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Tel Aviv University
"Sourasky Operation" - How the political parties of HADASH & MAKI maneuver Tel Aviv University

Editorial Note

Some two weeks ago, Haaretz educational reporter Talila Nesher used a sensationalist headline to denounce Tel Aviv University for "spying on students" (see below). Nesher wrote that security officers perused a YouTube clip (filmed by Social TV,) of a large group of students who planned to protest at the Sourasky Library, in order to identify individual perpetrators.  Nesher took special exception to the fact that the security officer asked professors to help them identify students that might have been enrolled in their classes; she felt that TAU tried to turn them into "spies."

Instead of shrill attacks, Nesher should have provided a more balanced story.  The group had no permit to stage a protest and, according to the authorities, planned to occupy the library and barricade itself there.   Among its many demands, "to the university, the municipality and the state"  the students called to reduce or abolish tuition.   When similar demands where made more than a decade ago, Professor Moshe Kaveh, president of Bar-Ilan University, wrote that in cases where tuition was abolished or minimized, academic excellence was severely undermined.  Kaveh based his argument on research in a number of countries which pointed to this conclusion.

Moreover, the Sourasky Operation, also known as the "Social University" is a movement sponsored by MAKI (the Communist Party) and HADASH which are trying hard to revive last summer's social protest.  

"Social University" attracted the support of some well known radical-leftist professors on campus including Adi Ophir, Rachel Giora, Yehouda Shenhav, Daniel Bar-Tal, Moshe Zuckerman, Shlomo Sand, Dana Olmert and others.  A leading member of MAKI, Ephraim Davidi (BGU & TAU) travels the country to organize students in his lecture "The Protests Against Global and Israeli Capitalism."  As IAM already noted,  Davidi's understanding of economy is questionable; he and other faculty advocate socialism when virtually all European Union countries were forced to terminate their expensive welfare programs.   Saddled with huge debt, high unemployment, and downgraded credit ratings, Greece, Italy and others adopted austerity budgets.  Israel, on the other hand, has the lowest unemployment record ever and its credit rating was upgraded to a historically high AA+. 

Lecturers at the "Social University" are equally ignorant of economics. Shlomo Sand, an expert in French culture who made his name by claiming that Zionists invented the Jewish people, is decrying the fact that the issue of "social justice" disappeared from the political agenda at the end of the twentieth century. 

Yehouda Shenhav whose claim to fame is the "conclusion" that the Mizrahim are Arab Jews mistreated by Zionism, offers lectures in support of his thesis that a two-state solution is a "rabbit" in the illusionist hat.  Shenhav urges to get rid of the illusion and embrace a binational state.

Daniel Bar-Tal has his own take on illusions: he is the "founding father" of the theory that Israelis are too overwhelmed by the trauma of Holocaust and/or Massada to overcome their anxieties about the Arabs and the Palestinians.  He devotes his time in the "Social University" to demonstrating that such traumas produced a simplistic and biased "narrative" on the part of the Israelis.  By concentrating on the psychology of the Israelis, Bar-Tal is, of course, free to ignore the very real security dangers posed by Palestinian Islamists and others, not to mention the threats of Hamas and its Iranian sponsors to wipe Israel off the map of the Middle East. 

Last, but not least, is Adi Ophir, one of most radical critics of Israel and an avid practitioner of critical philosophy.  Ophir found that, ontologically, Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is comparable to the evils of the Holocaust.  His ventures into international relations have been equally radical: at one point he advised NATO bombings of Israel to force her out of the territories.   In his class Ophir promises to create a new "civic language" to change Israeli society, presumably in his own radical image.

By definition, the curriculum of the "Social University" was set up to produce a distorted or utopian view of reality.  While there is nothing new in this practice, students should be aware that mainstream scholarship has never accepted such fanciful theories. More to the point, reality has a way of discrediting their peculiar view of the world.

 

 


 http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/tel-aviv-university-accused-of-spying-on-student-activists-1.402823 

·         Published 01:35 22.12.11

·         Latest update 01:35 22.12.11

Tel Aviv University accused of spying on student activists

TAU security head writes lecturers requesting details of students seen in video urging fellow students to join a campus protest.

By Talila Nesher

Tel Aviv University has called on lecturers to turn in students who carried out protest activities on campus last week. Students and lecturers accused the university of resorting to "secret police" methods and oppressing legal social protest on campus.

