of Israeli scholars have been rewarded for producing paradigmatic literature, either by obtaining sabbatical appointments in respectable universities or being invited to conferences, workshops and panel discussions.  Some have had their work published in presses supported by pro-Palestinian sources. 


Developments of the Academic Boycott of Israel since 2002 

Manfred Gerstenfeld, Former Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs    


The academic boycott of Israel is one aspect of the general boycott call against Israel which was initiated at the NGO Forum at the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.  

The first attempt at an academic boycott of Israel took place in the UK in 2002.  Since then, the academic BDS campaign has gradually expanded to include a number of countries.  This has become possible in part due to the negligence of both the Israeli academia and the Israeli government. The academic boycotters of Israel thus incur very little risk in promulgating their hate activities.




P.O. Box 997 Even Yehuda, Israel. Tel: +972-54-4283749E-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com

 

 

The public is invited

Academic Accountability: Who Finances Israel’s Delegitimization on Campus? 

Roundtable 

Friday, May 8, 2015 at 9am  

Tel Aviv University, Dan David Building Hall 3

(Entrance from Gate 4)

 

The roundtable will explore the sources of funding for a range of academic activities that have contributed, over time, to the delegitimization of Israel. There is a virtual consensus that the academy has lead the campaign to present Israel as an apartheid-style state, paving the way for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) initiative. Yet there is little understanding of the financial underpinning of this effort.

The following panelists will address the various aspects of this issue.

 

Greetings: Gideon Kressel, Prof. (Em.) Ben Gurion University; Israel Academia Monitor

 

1.      The Financial Network: Who Funds What and Why?

 Ofira Seliktar, Prof. (Em.) Gratz College; Chair Intelligence & Strategy Section, ASMEA


2.      German Foundations, Academic Discourse and the Delegitimization of Israel

  Clemens Heni, PhD.  Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA) 


Break


3.     Funding Israeli Scholars to Produce Paradigmatic Literature: A Case Study

 Dana Barnett, PhD. King’s College London; Israel Academia Monitor

 

4.      Developments of the Academic Boycott of Israel since 2002  

 Manfred Gerstenfeld, PhD. Former Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs 


Q & A



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