Israeli Prof. Denied Honorary Degree for Being too ‘Right-Wing’

robDimitry Shumsky is a young anti-Israel far Leftist whose diatribes litter the far Leftist fringe media in Israel, especially the leftist daily Haaretz.  Since 2009, according to his own published resume, he has held a tenure-track appointment at the Department of the History of the Jewish People at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Shumsky in Haaretz on January 20, 2014 joins the cat fight of the far Left in Israel over the decision by the University of Haifa to veto an honorary PhD to Prof. Robert Aumann.

The Nobel-Prize winning economist Aumann was denied an honorary PhD by the University of Haifa on grounds that he holds conservative political opinions.  It was a great victory for the campaign of the Far Left in Israel against freedom of thought and freedom of speech.  Prof. Ariel Rubinstein, a distinguished economist in Israel, denounced the decision and denounced speakers at a conference at Tel Aviv University who defended the operation of a thought police in the Aumann affair.

Rubinstein is himself quite far off to the Left.  However his Op-Ed in Haaretz a couple of weeks back criticizing those who insist on a political thought police in Israeli academia triggered indignation in the caverns of the Ultra-Left.  Among those chiming in was Tel Aviv University Professor Rivka Feldhay.  You may recall Feldhay as the Tel Aviv University leftist that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted  NOT be invited to participate in a state reception in Germany.  The reason is that Feldhay had signed petitions demanding that Israeli soldiers engage in mutiny and insurrection to force the government to accept diktats from the Left about the “occupation.” After decades of the Left insisting that everyone should have the “right” to boycott anyone, including settlements, Israeli universities, and all of Israel, the same Left suddenly was aghast that Netanyahu had decided to “boycott” Feldhay.  (Actually he did not boycott her, he just chose not to invite her.)  Feldhay responded with shrill hysteria in a number of Op-Ed articles.

Well the same Feldhay led the purge against poor Prof. Rubinstein for his incorrect thinking.  She pronounced him a “radical right-winger” — this entirely on the grounds that he teaches economics and so understands why communism does not work.   She was followed by other leftist sheep bleating their agreement with her.

Finally Shumsky chimes in his own two cents in Haaretz.  His is an intriguing argument.  According to Shumsky (no relation to Chomsky), people like Ariel Rubinstein are part of the mechanism of “occupation oppression” when they criticize the “occupation.”   Really!   He writes there: “One of the most efficient ways to perpetuate the occupation and in so doing endanger the existence of Israel and Zionism altogether is to convert internal Israeli opposition to the occupation into an integral part of the occupation itself.” Huh?

His evidence is that Rubinstein opposes the operation of Ariel University in the West Bank but also supports the freedom of speech for Prof. Aumann.   As you can see, Shumsky’s contorted argument is reminiscent of the “pinkwashing” charges against Israel, which hold that tolerance towards homosexuals in Israel is all part of a Zionist conspiracy to oppress “Palestinians.” The logic of Shumsky’s piece exceeds anything since that notorious MA thesis at the Hebrew University supervised by Eyal Ben-Ari (yes, the convicted sexual predator professor), which found that the fact that Israeli troops never rape Arab women is proof that the Jews are so racist. Shumsky, by the way, has a long track record of supporting the bi-national Rwanda-style “one state solution,” in which Israel will cease to exist altogether. His presence on the faculty of the Hebrew University is quite instructive about the academic standards in effect there.

In a related matter, you may recall the heroic struggle of Yisrael Shiran.  He was a high school teacher in Israel fired by Labor Party Minister of Education Yuli Tamir from his teaching job because he wrote a letter requesting that the political ideas of Yitzhak Rabin not be taught as unchallenged dogma in the schools.  Rabin’s ideas are controversial, especially regarding Oslo, and opposition to those ideas was just as legitimate as endorsement of them.  Tamir would hear nothing of that.  In her bolshevik response, she had Shiran fired.  McCarthyist censorship by the Left at its best!  Shriran later sued the Ministry of Education for his being fired and was awarded 400,000 NIS in damages.

I mention this because it sheds light on the newest cause célèbre of the Far Left in Israel.  Led by Haaretz, the Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew, which has devoted much of its pages to the story in recent days, the Far Left is suddenly all upset about the “suppression of the free speech rights” of a high school teacher in Tivon, near Haifa.  It seems that Adam Verete made a habit of using his bully pulpit in his classroom at the high school to attempt to indoctrinate his students into his far-leftist anti-Israel ideology.  A female student in his class filed a formal complaint, his case is under investigation by the authorities, and there are rumors of threats that he be fired.

