SOAS Academic Board Manipulated by Pro-Palestinian Activists

SOAS Academic Board Manipulated by Pro-Palestinian Activists

12.08.2020

Editorial Note

A Hebrew University program teaching Hebrew to students from SOAS London University was terminated due to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups. Behind the termination is Dr. Yair Wallach, the chair of the Jewish Studies at SOAS, and Dr. Tamar Drukker, a Hebrew lector who both succumbed to Palestinian pressure.

Wallach was trying to conceal his role in the termination, but the protocols of the Academic Board meetings reveal he provided the Board with false and politically motivated information.

In a recent exchange of Tweets with Pinsker Center, a pro-Israel student group in the UK, Wallach accused the Pinsker Centre of circulating unfounded rumors. A day before, Pinsker Center Tweeted that “It has been reported that @SOAS has bowed down to student pressure, and terminated its relationship with @HebrewU. Why should pressure from a minority fringe of activists deprive other students of the opportunity to enrich themselves at a world class institution in Israel?” Wallach responded that he was “disappointed” to see such “unfounded rumors,” claiming that “SOAS’s Year Abroad agreement with the Hebrew University ended as planned. SOAS signed a new agreement with Haifa University. Decision made on academic reasons. That’s it.” He added that the “Programs in both universities are excellent. We chose what seemed to us more suitable.”

Obviously, Wallach was unaware that the Palestinian group “Apartheid Off Campus” was claiming victory for this termination.

Unfortunately, Wallach was not telling the truth. In both January and March 2019, the Academic Board of SOAS convened to discuss the ‘Hebrew Year Abroad.’ Wallach prepared the reports for the two Board meetings, along with Dr. Tamar Drukker, his colleague from Jewish studies. The report is supportive of the Year Abroad program, “The premise of the Year Abroad is to allow students to study the language in an immersive environment, where they encounter it not only in language classes. This is the pedagogical value and logic of the Year Abroad.”

However, Wallach and Drukker informed the Board that “The main objection raised in the case of the Hebrew University is that the campus is on occupied territory.” Because “the campus’s periphery extends into occupied territory (part of the dormitory as well as the sports center). The main campus is not on occupied land (neither the Rothberg institute nor any other Hebrew University teaching facility). EU policy, according to the EU embassy in Israel, is to consider Mt. Scopus Campus as within the 1967 lines, that is, within “Israel proper,” and not to see the campus as located on occupied territory.”

Surprisingly, while Wallach and Drukker announced that Hebrew University is not situated on “occupied land,” they still proposed “two alternative options,” for teaching Hebrew – at the Palestinian Territories universities of Bir Zeit and al-Quds.

The report by Wallach and Drukker stated that “In Bir Zeit, which is in the Palestinian occupied territories, Hebrew is taught as a foreign language. Otherwise, teaching is conducted in Arabic or English.” This was not sufficient because students would have limited exposure to Hebrew. “In that sense, there is no point in sending them on a year abroad in the first place.” The second option was the Al-Quds university. “Teaching in al-Quds is conducted in Arabic, and again, Hebrew would be taught as a foreign language, which defeats the purpose of the year abroad. However, given al-Quds’s location in Jerusalem, at least students would have exposure to Hebrew. Depending on the quality of the program, and how it is tailored and organized, we would have considered such an option, had it existed.” But, according to the report, “there is no Hebrew program advertised in al-Quds. There is no mention of any Hebrew tuition in al-Quds’s website. We have emailed al-Quds to express our interest and to ask if they offer Hebrew, but have not received reply.” The report concluded that “Unfortunately, these are not viable options.”

Wallach and Drukker provided the Academic Board with a misleading proposal as if it was possible to teach Hebrew at Palestinian universities, that are in fact, no-go areas for Israelis. To recall, Amira Hass, the Haaretz pro-Palestinian journalist was asked to leave a conference at Bir-Zeit University, and so was Professor Ilan Pappe, because they were Israelis.

The report states that the proposal to teach Hebrew in Palestinian universities was made by Sai Englert.  Dr. Simon (Sai) Englert is a BDS activist and an anti-Zionist Jew who currently teaches at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is a socialist-activist who completed his Ph.D. at SOAS in 2018. He researches the changing relationship between the labor movement and the state in Israel under neoliberalism. Englert was recorded on a 5 minutes video discussing how anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism and how the dispute with the Palestinians is all Israel’s fault.  In 2017 Englert was quoted by the BBC as a Jewish Ph.D. student at SOAS and a member of the university’s Palestine Society, who said: “The idea that somehow supporting BDS, supporting boycott etc is a blanket boycott on individuals I think is very dangerous. It’s not. “It’s about saying ‘we don’t want institutional links, economic links, political links with institutions, governments, companies that are complicit in attacks on rights’.” 

This is not surprising, Wallach is a long-standing political activist, he should not have taught Israel Studies at SOAS. For example, he has little appreciation for Israeli Ambassadors. When Israeli ambassador Mark Regev was invited to speak at SOAS, Wallach responded, “I was not in favor of the invitation… Ambassador Regev is not a scholar or a public intellectual. He is a PR speaker representing the viewpoint of his government… but the intellectual value of an address by an official state spokesperson is questionable. This is why I saw little merit in the event. I declined to chair the talk, and advised the organizers to reconsider it.”

Clearly, the SOAS Academic Board has been led by the nose by these pro-Palestinian activists.  This is not the first time that Palestinians recruit Israelis and Jews in their war against Israel. British Universities should not allow radical-political activists to manipulate their decision-making.

https://twitter.com/YairWallach/status/1290958596960903176
Yair Wallach @YairWallach  Aug 5  
Disappointing to see the @PinskerCentre circulate unfounded rumours.
SOAS’s Year Abroad agreement with the Hebrew University ended as planned. SOAS signed a new agreement with Haifa University. Decision made on academic reasons. That’s it.

The Pinsker Centre @PinskerCentre
  Aug 4
It has been reported that @SOAS has bowed down to student pressure, and terminated its relationship with @HebrewU.
Why should pressure from a minority fringe of activists deprive other students of the opportunity to enrich themselves at a world class institution in Israel?
1:31 PM · Aug 5, 2020·

Yair Wallach @YairWallach
Aug 5
Replying to @YairWallach
Programmes in both universities are excellent. We chose what seemed to us more suitable. Year Abroad is suspended due to COVID, will resume in 2021-22.

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https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/exchange-scheme-sends-british-students-occupied-palestinian-territory/

Oxford and other top British universities under fire for sending students to illegal Israeli settlements

Amnesty says the universities are “actively linking themselves to a whole system of illegality, discrimination and exploitation”. Adam RamsayWalid El Houri 3 August 2020  

Leading British universities have been accused of “actively linking themselves to a system of illegality, discrimination and exploitation” by participating in the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem, openDemocracy can reveal.

The institutions, including the universities of Oxford, Manchester, and Leeds, run exchange schemes with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As part of the programme, students usually stay in halls of residence in a Palestinian area of Jerusalem illegally occupied by Israeli settlers.

Commenting on universities who take part in the scheme, one legal expert said “universities that believe in human rights, justice and the rule of law should refrain from being partners in projects that undermine international law and ignore the suffering of the victims”.

Munir Nuseibah, assistant professor at the faculty of law at Al Quds University, the Palestinian university in Jerusalem, added: “By participating in this exchange, the universities… disregard the international consensus that East Jerusalem is occupied and that its annexation by Israel is contrary to international law.”

The leading human rights organisation Amnesty International also criticised the universities, saying they are “actively linking themselves to a whole system of illegality, discrimination and exploitation”. 

Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty’s crisis response campaign manager, added: “We’ve been calling for all businesses to cease their operations in Israel’s settlements and the parallels here are stark – a student village is little different to a settlement in its illegality if it’s been built on stolen land.”

‘I felt betrayed’

Speaking to openDemocracy on condition of anonymity, one student who took part in a year abroad scheme arranged by his British university described his shock at discovering that the accommodation provided for him was in occupied East Jerusalem. 

“I really resented being used as a tool for the legitimisation of the occupation”, he said. 

Rob Abrams, a British Jewish graduate from a summer programme at the Rothberg International School, which is part of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said: “I felt like I’d been lied to. I felt very betrayed. I was on a programme where we focussed on supposed coexistence, but there we were on land that, under international law, is an illegal occupation.”

The land in question is Al Samar, which belonged to the village of Lefta and today is referred to as the ‘French Hill’ settlement and hosts the university’s Student Village. This land, and the surroundings of the university in general, have been a site of contention between the Palestinian inhabitants and the university for decades. 

The university has expanded by dispossessing Palestinians of territory, according to experts who have studied the campus. A strategy of policing Palestinians in the surroundings while keeping a pretence of fostering “community relations” has accompanied the expansion, they say.

openDemocracy has spoken to a number of students who have stayed in the student village, who confirmed that residents at the accommodation included students from SOAS, Leeds, and the University of Birmingham, all of whom advertise exchange programmes with the Hebrew University.

The Universities of Durham and Manchester, and University College London offer exchanges with the Hebrew University, and specifically advertise its student village on their websites, despite it being on occupied territory. 

The University of Oxford, Queen Mary’s, University of London, and Trinity and University Colleges in Dublin also advertise years abroad at Hebrew University, but don’t specify on their websites what accommodation is available to students on these programmes, though students who have spent time at the Hebrew University have said that the overwhelming majority of students on years abroad from all universities stay at the student village, and therefore on occupied territory.

‘Segregation’

More than one student who had studied at the Hebrew University described the conditions on the campus as “segregation”. 

“The truth is that Israeli, Palestinian and international students barely interact. The majority of Palestinian students are there at times of the year that there really aren’t that many Israeli students around,” said Rob Abrams. 

“There’s a lot of suspicion and security in between the campus and the Palestinian villages around it. Soldiers regularly harass Palestinans near the student accommodation to keep them segregated and away from… the student village.

A Black student who had attended the university as part of her dance course at a US university also described the living conditions as “segregation”. She added that it was on a tour of the campus after she arrived that she was shown the fenced-off Palestinian area next to the campus.

Speaking to openDemocracy, she said she felt her university hadn’t properly prepared her for the highly racialised context to which it was sending her.

“My Black sisters had some experiences that were traumatic personally,” she said, describing being spat at and stoned in an Orthodox area of Jerusalem. 

Another former student we spoke to said that a far-right student group on campus harassed him after he spoke out about the situation. 

Student campaign

Palestinian SOAS student Yara Derbas, who is a member of the campaign group Apartheid Off Campus, accused the universities of “sending their students to directly take part in the maintenance of war crimes and normalise relationships with institutions which are rooted in the most brutal form of racism in our time: colonialism, apartheid and European supremacy. 

“These programmes should have never been formed in the first place, and they must end immediately.”

More than a hundred students’ union officers have signed a letter condemning the exchange programmes.

In the letter, seen by openDemocracy, they draw a contrast between statements of support for the Black Lives Matter movement from universities and their involvement with Israeli institutions. It says: “It is an undisputed fact that UK universities are actively enabling Israel’s colonial policies against the indigenous people of Palestine.”

The letter continues “eleven UK universities maintain… exchange programmes with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which is not only partially built on illegally occupied land but is also openly and systematically racist against its Palestinian students and staff. Such partnerships effectively mean that many UK exchange students were housed in illegal settlements, contravening any ethical framework and International Law.”

Universities cancel programmes

When openDemocracy contacted the School of Oriental and African Studies to ask about its involvement in the scheme, a spokesperson said that the university had agreed to back out of its arrangement with the Hebrew University at the end of the 2019/20 academic year.

The spokesperson added: “As a result of concerns raised from the SOAS community, SOAS looked at the various options for Hebrew Year Abroad provision, and eventually it was agreed that we would move our provider to Haifa University after this coming academic year.”

The University of West London also responded to our inquiries by announcing that it had cancelled its partnership.

Commenting on these schemes being cancelled, Derbas added: “SOAS and UWL ceasing links with Hebrew University is a milestone in our academic boycott campaign, setting a precedent for other universities in the UK to break their links with Israel’s apartheid regime.”

However, a number of universities defended their schemes. Responding to questions from openDemocracy, a spokesperson for the University of Manchester said:

“These agreements are vital to delivering a world class learning experience to our students and to maintaining an international experience on campus. One of these agreements is with Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which is an internationally widely recognised institution in Israel which in turn has agreements across 27 countries.”

The university confirmed that it didn’t have a formal agreement with any Palestinian university. 

Queen Mary, University of London, confirmed that two of its students have taken part in exchanges with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, both in 2019, but added that it didn’t hold any information on the accommodation these students stayed in.

A spokesperson for the University of Birmingham said that it has “a robust due diligence process in place, which places student experience at its heart, when considering which partner institutions to work with to host study abroad students. We consider all issues in our review process for renewals and any continuation of agreements with our partners.”

A spokesperson from the University of Leeds said:

“[We have] more than 300 university partners worldwide – enabling [our] students to develop their skills and experience and enhance employability. One of these partnerships is with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“Having been informed by a student, after their return to Leeds, of an issue relating to their accommodation, we are taking steps to discuss it with our partner university.”

Asked whether any of these partnerships were with Palestinian universities, Leeds confirmed that they weren’t.

Oxford University and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem did not respond to our request for comment. 

Palestinian students behind bars

Meanwhile, Palestiniain students are facing what they have labelled a campaign of arrest by Israeli forces which have targeted more than eighty university and high-school students in the West Bank alone. A letter by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America addressed to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brigadier General Rasan Alian, head of civil administration in the West Bank, describes the arrests as “a continuation of an undeclared but indisputable Israeli policy of targeting and disrupting Palestinian higher education”.

More recently, the Right to Education campaign at Birzeit University in the West Bank warned that “more than 80 detained students are exposed to an imminent danger as a result of the spread of Coronavirus inside Israeli prisons”, while the campaign of arrests of students continues.   

Krystian Benedict from Amnesty International said: “Palestinian students face numerous obstacles in accessing education – including forced displacement, demolitions, restrictions on movement, attacks and harassment from Israeli settlers. UK universities must not contribute to a system of oppression which routinely violates the right to education of Palestinians.” 

 =========================================================

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/student-led-palestinian-rights-group-forces-universities-break-ties-illegal-settlement

Student-led Palestinian rights group forces universities to break ties with illegal settlement

03/08/2020

STUDENT campaigners claimed victory today after two universities pulled out of an exchange programme with a university on illegally occupied Palestinian land.

Soas and the University of West London (UWL) have both ended agreements with Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem — partially built on occupied land in the east of the city.

