Thursday, March 03, 2011

Israel's Tenured Taliban Targets Bar-Ilan University

1. Isracampus Exclusive:

The sex scandal involving Dr. Gideon Aran, a sociologist at the
Hebrew University, was in fact first broken to the world by the
Israeli business daily newspaper Globes on June 13, 2008, but without
Aran's name. Aran is referred to there only as "'A' from the
Department of Sociology." Those familiar with the department would
have assumed that the 'A' was referring to Hebrew University
sociologist Eyal/Ayal (like Aran, spelled with a Hebrew Alef) Ben-Ari,
whose name was already in the press with regard to alleged sexual
harassment of his students. The Globes article later mentions that
there were indeed two Professors named "A" or "ALEF" who were involved
in sexually harassing female sociology students at the Hebrew

The Globes article quotes at length "Ortal," a graduate student.
We know now that the Ortal in question was Ortal Ben-Dayan, who went
public this week in her accusations against Aran. The newspaper
mentions the 1998 Knesset law in Israel that bans sexual activity
between a person with a subordinate person who works for or is subject
to the power and control of the first person. The newspaper cites "A"
as having violated this law. The "Professor 'A'" referred to in the
article is Dr. Gideon Aran. (He is not a professor.)

Hebrew readers can read the Globes article in its original here: . The
article emphasizes the long track record of "A" in making racist and
bigoted comments to Ortal as part of his "courtship" of her. Globes
cites the student as saying: "'A' once told me that it turns him on
that I am a (dark-skinned) Moroccan Jew, adding that if I were
Ethiopian it would be perfect." She added: "'A' liked to sprinkle his
conversations with racist comments, both because he actually believed
in them and also because it turned him on to see me get angry. One
time he told me that the academic level of Israeli universities was
being harmed because too many Mizrachi/Sephardic Jews were entering as
students. When I responded with anger, I saw that it turned him on,
and not only in a research-sociological sense."

The student goes on to describe how other faculty members in
sociology at the Hebrew University were sexually prowling, and
especially were hunting for "inter-ethnic" romances with Sephardic
women students. At one point 'A' said that anyone named Ortal, a
common but not exclusively Sephardic name, would be cut out only to
sell things in a convenience store. She reports that "Professor 'A'"
would prance about the department and brag to all his friends there
that he had had a sexual affair with a Moroccan Jewish student, which
he presented as evidence of his support for multiculturalism.

The article then tells of other students complaining about being
sexually harassed by sociology professors at the Hebrew University.
One student cited is the daughter of the president of the Technion,
who studied sociology at the Hebrew University at the time.

Ortal attempted to inform other students of being harassed by "A".
The other students were so intimated by the predatory professors of
sociology that they were afraid to be seen in her company or in the
same classroom with her.

In any case, we now know that the offending faculty member was
indeed Gideon Aran. We also know from the Globes article that the
entire story and the behavior of Aran were well-known to the Hebrew
University authorities and faculty at least as far back as June 2008.
And they did nothing at all about it. They swept the entire affair
under the carpet until Haaretz decided to break it and name names this

It remains to be seen whether Aran will be indicted under Israel's
anti-racism law, a law that until now has only been used to harass
Rabbis and "right-wingers."

2. Israel's Tenured Taliban is out in force this week. The academic
extremists have a new cause celebre. They are bashing Bar-Ilan
University because Bar Ilan refused to grant tenure to one Ariella
Azoulay. The Tenured Taliban are claiming that she was turned down
because she is a leftist and because Bar Ilan University represses and
suppresses leftists. A group of 70 academic extremists sent a
petition to the Israel Council on Higher Education, denouncing
Bar-Ilan, demanding that the Council "investigate" politicization at
Bar-Ilan. Among the signatories to this petition are people like Lev
"The Hamas is Today's Heroic Maccabees" Grinberg from Ben Gurion
University, Yehouda "Replace Israel with a Rwanda" Shenhav, a Marxist
sociologist from Tel Aviv University, and of course Israel's academic
Lord Haw-Haw, Neve Gordon from Ben Gurion University.

The spectacle of THESE signatory people complaining about
politicization of the campus is rather amusing. Many of them are
people who were only hired and promoted by Israeli universities in the
first place thanks to their own anti-Israel far-leftist and Marxist
politics. Many were simply hired as acts of political solidarity by
other leftists in the system. Not a single one of the signatories had
anything at all to say about Ben Gurion University firing people who
had expressed unfashionable politically incorrect thoughts, including
Yeruham Leavitt, who was fired by BGU for saying he did not think it
was healthy for children to be raised by gay couples.

