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Articles by IAM Associates
[Sapir College] Nizar Hassan wins a name for himself

Translation from an article, published:
http://www.nfc.co.il/Archive/003-D-27870-00.html?tag=16-46-34


Nizar Hassan wins a name for himself
By Udi Lebel, Feb. 20 2008 | NFC

I can calm Mr. Hassan.  The Israeli academia is not persecuting you.  On the contrary, I predict for you very good days of respect and
appreciation.  I have no doubt that your name is already mentioned in this forum or the next as a candidate for heading a human rights center, even the flight tickets for prominent conferences in Pisa, London, and Brussels are already being issued.

 

 


I envy Nizar Hassan, the filmmaker, who teaches at the Sapir Academic College. He won a name for himself; apparently, with the organized provocation he planned and executed.  I am really jealous.  I do not know him, but I know very well the college I teach in as a senior lecturer.  As such, I can decisively determine: No, it is not possible that the lecturer was carried away by a sudden and uncontrollable emotional act when he threw out from the classroom a student in uniform.  Students in uniforms are not a rare sight in Israel.  On the contrary, it is rare not to run into them.  So it is in Sapir College.

A lecturer who wishes not to run into students in minimal clothing should not offer his teaching services to a secular institution.  A lecturer that himself insists avoiding modest dress and the requisite to wear a yarmulke will not send his resume to the admission committees of a religious college, and a lecturer who cannot stand teaching students wearing uniforms – should avoid teaching in Israel.  What can be done?

In Israeli society, the army is the people and the people are the army.  This did not occur suddenly, certainly not in the morning of Nizar Hassan’s lecture.  This is how it has always been.  In Israeli
institutions, the students wear uniforms.  Some, because they arrived during reserve service.  Others, because they are themselves professional soldiers or armed forces personnel.  That is how it is in Israel, as well as in Sapir College, since many of its students belong to special courses for army and police officers.

Mr. Hassan was not surprised.  Sapir College is not a pacifist or a Swiss or a Dutch institution, where the uniformed are indeed rare.  Sapir is an Israeli institution, and its president is a senior reserve officer.  As in Sapir – so it is in the rest of the Israeli higher education institutions.

If the lecturer chose to send his resume and seek employment in Sapir College, and even resolutely avoided from apologizing and putting the embarrassing incident behind him – the question is asked: what did he aim for?  The rational person aims, in most cases, to improve his condition and not deteriorate it.  But here, this lecturer insists on pretending to be “surprised” by being exposed to fatigue dress among his students.  He is also refusing to back down from his stance, even leading to his own removal from the institution that he wished to join in the first place. The answer to this question points to a grim Israeli reality.  As far as I can prophesize, it is clear that Nizar Hassan, in a provocation he bothered to produce – won a name for himself.  I have no doubt that, faster than we can imagine, he will receive a prize from some European academic association for equality, a chair in an American faculty for human rights, an appointment in an international foundation for civil rights, and tributes and grants from a variety of post-Zionist foundations engaged in the study of the Zionist militarism and all its shades.  I am truly jealous.

I wish for the day when routine Zionist expressions gain attention, demonstrations of support, and assured careers among patriotic circles.  But in a period when the academic fashion is the mobilization of faculty members to initiate a variety of demonstrations for the dissenters of the Left who sat in military prison (as happened during the Al-Aqsa Intifada) and the invitation of reserve pilots who refused to serve in the “army of selective assassinations” (as happened in Ben-Gurion University), it is clear that the academic bon ton dictates a different line.  This line teaches you that your chances as a lecturer and a researcher to gain publicity, sympathy, invitations for conferences, and accessibility to prestigious stages, will increase if you make an effort to demonstrate an anti-Zionist line – all the more if you show the international academic community that you, the pacifist, are being persecuted by the militaristic Israeli academia.

I can calm Mr. Hassan.  The Israeli academia is not persecuting you.  On the contrary, I predict for you very good days of respect and
appreciation.  I have no doubt that your name is already mentioned in this forum or the next as a candidate for heading a human rights center, even the flight tickets for prominent conferences in Pisa, London, and Brussels are already being issued.  There, you can get a reinforcing hug for your courage in promoting the values of world peace in front of the
Zionist-belligerent occupier.

You yourself intentionally concocted this provocation.  Sapir is a campus steeped in multiculturalism.  Total secularists, alongside yarmulke wearers.  Jews and Arabs.  The uniformed alongside the veiled.  This is well known, and he who fears it does not seek employment there to begin with.

The college did well in its moderate and sober reaction, teaching its students that a student is not examined here according to his dress.  You did well, for yourself, when you insisted on inflaming the crisis and ensuring a brighter future than academic anonymity for yourself.  Who heard about you before this?  What is left for me, as a Zionist-patriot, is only to feel sorrow and envy.

One last word for you – the students of Sapir.  Here is a testimony for the multicultural “state of all its citizens”, destined to replace the Jewish one.  Signs of the Israeli-national sovereignty, such as IDF uniforms, will be then asked, with due respect, to leave the classroom.

Dr. Udi Lebel, senior lecturer for political psychology in the Sapir Academic College and the University Center in Ariel.

 

 

 

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