A verdict by the Jerusalem District Court finds that recognizing 'certain lines of resemblance' to fascism in the ideology or activities of the right-wing movement can be seen as 'truthful.' The verdict is a major blow to Im Tirtzu’s efforts to portray itself as a mainstream, grassroots movement. The extreme-right group Im Tirtzu lost a court case against a group of leftist activists who opened a Facebook page called “Im Tirtzu – A Fascist Movement.” Judge Raphael Ya'akobi of the Jerusalem District Court determined that some of Im Tirtzu’s attributes bear certain similarities to fascism – thus allowing the activists…Read More... | 18 Comments
Knesset members behind attacks on the left, Arabs and asylum seekers won the day at the Likud primaries. All moderates but one were pushed down the list, and probably won't serve in the next Knesset. The Likud, Israel's ruling party the last four years, and the one expected to win the next elections according to every poll I have seen since 2009 (!), held its primaries on Sunday and Monday. The outcome was somewhat expected but is still stunning, and more than anything, it reveals the deep change Israel is going through. The top of the ticket will be held…Read More... | 32 Comments
In an unprecedented move, the Council for Higher Education will vote on shutting down the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University, which has been the target of right-wing propaganda for the last several years. A major political battle is taking place this autumn within Israeli academia: the Israeli Council for Higher Education (CHE), a government-appointed body charged with the supervision and financing of universities and colleges in Israel, is attempting to shut down the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University (BGU). In recent years, the Department of Politics and Governments has been labeled by right-wing organizations…Read More... | 29 Comments
Blithely ignoring a bitter academic and political controversy, the Committee for Higher Education (CHE) in Judea and Samaria voted Tuesday evening to grant the Ariel University Center of Samaria (also referred to as Ariel College) the status of a fully accredited university. After a few more formalities, the West Bank institute, established in 1982, is expected to be accredited beginning this autumn. Along with the Ariel Cultural Center, this decision drives home Israel's permanence in the West Bank. It also represents the bizarre military takeover of academia – since formally the IDF commander of the Central Command, the highest authority…Read More... | 32 Comments
A new law forbidding the commemoration of the Palestinian catastrophe prompted Tel Aviv University to charge students organizing a joint Israeli-Palestinian ceremony on May 14th in order to pay the security expenses. A little over a year ago, the Israeli Knesset passed the Nakba Law, stating that institutions who receive state funding are not to permit any commemoration of the Palestinian catastrophe in 1948. During Israel's War of Independence, 80 percent of the Arab population in what later became the State of Israel was displaced. Some of the Palestinians fled battle grounds, others were forcefully removed. None were allowed back,…Read More... | 38 Comments
Read excerpts from the report obtained by +972 Magazine. The leaked report of a committee appointed by Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE), assessing Ben Gurion University’s Department of Politics and Government, is an anomaly compared to other reports, if not an outright, government-sponsored politicized mission against an academic department that has no precedent. I repeat my full disclosure that I teach as an adjunct lecturer at this department. Although the process of evaluation is an established routine (which I explain below), this report must be seen in a dire context of academic persecution that has been led largely by two…Read More... | 10 Comments
Topping off a lengthy, politically-motivated assault on the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University, a new study now reportedly recommends closing the department altogether. According to Yediot Ahronot, an international committee established by Israel’s Council for Higher Education has pointed out a series of professional, academic weaknesses of the department, examining the number of publications, the prestige of the publishers of those publications, the range of courses and programs and the number of lecturers. But the headline of Yediot’s story is the report’s finding that the political bias of the department warrants special concern. According to Yediot:…Read More... | 62 Comments
I know that most of our dignified and thoughtful elected representatives are ashamed that the ignominious "boycott bill" would even be debated in our proud democracy. I know this because so many of them – 35 in total – protested by refusing to show their faces at the vote. Only 85 of our 120 members dared to take part, and 37 of them voted against. I am thrilled therefore to report that the clear majority of our parliament – 73 members – did not vote for it. I am even more proud to imagine that 35 of my elected representatives…Read More... | 4 Comments
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