They had come under pressure from the Apartheid Off Campus (AOC) campaign, which has accused British universities of “actively enabling Israel’s colonial policies against the indigenous people of Palestine.”

The programme has been offered at 11 institutions including the universities of Manchester, Oxford and Leeds.

As part of the exchange, British students usually stay in halls of residence in an illegally occupied area of East Jerusalem.

Some students who signed up for the year abroad were not told by their university that they would be staying in an illegal Israeli settlement, according to a report by Open Democracy.

AOC said that the expansion of the university’s Mount Scopus campus has driven the displacement of Palestinians from their land.

Soas announced that it will end its agreement with Hebrew University this year and move the programme to Haifa after concerns were raised by students.

“We decided that Haifa University offers a better option due to the structure of the programme and issues around students’ welfare,” a Soas statement said.

UWL also told Open Democracy that it was ending its involvement in the programme.

British universities have received a letter urging them to pull out of the programme, signed by 120 student union officers.

“Such partnerships effectively mean that many UK exchange students were housed in illegal settlements, contravening any ethical framework and international law,” it says.

But a number of universities, including Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, have refused to break ties.

The University of Manchester told Open Democracy that its relationship with the Hebrew University is “vital to delivering a world-class learning experience to our students.”

AOC, which was launched in May this year, has vowed to continue mobilising students across the country until “all complicity with Israeli apartheid has ceased.

“It is unacceptable that UK students are sent to study on stolen land while the occupied population are denied their rights and freedom. Our recent victories show that,” it said.

===========================================================

Academic Board 13.03.2019
AB 18/19 4 F
Appendix 1
The options for Hebrew Year Abroad provision
AB is asked to approve the following Report
Executive Summary
ADC requested that the matter of Hebrew Year Abroad be referred to Academic Board for discussion. The Hebrew programme was asked to examine alternatives to the current arrangements with the Hebrew University. This document surveys the options for Year Abroad providers in Israel for the BA degrees in Hebrew and NME Studies. SOAS sends a small number of students each year to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Potential Hebrew schools were contacted by email and phone to ascertain the level of language provision and assistance they provide for students. This paper also provides a response to the counter-proposal sent in advance of the last Academic Board
Sponsored by Ben Murtagh
Recommendations & Next Steps
The paper outlines a number of options based on teaching suitability, pastoral care and cost while noting political concerns.
The Hebrew section recommends that we continue with the Hebrew University programme based on The suitability of the programme for our students and the degree of pastoral care offered. The best alternative to this is this Kibbutz Ulpan, there will be challenges in agreeing a programme that fits out students needs but there will be cost benefits. We have not yet visited Kibbutz Ulpan and if advised to seek an agreement with this provider a site visit would be necessary. The other non-university providers are seen as unsuitable for reasons explained in the paper. The Universities of Bir Zeit and al-Quds have also been considered but unfortunately these are not viable options.
Academic Board should make a recommendation as to which provider the Hebrew programme should work with for future Hebrew Year Abroad provision.
Financial Impact
The Hebrew University Programme costs $12, 235 for a full year and $8,275 for half a year. Other university providers have a similar cost.
Kibbutz Ulpan costs $1500 for half a year and $3000 for a full year.
£750 has been budgeted (from SLCL) for any necessary visits to sites if directed to establish a relationship with a new provider.
48
Academic Board 13.03.2019
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Appendix 1
Risks
As with any Year Abroad programme the provision of pastoral care by the local provider is key in minimising a variety of risks that might affect student outcomes. The quality of the provision is essential in ensuring a good student learning experience. For these reasons we have focussed on these factors in assessing the suitability of potential providers.
To choose a non-university provider other than Kibbutz Ulpan would increase risks in these two respects. In addition students there would be significant issues for students as they would be unable to apply for student visas with these providers.
Equality implications
Suitable pastoral care is only offered by the Universities and the Kibbutz Ulpan. To partner with a non-university partner which does not offer pastoral care would have implications for some students with specific learning, wellbeing and support needs.
Consultations
Providers listed in the paper have been consulted.
49
Academic Board 13.03.2019
AB 18/19 4 F
Appendix 1
1 March 19
Survey of Year Abroad providers for the BA in Hebrew and Israeli Studies
This document surveys the options for Year Abroad providers in Israel for the BA in Hebrew and Israeli Studies. SOAS sends a small number of students each year to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Hebrew programme was asked to examine alternatives to the current arrangements with the Hebrew University. Potential Hebrew schools were contacted by email and phone to ascertain the level of language provision and assistance they provide for students.
The main requirements from Year Abroad providers are on aspects of tuition, quality and pastoral care. At a minimum, providers should offer intensive courses of Hebrew instruction (Ulpan) of 4-6 weeks, followed by an academic term (or two) in levels suitable for our students. Some providers offer additional classes in English on non-language topics and themes, which is an advantage. Providers should provide adequate pastoral care for SOAS students, in welcoming the students and providing support and advice on a variety of issues, such as housing, mental health etc. Providers should offer assistance in obtaining student visas which would allow students one-year visa that would cover the period of study. Providers should have track record in teaching and looking after international students.
The Alternative Proposal document mentioned two alternative options – the Universities of Bir Zeit and al-Quds. Unfortunately these are not viable options.
The premise of the Year abroad is to allow students to study the language in an immersive environment, where they encounter it not only in language classes. This is the pedagogical value and logic of the Year Abroad.
In Bir Zeit, which is in the Palestinian occupied territories, Hebrew is taught as a foreign language. Otherwise, teaching is conducted in Arabic or English. Therefore students would have very limited exposure to Hebrew, and they would not hear Hebrew spoken outside class, unless they travel especially to areas in Israel proper (which would be limited to weekends at best). In that sense, there is no point in sending them on a year abroad in the first place.
The second option mentioned in the document was Al-Quds university. Teaching in a-Quds is conducted in Arabic, and again, Hebrew would be taught as a foreign language, which defeats the purpose of the year abroad. However, given al-Quds’s location in Jerusalem, at least students would have exposure to Hebrew. Depending on the quality of the programme, and how it is tailored and organised, we would have considered such an option, had it existed.
But there is no Hebrew programme advertised in al-Quds. There is no mention of any Hebrew tuition in al-Quds’s website. We have emailed al-Quds to express our interest and to ask if they offer Hebrew, but have not received reply. We also requested more details from Sai Englert, the author of the proposal, but have not heard back.
The options for the Hebrew Year Abroad are therefore outlines as below
Current provider
The Rothberg International School, The Hebrew University Jerusalem
50
Academic Board 13.03.2019
AB 18/19 4 F
Appendix 1
Part of the Hebrew University, The Rothberg International School offers courses for overseas students since 1956. Currently has a student body of over 2000 students a year, from 90 countries.
Students who go to Israel for the full-year take a summer intensive Hebrew course, followed by two academic semesters, in which they have between 8-12 hours of Hebrew instruction a week alongside other courses taught in English for them to choose.
Students who do a Year Abroad between two countries come to Israel in January and do a four-week intensive Hebrew course before joining the other students for the spring semester.
Students can apply for accommodation at university dorms, and receive pastoral care assistance 24/7. An emergency number is available for students at all hours.
Registration for the programme entitles students to apply for a student visa.
Cost:
Full year: $12,235
Half year: $8,275
(discounted fees to SOAS students by agreement with the Rothberg International School)
Alternative University providers offering a similar programme –
1. Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Full year tuition $12,700
Half year: $8,700
Tuition Fees for all Semester or Year-Long Programs include weekly social activities, academic field trips, trips around Israel, access to the university sports center & health insurance.
2. Tel Aviv university
Full year tuition: $12,950
Half year: $8,700
Program Trips, student activities, facility fees and health insurance are all included in the tuition fees quoted above.
3. Haifa University:
Full year tuition: $12,300
Half year: $8,400
Foreign students registered for full time education in Israeli universities can get a student visa, valid for one year.
Non university providers – different programme 51
Academic Board 13.03.2019
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Appendix 1
The only non-University provider to meet SOAS minimum requirements, in terms of student support and pastoral care, is Kibbutz Ulpan – Ulpan Eztion Kibbutz Tzuba. This programme differs from university ones and does not easily correspond to UK academic year, and so would require special tailoring.
This programme runs for 5 months, twice a year (starting in May or October).
Students study Hebrew for 25 hours a week and work 24 hours a week, either in the kibbutz, or as interns in Jerusalem. They are not paid for their work, but are provided with free accommodation on the kibbutz, three meals a day, and there is pastoral care 24/7.
The programme is aimed at university graduates, and the same language school also trains the British diplomatic staff in Israel.
Students registered on this programme are eligible to apply for a student visa and the kibbutz movement hosting the programme can facilitate this procedure.
Cost, for a five months programme
5500 NIS (approx. $1500)
The dates for this programme do not correspond easily with our academic year. Based on a conversation with the manager, there is a possibility of making adjustments/changes, and requires further discussion.
If this option is to be considered, a site visit would be required to confirm the conditions and teaching arrangement.
Other language schools in Israel – unsuitable alternatives
There are other potential Hebrew language schools in Israel, but they do not meet the requirements in terms of tuition and pastoral care.
Most Hebrew Language teaching institutions are run by the Ministry of Education/Ministry of Absorption [of immigrants] and are mainly designated for new immigrants, not foreign students.
There are some private Hebrew language teaching providers (ulpans), such as Ulpan Milah (Jerusalem), Gordon (Tel Aviv) Etzion (Raanana). These schools provide language tuition only, are not geared to provide assistance for students, and are not interested in taking such role in an arrangement with SOAS.
They normally offer between 4-5 hours of language tuition a day, 4-5 days a week (20-25 hours).
Students registered for a full-time Hebrew language programme in a private ulpan cannot apply for a student visa and will need to enter Israel as tourist, with a three-months visa only.
Ulpan Milah, Jeursalem:
Three months term – four mornings a week, four hours a day
Cost: NIS3480 (about $950).
There are no facilities to offer dorms, no social activities, no health insurance nor pastoral care/support 24/7.
Similar provisions at Gordon Ulpan, Tel Aviv and Ulpan Etzion, Raanana
Political objections 52
Academic Board 13.03.2019
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Appendix 1
The main objection raised in the case of the Hebrew University is that the campus is on occupied territory. As explained in previous document, the campus’s periphery extends into occupied territory (part of the dormitory as well as the sports centre). The main campus is not on occupied land (neither the Rothberg institute nor any other Hebrew University teaching facility). EU policy, according to the EU embassy in Israel, is to consider Mt. Scopus Campus as within the 1967 lines, that is, within “Israel proper”, and not to see the campus as located on occupied territory.
All other universities and schools referred to here are within Israel proper, the 1967 lines.
Summary
University schools for international students are the most suitable providers for Hebrew Year Abroad in Israel. Of these, the Hebrew University is in our view the best option in pedagogic terms, and its fees are comparable to other universities in Israel (similar or slightly cheaper).
Private Hebrew schools do not meet the requirements for Study Abroad providers. They do not provide any pastoral care for students, are not set up to provide such assistance, whether in terms of housing and dormitories, mental health, or any other assistance.
The most obvious problem is the issue of visa. These private schools cannot offer assistance in obtaining one year student visas, which means that students would enter the country on a three months tourist visas – shorter than their programme. This is not a viable option.
The only non-University provider which meets the requirements in terms of pastoral care is the Kibbutz Ulpan. However their programme would have to be tailored, particularly for students who do a shared year abroad to ensure they can spend sufficient time in Israel for their half Year Abroad.
This report was prepared by Dr. Tamar Drukker, Senior Lector in Hebrew, and Dr. Yair Wallach, Senior Lecturer in Israeli Studies. 

Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
The options for Hebrew Year Abroad provision
AB is asked to consider the following Report
Executive Summary
ADC requested that the matter of Hebrew Year Abroad be referred to Academic Board for discussion. The Hebrew programme was asked to examine alternatives to the current arrangements with the Hebrew University. This document surveys the options for Year Abroad providers in Israel for the BA degrees in Hebrew and NME Studies. SOAS sends a small number of students each year to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Potential Hebrew schools were contacted by email and phone to ascertain the level of language provision and assistance they provide for students.
Sponsored by Ben Murtagh
Recommendations & Next Steps
The paper outlines a number of options based on teaching suitability, pastoral care and cost while noting political concerns.
The Hebrew section recommends that we continue with the Hebrew University programme based on The suitability of the programme for our students and the degree of pastoral care offered. The best alternative to this is this Kibbutz Ulpan, there will be challenges in agreeing a programme that fits out students needs but there will be cost benefits. We have not yet visited Kibbutz Ulpan and if advised to seek an agreement with this provider a site visit would be necessary. The other non-university providers are seen as unsuitable for reasons explained in the paper.
Academic Board should make a recommendation as to which provider the Hebrew programme should work with for future Hebrew Year Abroad provision.
Financial Impact
The Hebrew University Programme costs $12, 235 for a full year and $8,275 for half a year. Other university providers have a similar cost.
Kibbutz Ulpan costs $1500 for half a year and $3000 for a full year.
£750 has been budgeted (from SLCL) for any necessary visits to sites if directed to establish a relationship with a new provider.
Risks
As with any Year Abroad programme the provision of pastoral care by the local provider is 51
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
key in minimising a variety of risks that might affect student outcomes. The quality of the provision is essential in ensuring a good student learning experience. For these reasons we have focussed on these factors in assessing the suitability of potential providers.
To choose a non-university provider other than Kibbutz Ulpan would increase risks in these two respects. In addition students there would be significant issues for students as they would be unable to apply for student visas with these providers.
Equality implications
Suitable pastoral care is only offered by the Universities and the Kibbutz Ulpan. To partner with a non-university partner which does not offer pastoral care would have implications for some students with specific learning, wellbeing and support needs.
Consultations
Providers listed in the paper have been consulted. 52
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
Survey of Year Abroad providers for the BA in Hebrew and Israeli Studies
This document surveys the options for Year Abroad providers in Israel for the BA in Hebrew and Israeli Studies. SOAS sends a small number of students each year to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Hebrew programme was asked to examine alternatives to the current arrangements with the Hebrew University. Potential Hebrew schools were contacted by email and phone to ascertain the level of language provision and assistance they provide for students.
The main requirements from Year Abroad providers are on aspects of tuition, quality and pastoral care. At a minimum, providers should offer intensive courses of Hebrew instruction (Ulpan) of 4-6 weeks, followed by an academic term (or two) in levels suitable for our students. Some providers offer additional classes in English on non-language topics and themes, which is an advantage. Providers should provide adequate pastoral care for SOAS students, in welcoming the students and providing support and advice on a variety of issues, such as housing, mental health etc. Providers should offer assistance in obtaining student visas which would allow students one-year visa that would cover the period of study. Providers should have track record in teaching and looking after international students.
Current provider
The Rothberg International School, The Hebrew University Jerusalem
Part of the Hebrew University, The Rothberg International School offers courses for overseas students since 1956. Currently has a student body of over 2000 students a year, from 90 countries.
Students who go to Israel for the full-year take a summer intensive Hebrew course, followed by two academic semesters, in which they have between 8-12 hours of Hebrew instruction a week alongside other courses taught in English for them to choose.
Students who do a Year Abroad between two countries come to Israel in January and do a four-week intensive Hebrew course before joining the other students for the spring semester.
Students can apply for accommodation at university dorms, and receive pastoral care assistance 24/7. An emergency number is available for students at all hours.
Registration for the programme entitles students to apply for a student visa.
Cost:
Full year: $12,235
Half year: $8,275
(discounted fees to SOAS students by agreement with the Rothberg International School)
Alternative University providers offering a similar programme –
1.Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Full year tuition $12,700
Half year: $8,700
Tuition Fees for all Semester or Year-Long Programs include weekly social activities, academic field trips, trips around Israel, access to the university sports center & health insurance. 53
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
2.Tel Aviv university
Full year tuition: $12,950
Half year: $8,700
Program Trips, student activities, facility fees and health insurance are all included in the tuition fees quoted above.
3.Haifa University:
Full year tuition: $12,300
Half year: $8,400
Foreign students registered for full time education in Israeli universities can get a student visa, valid for one year.
Non university providers – different programme
The only non-University provider to meet SOAS minimum requirements, in terms of student support and pastoral care, is Kibbutz Ulpan – Ulpan Eztion Kibbutz Tzuba. This programme differs from university ones and does not easily correspond to UK academic year, and so would require special tailoring.
This programme runs for 5 months, twice a year (starting in May or October).
Students study Hebrew for 25 hours a week and work 24 hours a week, either in the kibbutz, or as interns in Jerusalem. They are not paid for their work, but are provided with free accommodation on the kibbutz, three meals a day, and there is pastoral care 24/7.
The programme is aimed at university graduates, and the same language school also trains the British diplomatic staff in Israel.
Students registered on this programme are eligible to apply for a student visa and the kibbutz movement hosting the programme can facilitate this procedure.
Cost, for a five months programme
5500 NIS (approx. $1500)
The dates for this programme do not correspond easily with our academic year. Based on a conversation with the manager, there is a possibility of making adjustments/changes, and requires further discussion.
If this option is to be considered, a site visit would be required to confirm the conditions and teaching arrangement.
Other language schools in Israel – unsuitable alternatives
There are other potential Hebrew language schools in Israel, but they do not meet the requirements in terms of tuition and pastoral care.
Most Hebrew Language teaching institutions are run by the Ministry of Education/Ministry of Absorption [of immigrants] and are mainly designated for new immigrants, not foreign students. 54
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
There are some private Hebrew language teaching providers (ulpans), such as Ulpan Milah (Jerusalem), Gordon (Tel Aviv) Etzion (Raanana). These schools provide language tuition only, are not geared to provide assistance for students, and are not interested in taking such role in an arrangement with SOAS.
They normally offer between 4-5 hours of language tuition a day, 4-5 days a week (20-25 hours).
Students registered for a full-time Hebrew language programme in a private ulpan cannot apply for a student visa and will need to enter Israel as tourist, with a three-months visa only.
Ulpan Milah, Jeursalem:
Three months term – four mornings a week, four hours a day
Cost: NIS3480 (about $950).
There are no facilities to offer dorms, no social activities, no health insurance nor pastoral care/support 24/7.
Similar provisions at Gordon Ulpan, Tel Aviv and Ulpan Etzion, Raanana
Political objections
The main objection raised in the case of the Hebrew University is that the campus is on occupied territory. As explained in previous document, the campus’s periphery extends into occupied territory (part of the dormitory as well as the sports centre). The main campus is not on occupied land (neither the Rothberg institute nor any other Hebrew University teaching facility). EU policy, according to the EU embassy in Israel, is to consider Mt. Scopus Campus as within the 1967 lines, that is, within “Israel proper”, and not to see the campus as located on occupied territory.
All other universities and schools referred to here are within Israel proper, the 1967 lines.
Summary
University schools for international students are the most suitable providers for Hebrew Year Abroad in Israel. Of these, the Hebrew University is in our view the best option in pedagogic terms, and its fees are comparable to other universities in Israel (similar or slightly cheaper).
Private Hebrew schools do not meet the requirements for Study Abroad providers. They do not provide any pastoral care for students, are not set up to provide such assistance, whether in terms of housing and dormitories, mental health, or any other assistance.
The most obvious problem is the issue of visa. These private schools cannot offer assistance in obtaining one year student visas, which means that students would enter the country on a three months tourist visas – shorter than their programme. This is not a viable option.
The only non-University provider which meets the requirements in terms of pastoral care is the Kibbutz Ulpan. However their programme would have to be tailored, particularly for students who do a shared year abroad to ensure they can spend sufficient time in Israel for their half Year Abroad. 55
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
This report was prepared by Dr. Tamar Drukker, Senior Lector in Hebrew, and Dr. Yair Wallach, Senior Lecturer in Israeli Studies.

===================================

https://soasunion.org/liberation/priority/bds/

Free Palestine and BDS

The SOAS Students Union was the first UK students union to vote for and support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign launched in 2005 by Palestinian civil society organisations. For over 30 years, the SOAS Palestine Society has been one of the most active societies at SOAS. SOAS students have continuously supported the Palestinian struggle for liberation and decolonisation, with SOAS becoming one of the most active campuses in Britain.

In response to the 2005 call, the SOAS Students Union voted to join, support, and campaign for the boycott of Israel. At the October Union General Meeting this academic year (2014/2015), SOAS students decided to escalate their support for BDS. A school-wide referendum has been called for to decide whether SOAS, as an academic institution, should follow the BDS guidelines and join an academic boycott of Israeli institutions and companies. 

SOAS currently has links with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ), sending Hebrew language students to HUJ for their year abroad. The Hebrew University campus is located on Palestinian land, Jerusalem, which was confiscated in 1968, a practice which began in 1947 and directly contravenes International Law. Furthermore, the Hebrew University has direct links with the University of Ariel, which is based in the West Bank colony of Ariel, and recognises its degrees. Finally the Hebrew University offers preferential treatment to Israeli soldiers who are engaged in the daily human rights violations in Palestine, particularly Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.

Find HERE a video exposing the military-academic collaboration between the Hebrew University and the Israeli Defence Force.

Find HERE a video showing the response of some students from Hebrew University which explains the situation they live every day on campus.

THE REFERENDUM WILL BE TAKING PLACE AT SOAS IN THE LAST WEEK OF FEBRUARY (23rd-27th)

The referendum will be open to ALL members of the SOAS community: students, academics, cleaners, security guards, caterers, faculty and support staff and management.

The referendum will be asking all members of the SOAS community whether they think SOAS should fully join the BDS campaign and implement academic boycott following the PACBI guidelines  (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel).

– For more information on day-to-day events, discussions and more information coming up in the next weeks, access the SOAS BDS campaign Facebook page HERE

– For more information on what an Academic Boycott entails, read the guidelines on ‘Why Boycott Israeli Universities,’ issued by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) – HERE

This webpage was last updated on: 18 Jan 2015 15:46

King’s College London’s Anti-Israel Group “Action Palestine”Recruits Israelis to Besmirch Israel

05.08.2020
Editorial Note
 
The Group “Action Palestine” at King’s College London (KCLAP) has only one mission, to attack Israel.  The group has been recruiting Israeli academics to present Israel in a negative light. A recent online event was held by KCLAP, titled “Black Jewish Lives Matter.”
 
The event was reported by Georgia Leatherdale-Gilholy, an associate with the CAMERA on Campus UK, a pro-Israel organization that follows campus campaigns to delegitimize Israel, titled “An academic attempt to frame Israel as a devious colonial enterprise.” The keynote speaker was Efrat Yerday, a doctoral candidate and lecturer at Tel Aviv University. She is a leading activist for Ethiopians in Israel who holds an M.A. in Politics and Government from Ben Gurion University. In her talk, Yerday was quoted as saying, “Ethiopians are sick of being depicted as people who should be grateful to their white ‘saviours’ for … barely qualifying as Jews.”    Last year, Yerday has published an article with the publisher Berghahn Journals, Visual Anthropology in the Middle East, guest edited by Profs. Esther Hertzog and Yael Katzir. Yerday’s article, “To Be Black and Beautiful in Israel,” reviews works by female artists of Ethiopian origin. She argues that “these artists are presenting their attitudes towards the ‘white gaze.’ Though constantly subjected to it by the Israeli hegemony.” Yerday draws on postcolonial theory, among others. As a former student of BGU Politics and Government, the use of post-modernist jargon to debunk Israel is not surprising.  
 

The host was Nimrod Evron, an Israeli member of KCLAP, and a master’s student of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. He, according to Leatherdale-Gilholy’s report, “was out to dismiss the reality of Israeli society so as to frame it as a devious colonial enterprise.” Evron also teaches middle school pupils at the London Acorn School for alternative schooling.  Evron is a radical activist who gave a talk in 2015, before a Quaker audience. He was described as a “Jewish Israeli activist and Educator who’s activism includes involvement in New Profile’s Refusal Support Network and Alternative Summer Camp for Youth.”  He explained his opposition to the Israeli State’s policies of “occupation and oppression.” He discussed “Direct action with Palestinians, worker immigration rights, the current situation on the Israeli left, Israel and the international community, international activist engagement with the Israeli public.” 

Evron was also recruited by KCLAP to teach a workshop “Occupation 101,” teaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the basics. This course aims to give a “comprehensive basic understanding of the conflict and occupation, both for people new to the conflict and people that already find themselves involved but feel they just need a better understanding.” Evron is presented as an activist in the anti-militarization and refusers movement, in various direct actions with Palestinians and various social justice campaigns, combining politics with critical education. In this course, he is accompanied by different Palestinian guest speakers.
 
According to KCLAP publication, this course is hosted by Babel’s Blessing, a grassroots language school.
 
The course prospectus includes a warning: “This is not a neutral course (there is no such thing). It does not aim to be “balanced” or “equal” to “both sides”. The violence between Israelis and Palestinians is far from being symmetric. There is a military occupation and a systematic disenfranchisement of Palestinian’s basic rights upheld by the state of Israel and the vast majority of Jewish-Israeli society. There is a dire need to resist this. However, the discourse promoted in this course aims to show that the clarity of having strong moral and political positions is not dimmed, but strengthened, by being supported by nuance and complexity.”
 
In June, KCLAP sent a letter to Prof. Edward Byrne, the KCL Principal, regarding partnerships with Technion. KCLAP stated, “We do not stand for any normalization of oppression. We do not want KCL to play any role in oppression worldwide. KCL must therefore listen to Archbishop Tutu and cut it’s partnership with the Technion immediately.”
 
In May, KCLAP promoted another initiative, “Apartheid Off Campus,” a new front for the Palestinian youth movement in the UK. It urges students “to get involved and find out how complicit your university is in Israeli Apartheid.”  They argue that “Despite previous successful divestment efforts, King’s College London still insists to invest over 2.2 million pounds in companies complicity with the illegal Israeli occupation although they have an ethical investment policy which includes ESG issues like human rights. They clearly need to start acknowledging the rights of Palestinians as Human Rights too!”
 
As mentioned above, Israelis from Ethiopian descent are being recruited by Palestinians to present Israel in a negative light. This, against the backdrop of Ethiopians Jews, waiting for Israel to fly them in from Ethiopia. Some are relatives of those who are already living in Israel. 
 

King’s College London, like many other universities in the West, should note that Palestinians are hacking their students’ organizations for their war against Israel.

JUL

05

Black Jewish Lives Matter – Meet Efrat Yerday (Free)

by Nimrod Evron

Date And Time Sun, 5 July 2020 21:00 – 22:30 IDT 

Location Online Event

About this Event

Sign up here: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfB6ka7zGyK6TOCMC6_9OKSRfl6k9a9dECGm_H3bdvMt_e4uw/viewform?usp=sf_link

Meet Efrat Yerday, Chair of the Association of Ethiopian Jews.

Around 2% of Israeli Jews are from Ethiopian background, but they make up 16% of the population accused of attacking police officers.

After years in Isreal of facing systematic discrimination, erasure of their identity and police violence, many Ethiopian Jews are tried of being depicted as people who should be grateful to their white “savours” for just barely qualifing as Jews. They are fighting back.

You are invited to meet Efrat Yerday. Poet, journalist, activist and chair of the Association of Ethiopian Jews, the leading organization for the struggle for equality for Ethiopian Jews in Israel.

This is a unique opportunity to learn about what is perhaps the least talked about community in the most internationally talked about conflict, and hear about what is it like to be a black Jew in Israel, where does that position them within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and about complicated relations between race, identity, state and struggle.

Is there a specific question or topic you want Efrata to address? You can put your suggestion in the sign up (link above).

Moderator: Nimrod Evron. An Israeli activist and educator based in London.

Zoom link to be sent just before the beginning of the event to those who signed up.

KCL Action Palestine Society

25 June

“Around 2% of Israeli Jews are from Ethiopian background, but they make up 16% of the population accused of attacking police officers.
After years in Israel of facing systematic discrimination, erasure of their identity and police violence, many Ethiopian Jews are tried of being depicted as people who should be grateful to their white ‘savours’ for just barely qualifing as Jews. They are fighting back.”

By looking at the treatment of Ethiopian Jews in Israel, our understanding of the racist discrimination experienced by Palestinians becomes clearer.

This is a unique opportunity to hear from Efrat Yerday, a leading figure in the Black Lives Matter movement in Israel, hosted by educator Nimrod Evron.

Nimrod Evron's photo.

SUN, 5 JULBlack Jewish Lives Matter – Meet Efrat YerdayOnline event100 people interested

======================================================

https://twitter.com/KCLAP
KCL Action Palestine@KCLAP Student run anti-Apartheid group. Aiming to educate on the Occupation of Palestine & campaign against KCL’s complicity. FREEDOM, JUSTICE, EQUALITY 

https://twitter.com/KCLAP/status/1233853602990522369

KCL Action Palestine @KCLAP ·Feb 29 Hi everyone, this workshop on Occupation 101 will be running from 11th March led by Nimrod Evron. It’s £10-15 per session and proceeds will be going towards Babel’s Blessing’s work with refugees. Details are in the link below  
Learning about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the basics  
https://occupation101.business.blog/

Learning about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the basics

Occupation 101

Everything you wanted to know about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but were too afraid to be called out to actually ask 

*Dates: Wednesdays 19:00-21:00

8.7 , 1.7 , 24.6 , 17.6 , 10.6 , 3.6 , 29.4 , 22.4 ,15.4 , 1.4 , 25.3 , 18.3 , 11.3

The course is online – with Zoom

Hoping to end closer to 20:45*

Sign up:  https://babels2019.as.me The first meeting at 11.3 is free! or contact me at occupation101course@gmail.com

Aims of this Course

To give comprehensive basic understanding of the conflict and occupation, both for people new to the conflict and people that already find themselves involved but feel they just need a better understanding.

