on what she calls “torture photographs” [of Palestinians arrested by Israeli security
forces] is highly telling in this respect. She asserts that even though the images
do not depict actual torture, they should be considered “modes of torture.”
Such contorted explanations have made her popular among those who wish to
delegitimizeIsrael. Needless to say, Azoulay, who argues that the photographer has a “contract” to show violence in daily life, has shied away from depicting Israeli victims of suicide bombings.
Yesterday Haaretz newspaper published an article about the affair [see article in
full below] and some seventy scholars signed a petition protesting her
treatment. What is most astonishing, a Bar Ilan spokesperson denied that
the University received the petition. The only logic explanation for this
strange fact is that the organizers decided that generating headlines in
the media was the preferable course of action.
Petition aside, individual professors rushed to condemn the University.
Neve Gordon, a political scientist fromBenGurionUniversity, who
supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement againstIsrael, protested Azoulay’s mistreatment. Professor Yehuda Shenhav from Tel Aviv University, a radical scholar who insists that the Mizrahim inIsraelare in reality Arab Jews victimized by Zionism,asserted that: “Few people dispute the fact that Ariella Azoulay is one of the most important
researchers in cultural studies inIsraeltoday." He also noted several
recent cases of “persecution of lecturers in a political context,”
adding: “this is one of the crudest instances of preferring sectoral
considerations over academic excellence.” Another political activist
from theHebrewUniversity, Professor Yaron Ezrahi, expressed his anger at Bar IlanUniversityfor refusing to employ Azoulay because of her political views. In his opinion, “This could contaminate the entire higher
education system inIsrael.”
Professor Ezrahi should not worry about “the contamination of the entire
higher education system.” If anything, radical post Zionists, including
those who supportBDS, are overrepresented in the social science and
humanities. As for Azoulay herself, she is not out of a job either.
Azoulay's partner is Professor Adi Ophir, director of the Lexicon for
Top Israeli professors charge Bar-IlanUniversity with political persecution
Dr. Ariella Azoulay, a professor in Bar-Ilan's Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies program, says the university denied her tenure and promotion due to her leftist leanings.
By Or Kashti
Some 70 prominent lecturers from various universities nationwide this week accused Bar-IlanUniversity of political persecution and denying lecturers promotion and tenure due to their political opinions and activity.
The lecturers called on the Council For Higher Education to look into the university's appointment procedures, following its decision to deny tenure to Dr. Ariella Azoulay last year. The university also recently decided - again - not to promote Dr. Menachem Klein, of the political science department, to professor.
Bar-Ilan dismissed the allegations saying "decisions about promoting lecturers are made solely on the basis of their academic achievements."
About a month ago Bar-Ilan rejected Azoulay's appeal to reconsider the appointment committee's decision not to grant her promotion and tenure. Consequently, Azoulay will stop teaching in Bar-Ilan's Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies program, as she has been doing since 1999.
Azoulay, who has published about 10 books and numerous essays in prominent journals, said the university denied her tenure and promotion because of her leftist leanings.
"Dr. Azoulay is one of the world's leading researchers in photography and visual culture," the lecturers' group wrote to the Council and Bar-Ilan's president and rector.
In view of Azoulay's international recognition, "the university's decision raises a heavy suspicion of political persecution," they wrote.
Prof. Yaron Ezrachi of HebrewUniversity's political science department said "Bar-Ilan has learned to conceal political considerations, disguising them as academic processes. We fear the precedent of firing lecturers for radical political views of any kind, despite their international academic excellence. This could contaminate the entire higher education system in Israel."