Haaretz and its satellites have been having a field day. “Suppression!” they scream.  “Fascism!” Hmmm.

Let us first note that any threats or investigations regarding Verete are because he was misusing the classroom to indoctrinate and preach ideology, not because he was preaching LEFTIST ideology.  He would have been just as out of line if he were misusing his position in the classroom to preach any other ideology.  Educators are not supposed to use the classroom for ideological indoctrination.  The difference of course is that, if he had been fired for preaching, say, Kahanist ideology, Haaretz would be the first on the block to cheer and congratulate the authorities for the firing.

Haaretz only has a problem when far-leftists are prevented from converting their classrooms into indoctrination camps. When Ram Cohen, a high school principle in Tel Aviv, was practicing on-the-job indoctrination in communism and endorsement of the communist party, Haaretz defended him. When the Council on Higher Education attempted to shut down the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University on grounds that it was a totalitarian substandard center for anti-Israel propaganda and indoctrination, Haaretz was out front defending the department.  So was Rivka Feldhay.  Not a single tenured leftist in Israel has spoken out against SLAPP suit harassments by leftists in Israel to suppress the freedom of speech of critics of leftists.

But guess which educator Haaretz and the leftist herd never uttered a single word to defend.  You are correct; the answer is Yisrael Shiran.  Not only Haaretz maintained a studied silence.  When I posted a challenge on the “Israel Social Science” chat list of academics, calling on Israeli law professors to speak out in defense of Shiran and to condemn his firing, not a single one did.  The position by the Radical Left supporting the decision by Haifa University to make Prof. Aumann a political pariah is no less instructive.

The radical Left in Israel, including the tenured fifth column, continues to promote the idea that freedom of speech should be restricted to those who agree with the radical Left. And them alone.

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  • Alleged Comment

    Why is the left so filled with hate and intolerance? Who wants that kind of philosophy to wear like a badge?

    • Paul Austin Murphy

      Leftism, or at least Marxism, is a religion. Hence the zealotry and fundamentalism. And because Marxism/Leftism is largely based on myths, facts and argumentation simply don’t matter. What matters is that these revolutionary myths or memes inspire to revolution (at least in theory), violence or, in the cases of the article above, to intolerance and hypocrisy.

      • lapin.grove

        USSR was a great commie failure. Really sad so many had to die in its prime and in its wake.

        • Bklyn Farmer

          According to Stéphane Courtois, editor of The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (written by several European academics), he claims that a death toll totals 94 million resulting from communism world wide.

          The breakdown of the number of deaths given is as follows:

          65 million in the People’s Republic of China
          20 million in the Soviet Union
          2 million in Cambodia
          2 million in North Korea
          1.7 million in Africa
          1.5 million in Afghanistan
          1 million in the Communist states of Eastern Europe
          1 million in Vietnam
          150,000 in Latin America (mainly Cuba)
          10,000 deaths “resulting from actions of the international Communist movement

  • Insecticide

    Adam Verete by the way is a card carrying member of the communist party.

  • Insecticide

    Adam Verete is a member of the communist party in Israel and endorsed that party in his classroom.. Haaretz this morning has a new spin. ֲ It claims that the director of the ORT school system in Israel, which operates the school in
    question, used to be a member of Naftali Bennett’s party, the Jewish Home. ֲ In the “mind” of Haaretz editors, this proves that Verete was the “victim” of a
    school director who once belonged to a party disliked by Haaretz editor.

    Why shouldn’t teachers be permitted to raise ethical questions in the classroom and challenge accepted opinions, asks Haaretz today. ֲYou can see the editorial at
    ֲ There is only one itsy bitsy problem with the Haaretz demand that diversity of opinion and challenges to accepted ideas be promoted by having communist teachers indoctrinate students in their classrooms in Israel. The one place where NO diversity of opinion is ever permitted, and where NO challenges to the correct thinking of the Far Left may be tolerated, is in Haaretz.

  • Hank Rearden

    “McCarthyist censorship?” A little Stockholm Syndrome creeping in there. McCarthy never called for censorship. He was trying to find out if there were communists or communist sympathizers in the federal government.

    • trapper

      And, of course, there were, many of them.

