Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The Campaign by the Totalitarian Left to Preserve Ben Gurion University’s Center for Radical Indoctrination
The Campaign by the Totalitarian Left to Preserve Ben Gurion
University's Center for Radical Indoctrination
By Steven Plaut
There is a species of radical Leftist that believes that it is the
main purpose of taxpayer-funded universities to engage in
indoctrination of students into radical leftwing ideology. Such
people believe that the only legitimate form of scholarly research and
teaching is to force upon students the ideas and agendas of the
radical Left, because only these represent correct thinking.
For such people, the highest form of academic inquiry is to
engage in one-sided advocacy. They believe that faculty members at
universities should be hired mainly, if not exclusively, on the basis
of their devotion to radical leftist ideology. They believe that
classrooms should be arenas in which students are immersed into
leftist NewThink. They believe that student grades should reflect the
extent to which the student toes the ideological line of the radical
Left. They believe academic conferences and research forums should be
restricted to those who advocate the Left's political agenda, while
non-leftist dissident thought should be suppressed and barred. Most
importantly of all, they believe that those who dare to criticize the
radical tenured Left should be silenced and demonized.
The totalitarian Left in Israel believes that taxpayers are
morally obligated to fund the teaching of extremist ideology in the
classroom, including by people advocating the demise of those same
taxpayers and of their country. It is the job of citizens to sit back
passively and pay for the Far Left to operate propaganda centers,
while the radicals collect their cushy salaries as payment for
advocating their anti-Israel agenda. It is the job of universities to
criticize (actually to demonize) the state of Israel, the tenured Left
insists, just as long as no one is permitted to criticize those
critics of Israel.
Nowhere is this ideological extremism so clearly on display as in
the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University (BGU), a
pseudo-academic propaganda and indoctrination center disguised as an
academic department. It is not the only such department in Israel nor
at BGU, but it may well be the worst.
Last year an international panel of experts appointed by the
Israeli Council of Higher Education (which oversees and funds
universities) called for shutting down this BGU department altogether,
due to the abysmally low quality of its work and due to its having
replaced serious scholarly research with one-sided "advocacy." The
Israeli academic Left had tried to stack the panel in favor of the
department. It attempted to include on the panel Ian Lustick, an
anti-Israel and anti-American radical leftist from the University of
Pennsylvania, who would naturally defend any leftist pseudo-academic
advocacy department. Lustick is a close crony of Norman Finkelstein
and attempted to prevent DePaul University from firing Finkelstein in
a similar manner. The Council however was on to the Left and rejected
Lustick's membership. It did allow the far leftist Prof. Galia Golan
to be included. A founder of the far-leftist "Peace Now," she
submitted a "minority position paper" defending the BGU department.
The far-leftist faculty members in the department denounce
Israel in unison, and some – including the Israeli Norman Finkelstein,
Neve Gordon - call for world boycotts of Israel. In response to the
CHE criticism of the departmental obsession with one-side advocacy,
BGU hired three new politics faculty members in order to generate
diversity and pluralism; but the three new ones are also far-leftist
Students in political science at BGU who dare to express
pro-Israel opinions tell of being penalized and harassed by the
faculty. The single non-leftist faculty member who taught in the
department was fired a few years back for incorrect thinking.
Diversity and pluralism in the department consist of people of various
ethnicities, genders, heights and weights all advocating Far Leftist
and Marxist "ideas." Diversity of thought is suppressed mercilessly,
and serious academic standards are trashed.
In recent weeks, the totalitarian Left has been circling its
wagons in solidarity with the Department of Politics at BGU.
Leftist-dominated academic associations are flooding the press and the
CHE with angry demands to defend the right of the Department of
Politics at BGU to engage in "advocacy" and leftist indoctrination.
Recruited by the members of BGU's politics department, foreign members
of the academic Left and Israeli tenured radicals, even some notorious
members of the communist party, have been leading the campaign to
defend the BGU propagandists.
The campaigners demand that the right of BGU leftists to
indoctrinate and propagandize at taxpayer expense be defended against
CHE criticism and interference. The defenders of the department
insist that "positivism," meaning actual scholarly research, is only
one legitimate strand of academic activity in political science,
meaning they really want ideological indoctrination to be the
"alternative" function of academics. A recent one-sided "conference"
devoted to advocating political advocacy as the calling for academia
was held at Ben Gurion University. Participants in the "conference"
were greeted by BGU President Rivka Carmi, who regularly insists she
is not aware of any one-sided advocacy or indoctrination activities
held at BGU. This is the same Carmi whose belief in pluralism was
manifested in her firing Prof. Yeruham Leavitt because he had dared to
express a politically incorrect opinion about children being raised by
And so the Orwellian inversions continue. Under the campaign to
defend the right of BGU radicals to indoctrinate students into
anti-Israel ideology, pluralism and diversity are achieved by
maintaining a department in which only far leftists may teach.
Academic freedom is achieved by suppressing the right to criticize
anti-Israel extremists. The highest form of scholarly research is the
promulgation of hate propaganda and anti-Zionist advocacy. Diversity
of ideas is achieved by suppressing all non-leftist thought. And the
highest form of public responsibility and accountability is when
taxpayers are coerced into paying for the inculcation of extremist
ideas, those which the taxpayers themselves reject and abhor.
2. The political extremism at the dept of politics at BGU turns out
to be even worse than we all thought.
Not only are all regular faculty members of the dept of politics
radical anti-Israel leftists, including all three of the newly hired
people. I reviewed the list of the adjuncts or non-regular (outside)
teachers in the department and, while I did not check every single one
of them, it also appears that they are all radical leftists.
And now it appears that even "affiliated faculty" from overseas in
this department are also Israel-hating leftists. The department just
announced that Joel Migdol from the University of Washington is
joining as such a foreign "affiliated faculty" member. Migdol is an
anti-Israel extremist who served for years as the sidekick for the
late communist sociologist from the Hebrew University, Baruch
Kimmerling. Together they composed a pseudo-history book about the
"History" of the Palestinian "people," which is standard reading today
on all PLO sites and in anti-Israel courses (including some at BGU).
Kimmerling himself was infamous for endorsing bombings and mass
murders against Jews by Palestinian terrorists. (Background on
Kimmerling is available on Isracampus.com )
3. I think you will enjoy this:
(Note: The Yossi Alpher who is interviewed in the clip with "Bruno"
is a notorious Israeli leftwing extremist who runs the "Bitter Lemons"
4. The Failure of the American Jewish Left
by David Brog
Middle East Quarterly
5. American Islamofascists will beholding a "Destroy Israel"
conference in Chicago,
You will be happy to hear there will be a Jewish contingent there,
including pseudo-historian and academic-fraud Ilan Pappe, Jewish
anti-Semite blogger Max Blumenthal, and of course Hezb'Allah agent
Norman Finkelstein (who was a star of its conference last year). Tel
Aviv University's pride and joy PhD candidate Omar Barghouti will also