To create a safe space to study, discuss and to inner-reflect about one of the most relevant, yet hazardous-for-discussion topics on the agenda.  

To give complicated, nuanced and helpful information and discourse on a topic which often lacks all of these in mainstream and social media. 

Each session is 1.5-2 hours. The sessions will combine discussions, and fun learning games with lectures and videos.

About the facilitator: Nimrod Evron is an Israeli activist and educator. He has been active in the anti-militarization and refusers movement, in various direct actions with Palestinians, and in various social justice campians. He specializes in combaining politics with critical education. He will be accompanied by different Palestinian guest speakers in several of the sessions.

This course is supported by the Yalla Nakba Education – a led by young Palestinians and Jews to teach about the Nakba, and is hosted by Babel’s Blessing – a grassroots organization that offers courses to raise money for English lessons to refugees.

:Fees

All fees go to fund English lessons for refugees in the UK. The facilitator does the course for free.

!Come to the first session, on 11.3.20, for free, and then decide if it’s right for you

Student cost – £120 ( £10 for each session)

Standard cost – £180 ( £15 for each session)

Warning: This is not a neutral course (there is no such thing). It does not aim to be “balanced” or “equal” to “both sides”. The violence between Israelis and Palestinians is far from being symmetric. There is a military occupation and a systematic disenfranchisement of Palestinian’s basic rights upheld by the state of Israel and the vast majority of Jewish-Israeli society. There is a dire need to resist this. However, the discourse promoted in this course aims to show that the clarity of having strong moral and political positions is not dimmed, but strengthened, by being supported by nuance and complexity.          

Course Structure

For the full course structure, scroll bellow

The course is divided into three sub-sections:

Sessions 1-3 (11.3-25.3) “The Basics” aim to “give us a footing” about the conflict, in understanding the group we are in, our personal, emotional and political positions, and having a wide (but brief) historical background (some of which will be expanded upon later).       

Sessions 4-7 (29.4-20.5) “The Issues” will dwell each time on a specific issue of the conflict, this will usually involve a guest as well.

Sessions 8-13 (3.6-8.7) “Perspectives and Solutions” should help us understand both ideas of why and how the occupation is being sustained, current trends, what acts of resistance are being attempted, and finally to allow the participants to “try and solve the conflict” or at least think what are their stands about it now.     

The course – session by session

The Basics

1. Introduction: why we are here, what is our presumptions, why can’t we usually learn properly about this, and how are we going to make it a proper space to learn and express our opinions.

2. Having basic navigational skills in the fundamentals of the conflict – Brief historical picture (19th century until 1967): The Zionist Dream, Palestine pre 1948, 48 war and the Nakkbah, The state of Israel and the Palestinians until 1967. 

3. The six day war, Occupation of 1967, establishment of occupation, First Lebanon War, First intifada, Oslo Accords, Second intifada, Separation Wall, Disengagement plan, Hamas takeover, Gaza Siege.

The Issues

4. The Nakkbah and the refugees

5. The military occupation in the West Bank and living within it (as Palestinians and as settlers, including also Palestinian violence from the West Bank and the military judicial and bureaucratic system)

6. Palestinian Israelis + the divided city of Jerusalem

7. Gaza (including also Hamas and rocket launching) + Palestinian prisoners

Perspectives and Solutions

8. The wider Arab-Israeli conflict and additional actors in the conflict (additional wars, Golan heights, Hezbollah, Iran, Egypt, Evangelicals, AIPAC, Saudi Arabia, EU, USA).

9. Zionist perspectives

10. Israeli Jewish society and the Occupation (including the politics of inner-Jewish group relations) 

11. Current trends in Palestinian society and acts of resistance

12. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UK – discussion about BDS, anti-Semitism and its place in the UK left

13. Conclusion and finding a solution

Sign up to the course at  https://babels2019.as.me

!Come to the first session, on 11.3.20, for free, and then decide if it’s right for you

Contact me for questions at https://occupation101.business.blog

======================================================

KCL Action Palestine Society

17 June

Letter from KCL Action Palestine to KCL Principal regarding partnerships with Technion.

We do not stand for any normalisation of oppression.

We do not want KCL to play any role in oppression worldwide.

KCL must therefore listen to Archbishop Tutu and cut it’s partnership with the Technion immediately.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK

Read full letter below:

===========================================================================

https://www.jns.org/opinion/an-academic-attempt-to-frame-israel-as-a-devious-colonial-enterprise/

An academic attempt to frame Israel as a devious colonial enterprise

Event speakers implied that along with Ethiopians, Israeli Arabs face ceaseless, racist oppression, though provided no evidence for this claim.
By Georgia Leatherdale-Gilholy

(July 22, 2020 / JNS) “Educator” Nimrod Evron and groups including King’s College London Action Palestine hosted a virtual discussion on Ethiopian Jews in Israel on July 5 to frame their experience as part of a “global struggle against racial injustice” recently publicized by the Black Lives Matter movement. The key speaker was Efrat Yerday, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and a leading figure in activism for Ethiopians in Israel.

It was evident from the outset of the meeting that Evron was out to dismiss the reality of Israeli society so as to frame it as a devious colonial enterprise. He guided the discussion with statements such as “Israel is a white, European culture” and “Israel is a white-supremacist society.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise since Evron is the facilitator of the “Occupation 101 Course” that boasts that it does not aim to be “balanced” or “equal” to “both sides” in its history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Yerday supported Evron’s extreme narrative by suggesting that “Ethiopians are sick of being depicted as people who should be grateful to their white ‘saviours’ for … barely qualifying as Jews.” Her rhetoric is a textbook radical attempt to generalize entire identity groups as possessing a monolithic experience and political agenda simply because they are not “white,” and reinforces the myth that non-Ethiopian Jews derive privilege from being “white.” There have been plenty of wranglings between the Ethiopian religious tradition and rabbinic Judaism, but this has generally been associated with theological qualms rather than racism. Ethiopian Jews are visible across Israeli politics, religious life and entertainment, yet Evron and Yerday deliberately presented events through a narrow lens of racial oppression so to misconstrue Israel as being uniquely evil.

As far as the question of “why is there no joint Ethiopian struggle with the Palestinians?” Yerday replied that Ethiopians were fearful of being considered saboteurs for aligning with Palestinian activism. The real answer would appear to be that for all of Israel’s flaws, the Ethiopian community overwhelmingly supports the Jewish state’s right to exist, and their enlistment rate in the Israel Defense Forces can be construed as an example: It is higher than that of the general population.

Why would the broadly Zionist Ethiopian community find common cause with the “Palestinian struggle,” which consistently seeks to dismantle Zionism and Israel violently? It was clear that the purpose of this discussion was not to identify issues with racism against Israeli Ethiopians, but to forge imaginary alliances between communities for the sake of demonizing Israel as an irredeemably racist project, whose crimes necessitate alliances of all who do not form a majority in Israeli society. It was implied continuously throughout the event that along with Ethiopians, Israeli Arabs face ceaseless, racist oppression, although no attempt to evidence this provocative claim was made.

Nevertheless, the recent history of Ethiopians in Israel is a complex one. “Operation Moses” (1984) and “Operation Solomon” (1991), in which the IDF rescued more than 20,000 Ethiopian Jews from famine and civil war in East Africa, was the precursor to today’s Ethiopian community in Israel. As Yerday outlined, discussions in the lead-up to the talk were not unanimous in their support for the Ethiopian migration. World Zionist Organization writer Malkah Raymist, for example, complained that the Ethiopians’ “mental outlook is that of children.” The Israeli government conducted the rescue missions nonetheless, and many incoming Ethiopians exited planes to the greeting of thousands of joyous Israeli onlookers. It is dishonest to define Israel by its counterfactual mistakes.

Yerday also highlighted a 2015 incident in which two Israeli police officers assaulted and arrested an Ethiopian-Israeli in IDF uniform as evidence of Israel’s deep racialized corruption. She omitted how the travesty sparked outrage, that the police involved were fired, and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally met the attacked soldier and declared that “Israel cannot accept racism.”

Another attendee who offered comment was Glyn Secker, secretary of fringe, pro-former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s “Jewish Voice for Labour” group. He claimed that the “Israeli lobby makes it impossible to criticize Zionism for fear of being called anti-Semitic.” In 2017, he defended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s comments that “Hitler supported Zionism,” arguing that Livingstone’s “real mistake” was his failure to quote Adolf Eichmann in support of his point.

Yerday was right to highlight the concerns facing Israeli Ethiopians. Yet instances of discrimination and inequity are not evidence of a wholly intolerant society, nor are they reasons to destroy Zionism or Israel but to continue to improve them. Significant resources have been invested in promoting equal opportunities for all Israelis—Ethiopians included. In May 2020, Pnina Tamano-Shata became Israel’s first Ethiopian-born cabinet minister and is drafting plans to allow further Ethiopian immigration to Israel.

The anti-Semitic remarks of several attendees that went unchallenged by the panel suggest that this event was not about discussing solutions for racial harmony. To the contrary, it was an attempt to categorize Israel as an irredeemably racist society by pigeon-holing the experience of thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis into the framework of a fundamentally flawed and virulently anti-Zionist, intersectional ideology.

Georgia Leatherdale-Gilholy is a CAMERA on Campus UK Associate.====================================================

KCL Action Palestine Society

14 May

Hey Everyone!

Make sure you check out Apartheid Off Campus. The new front for the Palestinian youth movement in the UK! Check out their website at www.apartheidoffcampus.org to get involved and find out how complicit your university is in Israeli Apartheid.

Despite previous successful divestment efforts, King’s College London still insists to invest over 2.2 million pounds in companies complicity with the illegal Israeli occupation although they have an ethical investment policy which includes ESG issues like human rights. They clearly need to start acknowledging the rights of Palestinians as Human Rights too!

Love from London to Palestine ✊🇵🇸

Image may contain: outdoor, text that says "WITH CONCERN HUMANITY If this wasn 't clear enough; IT'S APARTHEID F CAMRS F CKING TIME TO GET #APARTHEID OFF FCAMPUS @KCLGlobal @King g'sCollegeLon @KCLSU @Princi @PrincipalEddyBoy"

KCL Action Palestine Society30 November 2019

If it wasn’t clear enough, it’s time to get #APARTHEIDOFFCAMPUS!!!! After Wednesday’s action, we have released our statement signed by other UoL societies, calling on our universities to go #ApartheidFree 🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸 https://docs.google.com/…/1HrRfq9J2Tc4FMl9LFFcRqYmDI16DkWHQ…

London Universities  Palestinian National Day Of Action Statement

27.11.2019

On Wednesday 27th November, we mobilised to take over 2 of London’s major bridges in what became the largest collaborative student effort to nationally call for universities to end their complicity in the denial of palestinian human rights. Waterloo bridge became the national stage of a call for UK universities to get apartheid off campus which echoed across the UK as 1000s of students and university staff took part in the national day of action to demand an end to their university’s complicity in Israeli apartheid. Adjacent to the House of Commons, we gathered on Westminster Bridge to support the Labour Party’s pledge to immediately seize arms trade to Israel and all those complicit in international law violations. 

These protests aimed to draw international attention to damning investigative research gathered by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). Despite the majority of UK universities holding ethical investment and procurement policies, the research exposed over $500million of investments by UK universities in companies which finance and support Israel’s arms trade and illegal settlement economy. These investments enable Israel’s systematic oppression of the Palestinian people as a whole, which amounts to the crime of apartheid under international law. 

Palestinian students are joined by organisations, academics, fellow students and staff unions who are frustrated at their university’s continued dismissal of human rights. We express our discontent in the implementation  of our University’s “Ethical investment policy”, especially when it comes to the oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli Government.

We urge our universities to understand the implications of their investments in said companies on the infringment of the inalianable human rights of the Palestinian people. By not only supporting them financially, but normalizing relationships to those linked to the war crimes committed by the Israeli Government, institutions once seen as temples of progress and strongholds in the fight for human rights are knowingly surrendering to the profit-based motivations of modern higher education and hindering the Palestinian acquisition of freedom and equality.

By signing our pledge to be Apartheid Free, universities and organisations can make an official step to the right side of history by promising the international and local community to prevent their hindrance in the path to peace and relief by standing in solidarity with the palestinian people and commencing the cessation of any form of relationships with those complicit in human rights violations both in Palestine and internationally as part of this global call against any and all forms of oppression and discrimination.

Exist to resist!

KCL Action Palestine, Decolonize KCL, KCL Intersectional Feminist Society, KCL Amnesty International, KCL Iraqi Society, KCL Students 4 Syria, SOAS Palestine Society,  SOAS Afghan Society,  SOAS Feminist Society, City University Palestinian Society, City AhlulBayt Society, SOAS Syria Society, Westminster Students for Palestine Society,  UCL Friends of Palestine, St George’s Palestine Society, QMUL Friends of Palestine Society
====================================================

https://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/ame/14/1/ame140105.xml

To Be Black and Beautiful in Israel

in Anthropology of the Middle EastAuthor: Efrat Yerday 1

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3167/ame.2019.140105Keywords: Ethiopian Jewsethnicity and raceidentitypolitical artvisible minoritywomen and gender

This article reviews works of contemporary female artists of Ethiopian origin active in the Israeli art field. I analyse the subjects in their work and argue these artists are presenting their attitudes towards the ‘white gaze’. Though constantly subjected to it by the Israeli hegemony and the Western masculine discourse, they are notably decreasing their consideration of it. They broaden the restricted field of action that seems designated for them and alter its boundaries. Drawing on theorists of gender, postcolonial theory and theory of art, I demonstrate how these artists are promoting an agenda that reflects their lives as black women in Israel. Influenced by recent socio-political changes and a decline in representations of black women on TV and in visual arts, these artworks were increasingly exhibited in solo and group exhibitions.===================================================

https://thefriend.org/article/finding-peace-and-justice

Finding peace and justice

9 Jul 2015 | by Lisa Hoyle

Lisa Hoyle writes about a talk given by Nimrod Evron on Israeli state policy

Nimrod Evron is an Israeli citizen who stands in opposition to Israeli state policy and the occupation. He has played a pivotal role in setting up organisations working with youth who oppose conscription and is currently studying for an MA at Birkbeck College, London. The Liverpool Quaker Peace Group invited Nimrod Evron to speak at a public meeting in June.
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https://www.mcnd.org.uk/2015/06/02/helping-other-voices-to-be-heard-nimrod-evron/
JUNE 2, 2015 BY ANDY MORTON

Helping Other Voices to be Heard – Nimrod Evron

Venue: Liverpool Friends’ Meeting House, 22 School Lane, L1
Time/Date: 19:00 – 21:30, Thursday 18th June 2015

This is a rare opportunity to hear a first hand account of Israeli opposition to the Israeli State’s policies of occupation and oppression. Nimrod Evron is a Jewish Israeli activist and Educator who’s activism includes involvement in New Profile’s Refusal Support Network and Alternative Summer Camp for Youth. He is not speaking as a politician but is offering to share his experiences covering topics which include: Direct action with Palestinians, worker immigration rights, the current situation on the Israeli left, Israel and the international community, international activist engagement with the Israeli public.
Liverpool Quakers are committed to peace by peaceful means – we welcome all to attend.

