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Administrators have also refused to speak out against anti-Israel rallies, misrepresented as academic conferences, which take place almost weekly on Israeli campuses. When Islamist cleric Sheik Ra’ed Salah spoke at the University of Haifa in June 2009, the university heads ordered that Jewish students be physically barred from entering the auditorium in which he spoke. The cleric then called upon Arab students attending the lecture to become “martyrs.” The following year the University of Haifa barred the sheik from speaking, but Tel Aviv University responded by hosting him.
Meanwhile the level of in-classroom anti-Israel indoctrination conducted in Israeli universities has been steadily growing. Crusading against Israel has become the chief scholarly credential of a growing number of tenured Israeli academics. Rigid, anti-Israel uniformity and monolithic far-left consensus are to be found in many academic departments in Israeli universities, especially in the humanities, the softer social sciences, law, and education. There are some departments in which no Zionist or non-leftist is, in effect, permitted to teach. Perhaps the most notorious example of this was the 2005 firing of the single non-leftist in the politics department at Ben-Gurion University, despite his impressive record of academic and scholarly publications.
In many university departments in Israel, academic pluralism means that anti-Israel opinion is preached and taught by a diverse set of faculty members—leftist Jews, Arabs, men, and women, all holding the same opinions—but not pluralism of ideas and ideological outlooks. All Israeli universities strive to expand the presence of Arab and female faculty members in the name of diversity, using affirmative action preferences. Yet none of them see anything wrong with the existence of entire departments in which there is not a single religiously observant faculty member or someone with writings from the Right side of the political spectrum.
The anti-Israel political activities of faculty often border on open support for treason. Dozens of tenured extremists were active in celebrating Tali Fahima, an Israeli woman arrested for collaborating with terrorists and helping plan terror attacks. Many openly identified with convicted nuclear spy and traitor Mordecai Vanunu, or with the former Arab Knesset member Azmi Bishara, wanted for espionage and now in hiding outside Israel.
In a few cases, Israeli faculty members who have defamed army officers and other public figures as war criminals have caused their targets to cancel study and travel plans outside Israel for fear of being prosecuted on the weight of these smears. Some of the most openly anti-Semitic propaganda on the planet, including much produced by Neo-Nazis as well as open calls for the annihilation of Israel, is currently being disseminated via the ALEF List, an anti-Israel chat list operating under the auspices of the University of Haifa. Many of the worst anti-Semitic pronouncements disseminated by that list appear on the “ALEF WATCH” web site, run by Isracampus. These include endorsements of terrorism, calls for Israel to be exterminated, and even Holocaust Denial.
This anti-Israel bias and the accompanying suppression of dissident, pro-Israel opinion has been the focus of several recent studies receiving wide attention in the media. These include a survey of syllabi in political science courses, collected by the Im Tirtzu student organization, and a similar report on sociology departments prepared by the Institute for Zionist Strategies. Both studies claim to detect extreme bias and one-sided indoctrination in departmental courses, including mandatory courses.
Change in the Air?
The biggest change that has occurred since the 2001 Socrates article is that the Israeli public now is aware of tenured extremism. Public figures, members of the parliament, journalists, students, alumni, donors, and other academics are speaking up courageously, criticizing anti-Israel academics, challenging the hegemony of the far Left over Israel’s four main liberal arts universities. There have been proposals in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, to require disclosure of sources of funding for radical, anti-Israel nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Israeli radical academics are active in all such groups. There have also been proposals for a law that would deny citizenship to those refusing to declare loyalty to Israel or who engage in extremist anti-Israel activities. A number of Knesset members and other political leaders in Israel have repeatedly spoken out against the political activities of radical academics, including in NGOs, among them Danny Danon, Gideon Sa’ar (the Israeli minister of education), Alex Miller, and Michael Ben-Ari. Sa’ar held special Knesset committee hearings on the seditious activities of faculty and political biases in Israeli universities.
The Knesset has considered bills directed against Israeli academics who issue calls for anti-Israel boycotts and probing human rights NGOs involved in anti-Israel propaganda activities. Other public figures, such as the mayor of the town of Omer in which many faculty members of Ben-Gurion University reside, have called for sanctions against universities that refuse to act against tenured radicals.
One sign of how far things have been transformed is the widespread willingness today to criticize Israel’s tenured foes by name in all of the Israeli mainstream media, with the daily Ma’ariv the most aggressive. The most consistent and effective critics of the anti-Israel radicals have been Ben-Dror Yemini and Kalman Liebskind, both at Ma’ariv. Watchdog web sites have arisen that monitor and document the anti-Israel activities of Israeli faculty members. The main such group is IsraCampus, operating as a sort of Israeli cousin to the Middle East Forum’s Campus Watch. Other groups and websites also follow the anti-Israel political activities of academics, including NGO Monitor headed by Gerald M. Steinberg of Bar-Ilan University.
