Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Maariv Defends the Right of Ben Gurion University Donors to Refuse to Support BGU
In recent weeks, a series of malicious media attacks against the
donors to Ben Gurion University have been published by representatives
of Ben Gurion University itself. Evidently these officials believe
that smearing their own donors is a great way to up the level of their
generosity! Some of the most venomous attacks have come from David
Newman, the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at BGU. Newman
accuses the donors to his own university of plotting to suppress
academic freedom at BGU. He calls them McCarthyists and other foul
names. And he also smears every organization and person that dares to
criticize the many far-leftist anti-Israel extremists among the
faculty at BGU. Every conceivable form of treason should be protected
as academic freedom and freedom of speech, insist Newman and his ilk.
But anyone who dares to speak out AGAINST such tenured treason is a
"McCarthyist," someone who must be suppressed and silenced.
Among those critics of tenured extremists, who have NO right to
freedom of speech and NO right to criticize, are the DONORS, insist
Newman and his friends.
For the first time, a major Israeli newspaper has published a defense
of those donors to Israeli universities who refuse to finance
"academic" treason, and an attack on those who smear such activist
The following is a translation of that article:
Maariv, April 20, 2011
The Right to Refuse To Donate
By Ben Dror Yemini (Deputy Editor of Maariv)
Translation by Steven Plaut
"Academic freedom" is by and large a delusion. In the USA there
are many professorial chairs financed by donors. Some of them from
Saudi Arabia. Whenever the Saudis are involved, the researchers and
the research being carried out both toe the line. Prof. John Esposito
of Georgetown University, for example, is funded by the Saudi
Billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal (see http://cmcu.georgetown.edu/ ).
His seemingly "academic" opinions are mainly political. It is true
that some Jews also make contributions, but in their case the story is
different. They are politically liberals, and so it even sometimes
happens that Jewish millionaires end up financing outright
But when it comes to donations to Israeli universities, the donors
are lovers of Israel. These are not people who will donate to schools
and departments in America known for their venomous anti-Israel
propagandizing. So why on earth should they contribute, directly or
indirectly, to similar departments and schools operating in Israel!!??
Why? There is no reason at all!
Over the past few weeks while on a visit to the USA I heard over
and over and over again the same message. One woman donor told me
that she cannot simply stop making contributions. But she has decided
to change tactics altogether – to contribute directly to students and
for specific deserving research projects. She is unwilling to support
universities that are themselves unwilling to act against the plague
of anti-Zionism spouting up within them.
Another donor, who also serves as the head of the "Friends of Ben
Gurion University" office, told me that he simply cannot take it any
more. He is simply leaving. He is resigning from his position and
ending all donations to Ben Gurion University. He also told me of an
additional donor who has withheld all contributions to BGU, and he
emphasized to me that numerous other donors are doing the same. Yitz
Dekel, who used to serve as the director of the offices of the
"Friends of Ben Gurion University" on the West Coast of the US, told
me that he sent an enraged letter to Rivka Carmi, president of BGU,
which included a demand that all contributions to BGU be halted.
Donors and contributors have no interest in financing anti-Israel
propaganda, even if it hides behind the veil of "academic freedom."
The SUPPRESSION of Expression
Do the donors have a right to dictate a political line? Of
course not. But the problem is exactly the reverse. The issue has
nothing at all to do with freedom of speech. The real issue is far
more difficult – it is censorship and suppression of freedom of
speech. When entire university departments morph into platforms for
political propaganda, where so many people – including faculty members
and students – are intimidated and browbeaten into keeping their
mouths shut, the real problem is not freedom of expression but
suppression of freedom of expression.
The university officials simply chant the uniform tired mantra,
that it is all an exercise of academic freedom and so we just do not
intervene. But this is an empty and meaningless pronouncement.
Because there is indeed a need for freedom of expression. However in
entire departments there is an atmosphere of persecution and
suppression, where anti-Zionism is the hegemonic ideology, all the
while pretending to be "critical" and "academic." We could go on and
on with such empty slogans.
Most of Israeli academia does indeed maintain open and free
dialogue without the outrageous anti-Zionist propagandizing. But
there are some university departments where this is simply not so.
And this cancer is spreading. The university heads know perfectly
well that there is a serious problem. They know that what is taking
place is thought control and Bolshevik-style suppression of thinking.
They know that some faculty members feel entitled to anything and
everything. And the heads of the universities are simply
A-F-R-A-I-D!! The Bolsheviks are winning. Academic freedom is being
demolished in the name of defending academic freedom.
Under these circumstances, the results should not be surprising.
The donors are fed up. If some faculty members at Israeli
universities lead the calls for a boycott against Israel, the
consequence of this will truly be a boycott! But it will be a boycott
by donors against the very same academic institutions in which this
small group of extremist academics calling for boycotts against Israel
are themselves employed! Those faculty members demand an end to
financial support in order to achieve political influence? Well,
here you have it, their comeuppance – they are getting what they asked
2. One of my favorite movies is A Bronx Tale, with Robert De Niro.
It is set in the 1960s in the Bronx. My favorite scene in it is where
a gang of bikers, Hells Angels characters, comes into the local Bronx
bar used by the Italians, including the Italian gangsters. The head
of the gangsters enters the bar and the head biker tells him that he
is not going to prevent the bikers from coming in. The Italian
gangster locks the door of the bar and says, "Now you can't leave."