From TAU Prof. Avner Ben-Amos to MK Dr. Ofer Cassif in the Knesset


29.07.2020
Editorial Note

IAM reported in June that two scholars have each published an analysis of school textbooks, Israeli and Palestinian. One is by Dr. Arnon Groiss, whose study examined the content of the Palestinian Authority’s schoolbooks and teachers’ guides as far as the conflict with Israel is concerned. This study provided examples of de-legitimization of Israel’s existence and the right of Jews in the Land of Israel, a denial of the existence of Jewish holy places in the Land of Israel, and a demonization of Israel and the Jews.

The other is by Prof. Avner Ben-Amos, who explored how Israeli textbooks and exams address the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians. In his research, he finds that the occupation is rarely a topic in schools. He names this phenomenon, an “interpretive denial… the Jewish control and the Palestinians’ inferior status appear as a natural, self-evident situation that one doesn’t have to think about.”  

However, Ben-Amos is a life-long political activist which casts doubts on his scholarship. In 2011 IAM reported, that Ben-Amos was quoted in Haaretz concerning a program in schools enhancing young peoples’ awareness of Israel’s history.   Ben-Amos argued the program “tries to anchor young peoples’ identity in a cult of the dead, emphasizing bereavement and the victim.” Ben Amos claimed that “getting stuck in the past leads to self-perception as an eternal victim… We forget that since 1967, IDF soldiers are no longer victims but rather partners in turning another people into victims,” he said. In 2001, he signed a petition by “Palestinian and Israeli intellectuals and activists, view with grave concern the unbearable and inhuman situation imposed on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza. Such a situation has been brought about by the repression, blockades, and daily humiliation exercised by the military occupation and by the daily harassment that Jewish settlers inflict on the Palestinian Population.” 

Not surprisingly, Ben-Amos’s study attracted the attention of Knesset member Dr. Ofer Cassif from the Joint List, a former Hebrew University academic and a long time political activist. IAM reported in February 2019 that Cassif was  one of the most radical academics in Israel; he was an army service refuser and was jailed during the First Intifada.  He took advantage of the lax higher education system to preach his anti-Israel politics while serving as a member of the political bureau of the Israeli Communist Party. Cassif’s courses in Political Science at the Hebrew University and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Academic College had mirrored his politics: “Capital and Government”; “Capital, Government and Social Justice”; “Cinema and Politics”; “Fascism – Past and Present.”   Cassif’s 2006 Ph.D. thesis, “On Nationalism and Democracy: A Marxist Examination,” at the London School of Economics and Political Science, “shows that both democracy (as we commonly understand it today) and nationalism are strongly embedded in modern conditions (primarily capitalism).”  His solution: Democracy “must be a socialist one in which the means of identity production are collectively owned.” 

Following the publication of Ben-Amos textbooks research, Cassif called for a meeting of the Knesset Committee of Education, where he is a member. The Committee met on July 15, 2020, to discuss the “Concealing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in textbooks.”   Cassif said in the meeting that “The reason for the discussion I initiated is the study of Prof. Avner Ben-Amos, from Tel Aviv University… What he [Ben-Amos] says is that there is in the textbooks, mainly, in the fields of History, Civics, and Geography, the concealing of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Denial of the occupation, and even of the very existence of the Palestinian people as such. Plus, as a result, a silence of criticism and of voices that do not toe the line with the government and its dictates. As Prof. Ben-Amos says, this is not what he calls – Simplistic Denial. That is, the claims that something does not exist. Rather what he calls – Interpretive Denial. In his research, he writes: ‘Denial appears in a subtle way that is difficult to pinpoint. It does not stem from the claim that the occupation does not exist, but from the way it is absent from the discourse, where it should have appeared. Alternatively, from the way it is represented in the discourse.’ What he claims, for example, is the disregard, or denial that Israel forcibly controls millions of Palestinians without rights, and against their will – there is disregard and denial of this fact.”  
Ben-Amos presented the Knesset Education Committee the main points of his research: “18-year-old students go out into life, into citizenship, into the army, to vote. What do they know about the world around them? About this space? About their recent history? One of the things I think they need to know is what happens to this thing called occupation, that is – the control of the territories after they were conquered. I examined what the Ministry of Education is supposed to provide them with, in curricula, textbooks and matriculation exams, and found there is an explanation to what happened in 1967, the Six Day War and the immediate implications.” After the war, according to Prof. Ben Amos, there is a conceal and silence of the conflict. In addition, Ben Amos says there is a normalization of the situation and there is no difference between the area East of the Green Line and the area West.

It is not clear whether the Education Committee was aware of the activist background of Ben-Amos who, like many of his radical colleagues, has used the academy to push his political agenda.   At the very least, the Committee needed to hear other scholars, more politically objective.  This may be more difficult than it sounds, because, as the IAM has pointed out, social sciences and humanities in Israel skew toward neo-Marxist, critical scholarship.  Unlike in hard sciences and engineering which privileges merit, the hiring and promotion policies in liberal arts favor leftist scholars with dubious academic records.  In one notorious case, a Committee of Evaluation appointed by the Council of Higher Education, recommended closing the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University because of its Marxist-activist leaning. 

The Knesset Education Committee would be served better by looking at the imbalances in liberal arts.

http://www.scooper.co.il/pr/1046455/
הודעה לעיתונות

ועדת החינוך של הכנסת תקיים דיון בנושא העלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך הישראלי-פלסטיני מספרי הלימוד במערכת החינוך הישראלית

ועדת החינוך של הכנסת תדון היום (רביעי, 15.7 בשעה 09:30) בהעלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך הישראלי-פלסטיני מספרי הלימוד במערכת החינוך.הדיון יתקיים לבקשתו של ח”כ עופר כסיף אשר הצעתו לדיון מהיר אושרה בנשיאות הכנסת.כותרת הדיון: “דיון מהיר בנושא: “העלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך הישראלי-פלסטיני בספרי הלימוד הישראליים”

הצעת הדיון מגיעה על רקע מחקר של פרופ’ אבנר בן עמוס (אונ’ ת”א) העוסקת בנושא, וחושף כי הכיבוש נעדר כמעט כליל מספרי הלימוד בהיסטוריה, באזרחות ובגיאוגרפיה. ח”כ עופר כסיף, יוזם הדיון, מסר:”מדינת ישראל מנהלת 53 שנים של שלטון כיבוש צבאי על העם הפלסטיני.הצבא הישראלי שולט בפועל בכל תחומי החיים הפלסטיניים, מגביית מיסים, תכנון ובניה ועד לבריאות, חינוך ורווחה.הדבר נעשה הן באמצעות שלטון ישיר בגדה המערבית והן באמצעות המצור המוטל על עזה. הכרה בדיכוי שמפעילה ישראל כנגד העם הפלסטיני היא אבן דרך חיונית לפיתרון שיאפשר שלום ושגשוג לשני העמים.על כן, אין זה מפתיע שהכיבוש נמחק מספרי הלימוד ומורים שדיברו עליו פוטרו.הימין הקיצוני השולט בישראל מזה שנים ארוכות דואג לשטוף את המוח לבני הנוער כדי למנוע הקמת מדינה פלסטינית וכל סיכוי לשלום אמת” בדברי ההסבר להצעת הדיון כתב ח”כ כסיף:”במחקר שיטתי ומקיף של פרופ’ אבנר בן-עמוס עולה תמונה מדאיגה בנוגע להעלמת קיומו של העם הערבי הפלסטיני והסכסוך על עתיד השטחים הכבושים.מסקירת ספרי הלימוד לבגרות במקצועות אזרחות, היסטוריה וגיאוגרפיה, עולה כי לרוב הקו הירוק אינו מצויין כלל, ובמקרים המעטים שבהם מופיע, הוא מטושטש.יותר מזה, העם הפלסטיני עצמו נעלם, נמחק מן התוכן. עוד עולה כי, באף אחת מבחינות הבגרות להיסטוריה שנערכו בשנים 2010-2019 לא הופיעה אפילו שאלה אחת על השינויים ארוכי הטווח שחוללה מלחמת 67′.גם בספרי האזרחות המאושרים קוצצה ההתייחסות הנוגעת לסכסוך ולשסע הפוליטי.כך, ב-20 השנים האחרונות, לא הופיעה על הסכסוך שום שאלה בבחינות הבגרות לאזרחות.במקצוע הגיאוגרפיה המפות השונות מתארות את המרחב שבין הים התיכון לנהר הירדן כמרחב ישראלי אחיד.גם בחינות הבגרות בגיאוגרפיה התעלמו מהקו הירוק ומהפלסטינים.העלמה והשתקה של המציאות הקיימת בפועל, של כיבוש ושליטה על עם אחר, מנוגדות למטרות חוק החינוך הממלכתי ולמטרות משרד החינוך בהוראת המקצועות לעיל.”

לעמוד הדיון בסדר היום של ועדת החינוך: https://main.knesset.gov.il/Activity/plenum/Pages/Motion.aspx?itemID=2141411

המחקר של פרופ’ בן עמוס: https://fs.knesset.gov.il/23/Committees/23_cs_bg_575906.pdf

ההצעה לדיון מהיר כפי שהוגשה לנשיאות הכנסת: http://fs.knesset.gov.il/23/Committees/23_cs_bg_575868.docx

הדיון ישודר באתר הכנסת: https://main.knesset.gov.il/Activity/committees/Education/Pages/default.aspx

לפרטים נוספים ניתן לפנות ל- מוקד הפעולה למען שלום,שוויון,צדק חברתי וזכויות אדם.

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https://m.knesset.gov.il/Activity/committees/Education/News/pages/%D7%94%D7%A2%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%94-%D7%95%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%AA%D7%A7%D7%94-%D7%A9%D7%9C-%D7%94%D7%A1%D7%9B%D7%A1%D7%95%D7%9A-%D7%94%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%99-%D7%A4%D7%9C%D7%A1%D7%98%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%99-%D7%91%D7%A1%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%99-%D7%94%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%93-%D7%94%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%99%D7%9D.aspx

חברי הכנסת של הרשימה המשותפת: יש למנות בהקדם מועצת מייעצת לחינוך הערבי

15 ביולי 2020, כ”ג בתמוז תש”פ, בשעה 15:00
לבקשת ח”כ עופר כסיף (הרשימה המשותפת) דנה הבוקר ועדת החינוך של הכנסת בהעלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך הישראלי – פלסטיני בספרי הלימוד הישראליים. לדברי ח”כ כסיף, בספרי הלימוד במערכת החינוך הישראלית יש הכחשה של הכיבוש, והשתקה של דעות שאינן מתיישבות עם דעות השלטון. “מה שקורה בספרי הלימוד הוא התעלמות מכל מה שקורה בשטחים הכבושים על בסיס יום יומי, ומתוך כך מתבצע נירמול של הכיבוש. להכחשה יש מספר בעיות. הראשונה, בעיה חברתית פוליטית – ההתעלמות הזאת לא מטאטאת את המציאות מתחת לשטיח, אלא פוגעת ביכולת שלנו להבין אותה ולהתמודד איתה;  הבעיה השנייה היא בעיה חינוכית ועיקרה הקלת ראש בחשיבות הידע וההשכלה; והבעיה השלישית היא בעיה אזרחית דמוקרטית האוסרת ספקנות וביקורת, שמטרתה יצירה של נתינים צייתנים במקום אזרחים חושבים שהם תנאי ליצירת דמוקרטיה”.

ח”כ עוזי דיין (הליכוד) אמר כי הוא מסכים שהחינוך בישראל לא עוסק מספיק בהיבטים פוליטיים. הפתרון לדעתו הוא חיזוק החינוך בלתי פורמלי, וכן יציאה מחוץ לגבולות הכיתה. “בגלל זה המכינות הצבאיות מצליחות כל כך, כי לאחר 12 שנות לימוד הן מאפשרות לחניכים לדעת ‘מי אני ולאן אני הולך’, אמר ח”כ דיין. דיין ציטט את אמירתו של הח”כ והמחנך לשעבר יעקב חזן שאמר: “רצינו לגדל דור של אפיקורסים, וגידלנו דור של עמי הארצות”, והוסיף: “עם אפיקורסים ודעות שונות נסתדר, לבורים ועמי ארצות – אין תקנה”.

פרופ’ אבנר בן עמוס הציג את עיקרי המחקר שלו: “תלמידים ותלמידות בני 18 יוצאים אל החיים, אל האזרחות, לצבא, להצביע. מה הם יודעים על העולם שסביבם? על המרחב? על ההיסטוריה הקרובה שלהם? אחד הדברים שלפי דעתי הם צריכים לדעת הוא מה קורה עם הדבר הזה שנקרא כיבוש, כלומר – השליטה בשטחים לאחר שנכבשו. בדקתי את מה שמשרד החינוך אמור לספק להם בתוכניות הלימודים, ספרי לימוד ובחינות בגרות, ומצאתי שיש התייחסות לא מעטה למה שקרה ב-67 כלומר למלחמת ששת הימים, וגם להשלכות המיידיות של המלחמה”. לאחר המלחמה, לטענת פרופ’ בן עמוס, יש העלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך. בנוסף, אומר בן עמוס יש נורמליזציה של המצב ואין הבדל בין התחום ממזרח לקו הירוק לתחום שממערבו.   