But perhaps the most dramatic change on Israeli campus has been the emergence over the past few years of a radical, patriotic, Zionist student movement. Until three or four years ago, it was unusual to see Israeli university students take to the barricades except over the price of tuition or cafeteria food. The Arab student unions would regularly hold small anti-Israel protests and political activities, but Jewish students were rarely involved in campus political expression. Thanks to the Im Tirtzu movement, all that has changed. Largely the initiative of two eloquent and prolific Hebrew University students, Ronen Shoval and Erez Tadmor, Im Tirtzu is the dominant student ideological movement today on most Israeli campuses.
The term Im Tirtzu, means, “If you will it,” and it is part of a longer mantra originally coined by Theodore Herzl as part of his proposal for creation of a Jewish state. The Im Tirtzu student movement has emerged as the most effective and vocal force drawing public attention to the abuses stemming from campus politicization. Im Tirtu leaders have testified in the Knesset, write frequently in the media, and the movement regularly organizes counter-protests with Israeli flags and patriotic slogans in response to every anti-Israel demonstration organized by Arab and Jewish leftist students. Its members wear T-shirts to class with images of Herzl and Jabotinsky. It has called for pressure on Israeli universities, especially Ben-Gurion University, to force campus officials to act against classroom politicization, and it has threatened to file Supreme Court petitions to achieve this.
Left-wing academics increasingly complain about Im Tirtzu students cataloguing information about political bias, gleaned from course descriptions and syllabi. The group’s leaders have highlighted the fact that students from the center and right of the Israeli spectrum experience harassment from left-wing faculty. In one infamous incident, a student at Ben-Gurion University, Rachel Abraham, was threatened with penalties and a lowered grade by the anti-Zionist geography professor Oren Yiftachel if she refused to toe his ideological line. Other harassment of student Zionists is even worse. In one famous incident, leftist students at Ben-Gurion University were photographed giving Heil Hitler Nazi salutes to pro-Zionist students at a campus rally following the Turkish flotilla raid while Hebrew University students used the Nazi salute during student council electioneering.
The Israeli taxpaying public is losing patience with radical anti-Israel academics and demanding accountability from the universities regarding the use and misuse of taxpayer funds. Indeed, the awakening of public awareness in Israel (and outside it) over the past decade has been breathtaking. Internet web searches about the subject yield thousands of articles on numerous websites, both inside and outside of Israel, leading many leftist professors increasingly to complain about being “spied upon.” Other radicals are exercising greater caution and circumspection as a result. Still others complain about a sharp drop in the willingness on the part of their fellow travelers in the anti-Israel camp to engage in open incitement against Israel, or to sign their names to openly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic petitions. While difficult to prove numerically, far-leftist academics now seem to perceive and complain more about the reluctance of their colleagues to go public these days with anti-Israel statements and actions.
Still the battle rages on. Depoliticizing the Israeli campus is yet a far-off dream. But as anger grows against Israel’s tenured extremists, change is in the air.
Steven Plaut teaches at the Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Haifa.
 See, for example, Efraim Karsh, “Benny Morris and the Reign of Error, Revisited,” Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2005, pp. 31-42; idem, “Revisiting Israel’s ‘Original Sin,’” Commentary, Sept. 2003, pp. 46-50.
 Makor Rishon, June 24, 2011.
 Ilan Gur-Ze’ev, The Possibility/Impossibility of a New Critical Language in Education (Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2010).
 Avraham Oz, “Urgent warning: The Israeli government may be contemplating crimes against humanity,“ LabourNet.UK, Sept. 24, 2002.
 “PSP Supports Kobi Snitz, an Israeli Activist Beginning Short Prison Term for Anti-Occupation Activity,” International Campaign of Solidarity with the Palestinian Prisoners, Sept. 21, 2009.
 Lee Kaplan, “Rivka Carmi, President of Ben Gurion University, hails anti-Israel activity on her campus,” IsraCampus, accessed May 27, 2011.
 “President of Ben-Gurion University Collaborating with Communist Ideologue Jacob Katriel,” The Jewish Press Blog, Sept. 29, 2007.
 “Jewish supporters of Refugee Rights Including the Palestinian Right of Return,” The Middle East Crisis Committee, Woodbridge, Conn., Nov. 8, 2003.
 Shlomo Sharan, “Our Inner Scourge: The Catastrophe of Israel Academic,” The Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR, Shaarei Tikva), Sept. 2007. See also Arnon Soffer, “In the Trap of Academic Radicalism,” University of Haifa, http://web.hevra.haifa.ac.il/~ch-strategy/images/publications/academy_radical_trap.pdf
(Hebrew) , 123 pages.
 New York and London: Verso, 2010.
