Thursday, January 30, 2014
Suing Yuli Tamir for Defamation
Yael "Tuli" Tamir may not be the very worst leftwing fascist in all of Israel but she is certainly among the wackiest leftists around. She is a professor in the school of education at Tel Aviv University (where she teaches "political philosophy"), at least when she is not holding cabinet posts in the government. She is a longtime Labor Party leader and agitator and has held several cabinet posts in various governments, including Minister of Education. Some of you may remember me mocking her for her defense of "female circumcision," which means what you think it means. You can see her defense of "clitoridectomies" here: http://new.bostonreview.net/BR21.3/Tamir.html . That article pretty much turned Tel Aviv University into a global laughingstock. When Tamir was Minister of Education she initiated the adoption of textbooks for Arab schools in which Israel's existence was described as a Nakba or catastrophe.
Aside from mutilation of females, perhaps the thing old Yuli is best known for is her political persecution of Israel Shiran. He is a rabbi and was a teacher. He wrote a letter to the Ministry of Education in 2000 - outside the classroom and not involving his students - objecting to how the "Rabin Legacy" was being taught in schools. While expressing in the same letter deep shock and horror at the murder of Rabin, Shiran wrote that Rabin's ideas, especially about Oslo, were matters of controversy and so should not be represented as consensus dogma.
Yuli at the time was in the Israeli cabinet (she was not Minister of Education at that time, in contrast with what I earlier posted - apologies for error; she later was Minister of Education). She led the campaign of persecution against Shiran and the demand that he be fired for his "incitement." As you know, in post-democratic Israel the word "incitement" is used by the Left to describe any sentence with which the Left disagrees.
Rabbi Shiran was indeed fired. He filed suit against the government and this past year won a very large damages award (400,000 NIS, although some web sites are saying it was 450,000 NIS). The judge in that case proclaimed that there was nothing at all wrong with the letter that Shiran had written
All this is by way of background to help understand the newest developments regarding the Adam Verete case. As you recall, Adam Verete is a communist party member and a teacher of civics at a high school in Tivon. In his class he would denounce Israeli soldiers as criminals and tell his students they should refuse to serve in the IDF. He is now being threatened with dismissal for imposing his ideology on his students in the classroom.
At the same time he is suddenly the darling of the Fascist Left. Haaretz all week has been amusing to read. While devoting five or six items a day to defending Verete, the rest of the paper is devoted to explaining why the Rabbi of Safed should not be entitled to exercise freedom of speech because he once called for Safed Jews not to lease apartments to Arabs. And in other articles the Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew continues to defend the investigation and persecution of rabbis who wrote a book that contains opinions Haaretz regards as "racist." So Haaretz splits its time between advocating book burning and advocating free speech absolutism for communist teachers.
Among those chiming in their support for the right of Verete to convert his classroom into a communist indoctrination camp has been none other than Yuli Tamir! She crayoned an article in support of Verete in Haaretz this week. (http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.571066 )
One would be hard pressed to find a clearer illustration of uber-leftist hypocrisy. The same "professor" who initiated the campaign to get Shiran fired for expressing an opinion OUTSIDE of the classroom is also leading the campaign to defend the right of a communist to indoctrinate his students IN the classroom. All in the name of academic freedom.
Yuli was called to task for all this in a radio show this week, where she was interviewed by Yoaz Handel, a right of center journalist. Sister Yuli tried to explain the difference in her behavior in the two cases. In the case of Shiran, she explained, Shiran was clearly involved in "borderline incitement" when he wrote his letter to the Ministry of Government, the exact same sort of incitement that caused Yigal Amir to murder Yitzhak Rabin. (Yes, leftist theology in Israel continues to claim that freedom of speech being exercised by non-leftists produced the Rabin murder!)
In Yuli's words, Shiran crossed the delicate line between expressing an opinion and engaging in incitement that carries a clear and present danger of violence. Yuli: "When there is a clear and present danger of violence, the right of freedom of speech must be halted." She also accused Shiran of being a follower of Meir Kahane. He is not. I suspect however that Yuli is a follower of Stalin.
Shiran responded by having his lawyer send Yuli Tamir a letter threatening to file against her an immediate defamation suit. Given his successful track record in court, I certainly hope Rabbi Shiran will follow through with it. The story in Hebrew is here