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Translation of "The Post-Zionist Bias on Israeli Campuses"
by Ran Farhi (5/11/2006)
 
 
 
The 'Israel Academic Monitor' website contains important 
information on the Post-Zionist bias that exists on a number 
of campuses in Israel. 
The website - popular among students - encourages a lively 
intra-academic debate and exposes the cynical abuse by those who turn 
Israeli Academia into weapon to be used against their country.
By Ran Farhi 
 
In one of his impassioned speeches, Berl Katzenelson, 
the Labor Movement's ideologue, 
wondered: "Is there a nation among the nations, whose 
people have become so warped, 
both intellectually and mentally, that all their nation has done, 
all its creations and all its sufferings, 
are hated and despised, and everything done by
their enemy, every robbery, every killing, and every rape, 
fills their mind with admiration and addiction?... 
And here the germs of self-hatred shall adhere to it… 
to the point where it craves salvation from the 
Palestinian Nazis, those that have managed here, 
in this country, to combine European zoological Anti-Semitism 
with the Eastern ardor for the dagger" 
(from his speech on the 1st of May 1936). 
 
These propheticwords by Katzenelson have clear relevance for us to this day. 
If we examine the conduct of Israeli academics during 
the last two decades, we witness the creeping domination of some 
Radical Left-Wing and Post-Zionist professors over campus discourse 
and their recruitment of the campuses behind anti-Zionism.
 
A Cynical Manipulation of Israeli Academia
On the 19th of October, the Ynet.co.il web site run by Yediot Ahronot, 
Israel's largest daily, published an article on a group monitoring the 
professors belonging to the Post-Zionist camp in Israeli universities. 
The watchdog group calls itself the "Israeli Academia Monitor". 
 The group's website is managed and operated by 
Dana Barnett and Prof. Steven Plaut. Their main objective is to expose academics 
whose salaries are paid by the State but who spread lies about the State of 
Israel around the world. They also attempt to expose the 
contents of those professors' 
courses who, under the guise of a "different view of Israeli reality," 
disseminate anti-Israeli classroom propaganda to their students. 
 
The website, arranged by campus, contains the list of Post-Zionist professors 
in every university in Israel. It contains a list of articles written and published 
by some of these professors, and another list of articles written against them. 
The website's coverage encompasses all of these professors' political activities 
– including their promoting and sponsoring petitions 
supporting the 'Radical Left-Wing Military Service Refuseniks' on campus, etc. 
 
The reporter Anat Bershowski managed, in the process or writing her Ynet article, 
to convince some of the professors catalogued on the site 
to admit that they are abusing 
Israeli academia in order to propagate their political agenda.  
Thus, for example, Dr. Lev Greenberg, 
the chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department
at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, admitted that 
he aims to get students to 
"reconsider" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
He speaks of students who have come to his classes 
"with Right-Wing opinions, 
developed with little forethought, and changed their minds". 
 
Even the most famous 'star' amongst those 
professors defaming the State of Israel across Europe, 
Dr. Ilan Pappe from the University of Haifa, 
admitted that he has a political 
agenda expressed in the courses he teaches, 
such as his course on the "Nakbah [disaster] of 1948", 
which he defines as his true vocation: "Where, if not in
academia, should I promote my political agenda?", 
asks Dr. Pappe, with surprising naïveté.
The article also mentions a study 
carried out by Dr. Udi Lebel, a lecturer in political 
psychology at the 
Ben Gurion Institute in Sde-Boker and Sapir College, which describes this 
trend as being on the increase. Dr. Lebel examined the reading materials 
(syllabi) of the introductory courses in the Social 
Sciences and Humanities at 
Israeli universities 
over the last decade, and found a significant increase in classes supporting 
Post-Zionist ideas. Lebel adds that some of the professors abuse their 
academic freedom in order to imbue 
their students with their radical political messages. According to Dr.
Lebel, "The [typical] Israeli student of political science is exposed to 
critical theories, but not to the idea of nationalism or to Zionist Theory". 
 