 Shlomo Sharan, “Our Inner Scourge: The Catastrophe of Israel Academic,” The Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR, Shaarei Tikva), Sept. 2007.
 “Mikhtav Havrei Segel Beuniversitat Tel Aviv Beinyan Neum Habela shel Alan D Dershowitz,” Kibbush Magazine, May 11, 2010.
 Ha’aretz, May 21, 2011.
 Ynet News (Tel Aviv), Mar. 31, 2010.
 Ben-Dror Yemini, “Incitement at Tel Aviv University or ‘Voices from Gaza’?“ Ma’ariv (Tel Aviv), Apr. 15, 2010.
 Gerald Steinberg, “Right of Reply: Israel’s Academic Left on the Attack,” The Jerusalem Post, May 17, 2010.
  http://www.israel-academia-monitor.com/index.php?type=large_advic&advice_id=3660&page_data%5Bid%5D=174&cookie_lang=en&the_session_id=f35938b89ed81f71d6e1729f8003b6fe&BLUEWEBSESSIONSID=8df1b40a844dffbf000da38f11f97c97
 Seth Frantzman, “Ivory Towers of Critique: The Philosophy and Political Science Departments at Tel Aviv University,” IsraCampus, Oct. 15, 2009. 15/10/2009.
 Rivka Carmi, “Universities Are in the Footnotes,” The Jerusalem Post, May, 28, 2011; Ha’aretz, Sept. 15, 2010. A SLAPP is an anti-democratic lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by forcing them to bear costs involved in a legal defense. Its use by one academic against another would be regarded as an anti-democratic harassment tactic in any democratic regime.
 Jacob Benshimon, “In-Classroom Indoctrination at the University of Michigan,” FrontPage Magazine, Apr. 29, 2008; Israel Academia Monitor, accessed June 7, 2011.
 Steven Plaut, “The Leftwing McCarthyism of Prof. Itzhak Galnoor,” IsraCampus, Oct. 13, 2009; Examples of post-Zionist domination of that list (in Hebrew) : http://www.socialscienceisrael.org/archives/136 and http://www.socialscienceisrael.org/archives/162
 Itzhak Galnoor, “Academic Freedom under Political Duress: Israel,” Social Research, Summer 2009, pp. 541-60.
 Examples of indoctrination courses can be seen here: http://law.huji.ac.il/upload/AK_bureaucracygovernmentalityhumanrights.pdf ; http://summer.ucsc.edu/classes/syllabus/reader.php?f=65c2e804c276ea12e32a129fb9213455[; Jacob Benshimon, “In-Classroom Indoctrination at the University of Michigan,” FrontPage Magazine, Apr. 29, 2008; Israel Academia Monitor, accessed June 7, 2011.
 Ha’aretz, Aug. 19, 2010. For negative responses, see The New Centrist, Feb. 7, 2010; “Israel’s Drift toward Fascism—More on Im Tirtzu,” Jews for Justice for Palestinians (London), Sept. 21, 2010; “When Zionism Is Portrayed at Fascism,” Dan Illouz website, Apr. 6, 2010.
 Benshimon, “In-Classroom Indoctrination at the University of Michigan,” FrontPage Magazine, Apr. 29, 2008.
 Here is a petition supporting Bishara signed by Israeli academics: http://oznik.com/petitions/010613.html List of its signers is here: http://oznik.com/petitions/010613_signers.html http://archive.arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=95727&d=3&m=5&y=2007 , May 3, 2007
 The Yesh Gvul and other anti-Israel groups used the materials provided to them by Israeli academics. The most notorious is Neve Gordon’s smear of Kohavi. By the way, the anti-Israel groups in the UK that were behind the attempts at prosecution are also led by “Israeli academics,” including Machover. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/27/olmert-could-face-warcrimes-arrest and http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/134138 The material on Gordon and Kohavi is all by me.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3221339,00.html Feb 27, 2006 and http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3140750,00.html Sept 11, 2005
 Alana Goodman, “Is Israel’s Controversial NGO Law Simply a Foreign Agent Registration Act,” Jan. 6, 2011.
 The Guardian (London), Jan. 5, 2011; Joseph Dana, “Will It Soon Be Illegal for Israelis to Support BDS?” +972 website, Feb. 15, 2011.
 Martin Sherman, “Channel 10 :Hamakor” on Im Tirtzu’s Efforts in Combating Post/anti-Zionist Perspectives in Israeli Academe,” Israel Academia Monitor, Feb. 9, 2011.
 Lincoln Z. Shlensky, “Neve Gordon: Assault on Academic Freedom,” Jewish Peace News, Sept. 1, 2010; Neve Gordon, “Struggling over the Right to Struggle—An Assault on Israeli Academic Freedom and Liberal Values,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 26, 2010, and Occupation Magazine, Aug. 30, 2010.
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