In a letter sent to lecturers in the history, philosophy and literature departments, the university's security department attached a YouTube clip showing students urging their friends on campus to join the social protest they were planning at the university.

"I will be grateful for your handing over the students' details as soon as possible, including full name, ID number and telephone number," the TAU security head wrote to the lecturers.

"It will be helpful if beyond identifying the students, you would attach to each [one's name] the identification marks from the clip so that we can identify them in action ... since this group has already carried out and is planning illegal protest activity on campus," he wrote.

The "illegal" activity he was referring to consisted of student debate groups around campus in their free time.

The group calls itself "The Sourasky Operation - a campus action group," after the Sourasky Library near which it had gathered. Last week, when the university's management heard the group was planning social activity in the building, it evacuated the library ahead of closing time, locked it and posted security guards at the entrance.

The several dozen students moved their social activity to the Recanati Building, where they discussed renewing the social protest with an emphasis on students' issues such as housing, tuition, cost of living and workers' rights. Prof. Eli Friedlander, head of the philosophy department, responded to the university's letter, saying: "I strongly protest the security department head's disgraceful demand in the email. There is no place for a secret police on campus."

The YouTube clip sent to the lecturers shows students facing the camera and calling their friends to act for social justice.

"We are students who want to make ends meet, who want to study in dignity, to have a place to live. We want to submit papers, not only serve coffee," they said, among other things.

"In the current sociopolitical environment, it is not surprising that the university is acting like a secret police. It's a natural reflection of what is happening 'outside' and our initiative is a bid to fight these social and political injustices," says Nimrod Flashenberg, a third-year history and philosophy student who appears on the clip.

"The university is oppressing sociopolitical activity on campus," he says.

The university also sent several student activists letters scolding them for their activity last week. "If any public activity takes place in the future without proper authorization, harsh disciplinary steps will be taken against the organizers and participants," the security department head wrote.

"A student found organizing or participating in illegal public activity will have difficulty receiving a permit to hold public activity on campus in the future," he added.

One student said the security department told her it was following the group's activity on its closed Facebook page. This was corroborated by two of the group members who did not attend the meetings, but received warning letters all the same.

"This is illegitimate use of resources and interfering with students' private activity," said group member Rafael Yoha, a third-year law and philosophy student. "The university is undermining its own legitimacy to enforce discipline, by practicing Stasi methods to oppress legitimate activity. This is a closed Facebook page, which indicates the university spent time and energy to obtain the information on it and worse - perhaps it agreed to receive information from political factions that see our organization as a threat."

The Tel Aviv University said that it "permits public activity, as long as it is legal and authorized by the relevant university authorities. The university has taken measures following information about activists' intentions to fortify themselves illegally in the central library, ignoring closing hours, which could have damaged the library and the safety of those in it."

 

 

 

http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/education/1.1608256

על רקע סערת המעקבים: הרצאות פוליטיות מחר באונ' ת"א

ההרצאות יעסקו במגוון נושאים שנויים במחלוקת, כשבועיים לאחר הפרסום ב"הארץ" על מעקב אחר סטודנטים שהשתתפו בפעולות מחאה בקמפוס

 03.01.2012 הארץטלילה נשר

 

למעלה מ-70 מרצים מהמוסד ומחוצה לו נתנו את הסכמתם לתוכנית, שהיא פרי יוזמת סטודנטים מ"מבצע סוראסקי" – קבוצה חברתית ופוליטית שהחלהלפעול בשבועות האחרונים בתוך הקמפוס. כפי שפורסם ב"הארץ", ביקשה מחלקת הביטחון ממרצים למסור פרטים אודות החברים בקבוצה שהשתתפו בפעולות מחאה במוסד, אולם בעקבות הפרסום התנער מהמהלך נשיא המוסד, פרופ' יוסף קלפטר, והודיע כי הנושא ייחקר.שורה של הרצאות בנושאים פוליטיים יתקיימו החל ממחר באוניברסיטת תל-אביב, לאחר שזו נתנה היום (שלישי) את הסכמתה לפתיחת אירועי "אוניברסיטה חברתית". מדובר במערכת שעות אלטרנטיבית, שתאפשר כניסה חופשית לשלל הרצאות בנושאים פוליטיים וחברתיים. התוכנית תתקיים בתוך מבני האוניברסיטה בשעות שונות.