ד”ר אלירז קראוס, מנהלת אגף חברה ורווחה במשרד החינוך, הקריאה מספר שאלות לדוגמה מבחינות הבגרות בהיסטוריה, ואמרה כי במשך השנים מופיעות שאלות מעין אלה העוסקות בסכסוך הישראלי – פלסטיני:  “הסכסוך מופיע בספרי הלימוד ובבחינות הבגרות, ובעינינו זה חלק מהתשתית שתלמידים צריכים להכיר ולבסס את ידיעותיהם על ידע והבנה”. עוד אמרה כי יש התייחסות נרחבת להיווצרות בעיית הפליטים ולמלחמת ששת הימים ולסוגיה של “השטחים המשוחררים או השטחים הכבושים”.

ח”כ סמי אבו שחאדה (הרשימה המשותפת): “ישראל מיוחדת גם במערכת החינוך שלה כי כנראה שזאת המדינה היחידה בעולם, אולי כמו צפון קוריאה, שמערכת החינוך נמדדת במספר התלמידים שבית הספר מוציא ליחידות הקרביות, ולכן בית הספר צריך להכין אותם להיות חיילים. המטרה פה היא מטרה פוליטית וכל דיון שמתעלם מכך הוא פוליטי. מערכת החינוך מגדלת נערים לעתיד של המשך הכיבוש והדיכוי כל זה מוביל בעיני להרס החברה”.
ח”כ סונדוס סאלח (הרשימה המשותפת): “בני האדם הם בעלי חיים פוליטיים. ההכחשה של הסכסוך מייצרת משבר אי אמון נוסף בקרב הציבור הפלסטיני. היום המורה הוא לא מקור ידע אחד והידע קיים גם ברשתות.  כיום התלמיד הערבי והאזרח הערבי מודע להיסטוריה והוא שואל – למה מחליטים להתעלם מההיסטוריה שלי וזה מייצר אצלו משבר אמון גדול מאוד. מדובר פה בניסיון לבטל היסטוריה של עם שלם”.  היא הוסיפה כי כשעסקה בהוראה ידעה שאם מורה מחליט לדבר על הנכבה, הוא יקבל אזהרה ויכול להיות שיוזמן לשימוע.

ח”כ ניצן הורוביץ (מרצ): “אפשר ללמוד על הנכבה והכיבוש ולא חובה להשיג את המסקנה. אני למשל מתנגד לזכות השיבה, אבל חושב שצריך ללמוד על הנכבה. מה חושבים שאם לא נגיד את המילה כיבוש אין בעיה? מערכת חינוך צריכה ללמד פתיחות מחשבתית – תלמד ואז תחליט”.
מנגד שאל ח”כ אריאל קלנר (הליכוד) “האם הערבים מלמדים על קדושתו של הר הבית ליהודים? זה חשוב שכולם ילמדו הכל, אבל לא יתכן שאנחנו ננהל שיח אינטלקטואלי ומהצד השני תהיה הסתה פראית, גזענית ואנטישמית מהסוג השפל ביותר. חשוב מאוד שיהודים וערבים כאחד יכירו שאמין אל חוסייני שיתף פעולה עם הנאצים.”

ח”כ אבו שחאדה קרא בתגובה: “מדובר במיתוס שצריך להפריכו”.

ח”כ ווליד טאהא (הרשימה המשותפת) הוסיף: “יש העלמה של הצד הפלסטיני. אפילו בנושאים שמדינת ישראל לא התכחשה להם כמו טבח כפר קאסם –דיברו עליו במונחים של אירוע מצער, וכינו אותו פרשת כפר קאסם. לא ידעו להשתמש במונח הנכון שלו – טבח כפר קאסם”.
ד”ר יוסף ג’בארין (הרשימה המשותפת) ציין כי הציבור הערבי ואנשי החינוך הערביים אינם מיוצגים ברמה הניהולית והפדגוגית במשרד החינוך. לכן, לדבריו,  קבלת ההחלטות מייצגת בעיקר פשרות בתוך הציבור היהודי עצמו. בחינוך היהודי יש זרמים שונים, אבל אין רגישות דומה בכל מה שקשור לזהות הערבית הפלסטינית בתוך מערכת החינוך. “עד היום אנחנו דורשים שאנשי חינוך ערבים ישפיעו על מערכת החינוך.  יש מועצה מייעצת לחינוך הערבי. לחצתי אחרי בחירתי לכנסת שהיא תהיה מאוישת והשר בנט סירב להיענות לבקשתי, הגשתי בג”צ בנושא ועכשיו צריך למנות מועצה מייעצת”. 

את הישיבה ניהלה ח”כ תהלה פרידמן (כחול לבן).
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https://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/1.1223743  פורסם לראשונה: 04.10.201023:52 עודכן ב: 05.10.2010אבנר בן-עמוס | לא רק נקודת המבט שלנו
משרד החינוך נוקט באחרונה מדיניות המאמצת את הפוסט-מודרניזם בגרסתו הקיצונית ביותר. לפי גרסה זו, לא רק שהמציאות מגיעה אלינו באמצעות תיווך של השפה, אלא שהשפה היא היוצרת את המציאות, ולזאת האחרונה אין זכות קיום עצמאית.
החלטת המשרד, שלא לאשר לבית הספר התיכון שער הנגב להשתמש בספר לימוד ההיסטוריה “ללמוד את הנרטיב ההיסטורי של האחר: פלסטינים וישראלים”, מצטרפת להחלטות קודמות, שנועדו לתקן את המציאות על ידי שינוי הטקסט המתאר אותה.
בשנה שעברה, למשל, החליט משרד החינוך לאסוף את עותקי ספר הלימוד “לאומיות: בונים מדינה במזרח התיכון”, משום שהוצגה בהם הגרסה הפלסטינית ליצירת בעיית הפליטים ב-1948. גם ספר לימוד האזרחות “להיות אזרחים במדינת ישראל” נפל קורבן באחרונה לאותה מדיניות. כל זאת לאחר שד”ר צבי צמרת, יו”ר המזכירות הפדגוגית, הסתייג, בין היתר, מהטענה, כי “מאז ייסודה נקטה מדינת ישראל מדיניות של אפליה כלפי אזרחיה הערבים”.
ההנחה היא כנראה, שבלא אזכור האפליה תיעלם לא רק תחושת האפליה, אלא גם האפליה עצמה.
הדבר מצער מיוחד במקרה של “ללמוד את הנרטיב ההיסטורי של האחר: פלסטינים וישראלים”, משום שמדובר בפרויקט חינוכי יוצא דופן. זהו מפעל ישראלי-פלסטיני משותף, שהעבודה עליו החלה לפני כ-12 שנה, בהנהגת הפלסטינים סאמי עדוואן ועדנאן מוסאלחה, והישראלים דן בר-און (ז”ל) ואייל נווה.
לאחר שעות רבות של דיונים ושיחות בין מורים ומחנכים משני הצדדים נוצר ספר לימוד חדשני, המציג בטורים נפרדים, משני צדי העמוד, את הגרסה הישראלית והפלסטינית להיסטוריה של התקופה שבין ראשית הציונות ועד תחילת המאה הנוכחית, ומותיר בתווך טור ריק למילוי בידי התלמידים. הספר יצא לאור בעברית ובערבית, ומורים בבתי ספר בישראל ובשטחים יכולים להשתמש בו כדי להביא לידיעת תלמידיהם את גרסת “הצד השני” לסכסוך וליצור דיון פורה בכיתה.
ספרי לימוד ההיסטוריה של עמים שנמצאו שנים רבות בקונפליקט דמים, כגון הצרפתים והגרמנים, היוונים והטורקים, הציגו בדרך כלל את הצד השני באור שחור – כתוקפן מרושע – ואת עצמם כקורבן תמים. ספרי לימוד ההיסטוריה הישראליים והפלסטיניים אינם יוצאי דופן, גם אם נעשו בשנים האחרונות מאמצים בשני הצדדים למתן את השחרת האויב.
על רקע זה בולט הספר הפלסטיני-הישראלי משום שהוא מייחד תשומת לב לאופן שבו תפישת העבר, כלומר הזיכרון הקולקטיבי, משפיעה על ההתנהגות בהווה. מציאות היסטורית אינה כוללת רק את מה שהתרחש בעבר, אלא גם את האופן שבו נחוותה המציאות בקרב אנשי התקופה ואת אופן הנחלת החוויה לדורות הבאים.
צעד ראשון, מהוסס, בכיוון הנכון נעשה בספרי הלימוד הישראליים באזכור גירוש תושבים ערבים במלחמת העצמאות. אולם המלה “נכבה” (אסון), המציינת את האופן שבו נתפש הגירוש בידי הפלסטינים, עדיין מעוררת חלחלה בקרב אנשי משרד החינוך, כפי שמעידה פסילת ספר לימוד גיאוגרפיה במגזר הערבי, שהעז להזכיר אותה.
המלה הזאת נמצאת בשפע בערכת הלימוד “איך אומרים נכבה בעברית?”, שפירסמה ב-2008 עמותת “זוכרות”. הערכה כוללת 13 יחידות לימוד, העוסקות לא רק בגירוש שהתרחש ב-1948, אלא גם באופן שבו האירועים הכואבים עברו תהליך של השכחה (על ידי הצד הישראלי) או הנצחה (על ידי הצד הפלסטיני).
הערכה כוללת אמצעי המחשה מתקדמים וגם דיון תיאורטי בשאלות של כתיבת היסטוריה ועיצוב זיכרון קולקטיבי, באופן שאינו קיים בספרי הלימוד הרגילים. אין פלא לכן, שהערכה נאסרה לשימוש על ידי משרד החינוך, ומי שמשתמש בה בבתי הספר עושה זאת במחתרת.
תנאי הכרחי להתקדמות לקראת שלום עם הפלסטינים הוא הכרה לא רק במה שהתרחש ב-1948, אלא גם בתודעת הנכבה כנקודת מבט לגיטימית. מדיניות משרד החינוך, המתכחש לקיום התודעה הזאת, תוקעת מקלות בגלגלי המשא ומתן המקרטע.
בנוסף לכך – ולא ברור מה גרוע יותר – מדיניות זו נשענת על תפישה פשטנית ומיושנת של לימוד ההיסטוריה. אם אנו רוצים בתלמידים חושבים וביקורתיים, עלינו ללמד אותם, כי נקודת המבט שלנו על האירועים ההיסטוריים אינה היחידה וכי קיימות במקביל נקודות מבט אחרות, לגיטימיות לא פחות.
פרופ’ בן-עמוס הוא ראש המגמה להיסטוריה ופילוסופיה של החינוך בבית הספר לחינוך של אוניברסיטת תל אביב  

ISRAEL ACADEMIA MONITOR

Academics’ Latest Trend: The Right to Call for BDS

 
21.07.2020
Editorial Note
 
A group of Jewish pro-Palestinian academics, among them Israelis, have recently targeted Dr. Felix Klein, the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism, since May 2018, urging him to resign.     Already in April, the group sent a letter asking the German Interior Minister to replace Klein.  They complained that Klein had described philosopher Achille Mbembe’s writings as anti-Semitic. To recall, IAM also found some of Mbembe’s writing to be antisemitic. In the current assault on Klein, the group accused Klein of stating: “it is precisely the anti-Semitism from the left-liberal milieu that has made life, also for me personally, quite a bit harder in the last few weeks. But even if right-wing narratives currently have a higher potential for violence, we must not underestimate this area.” The group members objected to his assertion that the Liberal Left is accused of anti-Semitism.  They found it offensive and wrote him: “You fail to distinguish between legitimate criticism and real anti-Semitism.” According to them, it is “the acute danger that Jews in Germany face due to the surge in far-right anti-Semitism,” and not the left.    However, a new report by the German Government Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has found that the number of criminal acts motivated by left-wing extremism has jumped up nearly 40 percent between 2018 and 2019.  The BfV recorded 6,449 criminal acts motivated by left-wing extremism in 2019, up from 4,622 in 2018.  Just over 900 of these crimes were considered violent. Islamic terrorism also remains a significant threat, the report found. The danger to Jews comes from both the left and right. On the same day the letter was sent to Klein, an anonymous abusive post has targeted Klein, who reported this to the police.  The group found BDS to be a legitimate tool of criticism of Israel and, not surprisingly, attack those who work against BDS. They chastised Klein, “You have been a driving force behind attempts to undermine free speech by categorically defining and disqualifying the BDS Movement, which has a minuscule footprint in Germany, as antisemitic.” 
The group ended their letter with a plea, “We are calling on you to resign,” followed by the list of professors, including, but not limited to:
 
Prof. Gadi Algazi, Tel Aviv University; Dr. Seth Anziska, University College London; Prof. Louise Bethlehem, The Hebrew University; Prof. Daniel Boyarin, University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Raya Cohen, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Alon Confino, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Prof. (emerita) Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. (emeritus) Gideon Freudenthal, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Amos Goldberg, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London; Prof. David Harel, The Weizmann Institute of Science; Prof. (emeritus) Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, Tel Aviv University; Dr. Anat Matar, Tel Aviv University; Prof. (emeritus) Paul Mendes-Flohr, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Isaac Nevo, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Prof. (emeritus) Adi Ophir, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. (emerita) Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Catherine Rottenberg, University of Nottingham; Prof. David Shulman, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. (emeritus) Moshe Zuckermann, Tel Aviv University; among others.
 
Clearly, some of these scholars are leading BDS activists, others are well-known delegitimizers of Israel, and the rest are known radical-political activists.
 
Palestinian activists have avidly followed the campaign against Klein.  The original letter in German was published by the Palästinakomitee Stuttgart alone, and the letter in English was published only by the Electronic Intifada and Institut für Palästinakunde e.V., which raises a question of possible connection.
 
The German police are yet to discover who is behind the abusive post sent to Klein.  
 Supporting the right to call for BDS against Israel is illegitimate as BDS. Given that BDS is illegal in Israel, the presence of so many Israeli academics among the signatories is concerning.  The Israeli taxpayers pay their salaries.  



https://www.wzo.org.il/antisemitism/index.php?dir=site&page=articles&op=item&cs=4906  
German antisemitism Officer receives abusive post July 11, 2020   Germany Berlin – The Federal Government’s antiaemitism Commissioner Felix Klein has received a letter of agitation for the first time. Klein has been in office since May 2018. According to SPIEGEL information, the letter that he received on June 30 is like a threatening letter that unknown persons sent to the synagogue community in Halle an der Saale in May.The letter addressed to the antisemitism officer is likely to be directly related to Klein’s efforts against racism and antisemitism. “It is precisely the challenges of the corona pandemic that fuel many crude conspiracy myths, which Mr Klein has spoken about several times in the media,” his office said. After a “security-related assessment” of the letter, a criminal complaint was filed.Source: spiegel.  

