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Articles by IAM Associates
Invitation: Prof. Geoffrey Alderman, patron of the UK Council on Academic Freedom to speak at BGU and Ariel U Center

Prof. Geoffrey Alderman, patron of the UK Council on Academic Freedom 
to speak at BGU and Ariel University Center
Professor Geoffrey Alderman, Michael Gross Professor of Politics & 
Contemporary History at the University of 
Buckingham (UK) and Patron of the UK Council on Academic 
Freedom, will lecture on "The limits of Blackmail, 
Deligitimisation and Slander (BDS) as Instruments of Scholarly 
Discourse" at Ariel University Center, Israel, on 
Wednesday 30 March at 1.00 pm.
Prof. Alderman will address a seminar on "Intellectual Freedom and 
Academic Obligation" at Ben Gurion University 
of the Negev, Israel, on Monday 28 March 2011 at 2.00 pm.
Both events are opened to the public. 
Professor Alderman encourages those of different views to attend 
these events and participate in the discussions.
Prof. Alderman will be making the following points at BGU: 1.  In normal 
times any university academic should be free to make any kind 
of statement critical of her/his government and/or her/his university, 
with two provisos. 2.  These provisos are that she/he must not incite 
violence and should not - without extremely good reason  - bring her/his 
institution into disrepute. 3.  When a country is at war these are not 
'normal times.' 4.  The example of the UK during the Second World War 
illustrates this. 5.  During WWII, in the UK, there was no freedom of speech - 
even for academics. People could be (and were) arrested and imprisoned 
without charge.  There was widespread censorship of the media, and 
even of private communications.  The "Home Guard" had the authority to 
shoot suspects (the vast majority of whom turned out to be innocent)  on 
sight - and did so. At the extreme, a few British citizens were actually 
hanged for acts regarded as falling within the meaning of Treason 
as defined by the sweeping Defence of the Realm Act of 1939 and 
other legislation. 6.  To criticise one's own country and its policies 
is one thing. During WWII there were plenty of critical debates in 
the Westminster parliament and plenty of critical letters were printed 
in the newspapers.  But to incite others - for example other countries 
or academics in other countries - to impose sanctions of whatever sort 
against one's country at a time of war - is likely (I am sorry to say) to fall 
within the definition of treason, and would certainly have fallen within that 
definition [giving comfort to the enemy, aiding & abetting enemies of His 
Majesty, etc] in the UK during WWII. 7.  This would be the case no matter 
how well-intentioned the person may be who makes such criticisms or 
articulates such incitements. 8.  Academic freedom is not academic 
license - i.e. the right to say anything whatever the consequences.
At Ariel University Center, Prof. Alderman will concentrate on the 
dangers posed by BDS to the very concept of academic freedom - making 
the espousal of a particular set of political principles the price for entry into 
academic dialogue, which he will argue is essentially fascist and totalitarian 
in nature: "It's what we associate with Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia."



Geoffrey Alderman is an

academic and journalist specialising in modern British and European

history and British and American politics. He is an internationally

acknowledged authority on voting behaviour, pressure groups and the

impact of religious and ethnic groups on political life. He has also written

extensively on problems of quality and standards in university education.

Geoffrey Alderman studied history at

Oxford, where he completed his BA and DPhil; amongst his teachers

were Sir Martin Gilbert, the late AJP Taylor and the late Dr Cecil Roth.

From 1972 until 1994

he taught history and politics in the University of London, at which in

1989 he was promoted to a Personal Chair. From 1989 until 1994 he

was Chairman of the Academic Council of the University of London

and (1992-93) Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Standards. In 1994

he accepted appointment as quality supremo at Middlesex University,

where he became Pro Vice-Chancellor (Quality & Standards). In 1999

he crossed the Atlantic to become Vice-President of Touro College,

New York, and in 2002 he re-crossed the Atlantic to become Senior

Vice-President of American InterContinental University London (2002-6).

In June 2007 Geoffrey joined the University of

Buckingham as

Michael Gross Professor of Politics & Contemporary History.

Geoffrey holds a number of

visiting and emeritus professorial titles. In 2007-08 he was a Visiting

Research Fellow at the University of London's Institute of Historical

Research; he is currently Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Theology &

Education at York St John University, Professor of Education at

TUI University, Los Angeles, USA, and Chief Academic Officer

of the Bloomsbury Business School. In 2010 he was appointed

a Guest Professor at Ariel University Center, Israel, and a Visiting

Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies.

Professor Alderman is the author, co-author and

editor of some 15 books, including Modern British Jewry (2nd

end, Oxford University Press, 1998)and Controversy and Crisis:

Studies in the History of the Jews in Modern Britain (Academic

Studies Press, 2008). He is also an Associate Editor of the New

Dictionary of National Biography, in charge of all post-1800

Jewish entries. He writes irregularly for the Guardian and the

Times and regularly for the Jewish Chronicle. Amongst his

numerous other publications are his birth announcement and

a number of obituaries, including two (as yet unpublished)

of himself. He appears frequently on radio and television

as an authority on the Jewish world, the politics of the Middle

East, and issues of quality and management in higher education.

In 2006 he was awarded the higher doctoral

degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Oxford in respect

of his published work in the field of modern Anglo-Jewish history.

At a ceremony in London on 6 March 2011 Geoffrey was named

as the recipient of the Chaim Bermant Prize for Journalism 2011.


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