Saturday, January 01, 2011

Ben Gurion University’s Official Campaign of Lies and Disinformation

Ben Gurion University's Official Campaign of Lies and Disinformation

1. As you know, Ben Gurion University has long been controlled by
members of the radical Left, who have sought to turn the campus, or at
least the Social Sciences and Humanities there, into a North
Korean-style indoctrination camp in leftist anti-Zionism. Originally
this was the vision of BGU President Avishai Braverman, who headed the
university for years and is now a Knesset member from the left-wing of
the Israeli Labor Party. He was followed by Rivka Carmi, the current
BGU President, who is determined to preserve the role of the
University as an instrument of leftist indoctrination. While
repudiating the calls by pseudo-academic anti-Semitic lecturer Neve
Gordon for a worldwide boycott againstf Israel, she has nevertheless
repeatedly defended the fact that BGU is filled with anti-Zionist
faculty members, where in at least one department (political science)
there is not a single non-leftist teaching. She also in the past
endorsed Neve Gordon's anti-democratic SLAPP harassment suit against
me. While defending the extremists at BGU in the name of "academic
freedom," she was also the main player who got Prof. Yeruham Leavitt
fired because he dared to voice a politically unfashionable opinion.

The University has paid a price for all this. It has alienated
many of its overseas donors and supporters. It has lost tens of
millions of dollars in support and possibly hundreds of millions. The
strategy of the University officials and of Rivka Carmi in particular
has been to stonewall, to insist that BGU is in fact a pluralistic and
balanced university, where it is only Neve Gordon by himself who is
the campus voice of lunatic anti-Zionist bigotry. In reality, most of
faculty members in the Social Sciences and Humanities at BGU are
somewhat more reserved Neve Gordons, or people just marginally less

All of this puts into perspective the weekend column (December
31, 2010) in Maariv by Kalman Liebskind, one of the best publicist
journalists in Israel. The column is so important that my translation
of it follows here. Liebskind has revealed that Ben Gurion University
is intentionally lying and providing disinformation to its supporters
and prospective donors from all around the world and in different

Here is his column (my translation):

A Lesson in Politics
By Kalman Liebskind

Ben Gurion University is in stress. The recent reports published by
the "Im Tirtzu" student movement about the Post-Zionist political
control dominating important parts of the university have had their
effect and impact. They have managed to attach labels to the
university's name in the world with which it is uncomfortable. In the
(leftist) media, in which "Im Tirtzu" was denounced as "censors," the
university was enjoyed seeing itself defended by journalists. But it
turns out that "Im Tirtzu" managed to get out its message in dialogue
with the wider public, talking to them over the heads of the official
commentators on the TV news shows.

The vast majority of citizens, those who serve and whose children
serve in the Israel Defense Forces, have no affinity for faculty
members calling for worldwide boycotts of Israel, who denounce Israeli
soldiers, and who call on their own students to refuse to serve in the
army. An official statement issued last week by the country's Council
on Higher Education (the public body that overseas Israeli
universities and colleges) was yet another slap in the face for large
swaths of Israeli academia. The Council proclaimed: "Situations must
be prevented where students or faculty members face rejection,
silencing, penalization or discrimination because of their personal
views or characteristics, including their political opinions."
(Clearly the Council meant the harassment of non-leftists by leftist
faculty members – SP)

The donors to Ben Gurion University also saw the reports and started
asking questions. Many of these people, who live abroad and send
their generous contributions to the institution of higher learning
that bears the name of David Ben Gurion, had not been aware of the
atmosphere of political extremism that dominates large parts of the

The university learned that it is possible to peddle clichés about
academic freedom from Beer Sheva to as-far-away-as Paris, but
ultimately the facts take charge. When large numbers of faculty
members from the extremist Left sign their names to petitions publicly
denouncing Israeli soldiers, it is hard to keep the facts hidden. And
it is precisely at that point, where all excuses are exhausted, that
the falsehoods begin.

Ben Gurion University, like the other schools, operates a network of
overseas emissaries and representatives all over the world. These
people are responsible for developing connections with donors. And
when the donors start asking questions, these serve as the official
front line troops of the University.