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http://www.ipk-bonn.de/downloads/Letter_of_Jewish_scholars_to_Felix_Klein.pdf  

Mr. Felix KleinFederal government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany andthe Fight against AntisemitismMinistry of the Interior, Building and CommunityAlt-Moabit 14010557 BerlinGermanyCopied:Angela Merkel, Chancellor of GermanyHorst Seehofer, Federal Minister of the InteriorFranziska Giffey, Federal Minister for Family AffairsHeiko Maas, Federal Minister of Foreign AffairsConcerns: your statement regarding “antisemitism from the left-liberal milieu”10 July 2020Dear Mr. Klein,We are Jewish scholars and artists from Israel and elsewhere, many of whom specialize inanti-Semitism and in Jewish, Holocaust and Israel Studies. On April 30, wewrote to GermanInterior Minister Horst Seehofer and called for your replacement as the Federal governmentCommissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism. We did sofollowing your shameful attack on Prof. Achille Mbembe, one of the most importantintellectuals in Africa and globally.A statement has now been brought to our attention, which you made on June 30. In thepresence of Franziska Giffey, the German Minister for Family Affairs, you said: “We allknow, perhaps, ladies and gentlemen, that it is precisely the antisemitism from the left-liberalmilieu that has made life, also for me personally, quite a bit harder in the last few weeks. Buteven if right-wing narratives currently have a higher potential for violence, we must notunderestimate this area.”We strongly object. No “left-liberal anti-Semites” are bullying you, but Jews and non-Jewswho are protesting the way in which you are weaponizing the fight against antisemitism, atthe expense of free speech and basic civil rights – and the fight against antisemitism itself.Holding you accountable for statements and actions in your official capacity, Mr. Klein, is notantisemitism. It’s the essence of democracy.Your statement quoted above is deeply offensive. You basically called us and many otherscriticising you in a legitimate way anti-Semites. We demand an apology for that. It alsotestifies to your distorted understanding of the acute danger that Jews in Germany face due tothe surge in far-right antisemitism. Without hesitation, you compare “left-liberal” critiques toright-wing violence and insist that the former not be underestimated.While you do so, we observe a method you have been using before: stigmatizing andincriminating critics through undefined and unsubstantiated allegations. Instead of supportingyour charges with concrete and credible information relating to the intent and behaviour ofspecific individuals, you make do with generalizations such as “anti-Semitism from the left-liberal milieu”. Aside from us feeling implicated: who are you pointing at? On what grounds?Page 2We consider such a reliance on vague but highly toxic insinuations problematic anddetrimental in itself, but even more so when used and amplified by a senior official appointedby the German government to fight antisemitism.In a recentarticle in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Journalist and Jurist Stephan Detjenwrote: “Restrictions of freedom of opinion, when motivated by allegations of proximity toBDS, require a clear legal basis and are subject to an examination scheme developed by theFederal Constitutional Court.”You have been a driving force behind attempts to undermine free speech by categoricallydefining and disqualifying the BDS Movement, which has a minuscule footprint in Germany,as antisemitic. However, in itsjudgement on June 11, the European Court of Human Rightsconfirmed and clarified that activism in the context of BDS is protected by freedom ofexpression.As we have stressed before, our views about BDS differ. But all of us were hoping this rulingwould motivate you to shift your attention to the real dangers posed by antisemitism inGermany. As we were hoping the extensive criticism directed at you following your attack onProf. Mbembe would induce you to stop launching baseless and undefined accusations.However, your latest statement about “anti-Semitism from the left-liberal milieu” made clearour hope was unfounded.You display a lack of awareness and respect for democratic values. You fail to distinguishbetween legitimate criticism and real antisemitism. As the Israeli government is movingtowards formal annexation of parts of the West Bank and the need for loud internationalcriticism and opposition is only growing, you keep chilling the public and political debate inGermany and beyond.In his aforementioned article, Stephan Detjen emphasizes that the Federal governmentCommissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism carries “asharp sword” – for good reasons. Yet again, you have demonstrated you do not know how touse this sword.We are calling on you to resign.Prof. Gadi Algazi, Department of History, Tel Aviv University; Associate Fellow atRe:Work: International Research Center Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History atHumboldt University, BerlinDr. Seth Anziska, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College LondonProf. Louise Bethlehem, Department of English and the Program in Cultural Studies, TheHebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient European Research Council Consolidators GrantProf. Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, University of California,Berkeley; Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Von Humboldt Senior LaureateProf. (emerita) Jane Caplan, Professor of Modern European History, University of Oxford;Emeritus Fellow, St Antony’s College, OxfordPage 3Dr. Raya Cohen, formerly Department of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University; formerlyDepartment of Sociology, University of Naples Federico IIProf. Jean Comaroff, Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African AmericanStudies and of Anthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, HarvardUniversityProf. John Comaroff, Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studiesand of Anthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, Harvard UniversityProf. Alon Confino, Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Departments of History andof Jewish and Near Eastern Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; recipient of theHumboldt-Stiftung and of the Guggenheim FellowshipsProf. (emerita) Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Department of General and Comparative Literature,The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient of Guggenheim FellowshipProf. (emeritus) Gideon Freudenthal, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy ofScience and Ideas, Tel Aviv UniversityDr. Katharina Galor, Hirschfeld Visiting Associate Professor, Program in Judaic Studies,Brown UniversityProf. Amos Goldberg, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, The HebrewUniversity of JerusalemProf. Neve Gordon, School of Law, Marie Curie Fellow, Queen Mary University of LondonDr. Ilana Hammerman, Writer, recipient of the Yeshayahu Leibowitz PrizeProf. David Harel, Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, TheWeizmann Institute of Science; recipient of the Israel Prize and of the EMET PrizeDani Karavan, Sculptor, projects include the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma victims ofNational Socialism in Berlin, the Regensburg Synagogue Memorial and the Way of HumanRights in Nuremberg; recipient of the Israel PrizeMiki Kratsman, Photographer; former head of the Photography Department at BezalelAcademy of Arts and Design; recipient of the EMET PrizeAlex Levac, Photographer, recipient of the Israel PrizeProf. (emeritus) Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, Tel Aviv University, recipient of the Israel PrizeDr. (emeritus) Mark Levene, Department of History, University of Southampton UK;Parkes Centre for Jewish/non-Jewish Relations; recipient of the Lemkin Prize of the Institutefor the Study of GenocideProf. Neil Levi, English Department (chair), Drew UniversityDr. Anat Matar, Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. (emeritus) Paul Mendes-Flohr, Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor Emeritus of ModernJewish History and Thought and Associate Faculty in the Department of History, TheUniversity of Chicago Divinity School; Professor Emeritus of Jewish Thought, The HebrewUniversity of JerusalemProf. Isaac Nevo, Department of Philosophy, Ben-Gurion University of the NegevPage 4Prof. (emeritus) Adi Ophir, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Scienceand Ideas, Tel Aviv University; Visiting Professor of the Humanities, The Cogut Institute forthe Humanities and the Center for Middle East Studies, Brown UniversityProf. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, School of Education, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; TheDavid Yellin Academic College of Education; co-recipient of the Sakharov PrizeProf. (emerita) Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Departments of English Literature andComparative Literature, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; member of the Israel Academyof Sciences and HumanitiesProf. Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Head of the Talmud and Late Antiquity section, The Department ofJewish Philosophy and Talmud, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. Michael Rothberg, 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies,Department of Comparative Literature, University of CaliforniaProf. Catherine Rottenberg, Department of American and Canadian Studies, University ofNottinghamProf. David Shulman, Department of Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, recipient of the Israel Prize andof the EMET PrizeProf. Barry Trachtenberg, Michael R. and Deborah K. Rubin Presidential Chair of JewishHistory, Department of History, Wake Forest UniversityProf. (emeritus) Moshe Zuckermann, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy ofScience and Ideas, Tel Aviv University

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https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/german-anti-semitism-chief-must-resign-say-jewish-and-israeli-scholars    German anti-Semitism chief must resign, say Jewish and Israeli scholars Ali Abunimah Lobby Watch 13 July 2020
Almost three dozen prominent Jewish and Israeli scholars are calling for the resignation of Germany’s top official responsible for combating anti-Semitism.The latest demand for the removal of Felix Klein comes following his claim at an event on 30 June that “anti-Semitism from the left-liberal milieu” had been “making life a bit harder for me personally.”Klein went on to say that “even if right-wing narratives currently have a higher potential for violence, we must not underestimate this area.”The scholars reject this entirely: “No ‘left-liberal anti-Semites’ are bullying you, but Jews and non-Jews are protesting the way in which you are weaponizing the fight against anti-Semitism at the expense of free speech and basic civil rights – and the fight against anti-Semitism itself.”The signers include Dani Karavan, Alex Levac, Yehuda Judd Ne’eman and David Shulman – all winners of the Israel Prize, the state’s highest official cultural honor.They also include Harvard University’s Jean Comaroff, writer and Yeshayahu Leibowitz Prize winner Ilana Hammerman, and Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.Among the signers are Mark Levene, retired professor at the University of Southampton and winner of the Lemkin Prize of the Institute for the Study of Genocide; Michael Rothberg, chair in Holocaust studies at the University of California; and Barry Trachtenberg, chair of Jewish history at Wake Forest University.The scholars call Klein’s latest declaration “deeply offensive.”“You basically called us and many others criticizing you in a legitimate way anti-Semites,” they write. “We demand an apology for that.”They also accuse Klein of minimizing the “acute danger that Jews in Germany face due to the surge in far-right anti-Semitism.”Smears against Achille MbembeKlein already faced calls for his sacking earlier this year following what the scholars term his “shameful attack on Professor Achille Mbembe, one of the most important intellectuals in Africa and globally.”In response to Klein’s smear campaign against Mbembe, hundreds of scholars pledged not to cooperate with institutions in Germany that censor advocates of Palestinian rights.Many of the scholars now urging Klein to resign wrote to Germany’s interior minister Horst Seehofer following the Mbembe episode, urging him to fire Klein.Despite the backlash, Klein refused to apologize for his false accusations of anti-Semitism against Mbembe.Asked to justify those attacks, Klein made it crystal clear to the German newspaper Die Zeit in May that his motivation for smearing Mbembe was to shield Israel from accountability and criticism.Klein claimed that Mbembe’s essay “The Society of Enmity” contained “all the features of Israel-focused anti-Semitism.”According to Klein, this included that “Israel is demonized, a double standard is established, and the legitimacy of the country as a whole is called into question.”In fact, the essay contains detailed and factually accurate descriptions of the systems of control and segregation Israel imposes on Palestinians, including walls, checkpoints, fences and watchtowers.Klein also cited how Mbembe wrote the foreward to the 2015 book Apartheid Israel “in which he argued that Israel is worse than the apartheid regime of South Africa.”Klein also complained that proceeds from the book “went to a BDS group” – a reference to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.The volume, published by Haymarket Books, is a thought-provoking and carefully considered collection of essays by 18 scholars of Africa – who can hardly be accused of making light of the term apartheid.Comparisons of Israel’s system to the crime of apartheid as it was perpetrated in South Africa have been common for years – because they are accurate – and have been advanced not least by former Israeli prime ministers including Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak.In his own defense, in an interview published in April, Mbembe has gone as far as to declare that “It would never occur to me to contest Israel’s right to exist” and to insist that “I have no relationship whatsoever with BDS.”Klein, therefore, not only seeks to silence those who oppose Israel’s claimed “right to exist” as a racist Jewish state, but even those – like Mbembe – who don’t.But facts are not important to pro-Israel zealots like Klein who are determined to smear any and all criticism of Israel as akin to anti-Jewish bigotry.“For me, the matter is unfortunately clear-cut,” Klein asserted regarding Mbembe’s work. “And I am surprised that there are readers of this composition who apparently ignore that.”“Driving force”Indeed the matter is clear-cut, but not in the way Klein thinks: What is evident is that all the examples of alleged anti-Semitism he produced against Mbembe amount to criticism of Israel’s brutal system of military occupation, settler-colonialism and violent ethno-religious segregation.The signers of the letter calling on him to resign call Klein a “driving force behind attempts to undermine free speech by categorically disqualifying the BDS movement, which has a minuscule footprint in Germany, as anti-Semitic.”They note that this logic was rejected in a landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights last month, which confirmed that Israel boycott activism is protected political free speech.“You display a lack of awareness and respect for democratic values,” the scholars charge Klein. “You fail to distinguish between legitimate criticism and real anti-Semitism.”As Israel moves towards annexing large parts of the occupied West Bank, the scholars say that “the need for loud international criticism and opposition is only growing,” but Klein keeps “chilling the public and political debate in Germany and beyond.” Klein is one of several high-profile anti-Semitism officials appointed by European governments and the US who have used their positions as a cover to advance Israel’s campaign to muzzle supporters of Palestinian rights.Prominent among them is Katharina von Schnurbein, a German functionary who leads the European Union’s effort to spread smears and lies against the BDS movement.==========================================================http://www.ipk-bonn.de/downloads/Call-on-German-Minister-Seehofer.pdf

