Latest update 02:04 24.09.10
Bar-Ilan lecturer reportedly denied tenure due to views
Colleagues say remarks against occupation kept Ariella Azoulay, who
teaches visual culture and contemporary philosophy, from promotion.
By Or Kashti, Haaretz
Bar-Ilan University's appointments committee decided recently not to
grant tenure or promote a lecturer, reportedly because of her
Associates of Dr. Ariella Azoulay, who teaches visual culture and
contemporary philosophy in Bar-Ilan's Hermeneutics and Cultural
Studies Program, and who has published books against the occupation,
said: "The university has no germane reason to disqualify Ariella
other than her positions. This is a political decision disguised as a
Bar-Ilan University said it "rejected any attempt to attribute to it
extraneous considerations in the promotion of its faculty members,"
and that the matter was being dealt with and will be completed after
the Sukkot vacation.
Azoulay has been teaching for 11 years at Bar-Ilan. She is also a
director of documentaries and an art curator, and has published some
10 books and numerous articles in academic journals.
According to people familiar with the issue, Azoulay has been passed
over in the past by university committees for tenure and promotion to
professor, and now its supreme appointments body has ruled on the
"Any decision can be validated by means of regulations and secret
meetings," an associate of Azoulay said. If the university was
dissatisfied with Azoulay, "how is it that she has been teaching there
for more than a decade? Apparently her activities were unseemly to
senior university officials," the associate said.
Among the books Azoulay has written is "Constituent Violence
1947-1950," an analysis of some 200 rare photographs whose purpose,
the book says, was to recreate the formation of the Jewish regime
while destroying Palestinian society.
She is coauthor with Prof. Adi Ophir, who is her partner, of "This
Regime Which Is Not One: Occupation and Democracy between the Sea and
The River - (1967 - )."
Among the films she directed is "I Also Dwell Among Your Own People:
Conversations with Azmi Bishara."
"Few people dispute the fact that Ariella Azoulay is one of the most
important researchers in cultural studies in Israel today," Prof.
Yehouda Shenhav of Tel Aviv University, said. Shenhav also noted
several recent cases of "persecution of lecturers in a political
context" at universities, saying that "this is one of the crudest
instances of preferring sectorial considerations over academic
A response from Azoulay, who is currently abroad, could not be
obtained by press time.