Monday, January 21, 2008

Israeli Universities Teach anti-Israel, anti-Torah Curriculum


This is an attitude that is not found only in Israel. I am, as you know, a professor (right now, a professor of changing diapers, but a professor nonetheless!). I worked for eight years as a tenured professor, and I can tell you that if you are a patriotic and religious person, you don’t have a chance. You have to hide what you believe from your students, your fellow professors, and especially from the administration.

I have a specialty in 20th Century American Literature. Most of the jobs advertised in my specialty contain the words “Post-Colonial Literature specialty a must!” This is a code-phrase, used in literature, which actually translates to: “You must live, love, and disperse the words of Edward Said in every class!” Said, The literary siren of all things anti-Jewish, anti-Western, and anti-capitalist is the poster child of the literati left. In order to make sure that they keep their legions of leftists pure, they sneak his theory, if not his name, into every job description they can think of. This is literature—I’m sure there are similar names/theories used in other professions (especially in the humanities) which do a similar service.

For example, I have a friend in linguistics who can’t get a job unless she kisses the theoretical positions of the self-hating, Israel despising, religion rejecting Jew, Chomsky, at every interview. A colleague in history has to squelch his love of Milton Freedman(even though he wrote his Master’s thesis on him), and can't be caught praising the founders of America unless he "balances" their histories with a criticism of everything they may have done wrong in their 18th-century lives (based on 21st century sensitivities, of course!)

The academic establishment makes leftist, socialist, anti-Western, anti-religious critics and writers the Cannon of the college. Hiring, syllabi, thesis and dissertations, and conferences are all dedicated to the "truths" that these academics will make self-evident by educating a new generation of underclassmen and graduate students to their way of thinking, and refusing to approve of the dissertations of doctoral candidates that don't toe the party line.

So, here is a cry from the right—let the “equal opportunity” police start looking beyond whether someone touched someone else’s something, and start examining how job announcements are written in order to specifically exclude entire viewpoints and religious belief systems. Start examining how syllabi and college catalogues are skewed to encourage only one type of academic discourse, and start exposing how the universities’ ideals of a "place to share ideas" is a patent lie.

Israel a 'Nazi apartheid regime'? Bible 'full of myths'?
Watchdog monitors 'anti-Jewish trends' of Jerusalem universities

Posted: January 21, 2008
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2008

JERUSALEM – Israeli college professors who label their country a Nazi apartheid regime, teach that the Bible is full of myths, urge the downfall of the Jewish state, and speak at conventions calling for the boycott of Israel?

Universities in Jerusalem that give awards to academic papers complaining Jewish soldiers don't rape enough Arab women and encourage students to protest the antiterror policies of the Israeli military?

These trends are rampant across college campuses here, according to one website – Israel Academia Monitor – which has been documenting what it calls the anti-Israel, at times anti-Semitic behavior of the senior staff at major Israeli universities.

Some 20 to 25 percent of the humanities and social sciences staff in Israel's universities and colleges have "expressed extreme anti-Zionist positions," according to Israel Academia Monitor.

"In addition [the university staff] have engaged in public demonstrations, prepared and signed petitions addressed to Israeli soldiers to disobey their commanders' orders and not serve in Judea and Samaria, and have been active in encouraging academic organizations abroad to boycott Israel Universities and academics," states a new Monitor position paper made available online.

In one of hundreds of recent documented examples, Israel Academia Monitor's website lists Dan Bar-On, a psychology professor at Israel's Ben Gurion University, who penned an article in a Palestinian journal this past April arguing alleged Israeli "aggression" against Palestinians is morally equivalent to the Holocaust.

"Some of the aggression that the Jews did not exercise against the Germans, they are expressing against Palestinians," stated Bar-On.

According to Israel Academia Monitor, Bar-On has promoted textbooks in which terrorists are described as freedom fighters, and he signed a statement – later proved false – claiming Israel was about to perpetrate genocidal atrocities against Arabs just as Allied Forces invaded Iraq in 2003.

Also at Ben Gurion University, the Monitor documents geographer Oren Yiftachel who wrote a book last year, "Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine," in which he argued that there is no place in the Middle East for a Jewish nation.

According to Israel Academia Monitor, other professors at Ben Gurion University denounced Israel as an "apartheid" regime and claimed anarchists arrested during protests here are victims of "Israeli state terror."

Controversial views are not limited to the Ben Gurion's teaching staff. In an interview last year with Academia Magazine, Ben Gurion University President Rivka Carmi referred to the West Bank as "occupied" territory – the United Nations considers it disputed – said she opposes granting university status to a major Jewish West Bank institution seeking to become an Israeli university, and admitted she recently attended protests against West Bank Jewish settlers accused of uprooting Palestinian olive trees. Many Israeli media reports claiming Jews uproot Arab trees are later proved to be unfounded.

