Last week, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth broke a story about a draft report by an evaluation committee commissioned by Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE), recommending closing the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University if changes are not made, including to the perceived political leaning of the department. The department has been the target of a campaign by the radical rightwing movement Im Tirzu for its “lefty” political leaning.
Despite pleas from dozens of academics that protested this attempt to supervise the political opinions raised in classrooms, the Council for Higher Education voted to adopt the report yesterday.
Haaretz has revealed that before the committee was formed, one of its members was replaced with a rightwing professor. Furthermore, committee member Prof. Galia Golan refused to sign the report, claiming it was politically-motivated. Instead, Golan wrote a Minority Opinion (can be read at the end of the report below), in which she wrote that the demand “for a balance (of views) in the classroom… runs directly counter to the principle of academic freedom.”
Here is the full report, made public for the first time: