Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yet another Enemy of Freedom of Speech and Democracy at Ben Gurion University


Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Yet another Enemy of Freedom of Speech and Democracy at Ben Gurion

To right, David Newman, enemy of freedom of speech

David Newman, a geographer sitting in the department of political science
at Ben Gurion University, has an anti-democratic raving attack on freedom
of speech in the Jerusalem Post, April 14, 2009, entitled, "Bashing the
Academic Left." Newman is a leftist who once served as chairman of the
deprtment of political science at Ben Gurion University and is largely
personal responsible for turning it into a monolithic anti-Israel
propaganda agency in which not a single Zionist non-leftist teaches. He
used to be a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post, but was evidently
not considered up to snuff by the editors.

That does not stop Newman from attacking on the pages of the Jerusalem
Post critics of seditious leftist anti-Israel propagandists pretending to
be academics. Newman dismisses critics of anti-Israel critics as
"McCarthyists," as people who should be stripped of their right to
exercise THEIR freedom of speech, prevented from criticizing anti-Israel
extremists. Newman specifically attacks Dr. Daniel Pipes of
Campus-Watch.org, Prof. Gerald Steinberg of NGO-Monitor, and Israeli
academic watchdog groups (such as isracampus.org.il), for the "crime" of
exposing anti-Israel fanatics serving on Israeli campus faculties. In most
cases, these watchdogs simply cite the malicious hate propaganda produced
by these fanatics in their own words. But in the eyes of the neo-fascist
McCarthyist Left, critics of the Left are not entitled to freedom of

To Left, freedom of speech in David Newman's "correct leftist thinking
only" department of political science at Ben Gurion University.
Or to sum up Newman's own McCarthyist notion of democracy, it is "freedom
of speech for those who agree with me but none for anyone else."

Here is my letter to the editor of the Jerusalem Post concerning Newman's
anti-democratic rant:

April 14, 09
Letters to the Editor
Jerusalem Post

David Newman of Ben Gurion University displays in "Bashing the Academic
Left" (Post, April 14) a highly selective notion of democracy and freedom
of speech. Newman favors the exercise of freedom of expression by those
who practice anti-Israel sedition in the guise of academic work, but not
for those who criticize such people. He demands freedom of speech for
Israel's "academic" enemies, but not for critics of those critics. Those
who dare to criticize anti-Israel and anti-Semitic "academic"
propagandists, including watchdog agencies like Isracampus.org.il and NGO
Monitor, are "McCarthyists," themselves not entitled to the right of
freedom of expression in Newman's learned opinion. Never mind that
universities all over the world are now cracking down on and firing
pseudo-academics whose records consist entirely of extremist political

Newman's letter is also notable in what he intentionally ignores. He
forgets to mention that there is not a single non-leftist in Newman's own
department (political science) at Ben Gurion University, nor that the one
pro-Israel dissident who had been there was fired for incorrect thinking.
While claiming disingenuously that only 2 or 3 Israeli "academics" support
the boycott of Israel, he neglects to mention that his own department
chairman, Neve Gordon, is one of many scores of such pro-boycott
anti-Israel extremists on campus faculties in Israel. Gordon, who was
recruited by Newman and is his long-time sidekick, is on record as
favoring Israel's annihilation and insists that Israel is a fascist
apartheid terror regime. Gordon is currently a bash-Israel columnist for
the Holocaust-Denying Tehran Times and for the pro-terror Aljazeera.com.
Newman in fact supported Gordon's failed anti-democratic attempt to
recruit the Israeli court to suppress freedom of speech for critics of the
seditious far Left.

If academic hiring and promotion were as quality-based and ideologically
neutral as Newman feigns in his letter, why are there so many
pseudo-academics in the Israeli university system who have built entire
"academic" careers on turning out anti-Israel hate propaganda and
misrepresenting it as scholarship? Some of these sit in the very same
department as Professor David Newman. Why are there entire university
departments in Israel in which no Zionist may set foot?

Sincerely yours,
Prof. Steven Plaut
University of Haifa

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