Naturally, Haaretz is promoting the petition and the "cause" of
Azoulay. Here is today's headline:
Note how Haaretz proclaims (falsely) that the signatories are "Top
Israeli Professors."

Now as usual when it comes to Israel's academic fifth column, the
facts are precisely the opposite. Not only was Azoulay not fired for
being a leftist, it seems clear she was only hired in the first place
because she was a leftist. She simply never produced any serious
academic scholarly work or bona fide research, on whose basis she
could have been awarded tenure. She is the wife of Tel Aviv
University's prominent extremist leftist professor of philosophy Adi
Ophir. You will recall Ophir as the star of several Israel Apartheid
Week events. The simple truth is that had she not been Ophir's wife,
I think there is serious doubt as to whether she ever would have been
offered any academic post of any sort in Israel.

At Bar-Ilan, she taught something called "Hermeneutics." I am
not quite sure what that is, but I think it has something to do with
neutering people named Herman. In general she claims to be some sort
of expert on photography, but her "specialty" is how to twist
photographs to make political points, not exactly a real academic
discipline, at least outside of the University of Tripoli in Libya.
Among the "films" she directed is: "I Also Dwell Among Your Own
People: Conversations with Azmi Bishara." Here is an earlier expose
of Azoulay and Ophir:

Now I invite you to take a look at Azoulay's curriculum vita and
"publication" record for yourself. It appears here: . As you can see,
it is filled with propaganda diatribes in assorted Marxist magazines.
It includes her "books" – her tendentious collections of photographs
to make Israel look like a monster. You can tell from their titles
what they are about and how "scholarly" they are. With the possible
exception of one single note in the Cardoza Law Journal, I cannot see
a single bona fide academic publication on her whole vita. If you can
find any I have missed, let me know. I do not know a single academic
institution in the world that would regard her Marxist propagandizing
and her Bash-Israel collections of photographs as bona fide scholarly

Here is an earlier Haaretz piece on the story:
Notice how Haaretz claims she was turned down by Bar-Ilan because she
spoke out against the "occupation." They reality of Israeli academia
is that anyone who speaks out in FAVOR of the "occupation" might as
well commit academic hara-kiri, for he/she is putting his/her academic
career in severe jeopardy. Israeli universities are filled with
people who were hired and promoted ONLY thanks to their speaking out
against the "occupation." The REAL problem in the view of Haaretz is
that there are still some departments in Israeli universities that are
NOT engaged in one-sided leftist indoctrination.

Here we have the spectacle of Neo-Fascist Neve "SLAPP suit" Gordon,
whining that the firing of Azoulay is political repression: .
This is the same Gordon who ran to Nazareth court to file a SLAPP suit
to suppress freedom of speech. Gordon was also personally involved in
the firing of the one pro-Israel member of the department of politics
at Ben Gurion University in an act of political repression. You can
imagine why Gordon feels the passionate need to defend someone who was
evidently hired in the first place only because she made a career out
of producing anti-Israel propaganda. Note, by the way, just where
Gordon chose to publish his diatribe (open the previous link). And
note how he dregs up Yigal Amir to bash Bar-Ilan University (but has
never been bothered by the fact that Mordecai Vanunu studied at Ben
Gurion University). At least one name on the right side of this page
is that of a Holocaust Denier.

If you would like to tell the Israel Council of Higher Education what
you think of the petition, write to
The Council for Higher Education in Israel
(governmental body that funds and supervises Israeli universities and colleges)
Prof. Shlomo Grossman
Planning & Budgeting Committee Chairman
Council for Higher Education
P.O.B. 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel
Tel: 02-5679911
Fax: 02-5679969

Ministry of Education
The Honorable Gideon Sa'ar
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem
Additional Email:
Phone: 972-2-6408131
Fax: 972-2-6753525
Shalomit Amichai
Director General of the Ministry of Education
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem
To express a yasher koach to Bar Ilan, write to:
Bar Ilan University:
President: Prof. Moshe Kaveh
Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 52100
Tel. 02-5318599/656
Fax. 02-5353523,983,988
List of Officers:,983
Ramat Gan 52100
Tel. 03-531811
Fax. 03-5352423
Bar Ilan "Friends of" Offices:,1056

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