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  • How the Israeli right conspired to shut down 'lefty' department at BGU

    The crackdown on Ben-Gurion University’s Department of Politics and Government may seem unprecedented, but a closer look reveals an ongoing campaign to challenge academic freedom in the university and beyond. By B.N.* While the attacks on the Department of Politics and Government of Ben-Gurion University are being viewed by many as an unprecedented measure, infringements of academic freedom in Israeli-controlled areas are common. They are often part of the regime of military occupation in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza. Today, such infringements in the occupied territories include limitations on students’ and faculty’s access to academic institutions through checkpoints and…

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  • Leaked BGU report: Part of broader assault on academic freedom

    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…

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  • Panel recommends closing BGU politics dept. for "political bias"

    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:…

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  • Civics schoolbook slashed for being too civic

    Haaretz reports today that the Education Ministry has begun re-writing the book used in civics studies in high schools. The book, promisingly titled "Being citizens in Israel - a jewish and democratic state" (read in full) was released in the late 1990's, and certainly needs updating- the civic situation in Israel got considerably worse; but the charges levelled against it now are lack of patriotism, focusing too much on internal rifts, highlighting discrimination of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and mentioning the possibility that some Druze (touted in Israel as "sensible, loyal allies", a kind of a juxtaposition to "unreasonable, hostile"…

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