Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Death of Democracy and Academic Freedom at Tel Aviv University
Suddenly academic freedom of speech is the leading topic of discussion in Israel. Suddenly the newspapers are filled with debates about "censorship" in academic institutions. Suddenly everyone in Israel can see the anti-democratic nature of Israel's academic fifth column! Israel owes Prof. Alan Dershowitz a debt of gratitude for exposing the damages of Israel's anti-Israel academic far Left!
The censorship filling the newspapers today is the censorship of governors at Tel Aviv University by the new president of the University, Prof. Joseph Klaffter. He refused to "allow" the Governors of his own university to take a vote on condemning Tel Aviv University's tenured traitors. See http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=175337 In response, a leading Governor and donor to the university has resigned and he is likely to be followed by others. Under the "constitution" of Tel Aviv University the Board of Governors is supposed to be the supreme power in control of the university, with the president subordinate to it.
And the censorship in the headlines is not limited to that. A group of far-leftist anti-Israel radical faculty members at Tel Aviv has collected a petition denouncing Alan Dershowitz, comparing him to Nazis and fascists, insisting that he is not entitled to the freedom of speech to criticize anti-Israel Israeli academics. The story of the petition, Haaretz-spun, is here: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/tau-professors-denounce-dershowitz-for-speech-against-left-1.289796. Haaretz is twisting the entire Dershowitz saga. Dershowitz defended the right of anti-Israel professors to smear Israel but denounced them for doing so. Haaretz claims that Dershowitz opposes the right of academics to "criticize" Israel. Obviously the issue is not "criticism of Israel," but treasonous attempts to destroy Israel, to promote boycotts of Israel, to support espionage and terror, and to recruit hostile overseas forces to undermine Israeli democracy and sovereignty.
The petition of the anti-Israel radicals and a few fellow travelers (a handful of the signatories are NOT identified with the ultra-Left) appears here on a pro-terror radically anti-Israel far-leftist Hebrew website: http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=39842 If you count the number of signatories there carefully, you will see there are 46. Note the Haaretz article claiming that 80 Tel Aviv University professors have signed it! Haaretz always at least doubles any number it thinks will make the Left look good. Remember those supposed 400,000 Peace Now protesters who opposed the first Lebanon war, discovered by Haaretz in that Tel Aviv square that cannot hold more than 60,000 people at most? There are three kinds of lies in the world: lies, damned lies, and Haaretz!
Those 46 TAU faculty members denounce Dershowitz for mentioning by name two of TAU's radical anti-Israel academics and their seditious pro-boycott activities: Rachel Giora and Anat Matar. How dare Dershowitz mention TAU academics by name, they shriek and moan! By name, you say? You may recall that Anat Matar composed and distributed a list of Israeli army officers with THEIR names and photos and personal information, with the banner headline "War Criminals" and "Murderers," in a poorly disguised call for those officers to be harmed. (It was also disseminated via the "ALEF" chat list that operates under the auspices of the University of Haifa.) The Israeli Attorney General is now investigating Matar for this (who has been arrested before for her violent behavior in anti-Israel protests).
And let us take a better look at just who these 46 great "defenders of academic freedom and freedom of speech" are, these people who denounce Dershowitz because he dares to exercise his OWN freedom of speech.
Among the signers of the petition, claiming that Dershowitz "reminds them of the darkest regimes in human history" when he criticizes anti-Israel extremists, are:
Prof. Chaim Gans of TAU law school, a far-leftist anti-democratic extremist who organized that petition demanding that an IDF woman colonel be prevented from teaching a course in the school. See http://thejewishpress.blogspot.com/2009/01/assault-on-academic-freedom-by-tel-aviv.html
Prof. Gadi Algazi, Marxist historian who recently led the march supporting Hezb'Allah terror in Sakhnin on "Land Day" – see http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/TAU%20-%20Gadi%20Algazi%20-%20joins%20demonstrators%20carrying%20Portrait%20of%20Nasrallah.htm
Prof. Uri Hadar, psychology, who recently organized a conference at TAU to support the Hamas and Hezb'Allah. See http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/TAU%20-%20Ben%20Dror%20Yemini%20blasts%20TAU%20over%20Hamas%20Conference.htm
Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, educational psychology, anti-Zionist Marxist extremist who produces anti-Jewish propaganda for the UN and thinks Zionism is the obstacle to peace: see http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Alon%20Ben%20Shaul%20-%20Daniel%20Bar-Tal.htm
Dr. Gerardo Leibner, history, communist and anti-Zionist agitator. See http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Joel%20Amitai%20-%20Gerardo%20Leibner%20-%20Battles%20against%20Judaizing.htm
Dr. Orly Lubin, literature, anti-Israel propagandist. See http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Lee%20Kaplan%20-%20TAU%20-%20Orly%20Lubin.htm
Prof. Adi Ophir, philosophy, who recently led the "Israel Apartheid Week" pogrom in the UK. See http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Alon%20Ben%20Shaul%20-%20Adi%20Ophir%20and%20Ariella%20Azoulay%20-%20The%20Defaming%20Duo.htm
Prof. Anat Biletzki, philosophy, leader in the Boycott Israel movement, see http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Lee%20Kaplan%20-%20Anat%20Biletzki.htm
Prof. Moshe Zuckerman, history, anti-Israel extremist, see http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/TAU%20-%20Moshe%20Zuckerman%20-%20Azmi%20Bishara.htm
Judd Ne'eman, film professor, so anti-Israel that he won the Israel Prize. See http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Alon%20Ben%20Shaul%20-%20Yehuda%20Neeman.htm
In addition, the two professors who organized the violent protests a few years back against the opening of a synagogue on the TAU campus (but have no problem with a mosque) are on the list.
For more background on the signatories and on the Israeli academic fifth column, go to www.isracampus.org.il
The full text of the Dershowitz speech may be read in English here:
By the way, at the University of California, supporting boycotts of Israel is NOT something celebrated as "freedom of speech" by the University, unlike at TAU. See this:
University of California
Statement on Divestment
Russell Gould, Chairman, Board of Regents
Sherry L. Lansing, Vice Chair, Board of Regents
Mark G. Yudof, President of the University
Recently, there have been two bills put forward for a vote before student organizations within the University of California that call on the University to divest from companies doing business with Israel. Understandably, these bills have received considerable attention from the public and the media.
The overarching question of the University of California divesting from any company is a complex one and any action considered must conform to State and federal laws, as well as to the University's fiduciary responsibilities as a public entity to protect the security of its pension and endowment funds. In 2005, the Regents stated that a policy of divestment from a foreign government shall be adopted by the University only when the United States government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide. It was also noted at the time that divestment is a serious decision that should be rarely pursued.
We share The Regents' belief that divestment needs to be undertaken with caution. We firmly believe that if there is to be any discussion of divestment from a business or country, it must be robust and fair-minded. We must take great care that no one organization or country is held to a different standard than any other. In the current resolutions voted on by the UC student organizations, the State of Israel and companies doing business with Israel have been the sole focus. This isolation of Israel among all countries of the world greatly disturbs us and is of grave concern to members of the Jewish community.
We fully support the Board of Regents in its policy to divest from a foreign government or companies doing business with a foreign government only when the United States government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide. The U.S. has not made any declaration regarding the State of Israel and, therefore, we will not bring a recommendation before the Board to divest from companies doing business with the State of Israel.