Monday, August 01, 2011

At long last and a tremendous precedent: A Tenured Extremist Gets Fired in Israel

Yesterday saw one of the most important developments in the annals of
Israeli higher education. Yesterday the Hebrew University decided to
fire Prof. Eyal Ben Ari.

We have been reporting about the radical anti-Israel leftist
sociologist Ben Ari for several years. Ben Ari, who markets himself
as a feminist sociologist and is listed by the university as part of
Women's Studies, was the main supervisor of that now notorious thesis
of the Master's Student Tal Nitzan which purported to "prove" that the
reason that Israeli soldiers never rape Arab women is because the Jews
are so racist. The thesis was not only accepted by the university but
was awarded a prize, and the President and the Rector of the
university defended the content of the thesis (and not just the
"academic freedom" to write such garbage).

Soon after that "thesis" turned the Hebrew University in to an
international laughingstock, Ben Ari himself was arrested and
investigated under suspicion of raping several of his graduate
students. The students filed complaints with the police and the
university. They also accused Ben Ari of using extortion to get sex
from them and of lowering their grades or denying them funding if they
refused to "put out." At first the university circled its wagons
around Ben Ari. The Attorney General was reluctant to indict him,
probably because the job of the leftist Attorney General is to serve
as a shield for leftists and protect them from indictment.

Eventually, after a new President and Rector took over, the university
itself charged Ben Ari before its own ethics disciplinary committee.
He was convicted of "conducting improper relations" and behavior not
befitting a faculty member, meaning molesting students. He was
suspended from duties with no salary for two years. The university
then appealed that decision, demanding stronger punishment. Yesterday
the same disciplinary committee decided to fire Ben Ari altogether and
the university has announced it intends to do so.

This is all extraordinary in Israel. Ben Ari had tenure and
technically was not convicted in criminal court of anything (mainly
because the Attorney General and the police were too pusillanimous to
indict him). Moreover, Ben Ari is a radical anti-Israel leftist,
which would usually make him untouchable in Israeli academia. But the
university had to choose whether to be politically correct and defend
Ben Ari's behavior, which would enrage feminists and other enlightened
souls, especially in the media, or deal with Ben Ari by tossing him
overboard. It chose the latter.

You can read more on the background to the Ben Ari affair here:
Haaretz, to its credit, has lead the campaign against Ben Ari in the
media. You can see its report on his firing here:

When the story first broke, my favorite part of it was the fact that
Ben Ari used university research funds to purchase vibrators to use on
his students when he coerced them to engage in trysts with him in
conferences. You can see the story of the vibrator and its photo

Ben Ari, for his part, is defiant and has his shysters claiming that
he was by and large exonerated. When he was originally molesting his
students, the Hebrew University had not yet adopted a code of behavior
that prohibited such behavior. Because it was technically not
prohibited at the time, when the university indicted Ben Ari at its
disciplinary commission, it decided not to charge him with violating
such prohibitions. Ben Ari and his shysters are spinning that
decision as if he were "exonerated" for those transgressions by the
university. They claim he will try to get his job back in civil
court. I look forward to hearing them advance a "Right to Rape"
argument. In any case, perhaps Ben Ari can claim he raped his
students just to prove he is not racist.

Another twist is that it is well known in Israel that Ben Ari was not
the only professor in the Hebrew University sociology department who
was pressuring the women students there to engage in hanky panky. At
least one other faculty member (see
) has confessed and been found guilty, and students claim there are
many others, although not every single one, who also molest them
sexually. The Hebrew University has yet to take any action in those

But the most refreshing aspect of this is that at long last an Israeli
university has dared to fire a tenured faculty member. There are many
scores of incompetent, treasonous, abusive, unqualified faculty
members in Israel who break laws, engage in treason, call for
violence, engage in violence, and otherwise thoroughly deserve to be
fired just like Ben Ari. We can only hope the universities will
someday have the courage to take similar actions against their tenured

Here are some earlier items on the Ben Ari affair:

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