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Articles by IAM Associates
ISRAEL ACADEMIA MONITOR AT THE BGU AND TAU BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETINGS

On Friday May 13, 2011, two Israel Academia Monitor members went to the Board of Governors meeting at Tel Aviv University, where Tel Aviv University security permitted them to hand out fliers and to speak with the members of the Board of Governors. The only condition that they added was that they not leave a specific corner near the road, so they called out to the members of the Board of Governors that were interested in hearing what they had to say so that they can come to them.


Unfortunately, Israel Academia Monitor did not have this kind of luck at the Ben-Gurion University Board of Governors meeting. For the first full day of the BGU Board of Governors meeting, on Sunday May 29, 2011, one Israel Academia Monitor member was successfully able to attend three sessions and to speak with a couple of members of the Board of Governors, but the only reason that this happened is because this IAM member came to the meeting without fliers. For the second full day of the BGU Board of Governors meeting, on Monday May 30, 2011, two IAM members were able to place fliers in the auditorium where the BGU Board of Governors meeting was taking place.


However, later that afternoon, when one IAM member went to the Leanardo Hotel to leave fliers for the BGU Board of Governors members, this IAM member faced difficulties from the hotel security, treated like a common criminal. The second that this IAM member asked the receptionist if it was ok to leave some fliers in the BGU Board of Governors hotel rooms was the second that security was called. Security watched this member like a hawk and explained that if caught handing out fliers on hotel property that the police would be called and the person arrested. They asked this IAM member to leave the hotel premises and to only return without fliers. The reasoning for these strict measures, according to the hotel security, was that they were under instructions from the university to not allow the BGU Board of Governors members to receive any fliers. This IAM member asked them, given this, if it was ok if she handed out fliers’ right outside the hotel, on public property. They refused and said that they would also call the police.


The situation on the Sde Boker campus on Tuesday May 31, 2011 was not significantly better. The auditorium for the BGU Board of Governors members was locked and guarded before the meeting, so IAM could not leave fliers for them there. So, one IAM member resorted to leaving fliers for them on their dining tables, which were located outside. However, security caught this member, confiscated all the fliers, and said that this person could not hand out any unauthorized materials on campus. So, when the bus full of BGU Board of Governors members arrived, this IAM member tried to speak to them instead of handing out fliers. But the security did not even allow to do that, so the IAM member left the Sde Boker campus without managing to reach a single member of the BGU Board of Governors.


Why does a university which demands academic freedom and free speech deny it to others? Doesn't this show that their demands for freedom are false?


 

 

 

- Attached, IAM letter to the BGU BOG -

 

 

Dear Member of the Board of Governors of Ben Gurion University,

We, concerned citizens of Israel, greatly appreciate your contribution to enhancing Israeli institutions of higher learning.  Your work and dedication is what makes our country excel.  However, we are in a time of crisis with respect to Israel’s future. Specifically:

·         If you are concerned about Israel’s image in the academic world.

·         If you believe that Israel’s academics in general and the members of your institution specifically should not be working to delegitimize Israel.

·         If you believe that calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli academic institutions is unacceptable for salaried members of Israeli academia.

Please note the following examples:

[BGU, Linguistics] Lecturer Idan Landau was sentenced to 7 days in military prison for refusing to perform reserve duty;

[BGU, Geography] Oren Yiftachel: The state's goal is to limit the Bedouins and to Judaise the land, the resources, the power. Told Australian Television: The Israeli legal system is distorted;

[BGU, Politics and Government] Neve Gordon intimidated a BGU student;

"BGU Conference for Left-Wingers Only.” Danny Filc: This is not an academic framework which requires balance;

 

We, at Israel Academia Monitor believe that much can be and should be done to change the situation:

  • The academics of your institution should be discouraged from appearing on campuses worldwide to falsely besmirch Israel’s image and equate it with the apartheid regime of South Africa.
  • Please convince your institution to take real measures to stop any call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and against your university that emanate from within the university.
  • Ask your university to review the extent of academic freedom practiced within your institution. Are courses offered in which students are being indoctrinated instead of being educated?  Can students voice opinions freely?  Do their grades depend on following the ideological agenda of instructors?
  • We have been following the various activities at your institution. Attached is a synopsis of events which we believe are detrimental. We would be honored to discuss these issues with you further. Together, we can create a real change and protect academic freedom.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Chairman. On behalf of Israel Academia Monitor.             

