In-Classroom Political Indoctrination at Ben Gurion University

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 08:31:08 -0800
From: David Meir-Levi <>
Subject: anti-Israel  Indoctrination at Ben Gurion U:academic license NOT
    license to kill

to:  Professor Rivka Carmi, President, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva
84105,  Israel

from:  David Meir-Levi, Menlo Park, CA USA

Dear President Carmi,

Ben Gurion University's Department of Politics and Government offers a course entitled "Critical Aspects of the Occupation," taught by Neve Gordon.  Just FYI, and for your convenience, the syllabus can be viewed on the departmental web site:

Based upon its reading list alone, the  course seems very one-sided, consisting mostly of  in-classroom anti-Israel political indoctrination.  The reading list consists almost entirely of anti-Israel or pro-Marxist diatribes, including Arab writers who do not think Israel has the right to protect itself, or even exist.

There are also known Israel-haters like Sara Roy or Azmi Bishara (the Arab Knesset Member who has been running to Syria to call for Israel's annihilation).

The closest thing the reading list can offer, as at least a  symbol of balance, is a 25-year old piece by Menachem Milstein, and some chapters from a book by Labor Party historian Shabtai Shevet....token pro-Israel essays overwhelmed in a sea of anti-Israel screed.

But what is more appalling is that there is not a single article there about Palestinian terrorism or
about Israel's rights to defend itself.  You will never learn that Israel's "occupation" of "Palestinian lands" was caused by Arab aggression and violence and not the other way around.   You will never learn that Israel offered to return conquered land in exchange for peace, many times, and the Arabs instead chose war. You will never hear that the main cause of escalated Palestinian terrorism in the past 13 years was not occupation at all,  but rather the end of occupation.  You do not learn that Israel, the UN, the UK, the USA, and/or some combination of these have offered Palestinian leadership its own state, next to Israel, fifteen times since 1937; only to have the offer rebuffed with terrorism and war.  You do not learn that Arafat vowed to continue his terror war against Israel, on television in Jordan, even before the ink was dry on the Oslo Accords.

As promulgated by Western civilization, the concept 'academic freedom' does NOT mean freedom to teach lies, hatred, subversion, and treason.  Similarly, "freedom of speech" does not mean freedom of hate-speech, hate-preach, or hate-teach.

I most sincerely encourage you to examine carefully Prof. Gordon's course in the context of the Western concept of 'academic freedom' and in the context of Israel's current state of war with the Palestinian Authority and other countries in the Muslim world.

If what Prof. Gordon teaches is sound history, and rational analysis based upon bona fide facts and validated data, then Israel, as a free country where democratic process and rule of law prevail, must accomodate Prof. Gordon's right to teach the truth even if it raises difficult political questions.

However, if Professor Gordon is exploiting academic license to preach Israel-hatred under the faux mantle of scholarship, substituting transparently anti-Israel mendacious propaganda and decontextulized narratives for honest scholarship, then he is aiding and abetting Israel's enemies in time of war. In doing so, he is making it easier for Israel's enemies to gain political advantage.  And in doing that, he is strengthening them and aiding them in their terrorist murder of Israelis.  In time of war, that is treason.

Academic license is NOT license to kill.

David Meir-Levi
873 Santa Cruz Avenue (#202)
Menlo Park, CA USA 94025
650 566 3811
650 322 6638

Ben-Gurion University
      Sam Watkins, 28-11-2006