Saturday, January 14, 2012
Ben Gurion University's Racist Policy of Discriminating against Jews
problem in Israeli academia. The racism and discrimination in
question is anti-Jewish and is being practiced by Ben Gurion
"University." That is right, 73 years after Kristallnacht Jews are
being discriminated against and barred from attending a university
program in psychology at Ben Gurion "University" because it is only
open to Arabs. And a Jewish victim of this overt discrimination has
filed suit with the Supreme Court.
The program in question is a MA program in psychology open only to
Arabs and particularly to Bedouins. Jews who qualify are excluded.
In addition, the program is secret. Ben Gurion University has been
trying to hide it from the media and from students and even from the
The program seems designed for those who wish to become school
psychologists or educators in Arab schools, particularly Bedouin
schools, although that is not exactly how it is officially defined.
Well, one Yosef Malka, who happens to be Jewish and who already works
in a Bedouin school as a teacher, applied for the program. He was
turned down by Ben Gurion "University." No Jews or dogs allowed into
Malka has filled a Supreme Court suit against the university, the
Israeli Ministry of Education, and Council for Higher Education in
Israel. In his suit he claims this discriminatory program is
operating in secret, without proper transparency. While working as a
teacher in a Bedouin school, Malka heard about the secret program and
decided to apply. In spite of the fact that he had already earned a
BA with honors, he was rejected by BGU. In one of the letters of
rejection he got from Prof. Shifra Sagi, from BGU's Department of
Education, she admitted the program was funded with a special
off-budget allotment of money from the Budget and Planning Committee
of Israel's Council on Higher Education and that it is closed to Jews.
Sagi has collaborated with and was a devotee of the late notorious
BGU anti-Zionist professor Daniel Bar-On (who equated the Palestinian
"Nakba" with the Holocaust -
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/2265 ). .
The case is now awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court.
It is not clear whether or not Malka offered Ben Gurion University
a compromise solution whereby any Jew admitted into the program could
attend while wearing a yellow star.
Fuller story in Hebrew in Makor Rishon, January 13, 2012
2. There are three details I left out of my report on the landmark
decision by the Supreme Court in Israel this week concerning automatic
entitlement to Israeli citizenship for foreign spouses of Israeli
Arabs. The Knesset had passed a law that there is no automatic
entitlement, but the judicial activists and their Leftist NGO allies
attempted to get the court to rule that the Knesset law is
"unconstitutional." (A bit bizarre given that Israel has no
Anyway the three missing details are these:
A. The "automatic entitlement to residency/citizenship for spouses of
Israeli Arabs" has already been used as a tactic to smuggle terrorists
into Israel and indeed was a major consideration in the opinion
written by the majority of six justices in denying the petition.
B. Among those who voted with the judicial activists to declare the
law unconstitutional was Judge Edmund Levy, a religious man born in
Iraq, usually considered to be a man of integrity and solidly to the
Right. He is about to retire (judges have to by age 70 in Israel).
Levy is an old-time Herut-nik He has often challenged the ruling
Court leftist elite and is considered a courageous man of principle.
At least he was until the vote this week. So why did he join the
moonbats on the bench in trying to create a Palestinian right of
return via marriage?
C. Ironically, given how Levy voted, the Beinisch team lost this
round of imposing leftist judicial tyranny on the country only thanks
to the legal problems of Judge Yoram Danziger. A far leftist, you
may recall that Danziger issued a court ruling that the anti-Israel
propaganda film "Jenin Jenin" is NOT slanderous when it claims that a
group of Israeli soldiers carried out Nazi-like massacres, even after
the film's director, Mohammed Bakri, himself admitted that the film is
a tissue of lies. Well, when the "citizenship entitlement" case came
up for deliberation, Danziger was under suspension from the bench
while the police and Prosecution investigated him for his intimate
dirty ties to one of the most corrupt local politicians in Israel.
Being a leftist, the Prosecution of course proclaimed Danziger as
clean as a hound's tooth. The only people in Israel who are NOT aware
of Danziger's sleaze seem to be the people working in the Prosecutor's
office. Anyway, it was only thanks to his being suspended that he was
unable to vote with the Beinisch clique and tilt the Supreme Court
ruling this week in favor of leftist judicial mindlessness, judicial
tyranny, and court-imposed Israeli self-annihilation.
Comprehending the incomprehensible – Part I
By MARTIN SHERMAN
Into The Fray: The first of a two-part analysis of why Israel is
losing the international battle for hearts and minds.
Israel has made itself defenseless. Israel has vacated the
battleground of the mind. Israeli 'hasbara' is a JOKE! – British
columnist Melanie Phillips, IBA Television, 2011
One of the gravest strategic threats facing Israel is its accelerating
international delegitimization. This is developing into a strategic
constraint that is increasingly curtailing the nation's ability to
protect itself and its citizens. Even more troubling, it is
undermining international recognition of Israel's right to exercise
self-defense, even in the most blatant cases of aggression against it.