http://www.israel-academia-monitor.com e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com

Examples from Ben Gurion University

[BGU, Linguistics] Lecturer Idan Landau was sentenced to 7 days in military prison for refusing to perform reserve duty. Idan Landau, a BGU lecturer, was sentenced to serve time in prison for the third time for refusing to perform reserve duty.   He has also served prison terms in 2001 and 2003. 

[BGU, Geography] Oren Yiftachel: the state's goal is to limit the Bedouins and to Judaise the land, the resources, the power. According to Oren Yiftachel, a professor at BGU, this wave of destruction signals the Israeli government’s larger plan to concentrate Bedouin citizens on as little land as possible in the Negev, and to build Jewish communities there instead, for Israel seeks to “Judaise the land, Judaise the resources, Judaise the power.”  Tells Australian Television: The Israeli legal system is distorted. Prof. Oren Yiftachel: “In the Negev itself, the state has won 190 out of 190 cases. This is a 100 % record which shows that in the legal system - surely something is distorted here.”  Yiftachel's possible involvement in the boycott of South African academics against BGU.  BGU is currently being boycotted by South African academics.  It is possible that it is due to Yiftachel’s false accusations of “Israeli apartheid” during a lecture that he gave at the University of Johannesburg on April 9, 2010

[BGU, Politics and Government] Neve Gordon intimidated a BGU student.    BGU human rights conference: Gordon intimidated a BGU student soon after she walked into the BGU Human Rights Conference. Gordon interrupted the lecture to announce that this student was working for a Zionist monitoring group. 

"BGU Conference for Left-Wingers Only.” Danny Filc: This is not an academic framework which requires balance. The BGU conference organizers invited representatives of radical left wing organizations to speak. Representatives of Zionist organizations didn’t speak at the BGU Human Rights Conference.

BGU is recruiting radical activists! In recent times, BGU’s Politics and Government department has hired lecturers Dahlia Scheindlin, Dr. Yulia Zemlinskaya, Dr. Gili Baruch, and Dr. Michal Givoni, who all have solid anti-Israel activist records.

BGU Sharon Pardo: Israel’s occupation...the images of the suffering and humiliation inflicted by Israel on the Palestinian people. Dr. Sharon Pardo asserted “Israel’s occupation, together with the daily media images of the suffering and humiliation inflicted by Israel on the Palestinian people, is increasingly part of domestic politics in many European countries.”

[BGU, Politics & Govt] Neve Gordon's political activities at the expense of BGU's academic integrity.  Dr. Neve Gordon of the Politics and Govt. Dept. at BGU announced that the department is looking for PHD candidates for a program headed by him and Dr. Haim Yacobi that is part of a research project entitled "Human Rights, Spatial Negotiations and Power Relations." The proposed  program contains a link that leads to the Israel's Occupation website, which is owned by Prof' Gordon, where readers can learn about the “ethnic cleansing” in the Israeli Negev and about claims that "the IDF uses propaganda like an authoritarian regime.” It also advertises Prof' Gordon's book, Israel’s Occupation.

[BGU, Politics & Govt] Gish (Gershon) Amit: 'The Great Book Robbery': The Israeli army’s looting of books belonging to Palestinians. A documentary film was made claiming that Israel looted Arab books and manuscripts during the Israeli War of Independence, based on the doctoral thesis of Gish Amit now lecturing at BGU. Amit spoke in London at the "Israel Apartheid Week" this year.

Do Not Approve Israel's OECD Membership Until It Abides by International Law.  BGU Dr. Idan Landau and Eyal Niv signed onto a petition stating that the OECD should not accept Israel because she “violates international law, violates the basic human rights of Palestinians under occupation” and serves to “instigate instability, violence and suffering in the Middle East.”

BGU Ahmad Saadi on commemorating Nakba day: two reasons "the moral injustice of 1948 when people were expelled" and the Israeli government's current policies.


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