One such representative of Ben Gurion University is Elise Donat (see
Her email is -- SP). She lives in Geneva and the
BGU official web site lists her as its representative to
French-speaking parts of Europe. Following the publication of the
findings of "Im Tirtzu," members of the Friends of Ben Gurion
University in France demanded from the officials of Ben Gurion
University an explanation. The "Friends" operate a fund that channels
many millions to the university and Donat was sent by the university
to calm the Fund's donors down. The donors told her that they had
learned that in the BGU Politics Department, 8 out of the 11 members
of the faculty were Post-Zionists or radical leftists. (Actually all
11 are – SP)

Donat did everything she could to reassure them. Including lying.
The letter she sent them is a masterpiece of disinformation, an
Israeli Bluff. "As you well know," writes Donat in her letter -
translated here from the French, "The Radical Right has a very large
representation in the Israeli government and on the Council of Higher
Education." (Actually to my knowledge there is not a single
Right-winger on the Council –SP)

The Council on Higher Education, for those who are not familiar with
it, is a professional academic body composed of 16 professors from
academic institutions, two representatives of the general public, and
the chairperson of the national students union. Politicians have no
say at all there and cannot enter the Council. But that did not
prevent Donat from selling her snake oil to the donors about how SHAS
and Israel Beiteinu (Lieberman's party) themselves, no less than
they!!, had grabbed control of the Council.

Donat then challenges those donors who had complained that in the BGU
Department of Politics there are many anti-Israel faculty members.
That claim is utterly false, Donat writes them. There is only one
radical anti-Israel extremist there, Prof. Neve Gordon. Donat then
decides to take the argument further, well beyond the boundaries of
intentional misrevebeen. In the politics department, she writes,
"There are professors from the radical Right wing like Renee
Poznanski,* David Newman,* and Dani Filc". Now just in case there are
any out there who do not know who these three are, they are all
far-leftists who signed those petitions proclaiming, "We support and
appreciate our students who are refusing to serve as soldiers in the
conquered territories."

Actually, the above-mentioned Filc is Chairman of the extremist
Far-Leftist Organization "Physicians for Human Rights" (which used to
be run by Neve Gordon himself and which in the past circulated
anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews– SP). Donat was convinced that she
had managed to convince the donors to BGU that the University is in
fact the bastion of "Im Tirtzu." She concludes her letter thus: "As
can be seen, in this department (Politics) there reigns pluralism of
opinion and diversity of views." One line before the end, this
representative of the University adds that Prof. David Newman,* the
same one who signed that petition mentioned above, is not only a
right-winger but someone "notorious for expressing extremist
right-wing opinions." (!!!!!)

Ben Gurion University sent us the following response: "Donat is on a
private vacation in India until February 24 and so we cannot reach her
to clarify the matter."

* A personal note from SP: Both Newman and Poznanski, named in the
article, submitted false court affidavits on behalf of Neve Gordon to
the Nazareth court in their efforts to assist him in his neo-fascist
SLAPP suit against me. After the Israeli Supreme Court issues its
verdict, it is conceivable that one or both of these could face
perjury charges.

2. A number of people wrote me and disagreed with what I had posted
earlier about the Katsav Affair.

As I noted, I believe that Katsav was a skirt chaser who often behaved
improperly, including using his position to pressure women to engage
in hanky panky with him, in many ways behaving similarly to Bill
Clinton. I was skeptical about whether Katsav was really a violent

And now I am far more skeptical. Over the weekend I read the court
verdict in Hebrew carefully, which was reprinted word-for-word in full
by Maariv. In the verdict the judges clearly admit what really

It seems the court had enough evidence to convict Katsav for various
acts and cases of sexual harassment and sexual misbehavior, but ALL
those acts transpired long enough before the prosecution so that they
were covered by the Israel Statute of Limitations (Hok Hityashnut).
So the prosecutors were faced with letting Katsav go altogether, or
charging him with rape (which, like murder, is not covered by the
Statute of Limitations). But they themselves did not believe Katsav
had raped, nor that they had enough evidence to charge him with rape.
Instead, they offered him the plea deal to try to get him "convicted"
of something. Katsav evidently understood the situation, knew that he
was protected by the Statute of Limitations, and believed they would
not charge him with rape. SO he rejected the plea.

So the Prosecution was faced with the dilemma of being unable to
charge him with what they knew he did. But were reluctant to charge
him with rape, not believing he committed rape, something with which
in principle he could still be charged because the Statute of
Limitation would not apply. So they decided to prosecute him for what
they COULD still prosecute in court, and filed rape charges against

This is not MY take on what happened, but what is spelled out in black
and white in the Court Verdict!!

Other parts of the verdict point to a court out for blood against
their man. Otherwise, the verdict would not debate at length whether
Katsav had sniffed the perfume on the neck of an employee when hugging
her for a birthday, or whether he had merely breathed while hugging


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