Thursday, July 08, 2010
Some Clarifications Concerning the Correct Notions about Academic Freedom
There has been so much debate in Israel among academics and in the media these past few weeks about academic freedom that I thought it would prudent and constructive to describe the current politically correct ideas about academic freedom being held and proliferated by the radical academic Left:
1. There is only one correct point of view, that of the radical Left, and - being correct this is what should be taught to students in as many courses and university departments as possible. It is the main function of universities to operate as centers for the proliferation of radical leftist ideology and for indoctrination into progressive thought.
2. Being correct, there is no reason for any courses to provide students with any point of view other than that correct one. Students should express correct ideas if they expect to pass the course.
3. Faculty members who express opinions that some students might find offensive, such as the recent incident at Ben Gurion University involving discussion of homosexual couples raising children, must be prohibited and suppressed. Ditto for those who dare to criticize the New Israel fund; that criticism makes some people feel offended and sad. We must eliminate statements from university discourse that insult any students, which is why we are also determined to label all the students from Im Tirtzu as violent fascists and Nazis.
4. Faculty members who express opinions that some students might find offensive should be fired, but we see nothing wrong with radical anti-Israel faculty members using their classrooms to lecture students on why IDF soldiers resemble Nazis, why terrorist attacks against Israel are morally just, why Israel should be destroyed, why Jews are morally inferior.
5. Academic freedom means that anti-Israel radical faculty have the right to denounce and demonize Israel and call it foul names, but it never means that anyone has the right to criticize radical anti-Israel faculty members or accuse them of disloyalty.
6. Criticism of radical anti-Israel faculty members is McCarthyism and must be suppressed at all costs, at all times. It is also incitement. Where there is any doubt, always insist that all expression of opinion by anyone who disagrees with the Left is incitement.
7. There are some who claim that the real test of commitment to freedom of speech is where one defends the rights of those with whom one disagrees to express their opinions. But we know this is nonsense. That is why we politically-correct defenders of academic freedom oppose freedom of expression for Im Tirtzu students. It is also why we NEVER criticize anti-democratic suppression of the freedom of speech of people from the radical Right. For example, none of us have anything to say about the banning of the Kahanists and the prohibition of exercise of freedom of speech for them. None of us opposed the silencing of the Arutz 7 radio station (but we had no problem with Abie Natan's Peace Radio Ship). It is also why we have never had any problem with the countless indictments of Rightists, including rightist rabbis, for incitement when they exercise THEIR freedom of speech.
8. None of us ever had anything to say about the attempt by the Attorney Generals office to suppress academic freedom of speech when they subjected David Bukay to a political Inquisition. None of us had any problem with Yuli Tamir firing a school teacher for expressing an opinion against indoctrination in the schools into Rabins political ideas.
9. Because there is only one correct view, and it is a radical leftist anti-Israel view, those adhering to this view must be hired and promoted even if they have no academic publication records at all or only very thin ones. It is how we show our solidarity and struggle for peace.
10. Leftist anti-Israel radical faculty members are entitled to unlimited freedom of speech, but donors to Israeli universities, elected politicians, students, and non-leftist faculty members are clearly not. They have no cause to interfere in university matters that do not concern them. It goes without saying that Alan Dershowitz should be prevented from expressing HIS opinions about Israeli academia.
11. Israeli taxpayers are not entitled to any accountability or say in Israeli universities. It is their job just to pony up the funds that keep the radical anti-Israel faculty members in their cushy jobs, where the latter can advocate attacks against, harm to, and boycotts of those very same taxpaying citizens, without interference. Taxpayers who express reluctance to finance academic sedition are anti-democratic, unhygienic, and troglodytes.
12. Other counties regard patently-absurd statements and claims, such as the world being flat, or the Holocaust never happened, or the Jews have never been a people, or that modern Jews are all converted Khazars, or that anti-Semitic terrorist violence is just - as sufficient grounds for establishing that someone does not belong in a university. Such people sometimes get fired from universities in democratic countries, including the United States. But such common sense must not be applied in Israel.
13. Other countries have jailed academic traitors in times of war. No one was permitted to march on British university campuses under Churchill with swastikas, and Oswald Mosley and his people spent the war in prison. That is no reason however to ban rallies in support of the Hamas and Hezballah on Israeli campuses today. Such rallies are academic freedom. The real threat to academic freedom is when Im Tirtzu organizes rallies AGAINST those rallies.
14. Students who dare to disagree with the correct ideas of radical anti-Israel faculty members should have their grades lowered.
15. Students who go to prison because they refuse to serve in the IDF deserve university backing and support, but those who go to reserves do not and should be barred from entering classrooms in uniform.
16. Calling for world boycotts of Israel is academic freedom. Denouncing such callers as traitors is McCarthyism.
17. Support for freedom of speech means never denouncing leftist neo-fascists who attempt to suppress the freedom of speech of non-leftists using SLAPP harassment law suits. SLAPP suits by leftists are simply defending democracy.
18. Academic diversity means having Ashkenazim, Mizrachim, women and Arabs in the same department all expressing the same correct leftist anti-Israel ideas. It never means including non-leftists in an academic department to achieve diversity by expressing dissident non-leftist ideas.
19. There is no reason for students to be exposed to any ideas other than those of the radical anti-Israel Left, including in course readings and lectures. There is no reason for leftist faculty members to balance their own biases in class by mentioning the views of those who disagree with them.
20. Radical Leftists should be free to call everyone else nasty names, because they are so moral, but no one should be permitted to call radical leftists nasty names.
21. Faculty chat lists should be censored so that leftists may freely insult non-leftists, but where no one should be allowed to answer them in kind.
22. Whenever a radical leftist is presented with documentation of facts that contradict the leftist's theology, the leftist must insist that no facts have been presented at all.
23. No scientific sources that presents facts contradicting leftist theology are admissable. They must be dismissed as being "right-wing."
24. Always support proposals that make real problems of the world worse just as long as advocating them can make you feel caring and righteous. Start with the release of jailed terrorists and with raising the minimum wage.
25. Always insist that there is no such thing as any traitor to be found on the Far Left. Deny that Noam Chomsky has ties to Holocaust Deniers and Hezbollah terrorism. Ditto for other radical anti-Israel extremists. Insist that Chomsky must be allowed to enter Israel, but at the same time endorse the efforts of the academic radicals in Israel to get IDF officers and Israeli politicians indicted for war crimes in Europe.
26. The only permissible set of policies that may be advocated for Israel is for limitless capitulation to the demands of Arab terrorists and Islamofascists. Never use the term Islamofascism, by the way. If peace has not been achieved, always insist that it is because Israel has not capitulated enough.
27. Churning out anti-Israel hate propaganda must always be counted as scholastic achievement and research.
28. Watchdog groups like Isracampus at www.isracampus.org.il or NGO Monitor must be suppressed in the name of defending democracy and freedom of speech. They should not be entitled to exercise THEIR freedom of speech.
29. Critical thinking must never involve criticism of the radical Left.
30. Always insist that the only REAL terrorism is when Israel defends itself.