Without wishing to diminish the significance of innate hostility
towards Israel and the Jews from many sources in the international
system, the present dismal and untenable situation has arisen in large
measure because of the abysmal job the Israeli leadership has done in
conducting – or more accurately, misconducting – its public diplomacy.
Indeed, Prof. Eitan Gilboa, a well-known authority on public
diplomacy, warns: "The lack of an adequate PD [public diplomacy]
program has significantly affected Israel's strategic outlook and
freedom of action. Any further neglect of PD would not only restrict
Israel's strategic options, it would be detrimental to its ability to
survive in an increasingly intolerant and hostile world."
Many find it puzzling why Israel – with its proven record of
extraordinary achievement in so many other fields of human endeavor –
does such a poor job in presenting its case to the world.
An inescapable truth
For anyone seeking the principal reason why Israel is losing the
public diplomacy war, the answer is difficult to accept, yet very easy
Israel is losing the battle because it doesn't want to win.
Or to put it differently: The people charged with the nation's public
diplomacy have a worldview that prevents them from adopting a winning
strategy. Indeed, this chronic malaise was aptly diagnosed by Daniel
Pipes when he observed: "No one at the upper echelons of Israel's
political life articulates the imperative for victory." (More on this
Although difficult to accept, the lack of will to win is easy to
prove. In gauging the motivation of any organization to achieve an
objective, one of the most important indicators is the resources it
allots for to achieve it.
Clearly, if the objective is considered important, more resources will
be allotted, and vice-versa.
Israel's public diplomacy budget is ludicrously small.
Indeed, as one government minister bemoaned: "It is dreadful to hear
that Bamba (a snack produced by the Osem corporation), has a
promotional budget two to three times the size of the total state
budget for public diplomacy."
This frugality is not dictated by a lack of resources. Indeed, when
Israel has desired to achieve an un-budgeted objective, money has
rarely been an obstacle.
For example, when billions of shekels were needed for the construction
of the West Bank security barrier, that was no problem; when billions
of dollars were needed for the Gaza disengagement, that was no problem
Likewise, the tens of billions of dollars required for the planned
withdrawal) from Judea and Samaria were not considered an
insurmountable obstacle, even though it was clear the money would not
be coming from the American taxpayer.
In last week's column, I pointed out that if a small fraction of 1
percent of GDP were devoted to public diplomacy, this would generate a
budget of $1 billion – rather than the paltry sums provided today.
So if the Israel leadership chooses not to allot available resources
to assertively promote Israel's case abroad, to resolutely defend its
international image, to explain its operational constraints and
security imperatives, to elucidate why certain measures are
indispensable for the safety of its citizens, it must mean that – for
one reason or another – it does not wish to. There is no other
How can one account for this syndrome of submissive surrender?
The key to the conundrum
This is a conundrum that cannot be deciphered without a firm grasp of
the sociological – rather than the political – topography of country
in general, and of the priorities and preferences of powerful civil
society elites in particular.
Without this insight it is impossible to understand the dramatic and
disturbing events that have taken place in Israel over the past two
decades. Without it, it is impossible to understand:
• Why a country that displays such technotactical brilliance is
afflicted by such strategic imbecility;
• Why hawkish candidates consistently win elections, but then
immediately adopt the failed policy of their defeated dovish rivals;
• Why the doctrine of political appeasement and territorial
concessions is repeatedly and consistently disproven, but somehow
never discredited – and certainly never discarded;
• Why the Israeli political establishment has not embraced more
appreciatively and mobilized more effectively the huge potential in
the support of communities such as the Evangelical Christians across
the world, and particularly in the US, as a strategic asset.
None of these phenomena makes any sense unless one understands the
decisive role that civil society elites have in setting the direction
of the country's strategic agenda – no matter who gets elected. As
will become clear later, understanding this role is also the key to
deciphering the riddle of Israel's dismal public diplomacy
Detrimental, dysfunctional, disloyal
Sadly, this is a role that is not only decisive, but also in many ways
detrimental, dysfunctional and at times disloyal.
If to some this uncharitable description appears excessively harsh,
consider the following examples and decide for yourselves how to
characterize the conduct of civil society elites in the media, the
academia and the legal establishment, who (a) accuse Israel of being
an "apartheid state" and support international boycott and sanctions
against their own county, such as Prof. Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion
University, who declared: "Israel today is an apartheid state. I have
decided to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
movement...launched by Palestinian activists."