Moving on to a host of other major colleges, Israel Academia Monitor documents how Hebrew University sponsored a recent two-day seminar that according to its own published minutes discussed, among other things, dealing with the Israeli "occupation" of Jerusalem, and suggested students lead tours of Jerusalem that inform visitors of what Arabs call the Nakba, or the "tragedy" of Israel's founding.

According to Palestinian account, the Nakba commemorates a period in which hundreds of thousands of Arabs were purportedly displaced from their homes by Jews. Many positions of the Palestinian narrative have been disputed by scores of history books and documentary evidence.

This past November, Tamar Yarom, a professor at Hebrew University's college of arts, produced a documentary, "Would I smile?" accusing Israeli soldiers of "atrocities" against Palestinians in the West Bank.

"I have served in the West Bank during the first Intifada in 1987-1988, and when I finished my service I wondered 'how would a woman like me take part in suppressing and oppressing another nation, how can a gentle woman remain silent regarding this cruel violence against the Palestinian people?" commented Yarom during an interview about her recent film.

Also at Hebrew University, an academic paper that won a teachers' committee prize last month lamented the lack of rape of Arab women by Israel Defense Forces soldiers, theorizing Jewish soldiers do not rape Arab women because they dehumanized Arabs. The paper cited higher statistics of rape in other Western militaries. Critics stated the paper failed to explore whether Jewish culture and values could have contributed the lower rape statistics among the IDF.

Defending the paper, Hebrew University professor Dr. Zali Gurevitch, who headed the committee that published the work, stated in an interview with Israel National News, "This was a very serious paper that asked two important questions: Is the relative lack of IDF rapes a noteworthy phenomenon, and if so, why is it that there are so few IDF rapes when in similar situations around the world, rape is much more common?"

Documenting cases of Israeli academics making public their activism, Israel Academia Watch recently posted a first-person account by Dr. Roni Hammermann, a senior Hebrew University librarian describing how she attempted to infiltrate an Arab home being searched by what she labeled "bored, power-thirsty [Israeli] soldiers."

Hammermann is a member of Machshom Watch, or Israeli Women Against the Israeli Occupation of the Territories and the Systematic Repression of the Palestinian Nation. The group is an extreme leftist activist organization that has previously served as human shields for suspected Palestinian militants and regularly protests Israeli antiterror checkpoints in the West Bank, many of which have been directly credited with stopping scores of suicide bombings.

Israel Academia Monitor goes on to document purported anti-Israel views, teachings and activism by dozens of professors at other Israeli colleges, such as the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University.

The issue of how far Israeli academic institutions can go before they cross the line from education to activism has been a hot button here for many in the religious community, particularly since the appointment in 2006 of politician and activist Yuli Tamir to education minister.

Tamir is a minister in Israel's leftist Labor party and is a founder of the radical leftist Peace Now movement, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the entire West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, and the strategic Golan Heights, which looks down on Israeli population centers and which was used twice by Syria to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state.

Tamir drew fury from religious circles this past summer when she approved a textbook for Israeli Arab school kids teaching the Palestinian "Nakba" perspective of Israel's founding in 1948, which sees Israel's war of Independence in which the Jewish state fended off five attacking Arab armies as an act of Jewish aggression.

Last December, Tamir also ordered all maps of Israel in school textbooks to demark what is known as the 1949 armistice lines, or a map of Israel minus eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick noted Tamir recently decided to cut by 50 percent the number of Orthodox females employed through National Service institutions as Jewish and Zionist studies teachers in elementary schools. The National Service allows females to fulfill military duties through teaching and social services.

Officials from Tamir's education ministry, speaking to Israel's Yediot Aharonot newspaper, called the Orthodox female teachers "too right-wing."

Noted Glick sarcastically: "[The Orthodox teachers] must be removed from classrooms lest they infect schoolchildren with their commitment to the state and to Jewish heritage."

Tamir also recently announced cutbacks to Zionist and Jewish education studies, but she expressed support for a program that would make Islamic religion and culture a required, state-funded subject for Israeli Arabs.

Theorizing in its recent policy paper as to the motivation of Israeli academics, Israel Academia Monitor notes some Israeli academics might subscribe to a globalist ideology.

"Not a few of the anti-Zionist academics were life time communists and adhere to a Marxist ideology that opposes separate nationalism beyond the international brotherhood of the proletariat. To dismantle Israel is a first step in this direction, despite the fact that other nations oddly enough refuse to follow suit," states the paper.

"These people are among those who teach our youth in the universities and who exert enormous influence on their ideas, attitudes, values and strivings," the paper states.

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