      • mcbee555

        And, of course there still are. One of them became President.

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    On a recent trip to Israel, at a bagel store in Jerusalem, I had an encounter with a group of badly behaved Israeli high school students. When they finally removed themselves from the table I was eating at, I asked one of them what he was studying. He said, “History,” and during the course of the conversation, referred to Haj-Amin Husseini as a “freedom fighter.” I corrected him, but one can only imagine what side of the fence his teacher was on. Deport Rivka Feldhay!

    • defcon 4

      Haj-Amin Husseini, that’s not the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is it?

      • Bklyn Farmer

        Yes he is.

  • Paul Austin Murphy

    All this Leftist hypocrisy about free speech parallels the equally hypocritical position the Left has taken on Edward Snowden and on “state surveillance”.

    In the UK, the Guardian published information about how British security agencies monitor communications.The Guardian has of course said that the information it published is for the public good. It has also claimed that it is fighting against the ‘surveillance society’ and the British government’s abuse of power. That is mainly hyperbolic rubbish. The Guardian, or at least most of its journalists, actually believe in state surveillance if the right people are being surveyed; just as it believes in censorship if the right people are being censored. (It also believes in banning parties, movements and demonstrations if the right parties, movements and demos are banned.) In this instance, the wrong people being monitored by the UK’s security services were Muslims and, perhaps, a handful of leftist activists.

    So this isn’t an argument for or against the state’s secret monitoring:The Guardian itself is not against such a thing. Given the right kind of government (a socialist/ progressive one), and the right kind of people to be monitored (the ‘far Right’, ‘Islamophobes’, people who commit ‘hate crimes’, the EDL, BNP, etc.), then The Guardian simply wouldn’t have a problem. It’s the fact that it is the wrong kind of government (a supposedly right-wing one) monitoring the wrong kinds of people (Muslims and leftists) which makes The
    Guardian fake its outrage.

  • Softly Bob

    What exactly is the point of a honorary degree anyway? No loss really.

    • Raymond_in_DC

      The point is to raise the standing of the awarding university. Sort of like getting a celebrity to show up at your party. It’s no skin off Aumann’s nose, who’s more than welcome at any top-flight university. For his part, he’s mockingly dismissed the rejection, as if his life’s ambition was to get an honor from Haifa U. (Rolls eyes.)

      Apropos, Haifa U, one of Israel’s youngest universities, has no Nobel winners among its faculty. Technion, on the other side of town, has three. Hebrew U has two or three, including Aumann.

  • Demetrius Minneapolis

    I’m beginning to have the feeling that the only way we escape this mess is by Devine intervention.

  • Nemesis

    “Haaretz, the Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew”

  • Andy_Lewis

    Shumsky (no relation to Chomsky)

    Sure they’re related – not by blood but by sheer chumpitude.

  • Smoking Hamster

    Leftists make my brain hurt…

  • Geoffrey Britain

    Anyone surprised at the hypocrisy of the left is evidently unfamiliar with the ‘dialectic’ (method of resolving disagreement) of the left; “When I am the weaker, I ask you for mercy because that is your principle; but when I am the stronger, I show no mercy, because that is my principle.” Louis Veuillot


      The Red/Green Axis of Evil both apply that method against their many enemies..

  • Rivkah F.

    As always, with the hardcore Left everywhere, it is freedom for thee, not for me. In Israel, it is suicidal because espousing the other side means wanting one’s own demise. Go figure.

    • Rivkah F.

      Excuse me, freedom for me, not for thee.

  • Paul Marks

    A good article – accept that the Senator Joe McCarthy did NOT support censorship (the idea that he was behind the attacks on Hollywood is a myth), McCarthy was concerned with pro Marxist people in the American government and American taxpayer’s money being used on pro Marxist propaganda (a rather odd thing to spend taxpayer money on during the Cold War with Marxism). Turning a complex historical figure (best described by in M. Stanton Evans’s “Blacklisted By History”) into some sort of monster – has been a big victory for the left (ironic – considering they want to do what they, falsely, accuse McCarthy of doing).

    • defcon 4

      The McCarthy hearings did ruin a lot of careers, which, when you think about it, is a lot less than what Stalin or Mao did.

  • defcon 4

    This is sickening. Free speech for me, not for thee. Of course if the islam0nazis take over, all their academic, petty, intellectual, political positioning problems will be moot.