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Editorial Article

Israel's Tenured Taliban Targeting Bar-Ilan University

Israel's Tenured Taliban is out in force this week. The academic extremists have a new cause celebre. They are bashing Bar-Ilan University because Bar Ilan refused to grant tenure to one Ariella Azoulay. The Tenured Taliban are claiming that she was turned down because she is a leftist and because Bar Ilan University represses and suppresses leftists. A group of 70 academic extremists sent a petition to the Israel Council on Higher Education, denouncing Bar-Ilan, demanding that the Council "investigate" politicization at Bar-Ilan. Among the signatories to this petition are people like Lev "The Hamas is Today's Heroic Maccabees" Grinberg from Ben Gurion University, Yehouda "Replace Israel with a Rwanda" Shenhav, a Marxist sociologist from Tel Aviv University, and of course Israel's academic Lord Haw-Haw, Neve Gordon from Ben Gurion University.

The spectacle of THESE signatory people complaining about politicization of the campus is rather amusing. Many of them are people who were only hired and promoted by Israeli universities in the first place thanks to their own anti-Israel far-leftist and Marxist politics. Many were simply hired as acts of political solidarity by other leftists in the system. Not a single one of the signatories had anything at all to say about Ben Gurion University firing people who had expressed unfashionable politically incorrect thoughts, including Yeruham Leavitt, who was fired by BGU for saying he did not think it was healthy for children to be raised by gay couples.

 

 

Israel's Tenured Taliban Targeting Bar-Ilan University

Steve Plaut
3/3/2011

Israel's Tenured Taliban is out in force this week. The academic extremists have a new cause celebre. They are bashing Bar-Ilan University because Bar Ilan refused to grant tenure to one Ariella Azoulay. The Tenured Taliban are claiming that she was turned down because she is a leftist and because Bar Ilan University represses and suppresses leftists. A group of 70 academic extremists sent a petition to the Israel Council on Higher Education, denouncing Bar-Ilan, demanding that the Council "investigate" politicization at Bar-Ilan. Among the signatories to this petition are people like Lev "The Hamas is Today's Heroic Maccabees" Grinberg from Ben Gurion University, Yehouda "Replace Israel with a Rwanda" Shenhav, a Marxist sociologist from Tel Aviv University, and of course Israel's academic Lord Haw-Haw, Neve Gordon from Ben Gurion University.

The spectacle of THESE signatory people complaining about politicization of the campus is rather amusing. Many of them are people who were only hired and promoted by Israeli universities in the first place thanks to their own anti-Israel far-leftist and Marxist politics. Many were simply hired as acts of political solidarity by other leftists in the system. Not a single one of the signatories had anything at all to say about Ben Gurion University firing people who had expressed unfashionable politically incorrect thoughts, including Yeruham Leavitt, who was fired by BGU for saying he did not think it was healthy for children to be raised by gay couples.

Naturally, Haaretz is promoting the petition and the "cause" of Azoulay. Here is today's headline: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/top-israeli-professors-charge-bar-ilan-university-with-political-persecution-1.346793 Note how Haaretz proclaims that the signatories are "Top Israeli Professors."

Now as usual when it comes to Israel's academic fifth column, the facts are precisely the opposite. Not only was Azoulay not fired for being a leftist, it seems clear she was only hired in the first place because she was a leftist. She simply never produced any serious academic scholarly work or bona fide research, on whose basis she could have been awarded tenure. She is the wife of Tel Aviv University's prominent extremist leftist professor of philosophy Adi Ophir. You will recall Ophir as the star of several Israel Apartheid Week events. The simple truth is that had she not been Ophir's wife, I think there is serious doubt as to whether she ever would have been offered any academic post of any sort in Israel.

At Bar-Ilan, she taught something called "Hermeneutics." I am not quite sure what that is, but I think it has something to do with neutering people named Herman. In general she claims to be some sort of expert on photography, but her "specialty" is how to twist photographs to make political points, not exactly a real academic discipline, at least outside of the University of Tripoli in Libya. Among the "films" she directed is: "I Also Dwell Among Your Own People: Conversations with Azmi Bishara." Here is an earlier expose of Azoulay and Ophir:
http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Alon%20Ben%20Shaul%20-%20Adi%20Ophir%20and%20Ariella%20Azoulay%20-%20The%20Defaming%20Duo.htm

Now I invite you to take a look at Azoulay's curriculum vita and "publication" record for yourself. It appears here: http://mhc.tau.ac.il/sites/a.azoulay/Azoulay_CV.pdf . As you can see, it is filled with propaganda diatribes in assorted Marxist magazines. It includes her "books" her tendentious collections of photographs to make Israel look like a monster. You can tell from their titles what they are about and how "scholarly" they are. With the possible exception of one single note in the Cardoza Law Journal, I cannot see a single bona fide academic publication on her whole vita. If you can find any I have missed, let me know. I do not know a single academic institution in the world that would regard her Marxist propagandizing and her Bash-Israel collections of photographs as bona fide scholarly work.

Here is an earlier Haaretz piece on the story: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/bar-ilan-lecturer-reportedly-denied-tenure-due-to-views-1.315374 Notice how Haaretz claims she was turned down because she spoke out against the "occupation." They reality of Israeli academia is that anyone who speaks out in FAVOR of the "occupation" might as well commit academic hara-kiri, for he/she is putting his academic career in severe jeopardy. Israeli universities are filled with people who were hired and promoted ONLY thanks to their speaking out against the "occupation." The REAL problem in the view of Haaretz is that there are still some departments in Israeli universities that are NOT engaged in one-sided leftist indoctrination.

Here we have the spectacle of Neo-Fascist Neve "SLAPP suit" Gordon, whining that the firing of Azoulay is political repression:
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16311.
This is the same Gordon who ran to Nazareth court to file a SLAPP suit to suppress freedom of speech. Gordon was also personally involved in the firing of the one pro-Israel member of the department of politics at Ben Gurion University in an act of political repression. You can imagine why Gordon feels the passionate need to defend someone who was only evidently hired in the first place because she made a career out of producing anti-Israel propaganda. Note, by the way, just where Gordon chose to publish his diatribe (open the previous link). And note how he dregs up Yigal Amir to bash Bar-Ilan University but has never been bothered by the fact that Mordecai Vanunu studied at Ben Gurion University or that at least one name on the right side of Gordon's page is that of a Holocaust Denier.

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Op-Ed articles appearing on IsraCampus.Org.il are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinion of IsraCampus.Org.il