Friday, May 22, 2015

Tel Aviv University's Leftist Sexual Predator gets a Wrist Slap

Tel Aviv University's Leftist Sexual Predator gets a Wrist Slap

By Steven Plaut



Meet Ronen Shamir, a far-leftist sociology professor from Tel Aviv University.  ( ).   Strongly anti-capitalist and fond of denouncing Zionist "colonialism."    One of the tenured Ultra-Left who demanded that Israeli soldiers engage in mutiny and insurrection and refuse to serve ( ), and signer of other anti-Israel petitions.  He is 58 years old, and has often served as chairman of the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University, the same department that features Stalinist stars like Yehouda Shenhav.  He likes to publish in "Critical Sociology," where the word "Critical" is code for Marxist.


And Ronen Shamir has just become the latest tenured Leftist to be convicted of sexual misconduct with respect to his own students.  As in so many other cases, the Israeli university circled its wagons and attempted to protect him from prosecution.   Shamir just got off with a resounding wrist-slapping reprimand.


In recent years Israel has seen a whole spat of far-leftist professors, many of them sociologists, who got caught with their pants down while harassing their female students.  The most notorious was no doubt Eyal Ben Ari, a far-leftist sociologist at Hebrew University, who was accused of raping a student.  Ben Ari was eventually fired.  Before that he had been the thesis supervisor for that now-notorious MA thesis in which it was claimed that the fact that Israeli soldiers do not rape Arab women proves how racist the Jews are.  As I say, the thesis supervisor was later himself involved in raping and harassing a student.   Maybe he just did not want to be considered to be a racist.


Anyhow, now along comes Comrade Ronen Shamir and he gets indicted before a Tel Aviv University ethics committee for sexually harassing one of his own students, an Arab woman.  I guess he REALLY wanted to prove he was not racist.  Curiously, Haaretz broke the story (there had been rumors of a major sexual scandal at TAU for a few months but Shamir's name was not released until the Haaretz scoop - here ).  Haaretz decided to let its radical feminizt inclinations trump its otherwise love of circling the wagons to defend radical anti-Israel leftist faculty members.


The ethics code at TAU prohibits faculty members from dating or having relations with their own students (although this is relaxed after the student is no longer the professor's student).  Comrade Shamir had pursued an Arab woman student, his own student, whose name has not been released.  He eventually persuaded her to move in together.  All the other sociology department tenured leftists knew about the affair and kept quiet.  After a year, Shamir tired of his trophy Arab and left her.  The student complained about the prof to various other people, and word reached the TAU official for sexual harassment.   To retaliate, Shamir kept sending the student bizarre "anonymous" email messages that were signed by the name of a character from a Salman Rushdie novel (seems that Shamir is a Rushdie aficionado). 


The official for sexual harassment investigated the matter, eventually bringing it to the attention of the faculty ethics committee, composed of three law school profs.  (TAU's law school is probably the most leftist law school in Israel.)   Shamir was accused of harassing the student sexually and of behavior unbecoming a faculty member.  The ethics committee investigated the matter for four years (!!!).  Shamir evidently pressured the hapless student to come in and testify in his favor!   At one point he broke into her cell phone to extract personal private information.  The ethics committee found that Shamir had engaged in verbal and physical violence against the student.   The ethics committee did not convict Shamir of sexual harassment but it did convict him on several charges of conduct unbecoming a faculty member.  In the end it gave the professor a reprimand, and it did so in secret, refusing to publicize the verdict.  It became known only when Haaretz broke the story.


The ethics committee also ruled that Shamir cannot be department chairman in sociology for a few years, a ruling with which Shamir probably was delighted, since serving as department chair in a university department is a thankless royal pain in the butt.   The ethics committee basically put the Arab student on trial, accusing her of accusing Shamir out of a sense of hurt feelings and desire for revenge.  The University administration had demanded that Shamir be ordered to retire, but the committee refused to go along with that.  After all, when it comes to far-leftist Marxist sociologists, boys will be boys!  Where were all the radical feminist faculty members at Tel Aviv University?  I guess they were busy planning Nakba mourning commemorations. 


The tenured Left ordinarily is militantly feminist, demanding that women always be believed when they make charges against men, and even more so it is compulsively pro-Arab.   But when an Arab student makes charges against a tenured far-Leftist, all the campus Left is willing to do is to allow the perp to receive a resounding wrist tap.  



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