|Report by Israel Academia Monitor on Ben Gurion University: 8 Million Dollars donation suspended |
The escalating level of anti-Israel activities by radical left-wing members of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at Ben Gurion University has put its President, Professor Rivka Carmi, on the spot. Carmi, who in the past had denied such activities, is now in a desperate fight to shore up failing support among donors. Last week she traveled to the United States to address the concern of one donor who suspended his pledge of 8 Million Dollars for a vitally needed new library, unless the radical faculty is removed.
American donors are particularly upset by the fact that Neve Gordon has been recently promoted and given tenure by Carmi. Professor Gordon made headlines again by stating that Gilad Shalit is a prisoner of war and thus Hamas is justified in kidnapping him.
Overseas donors expressed no interest in supporting a university that bears the name of the founder of the State of Israel where a group of radical faculty is engaged in delegitimizing the state. This group leads the field in promoting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and pioneered the notion that Israel is an apartheid state.
In early April, Professors such as Gordon and Oren Yiftachel organized a highly one-sided conference on human rights to this effect. Rachel Avraham, a student at the University who attended the conference felt intimated by Professor Gordon who didn't like the fact she was working for a Zionist organization.
Indeed, there has been a recent increase of complaints by Ben Gurion University students who alleged that radical professors politicized the classroom, tolerated no competing views and even threatened to lower grades of those who opposed such oppressive tactics.
It should be noted that in December 2010 the Council of Higher Education passed a resolution that prohibited faculty in all universities to engage in such conduct.
Please note that Prof. Carmi is not nor I think has ever been a member of the Vaadat Minuyim Elyonah of BGU. This is the committee that grants promotions and is the academic committee which recommends tenure.
Therefore, she had nothing to do with his promotion. Any statement otherwise is totally inaccurate. Decisions of this committee are made by vote. Each member votes completely independently. For example, I have seen several situations in which the Rector voted one way, but was overruled by the overall committee vote.
Membership in this committee is decided in voting by all the BGU professors and associate professors, not by the Rector nor by the President.
Neve Gordon's tik for tenure passed this committee not recently, but about 5 or 6 years ago. This had nothing to do with Prof. Carmi. Also, the present Rector was not in office nor a member of the Vaadat Minuyim Elyonah during any of the procedures involving Neve Gordon.
The Vaadat Minuyim Elyonah is a purely academic body that considers academic achievements only.
Please correct and publicize the inaccuracies in this report.
Prof. Natan Kopeika,
member of the BGU Vaadat Minuyim Elyonah, and IAM supporter