(After that the other Italians enter the bar from the back room,
demolish the bikers and also their bikes.)
I mention all this because of the failure of Bibi Netanyahu and his
gang of cowardly politicians to come up with an effective way of
dealing with the flotillas of terrorist ships attempting to break the
"siege" of Gaza and challenge Israeli control of the sea lands. In
coming days, new provocations are expected, with new boats filled with
terrorists. Among the terrorists will be the usual ISM crowd, and
also Helen Thomas.
If it were up to me, I'd have Israeli ships practice their torpedo
runs on the flotilla ships. I have fantasies of seeing Helen Thomas
tossed off the bow and into the waves, like in a scene out of Titanic.
And then the entire Gaza fishing industry collapses because all the
fish near Gaza are floating belly up after they look at Thomas and
But it is pretty clear that Bibi does not have the moxie for that.
So, as my backup proposal, I would like to propose a Bronx Tale solution.
It goes like this. After making sure there are no weapons or
explosives on the flotilla ships, Israel allows them all to enter
Gaza. Once there, like in the scene with the bikers, Israel
announces, "Now you can't leave." Israel refuses to allow any of them
to LEAVE Gaza. Israel disables the ships while they are in Gaza port
so they have to stay and rust. All the Western "peace" terrorists"
are then prevented from entering Israel or from crossing into Egypt or
from leaving Gaza any other way. They just have to stay in Gaza,
forever. They can be hosted by the same folks who took such nice care
of Vittorio Arrigoni.
3. Speaking of Arrigoni, there is a new theory as to just what
happened to him. I am just citing what others are suggesting. See
Was Vittorio Arrigoni Murdered Because He Was Gay?
April 20, 2011 | Aussie Dave |
Did Arrigoni go up to the wrong people in Gaza and ask them, "Is that
a detonator in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
4. Well the perps of the murders of the Itamar babies have been
captured, confessed, and re-enacted the murders for police, and indeed
bragged about their deeds. But some in Israel's radical Left are
still insisting that they are innocent. How come? Well, the family
members of the murderers say they are innocent. Among those
circulating the claim that they are indeed innocent is one Elana
Wesley, who is on the staff of Tel Aviv University, and used Tel Aviv
University computers to send this:.
Their families say they are innocent so they MUST be!
(posted to the ALEF list)
From: Elana Wesley <email@example.com>
Subject: [AL-AWDA] ***Family of Awarta teen denies allegations
Family of Awarta teen deny allegations
Published Sunday 17/04/2011 (updated) 18/04/2011 18:15
AWARTA, West Bank (Ma'an) -- The family of one of two teens charged by
Israeli forces in the murder of a settler family last month is
contesting the allegations, saying 19-year-old Hakim Awwad was too ill
to have carried out the gruesome attack.
Nouf Awwad told Ma'an on Sunday - the day reports of the allegations
against her son were made public with the lifting of an Israeli
gag-order on the case of the slain settlers - that Hakim was still
recovering from a recent surgery, which prevented him from walking
long distances and required him to use the toilet every hour.
"We have the medical records, he is in unstable health," she said,
adding that the family is gathering the papers to present as evidence
in defense of Hakim.
She said Hakim had undergone testicular surgery in November at the
Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus.
"He was at home [the night of the murders] and went to bed at 9:30
[p.m.]," she said.
Hakim, who was detained in early April during the third sweep of
detentions carried out by Israeli forces, has remained in detention
since that time, and has had no contact with his family. Nouf said she
"could not rule out" the idea that her son had been tortured and
confessed under duress.
The mother said her daughter, Hakim's sister, Julia had also been
detained during the month-long series of sweeps. She said Julia had
been released exhausted, and said she had been harshly interrogated
and put under "severe psychological pressure," and had collapsed more
than once during questioning.
Head of the village council Qais Awwad said he suspected much of
Israel's investigation had been carried out using torture to extract
confessions from residents, and repeated his insistence that
international investigators, or at the least observers, be present as
the investigation continued.
Hakim was one of two teens from Awarta named in a briefing document
obtained by AFP, in which Israel's internal security agency Shin Bet
said it had arrested two main suspects and five suspected accomplices.
"The two, residents of the village of Awarta, confessed during the
investigation to planning and carrying out the attack and staged a
reconstruction," the Shin Bet document said.
Six of the men arrested in connection with the case are members of the
Awad family from the village of Awarta, and a seventh, a resident of
Ramallah, was a friend of one of the suspected accomplices, the
The Israeli military confirmed the arrests. Colonel Nimrod Aloni,
commander of the Shomron Brigade in the northern area of the occupied
West Bank told a briefing: "We can say that the murderers are in our
Hakim and Amjad, detained in separate raids, were both named as prime
suspects in the murders of five members of the Fogel family, settlers
who lived in the illegal settlement of Itamar, adjacent to the
The Fogel parents and three of their children including an infant were
found stabbed to death in their beds on 11 March. The killings spurred
an increase in settler attacks against Palestinians.