Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Professor Ze'ev Maoz joins Call to Shut Down the Politics Department at Ben Gurion University
endorses the Calls for The Complete Shutting Down of the Department of
Politics at Ben Gurion University; Insists it is a bunch of
By Steven Plaut
I must tell you that I am not generally a fan of Prof. Ze'ev Maoz. He
is a leftist and his written some obnoxious anti-Israel articles and
expressed some anti-Israel opinions (here is one:
I will cite some others below). He is currently on the faculty of
the University of California at Davis and teaches at the Herzliya
Interdisciplinary Center. He used to be a professor at Tel Aviv
University and at the University of Haifa.
But the fact that he is left of center makes what he has published
today even more important and newsworthy. Maoz has an Op-Ed in
Haaretz today endorsing the calls for the shutting down of the
Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University!
As you know, a recent international panel appointed by Israel's
Council on Higher Education denounced the Department of Politics at
Ben Gurion University for being a radical anti-Israel indoctrination
center and a Bash-Israel propaganda operation, with no serious
academic credentials and standards, an "unbalanced" (meaning
anti-Israel) group of pseudo-scholars. The panel proposed shutting
the department down altogether. Israel's radical anti-Israel tenured
Left and their foreign Bash-Israel amen chorus raced to defend the
department, while a rising chorus of pro-Israel voices have echoed the
call of the international panel.
Well, Prof. Maoz has chimed in on the controversy and he has issued
his own unambiguous call for closing the entire department of politics
at Ben Gurion University.
You can see Maoz' Op-Ed (in Hebrew) here:
http://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/1.1602889 . Haaretz is not running
the piece in English (we wonder why) but I will sum it up for you
His Op-Ed is entitled, "Yes, Shut it Down!"
He begins by proclaiming that he is a proud member of the Israeli
Left. He then goes on to tell how the tenured Left has been lobbying
him to oppose the recommendations of the panel, and asking him to
recruit international support behind the Department of Politics at BGU
in the name of "academic freedom."
He then reveals that he himself had been recruited nine years ago by
the Council on Higher Education to evaluate the very same department
at BGU. At the time he proposed shutting down the entire department
for essentially the same reasons as those in the new panel report. He
claims his reasons were entirely academic, not political, just as the
current panel's recommendations are academic.
Back then, Maoz found that there are no serious academic standards in
place in that department. Most of the faculty members have no serious
credentials in political science. He says that not only was the
Council on Higher Education not conducting a witch-hunt against the
Politics department at BGU, but it even refused to implement Maoz' own
recommendations, treated the department with permissive (his word) kid
gloves, allowed it to go on functioning and even to develop new
programs for students, and refused to apply the same rigorous
standards to the department of Neve Gordon and David Newman that it
was applying to all other departments across the board.
He concludes that the Department of Politics at BGU is an academic
disgrace and the petitions of support for it are motivated by the most
dubious of motives. Translation: those petitions consist of
anti-Israel extremists seeking to defend other anti-Israel
pseudo-academic extremists from criticism and accountability.
Here are some previous items I posted about Ze'ev Maoz, to convince
you that he is no raving Right-winger:
Ze'ev Maoz, Tel Aviv University
"There's practically a holy consensus right now that the war in the North
is a just war and that morality is on our side. The bitter truth must be
said: this holy consensus is based on short-range selective memory, an
introverted worldview, and double standards.
This war is not a just war. Israel is using excessive force without
distinguishing between civilian population and enemy, whose sole purpose
is extortion. That is not to say that morality and justice are on
Hezbollah's side. Most certainly not. But the fact that Hezbollah "started
it" when it kidnapped soldiers from across an international border does
not even begin to tilt the scales of justice toward our side."
Some more pearls from the mouth of Ze'ev Maoz: In October, 1996 he said:
"chance of army coup now possible." And in August 1996: "If the political
deadlock continues for a long time, and Syria reaches the conclusion that
there is no solution in the political option, it may reconsider the
military option as a viable one," he [Ze'ev Maoz] wrote.
In March 2002 he was interviewed saying: "Any initiative that comes from
the Arab world makes me considerably more optimistic," says Ze'ev Maoz, an
Israeli political scientist, "because it has the potential ... to lower
the psychological barriers that many Israelis have in terms of making
concessions for peace." At the same article it said: "Tel Aviv University
professor Maoz says Israeli supporters of a negotiated solution are
"regrouping because they are starting to realize that a policy of applying
force just for the sake of applying force, without any sort of political
vision, doesn't lead anywhere."
Further reading on Ze'ev Maoz:
http://www.freeman.org/m_online/sep96/basch.htm (half way down the page)