Mr. Horst Seehofer

Minister of the Interior, Building and CommunityAlt-Moabit 14010557 BerlinGermanyCopied:Angela Merkel, Chancellor of GermanyHeiko Maas, Minister of Foreign AffairsConcerns: Call to replace Felix Klein as the Federal government Commissioner for theFight against Antisemitism30 April 2020Dear Minister Seehofer,We, Jewish scholars and artists from Israel and elsewhere, many of whom specialize in anti-Semitism and in Jewish, Holocaust and Israel Studies, are calling on you to replace Felix Klein,the Federal government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight againstAntisemitism, following his shameful attack on Prof. Achille Mbembe.As you know, Prof. Achille Mbembe is one of the most important intellectuals in Africa, whosehumanistic voice and scholarship is heard and admired globally. We consider Mr. Klein’s attemptto frame Prof. Mbembe as an antisemite baseless, inappropriate, offensive and harmful.We are aware that the attack on Prof. Mbembe was initiated by others, who rejected him as theopening speaker of this year’s Ruhrtriennale Festival. Given his official role and responsibility, wefind it unacceptable that Mr. Klein joined this attack, which degraded into a witch-hunt.We are perplexed that Mr. Klein did so without bothering to study Prof. Mbembe’s work. Instead,he relied for his allegations on a deeply selective reading and manipulative interpretation of Prof.Mbembe’s writings by others. Considering that accusations of antisemitism can ruin someone’sreputation, this in itself amounts to severe professional and moral misconduct.The Ruhrtriennale Festival has been cancelled by now, due to the coronavirus. This incident,however, cannot remain without consequences for Mr. Klein. Apart from the personal andprofessional harm done to Prof. Mbembe, Mr. Klein has done a disservice to the urgent fightagainst real antisemitism, casting a shadow over the integrity of his public office.By accusing Prof. Mbembe of “relativizing the Holocaust”, Mr. Klein has also harmed academicfreedom. This toxic allegation relates to Prof. Mbembe’s study in reference to the Holocaust incomparative context. We wish to be very clear: such study isn’t a trivialization of the Holocaustand certainly not antisemitism. It is legitimate, essential and in fact commonplace in Holocaust andgenocide studies. Some 600 leading Holocaust scholars recently asserted that banning analogiesfrom the debate about the Holocaust is “a radical position that is far removed from mainstreamscholarship on the Holocaust and genocide. And it makes learning from the past almostimpossible”.Mr. Klein’s attack on Prof. Mbembe fits into a pattern. He has assumed a leading role in the“weaponization” of antisemitism against critics of the Israeli government and activists exercisingtheir freedom of speech and assembly to protest Israel’s violations of basic rights of thePalestinians. As an official representative of the German government, Mr. Klein is underminingPage 2the exercise of fundamental freedoms – this should deeply alarm your government, considering itscommitment to democratic principles and the rule of law.Unjustified allegations of antisemitism are increasingly creating a climate of fear in Germany,deterring intellectuals, journalists and the public at large from exercising free speech regardingcontroversial issues that should be publicly debated. At this very hour, free and critical speech inrelation to Israel is needed more than ever. While the world is desperately fighting the coronavirus,the incoming Israeli government is moving towards annexation of vital parts of the occupiedPalestinian West Bank – a grave violation of international law, formalizing a situation of twopeoples with unequal rights inside one territory.56 former members of the Knesset, some of whom have served as ministers in various Israeligovernments, have recently warned this would establish an Apartheid state in Israel-Palestine.Does Mr. Klein consider them antisemites? And all others who will speak of inequality anddiscrimination, after annexation has been implemented? These questions arise after Mr. Klein hasaccused Prof. Mbembe of antisemitism for allegedly equating Israel with Apartheid South Africa.In addition, Mr. Klein has promoted and amplified aggressive campaigns against organizations andindividuals, some of them Jewish, due to their support for “BDS”. He is clearly obsessed by theBDS campaign, which has a miniscule footprint in Germany, and appears to devote more of histime to it than to the acute threat that the surge in far-right antisemitism poses to Jews and Jewishlife in Germany.Our views on BDS differ, but it is entirely clear: BDS as such is not antisemitic and is essentiallyprotected by freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, as also confirmed by several Germancourts. It is deplorable but unsurprising that the Israeli government is waging war against BDS –but how can a German government official join this war in the frontline?In this context, we wish to add that this anti-BDS crusade is undeniably contributing to themarginalization of non-white voices and minorities in Germany, fostering racism and nationalisticsentiments. It is a shame that none other than the Federal Commissioner for the Fight againstAntisemitism is leading this trend.We also deplore that Mr. Klein has been encouraging politicized abuse of the IHRA definition,which conflates antisemitism with criticism and activism directed at Israel, to discredit and silenceopponents of Israel’s policies. Here again, we observe Mr. Klein operating in synergy with theIsraeli government.That same Israeli government is currently preparing for annexation of vital parts of Palestine. Ithas deliberately weaponized allegations of antisemitism to politically shield this dramatic step andto distract from the documented evidence about its systematic violations of the human rights of thePalestinians.On numerous occasions since his appointment in May 2018, Mr. Klein has facilitated andlegitimized this fatal instrumentalization, which – we wish to repeat – harms the fight against realanti-Semitism. The latest example is his attack on Prof. Mbembe.For all these reasons, we consider Mr. Klein unqualified and unfit for the important task assignedto him. He is a civil servant that operates and falls under your political responsibility. We call onyou to replace Mr. Klein without delay as the German government Commissioner for JewishLife and the Fight against Antisemitism.Page 3Yours sincerely,Prof. Gadi Algazi, Department of History, Tel Aviv University; Associate Fellow at Re:Work:International Research Center Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History at HumboldtUniversity, BerlinDr. Seth Anziska, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College LondonProf. Louise Bethlehem, Department of English and the Program in Cultural Studies, TheHebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient European Research Council Consolidators GrantProf. Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, University of California,Berkeley; Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Von Humboldt Senior LaureateProf. (emeritus) Jose Brunner, Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science andIdeas (former director) and Buchmann Faculty of Law; co-founder of Israel’s first legal clinic forthe rights of Holocaust survivors, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. (emerita) Jane Caplan, History Department, University of Oxford; Emeritus Fellow, St.Antony’s College, Oxford; Marjorie Walter Goodhart Professor Emeritus of European History,Bryn Mawr College; Visiting Professor, Birkbeck, University of LondonDr. Raya Cohen, formerly Department of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University; formerlyDepartment of Sociology, University of Naples Federico IIProf. Jean Comaroff, Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African AmericanStudies and of Anthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, HarvardUniversityProf. John Comaroff, Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studies and ofAnthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, Harvard UniversityProf. Alon Confino, Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Director of The Institute forHolocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, Department of History and of Jewish and Near EasternStudies, University of Massachusetts; recipient of the Humboldt-Stiftung and of the GuggenheimFellowshipsProf. (emerita) Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Department of General and Comparative Literature, TheHebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient of Guggenheim FellowshipProf. (emeritus) Gideon Freudenthal, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy ofScience and Ideas, Tel Aviv UniversityDr. Katharina Galor, Hirschfeld Visiting Associate Professor, Program in Judaic Studies, BrownUniversityProf. Amos Goldberg, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, The HebrewUniversity of JerusalemProf. Neve Gordon, School of Law, Marie Curie Fellow, Queen Mary University of LondonDr. Ilana Hammerman, Writer, recipient of the Yeshayahu Leibowitz PrizeProf. David Harel, Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, The WeizmannInstitute of Science; recipient of the Israel Prize and of the EMET PrizeProf. Eva Illouz, The Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University ofJerusalem; The European Centre for Sociology and Political Science, Paris; recipient of theAnneliese Meier International Award for Excellence in Research from the Alexander vonHumboldt-Foundation and of the EMET PrizePage 4Dani Karavan, Sculptor, projects include the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma victims of NationalSocialism in Berlin, the Regensburg Synagogue Memorial and the Way of Human Rights inNuremberg; recipient of the Israel PrizeMiki Kratsman, Photographer; former head of the Photography Department at Bezalel Academyof Arts and Design; recipient of the EMET PrizeAlex Levac, Photographer, recipient of the Israel PrizeProf. (emeritus) Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, Tel Aviv University, recipient of the Israel PrizeDr. (emeritus) Mark Levene, Department of History, University of Southampton UK; ParkesCentre for Jewish/non-Jewish Relations; recipient of the Lemkin Prize of the Institute for theStudy of GenocideProf. Neil Levi, English Department (chair), Drew UniversityDr. Anat Matar, Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. (emeritus) Paul Mendes-Flohr, Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor Emeritus of ModernJewish History and Thought and Associate Faculty in the Department of History, The Universityof Chicago Divinity School; Professor Emeritus of Jewish Thought, The Hebrew University ofJerusalemProf. Isaac Nevo, Department of Philosophy, Ben-Gurion University of the NegevProf. (emeritus) Adi Ophir, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science andIdeas, Tel Aviv University; Visiting Professor of the Humanities, The Cogut Institute for theHumanities and the Center for Middle East Studies, Brown UniversityProf. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, School of Education, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; TheDavid Yellin Academic College of Education; co-recipient of the Sakharov PrizeProf. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of theNegev, recipient of the Zalman Shazar Prize for Jewish HistoryProf. (emerita) Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Departments of English Literature and ComparativeLiterature, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; member of the Israel Academy of Sciences andHumanitiesProf. Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Head of the Talmud and Late Antiquity section, The Department ofJewish Philosophy and Talmud, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. Michael Rothberg, 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies, Department ofComparative Literature, University of CaliforniaProf. Catherine Rottenberg, Department of American and Canadian Studies, University ofNottinghamProf. Barry Trachtenberg, Michael R. and Deborah K. Rubin Presidential Chair of JewishHistory, Department of History, Wake Forest UniversityProf. David Shulman, Department of Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, recipient of the Israel Prize and of theEMET PrizeProf. (emeritus) Moshe Zuckermann, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy ofScience and Ideas, Tel Aviv University


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https://www.dw.com/en/germany-right-wing-extremists/a-54105110  

  Number of right-wing extremists in Germany on rise, security report suggests

Right-wing extremism increased in Germany last year, the country’s domestic intelligence agency has reported, with over 32,000 extremists identified. The report also found that more suspects are prepared to use violence.

   

Right-wing extremism poses the biggest threat to security in Germany, the country’s interior minister said Thursday at the presentation of the 2019 report by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.

In Berlin, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and the head of Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) Thomas Haldenwang presented the organization’s most recent findings, which showed that right-wing extremism in Germany sharply increased last year.

According to the report, the BfV identified 32,080 right-wing extremists in Germany in 2019, up from 24,100 the year before.

The BfV classified 13,000 of these cases as prepared to use violence, 300 more than in 2018.

Right-wing extremism, racism, and anti-Semitism continue to increase in Germany, Seehofer said.

“These areas are the biggest threat to security in Germany,” he said.

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Former AfD faction boosts extremist numbers

Seehofer pointed to government action over the last year, saying no other government in Germany had done so much to fight far-right extremism.

In recent months, several extreme far-right organizations were banned for views or activities deemed anti-constitutional.

For the first time this year, the BfV report also reviewed the activities and member of the radical “Flügel”, or Wing, faction of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Read more: Preventing terrorism: What powers do German security forces have?

The controversial faction officially disbanded earlier this year after the BfV put the group under surveillance. But the agency estimates there remains a membership of around 7,000 individuals, some 20% of the AfD.

This accounts for a significant share of the increase in right-wing extremists recorded by the BfV in 2019.

“Racism and anti-Semitism emerge to a very considerable degree out of right-wing extremism,” Seehofer said. “Over 90% of anti-Semitic incidents can be traced back to right-wing extremism.  And therefore it is not an exaggeration to say this is the biggest security policy concern in our country.”

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Left-wing extremism also on the rise

The report also noted an uptick in left-wing extremists, logging 33,500 extremists from the far-left spectrum in 2019 compared to 32,000 the year before.

“Characteristic of the left-wing extremist scene is its pronounced heterogeneity,” the report said. “The left-wing extremist scene can be divided into two camps — violent and non-violent left-wing extremists.”

The BfV recorded 6,449 criminal acts motivated by left-wing extremism in 2019, up from 4,622 in 2018, a near 40% increase.  Just over 900 of these crimes were considered violent.

Islamic terrorism also remains a significant threat, the report found.

“The danger of [Islamic] terrorism in Germany is still very high,” Seehofer said, adding that the BfV had identified nearly 650 cases of the threat of Islamic terror last year.

Attacks and planned attacks in Germany and Europe are, however, declining overall, the report said.

Breaking the trend

BfV head Haldenwang noted that the coronavirus crisis had pushed recent right-wing attacks in Germany out of the news cycle, but said the security agency continued in its work preventing such events.

Among far-right extremists there exists a “competition” as to which attack can result in the highest number of victims, Haldenwang said.

“We’re talking about breaking a ‘high score’ of number of victims,” he said. “We have to break this trend.”

To this end, Haldenwang called on the media to resist putting too much focus on the perpetrators of terrorist attacks.

kp/rs (AFP, dpa, epd)  

להציג את עצמך (פוסט דוגמה)

זהו פוסט דוגמה, שפורסם במקור כחלק מ-Blogging University. ניתן להירשם לאחת מעשר התוכניות שלנו כדי להתחיל לפרסם בבלוג ברגל ימין.

היום נפרסם ביחד פוסט. אין צורך לדאוג לגבי התצוגה שלו. אין צורך לדאוג אם עדיין לא נתת שם לבלוג שלך או אם עדיין אין לך מושג מה לעשות. עליך ללחוץ על הכפתור “פוסט חדש” ולספר לנו למה הגעת לכאן.

למה כדאי לעשות זאת?

  • כך לקוראים יהיה הקשר. מה הנושא שעליו בכוונתך לכתוב? למה כדאי להם לקרוא את הבלוג שלך?
  • מאחר שהפעולה תעזור לך להתמקד ברעיונות שלך אודות הבלוג והכוונות שלך לגביו.

הפוסט יכול להיות קצר או ארוך, הקדמה בנימה אישית על החיים שלך או הצהרת כוונות לגבי הבלוג, מניפסט על העתיד או תיאור פשוט של סוגי התכנים שבכוונתך לפרסם.

להלן מספר שאלות כדי לעזור לך להתחיל:

  • למה ברצונך לפרסם בלוג ציבורי במקום לכתוב יומן אישי?
  • על אילו נושאים בכוונתך לכתוב?
  • עם מי ברצונך להתחבר באמצעות הבלוג?
  • אם תהיה לך אפשרות להוסיף תוכן לבלוג בהצלחה במהלך השנה הבאה, מה המטרות שברצונך להשיג?

אנחנו לא מבקשים להתחייב לדבר – אחד מהיתרונות העיקריים של בלוגים הוא יכולת ההסתגלות שלהם ללמידה, לצמיחה ולשיתוף הפעולה שלנו עם אחרים – אבל חשוב לדעת מאיפה מתחילים והגדרת המטרות יכולה לתת לך רעיונות לפוסטים נוספים.

אין לך מושג כיצד להתחיל? אפשר פשוט לכתוב את הדבר הראשון שקופץ לראש. אן לאמוט, סופרת שאנחנו אוהבים שכתבה ספר אודות כתיבה, אומרת שכדאי לתת לעצמך רשות לכתוב “טיוטה ראשונה גרועה”. יש היגיון בדבריה של אן – כדאי פשוט להתחיל כתוב ולדאוג לעריכה בשלב מאוחר יותר.

כאשר הכול מוכן לפרסום, מומלץ להוסיף לפוסט שלוש עד חמש תגיות שמתארות את הנושאים שבהם הבלוג מתמקד – כתיבה, צילום, סיפורת, הורות, אוכל, מכוניות, סרטים, ספורט, מה שמתחשק לך. התגיות האלו יעזרו למשתמשים אחרים שמעוניינים לקרוא על הנושאים שלך למצוא אותך ב-Reader. כדאי להוסיף את התגית zerotohero כאחת מהתגיות האלו, כדי שבלוגרים חדשים אחרים ימצאו אותך גם.