(b) portray Israel as a bloodthirsty, intolerant nation bent on the
persecution of minorities, such as Prof. Aeyal Gross of Tel Aviv
University, who characterized Israel as "a society where shooting at
children of the 'other' is the norm" and the Israeli public as
"indifferent or worse to Israel's widespread killing of Palestinian
youth?" (c) condemn Israeli policies as being on a par with or worse
than those of the apartheid regime in South Africa, such as the poet,
writer and lecturer, Yitzhak Laor, who alleged that "Israel's
apartheid is worse... more ruthless than that seen in South Africa....
We have to get rid of Zionism. What lies behind Zionism are interests
and a huge army hungering to justify its existence."
(d) condone – and indeed appear to endorse – Palestinian terrorism
against Israeli civilians, such as Prof. Oren Yiftachel of Ben-Gurion
University, who suggested that "Palestinian shelling from Gaza should
be perceived as a prison uprising... suppressed with terror by the
(e) deny the legitimacy of Israel preventative measures to ensure the
security of the country and the safety of its citizens, such as
journalist Gideon Levy, who in an article titled "The neighborhood
bully strikes again," written at the outset of the retaliatory
Operation Cast Lead, undertaken to quell the firing of thousands of
rockets at civilian communities, decried "Israel's violent responses
[which] cross every red line of... morality, international law,"
asserting, "What began yesterday in Gaza is a war crime," and such as
Prof. Fania Oz-Salzberger of the University of Haifa, who following
the Gaza Flotilla episode, when Israeli commandos were forced to
defend themselves against a mob endeavoring to disembowel them,
endorsed the international censure of Israel in a hastily published
article titled "Ashamed of My Country," proclaiming that "the
almost-unanimous condemnation is spot on. I am ashamed," and elsewhere
asserting that "the true-blue pirates were the uniformed Israeli
(f) ignore or obscure the fact that Israel policy towards the
Palestinians is not driven by a discriminatory doctrine of racial
superiority but by proven security concerns, such as columnist Akiva
Eldar, who, in an article titled "Are Israel and apartheid South
Africa really different?" dismissed the security realities, declaring:
"As far as discriminatory practices are concerned, it's hard to find
differences between white rule in South Africa and Israeli rule," or
such as former attorney-general Michael Ben-Yair, who charged that
Israel "enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society engaging
in theft.... We established an apartheid regime."
THIS IS but a small sampling of the assault on Israeli legitimacy from
within its own civil society elites. Many examples abound of similar
distortions, misrepresentations and exaggerations, of similar
half-truths, non-truths and full-blooded fabrications from many other
"intellectuals," whether self-professed radical post-Zionists, or
self-proclaimed "liberal" pro-Zionists.
The noxious nexus
But more than a expression of the political predilections of those who
articulate them, these derogatory attitudes towards Israel reflect a
socio-cultural milieu, in which the personal and professional
interests of its members impose a code of conformity to political
correctness – irrespective of any divergence this may have from the
facts. It is a code strictly enforced – not by any formal fiat, but by
the consequences of any violation.
No deviation beyond "acceptable" limits is brooked, and any such
"delinquency" is likely to have grave repercussions in terms of
livelihood, promotion and even social acceptability of the
This brings us to the nexus between the role of Israeli civil society
elites and government policy in general and public diplomacy in
particular. This is a topic which I shall elaborate on in detail in
next week's column (Part II).
In it, I will show how the combination of their unelected positions of
power and privilege in the media, academia and legal establishment, on
the one hand, and the nature of their personal and professional
interests, on the other, confers on these elites both the ability and
the motivation to determine the direction of the strategic agenda of
Naturally, this is a direction that reflects the worldview of the
socio-cultural milieu they belong to, and which they can impose on the
government no matter who prevails at the polls. This neutralizes voter
preferences in the governance of the nation and dangerously undercuts
the underpinnings of the democratic system.
This also impinges on the formulation and implementation of Israel's
After all, the senior professionals charged with conducting the
county's public diplomacy are drawn from – and interface with – the
elites discussed previously.
In effect, this precludes them from adopting any strategy that would
undermine their own worldview and dooms Israeli efforts to failure.
But more on that next week.
In closing, it is important to underscore that what is set out here is
not a theory of a conscious conspiracy, contrived by some purposely
malevolent elitist cabal. Rather, it is the elucidation of a mechanism
comprising the accumulated consequences of individual decisions and
actions driven by the short-term pursuit of prestige and profit of a
group of empowered individuals, and which trump considerations of the
long-term interest of the wider collective.
It is essential to understand this mechanism.
Otherwise, it will be impossible to "comprehend the incomprehensible,"
to understand why "Israel has made itself defenseless," why Israel has
"vacated the battleground of the mind" and why Israeli hasbara is an
More important, without such an understanding it will be impossible to
formulate any remedies.