Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ben Guiron University's Zippergate

Ben Gurion University's Zippergate

Posted By Steven Plaut On June 14, 2013


While most of Israeli academia is the occupied territories of the radical tenured Left, no other institution besides Ben Gurion University has essentially made leftist anti-Israel agitprop its raison d'etre.  At Ben Gurion University the notorious Department of Politics continues to operate as the worst anti-Israel indoctrination center in the country.  It is a department in which no pro-Israel or non-leftist opinion may be expressed.  It routinely holds one-sided "academic conferences" in which only Marxist or leftist anti-Israel opinion may be voiced.   After its misbehavior and atrociously low academic standards became the focus of a report by a special international panel of experts appointed by Israel's Council on Higher Education, Ben Gurion University carried out "reforms" in the department consisting of hiring even more anti-Israel leftists to teach there.

At Ben Gurion University animosity to Israel is a sufficient condition for a faculty member to be hired, and in some departments it is also a necessary condition.  Pluralism and diversity at Ben Gurion University consist of having men and women, Arabs and Jews, Ashkenazim and Mizrachim and others all indoctrinate students in leftist ideology. In other words, pluralism of thought is widely suppressed on the campus.  Academic standards are often trashed there when anti-Israel faculty are hired, and churning out Bash-Israel hate propaganda "counts" at BGU as scholastic achievement and academic excellence.

All of this is largely the doing of Ben Gurion University's current leftist president, Rivka Carmi, although previous presidents of BGU were just as bad.  (Carmi's predecessor was Avishai Braverman, a Labor Party politician and the only "economist" in Israel who does not know that the minimum wage causes unemployment.  Before him was Shlomo Gazit, another leftist activist, who favors international arming of the Hezb'Allah terrorists.)

While leftist anti-Zionism is the dominant campus theme at Ben Gurion University, not every member of the faculty toes the Carmi line.  There are some faculty members, particularly in the sciences and engineering, who dare to oppose the agitprop and criticize Carmi's role in it.

One such fearless soul is Professor Israel David, who teaches Industrial Engineering at BGU.  He is a longtime critic of Carmi and of the politicization and radical indoctrination that has dominated the BGU campus under her reign of error.  In fact two years ago he issued a public call for Carmi's resignation and called upon the Minister of Education to appoint a receiver to manage the affairs of the failed university much like courts appoint receivers for bankrupt corporations.  With all the casual chitchat about the importance of criticism and pluralism in academic life, Carmi decidedly does not like those who criticize her.  And her dislike of Prof. David appears to be what was behind the newest outrage at Ben Gurion University.

The ignominy in question should be dubbed Zippergate.

Professor David one day received an email message out of the blue from one of President Rivka Carmi's underlings, saying that he was under investigation for "sexual harassment."  He is a 58-year-old man who has spent his entire professional life teaching, lecturing, researching, and supervising students at all levels.  His first reaction to the e-note was to presume that it was an April Fool's or Purim prank, but the dates did not fit.  He then tried to jog his memory to see if there might be some disgruntled female student he had flunked who might have a personal grudge against him, one that could motivate such a fabrication. But none came to mind.

Israeli universities claim to take sexual harassment seriously, at least when non-leftist faculty are involved.  Leftist faculty are another matter.  It took years for the Hebrew University to take disciplinary action against the far-leftist professor of sociology Eyal Ben Ari after evidence was presented that he had been raping his own students.  Ben Ari was also the supervisor of the notorious "MA thesis" claiming to prove that Israeli soldiers do not rape Arab women because Jews are such racists.

Professor David asked to be told who had filed the "complaint" against him and what the basis for the complaint was.  After giving him the runaround, he eventually discovered what was going on.

The plaintiff was not a student at all but a middle-aged divorced female departmental engineer in his school.  She is Dorit Cikurel-Vazana and you can see her face here.   Her Facebook page says she loves the music of Yanni.  And the basis of her complaint to the authorities was that the good professor had entered her office after he had used the gent's and, Oh the Humanity, he had forgotten to zip up.  In Hebrew slang this is referred to as a case where "the store is left open."  It was decidedly NOT one of those incidents featured in those old episodes of "Friends" where "the mouse gets out of the house."   There was simply a ranch gate left open south of the Rio Grande, and even then no stallion escaped the hacienda.   There was no defenestration.  It was a case of a breach in the castle defenses.  One might even say a breach in the britches.   A nexus agape.  A forgotten zip code.

Now I am also a professor and I happen to believe that absentmindedness pretty much goes with our professional territory.  Prof. David deals with complex mathematics and, when anyone does so, one may overlook the need for a positive first derivative with regard to trouser ligature.  I have a great deal of sympathy for the difficulty in which Prof. David found himself.  I myself tend to forget to "shut the store" at least once a week, especially in summer when no cool breezes invade to serve as a jog to my aging … er … memory. In addition, both Prof. David and I carry enough belly bulge to deny ourselves direct visual contact with any offending misfastening south of the border.

BGU's Prez Carmi ordered a commission of investigation more than a year after the "incident" took place.  Prof. David insisted it was part of Carmi's campaign of harassment against faculty members who dare to criticize her.  Carmi's team submitted its final report on the zipper atrocity on May 2, 2013, signed by Carmi herself.  The report affirmed that the professor had exited the privy after overlooking the unsecured fissure.  The report also concluded that there was no actual evidence that this was done as a form of sexual advance, but at the same time it skewered Prof. David for his unprofessional and unbecoming behavior regarding the garment covering his skewer.  Carmi's statement in the report included a personal admonishment to Prof. David henceforth "to make sure he zips himself up."  She also demanded that the professor send a formal letter of apology "for his misbehavior" to the Yanni fan who was offended by his zipper. It is not clear if he can still unzip data files on his campus computer from the Internet.  Can you imagine how his hapless victim would have reacted to seeing Bill Clinton "unzipping my doodah, unzipping all way, my oh my what a wonderful day"?  I mean, she might have zipped out to get herself a zip gun.

So the leftist Ben Gurion University president who refuses to take action against her own far-leftist faculty members when they issue calls for murder or when they align themselves with neo-nazis and call for Israel to be annihilated or when they cheer on terrorist atrocities against Jews has suddenly discovered her inner Amazon. She has launched a merciless campaign against zippers.  She has decided to terminate zippers with extreme prejudice.  She wants to go down in the history books as the renowned BGU crusading warrior of Zippergate in Zion.

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