A Similar Condition Exists in the United States
The American-Jewish journalist 
David Horowitz, a neo-conservative former Marxist, 
has been for several years engaged in a similar 
struggle in the 
United States, focused on the Radical-Left Wing bias in 
American universities concerning their treatment 
of America-Israel relations. This year, 
he has even published a book called "The 101 Most 
Dangerous Professors in the United States", in 
which he discusses those professors 
who have abused their academic position in order to 
promote, inter alia, anti-Capitalist, anti-American and 
anti-Israeli ideologies, often accompanied by their 
supporting Islamic terrorism or sympathizing with its motives. 
 
Thus, for example, there are 
Ward Churchill, a professor at the University of Colorado, 
who has praised Bin-Laden and called the victims of 9/11 
'little Eichmanns' and the linguist Noam 
Chomsky, who supports the Hizballah terrorist organization, 
and many others. Horowitz has also prepared an Academic 
Bill of Rights, which aims to prevent 
political bias in universities. In his recommendations, he
also demands the exclusion of politics from the world of academia. 
 
The "Frontpage Magazine" website, 
established by Horowitz, is used not only for tracking 
Left-Wing radicalization on campuses, but also for exposing 
such radicalization in the Democratic Party, 
in the media, and on various websites. In his letter of support 
for Israel, published 
during the Second Lebanese War, Horowitz provides several 
examples of statements which de-legitimize the existence of the
State of Israel, such as the Daily Kos' [a liberal-leftist 
blog] article entitled "Let us Imagine a World Without Israel". 
 
The Ynet article is no doubt 
very important for providing some well-deserved coverage of a 
monitoring group, which might as well be called 'Academia -Watch' 
[a play on the name 
Checkpoint Watch or Machsom Watch, a leftist activist group]. 
One would be hard-pressed to find any opposition 
to the Post-Zionist professors in the Israeli printed media, 
save that expressed by the Ma'ariv columnist 
Ben-Dror Yemini and the academics Dr. Gadi Taub 
and Prof. Amnon Rubinstein. 
 
A Lively and Informed Intra-Academic Debate
The 'Monitor' site, which has already 
managed to amass a significant amount of information, and 
succeeds in placing the Post-Zionist bias in Israeli Campuses 
squarely on the public agenda. In this respect, 
the famous remark by Prof. Moshe Zimmerman, the Chair of the 
German History Department at the Hebrew University 
of Jerusalem, is particularly memorable. On the one hand, 
Zimmerman identified with the Radical Left-Wing army refuseniks 
(those refusing to do military service for political reasons). 
 But, on the other hand he told the
students enrolled in one of the courses he taught that he would grant 
no extensions or considerations to any students who missed 
classes on account of being called up for reserve military duty 
in the occupied territories. This act was not only unethical 
and unfair, but also 
represented a severe abuse of the power given to a professor, 
and was an attempt to discriminate against soldiers who have 
fulfilled their legal duties towards their country. 
In his behavior Prof. Zimmerman 
has indirectly encouraged his students to break the law. 
 
The website has recently become increasingly popular among students, 
and has begun recruiting volunteers. This has sparked a lively 
and informed intra-academic debate concerning the Post-Zionist bias on 
Israeli Campuses. The 'Monitor' tracking group is acting wisely 
by targeting professors who have crossed the line of legitimate
Zionist discourse by sympathizing with or supporting terrorism, or by 
preaching against the legitimacy of Zionism, or by denying the 
legitimacy of the continued existence of a Jewish state, 
while at the same time peddling the Palestinian narrative. 
 
Hopefully, certain parties on campus may now 
establish a Zionist alliance 
between Right-Wingers, Centrists, and Moderate Left-Wingers, 
and return Zionism to Israeli academic discourse, thus detaching 
the Post-Zionists from the left-leaning Zionists. An important 
reason why people should support this website is deterrence. When those 
professors who have crossed all the lines of legitimacy, including 
Dr. Neve Gordon, who raised his hands in triumph with Yasser 
Arafat in his headquarters during Operation Defensive Shield, or 
Dr. Ilan Peppe, who has encouraged the academic boycott of Israel), 
understand that enough is enough and that there is someone observing 
and monitoring their behavior, perhaps they will be more cautious?
This monitoring website represents an important step towards making 
transparent the manner in which Post-Zionists among Israeli academia 
distort and mold students' political awareness. It has the potential to 
become the bedrock of an Israeli-Academic-Zionist counterattack. 
 
 
 
 
Ran Farhi (5/11/2006)
 
 
 
 
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