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Ben-Gurion University
BGU Politics & Government Department is still heavily biased toward anti-Israel radical activism. Facts and figures

Editorial Note:

In an exchange between David Newman, the Dean of Social Sciences at Ben Gurion University (and the founder of the Department of Politics and Government, see below) and a friend of IAM, Newman denied the fact that the Department has a high rate of activist faculty. As a matter of fact, Newman accused the IAM friend of ignorance and challenged him to produce the facts.

IAM took up Newman's challenge (see table below) and brought together the empirical evidence as taken from the department's website two days ago, which clearly supports the view that the Department has a disproportional high number of politicized activists, a bias that the international evaluation committee which was appointed by the Council of Higher Education (CHE), has noted in 2010. Their political involvement ranges from membership in groups that offer harsh critique of all aspects of Israel's existence, to organizing conferences, petition writing and blogging that has overt "call for action" content.

Here are the facts:
Out of the 14 faculty and affiliated faculty, 9 are known as activists.
Among the 4 fellows, 2 are known activists.
Among the 20 visiting professors, 7 are known as activists.
There are 2 post-doctoral students; 1 is known as activist.
There are 13 doctoral students, out of whom 9 are known as activists.
Out of the 11 teaching assistants, 4 are known as activists.
Arguably, faculty has the right to express their political opinions; but the CHE emphasized, such high percentage of activism detracts from the mission of the Department to provide balanced education and offer core courses. The statistics also show that in spite of the CHE mandate to correct the balance, the Department is still heavily biased toward radical activism. In fact, as IAM reported, some of the new hires have a long record of harsh criticism of Israel.

Click the links to view the related radical activity:

* Affiliated Professors


----- Original Message -----

From:David Newman


Sent:Friday, October 12, 2012 5:30 AM

Subject:JP OPED - Damaging Israels Scientific Reputation



On 12 2012, at 07:35, "David Mandel" wrote:

Dear Mr. Newman

The extreme left, too well represented in your department in the Ben Gurion University, is the one that is damaging Israel's reputation and providing material for our enemies to demonize us.

These people do not teach, they indoctrinate.

If you are unable to recognize this, you shouldn't be head of the department.


David Mandel


From: David Newman

To: David Mandel

Sent: Friday, October 12, 2012 8:01 AM

Subject: Re: JP OPED - Damaging Israels Scientific Reputation

With due respect you appear not to have any knowledge of the department beyond the right wing propaganda you read. I would be happy to receive from you a list of the 11 members of the department and their so called political activities. Somehow I doubt if you even know any of their names or research activities beyond the single notorious case of Neve Gordon

A minor correction. I am not head of the department .

Shabbat shalom from Israel

David Newman


From: David Mandel

Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 6:43 AM

To: David Newman

Subject: To David Newman with the list you requested

I stand corrected. You are not head of the department now, but you were in the past.

You wrote to meI would be happy to receive from you a list of the 11 members of the department and their so called political activities.

As one of my aims in life is to make people happy, here is the list you requested:

Michal Givoni, Hagar Kotef, James Ron, Dani Filc, Haim Yacobi, Yishai Menuchin, Maya Rosenfeld, Efraim Davidi, Noahm Hofshteter, Yonatan Mandel (no relationship). Teaching assistants: Ran Zoref and Michal Rotem.

I have read articles by them. They all mix academics with politics and uniformly blame Israel. Most of them write from a Marxist point of view obsolete and outdated.

Now, it is your turn to make me happy: please give me the name of even one of the persons in the department at BGU who has rightist views.

Best wishes

David Mandel


From: David Newman

Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 7:14 AM


Cc: David Mandel

Subject: FW: To David Newman with the list you requested

Dear colleagues (email addresses hidden)

The following email is self explanatory. One of our so called critics who always hurries to attack the Dept of Politics, rose to my challenge to give some information., He was unable to correctly mention more than 3 out of the 11 members of the Politics department and was unable to bring a single example of a research project or academic paper which, in his view, is Marxist or anti-Israel.

It is one thing to be critical it is another to simply write untruths (lies) as a means of pushing forward your academic agenda. Ii is truly disgraceful.

I am probably going to use this email in one of my forthcoming columns in the jerusalem post. It totally exposes the right wing for their political anti-academic campaign.

David Newman


----- Original Message -----

From: David Newman

Cc: David Mandel

Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 7:29 AM

Subject: RE: To David Newman with the list you requested

and of course Prof poznanski is an olah from France. 9 out of 15 olim - probably the highest percentage of Zionism in any single academic department in Israel. all from the free world, all immigrated out of zionism not because they were forced out of their countries, and not part of the great diaspora community who sits in the UK and USA and criticises from abroad

a department i can truly be proud of

I await your response

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    1.  Are these greater or lesser than
     From Micah Leshem , Sent in 19-10-2012
    2.  Micah Leshem is a vile anti-Israel extremist
     From Amitay, Sent in 19-10-2012
    3.  Actually all the OTHER faculty members are also leftists
     From Anna BGU student, Sent in 19-10-2012
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