Monday, May 31, 2010
Press Reporting in Israel on Leftist Harassment of Students
Israel Hayom Reports about Leftist Harassment of Students
by Steven Plaut
On Sunday May 30, there were two notable news items related to Israel Hayom, the Israeli freebie daily newspaper (which is now the second largest newspaper in Israel). The first was the failure of the attempt by Knesset politicians to pass a bolshevik law that would prohibit handing out free newspapers in Israel and so would shut Israel Hayom down. The proposed bill was a thinly disguised attempt by the owner of Yediot Ahronot to shut down his competitor.
For a change, freedom of speech won a round in Israel.
The other news story has to do with Israel Hayom running a series of special articles the same day, including on its front page, about Israeli leftist professors abusing and harassing students who dare to disagree with their political indoctrinations in class.
The articles are only in Hebrew, but here is the gist.
The main article appears here. The headline is: "If you think like me, then you will get your grade." The news story cites the latest report distributed by the Zionist student group Im Tirtzu in which they document the anti- and post-Zionist bias that exercises hegemony over Israeli academia. The story cites several people, including Prof. Eli Pollak from the Weizmann Institute, charging that Far Leftists control academic dialogue in Israeli universities. He describes how right-leaning professors are harassed at Israeli universities and fear for their careers. The article also cites anti-Semitic extremist Neve Gordon from Ben Gurion University, the Israeli Norman Finkelstein, as saying that complaints about leftist harassment is all hooey and the Im Tirtzu report is not reliable. You know, unlike Gordon's propaganda books.
The article then cites Tel Aviv University moonbette Rachel Giora who says it is not about opinion but about facts, and the Far Left happens aleways to be correct when it comes to facts. Giora just got back from Boston where she led the local pogrom to defame the Technion as a war machine.
The main Israel Hayom article is accompanied by two companion pieces. The more important one is an op-ed by Prof. Avraham Diskin (appears here http://www.israelhayom.co.il/site/newsletter_opinion.php?a=3809 ), who just retired as political science professor at the Hebrew University. Unlike much of the rest of his department, Diskin is a highly intelligent Zionist, near center politically. He argues that the Im Tirtzu report of leftist harassment is largely correct. It is interesting to note that Diskin seems to have been reluctant to denounce the tenured Left BEFORE he retired. Diskin also describes the feeding frenzy and attacks on Im Tirtzu taking place on the Israeli "Social Science" chat list for Israeli academics. Dozens of leftist smears appeared there in recent days. I am also a member of that list. The owner of the list, Dr. David Faur-Levy, is exercising censorship on that list and allowing all leftist rants to appear while repeatedly blocking non-leftist responses and rebuttals. That chat list is a typical example of Israeli tenured leftist suppression of pluralism and freedom of speech. The level of discourse there is such that an objective reader would draw the conclusion that Israeli universities are fourth-rate preschools. In the past Faur-Levy accused me on the list of being personally responsible for the placing of that bomb in front of the home of Zev Sternhell and then blocking my attempt at responding.
Anyway, the other companion article on Israel Hayom is by Meretz Knesset Member Zehava Galon, one of the three remaining Meretz members of parliament. It appears here: http://www.israelhayom.co.il/site/newsletter_opinion.php?a=3810 She of course denies there is any leftist hegemony in Israeli academia and insists that the REAL danger to Israeli democracy is when critics of leftists like Im Tirtzu are allowed to exercise freedom of speech.