מערכת השעות של התוכנית כוללת מגוון רחב של הרצאות ופאנלים, אשר יועברו הן על-ידי מרצים בכירים מן חוגי האוניברסיטה והן ועל ידי פעילים חברתיים, אומנים ואנשי תקשורת, בעברית ובערבית.

בין עשרות ההרצאות המתוכננות: "המצב הפוליטי במלכודת הקו הירוק", "שימור המורשת הפלסטינית הבנויה שלפני הנכבה", "הדרת נשים" ו-"ההקשר הפוליטי של המחאה החברתית בקיץ 2011".

"הפרויקט נוצר מתוך שאיפה לחשוף את קהל הסטודנטים להיבטים שונים של המאבק החברתי אשר אינם מהווים בהכרח חלק מתוכנית הלימודים האקדמית, ומתוך שאיפה להחזיר לסטודנטים ולמרצים חלק מן השליטה על השיח במרחב האוניברסיטאי", הסבירו בקבוצה.



 

 

http://www.maki.org.il/he/workers/125-news/12849-2011-12-29-19-17-00

חמישי, 29 דצמבר 2011 21:14 - מק"י

חרף "משטרה חשאית באוניברסיטת תל-אביב", כך כינו את פעולת ההנהלה סטודנטים ומרצים באוניברסיטה, בעקבות חשיפת פרשה של רדיפה והתנכלות כלפי סטודנטים שתכננו לקיים פעולות למען צדק חברתי בקמפוס, נערכה אתמול (יום ד') הפגנה גדולה בקמפוס שברמת-אביב. בין המפגינים: פעילי חד"ש ומק"י רבים. במקום הופצו עשרות גיליונות של השבועון "זו הדרך".

הסטודנטים, שפעלו בקיץ האחרון במסגרת מחאת האוהלים, תכננו להשתלט על הספרייה המרכזית באוניברסיטה, ספריית סוראסקי, ולהתבצר בה, תוך פרסום רשימת דרישות, המופנות לאוניברסיטה, לעירייה ולמדינה. "אני שוכר דירה בת"א, ובעיר הזו אין שום פיקוח על מחירי השכירות", אמר דן ואלפיש, נציג מטעם תא חד"ש במועצת אגודת הסטודנטים, ופעיל בהתארגנות החדשה. לדבריו, ההתארגנות תיאבק למען הבטחת דיור ציבורי, כמו גם למען הורדת שכר הלימוד הגבוה, נגד תהליכי הפרטה, ולמען הגנה על זכויות עובדים, ובמיוחד – עובדי קבלן. יוזמת ההשתלטות על הספרייה, שכונתה "מבצע סוראסקי", סוכלה בידי מחלקת הביטחון של האוניברסיטה. הקבוצה, שמנתה בינתיים כחמישים פעילים, העלתה סרטון לאתר יו-טיוב, ובו קריאה לסטודנטים להצטרף למאבק.

פעילי "מבצע סוראסקי" הפגינו אתמול בשעות הצהריים למען הורדת שכר הלימוד, תחת הכותרת "אוניברסיטה לעם או אוניברסיטה בע"מ". "הדרישה הבסיסית היא להוציא מהאוניברסיטה את ההיגיון של השוק, ולהפוך אותה לאיכותית, ציבורית ונגישה", אמר ואלפיש. הפגנה נערכה בסמוך לספריית סוראסקי.

בהזמנה לאירוע נכתב: "אוניברסיטה ציבורית באמת, שבה שכר הלימוד ובעיות חברתיות אינם מהווים מחסום – זו לא שאלה של תקציב אלא שאלה של סדר עדיפויות. יש כאן שיטה שקודמת לחלוקת העוגה; ואת השיטה הזו, הקפיטליזם החזירי, יש לשנות. התקוממות היא הדרך להחזיר את הכוח לאנשים, והאנשים הם אנחנו. הדרך היא תמיד: מלמטה למעלה, ולא יכולה להיות אחרת".

 

לעמוד האירוע בפייסבוק

 

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=323586640995680&set=a.323585050995839.77586.318091501545194&type=1&theater

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/390941_325801720774172_318091501545194_1063432_1777387266_n.jpg

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=323587210995623&set=a.323585050995839.77586.318091501545194&type=1&theater

http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/405150_323587740995570_318091501545194_1054991_55659374_n.jpg

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/400416_323588240995520_318091501545194_1054992_664710730_n.jpg

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