A Call by Isracampus for the Immediate Dismissal of Shai Nitzan
as Israel Deputy Prosecutor
by Steve Plaut
We at Isracampus would like to ask you to take a few
moments from your Hannuka week to strike a blow against
anti-democratic Thought Control in Israel. We would like to ask you
to take a few moments to demand the immediate dismissal of Israel’s
worst politicized Inquisitor, Israel’s leftist thought policeman and
enemy of democracy, Mr. Shai Nitzan, operating as the Deputy
Prosecutor in the Ministry of Justice.
Nitzan, who has a track record of partisan political
decision making as the Deputy director of Israel’s Prosecution
Office, must be immediately dismissed because of his campaign of
persecution and harassment against Dr. David Bukay, for the crime of
incorrect thinking and speaking.
Dr. David Bukay is a lecturer in Middle East Studies at
the University of Haifa with expertise in Arab history. He has
conservative points of view and is very outspoken about them. About
five years ago Bukay was the victim of a smear campaign of
demonization at the University of Haifa. At the time, an Arab
student who was active in the university branch of the communist
party sat in on one of Bukay’s lectures without being registered in
the class. The student then ran to the Arab press in Israel and
claimed that in his lecture Bukay had repeatedly made racist
derogatory comments about Arabs. After running the story there, it
was also reported in the Hebrew press and web. From there,
anti-Semitic web sites, including some run by Neo-Nazis, spread the
story all over the internet.
None of the other students in the classroom had heard
Bukay make any such remarks and many of these went public and
claimed that the Arab communist student had fabricated the story.
Hundreds of Bukay’s students backed Bukay in the case. Many wrote
the Haifa University chiefs to give their side of the story. In any
case, because of the uproar, the Rector at the University of Haifa,
himself no Right-winger (he was a founder of Peace Now), appointed a
committee of investigation to look into the charges against Bukay.
They found that the charges were lies.
Then for about five years the story was nearly
forgotten. Until last week.
What changed? Last week, the leftist Deputy Director of the Israel
Prosecutor’s Office, Shai Nitzan, ordered Dr. Bukay to come into his
office as part of an investigation into incorrect thinking and
speaking by Dr. Bukay in his classroom. The story is reported in
full in detail (in Hebrew only, alas) in the weekend issue of Maariv,
and can be read here:
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/977/492.html and here:
The Deputy Prosecutor played the role of a medieval
Inquisitor. He was acting supposedly on the basis of a “criminal
complaint” that was filed against Bukay with the Prosecution
recently by the misnamed “Committee against Racism.” That committee
is a front group for the pro-terror Israeli communist party, a party
of anti-Semitic racists that has never quite gotten around to
repudiating Stalin. The Stalinists claimed Bukay had made
insensitive anti-Arab statements in class. Bukay denies that he did.
That charge, coming from communists, was enough for Nitzan to summon
Bukay for interrogation.
In a scene looking like something in the dungeons of
the KGB in the days of Stalin, Bukay was ordered to the offices of
Nitzan. He was told that he must sign a confession that he had made
anti-Arab statements in the classroom. He was ordered by Nitzan to
sign an apology for those statements, under threat of being
prosecuted by Nitzan for “incitement” and “racism” if he does not do
so. He was ordered to commit in writing and promise to make no such
statements henceforth in his classroom. Nitzan evidently believes
that leftwing lawyers should be able to dictate the content of
Bukay refused to sign.
Maariv this weekend not only runs the story of the
KGB-like interrogation of Bukay in the dungeons of the Ministry of
Justice, but also runs a long commentary on the affair composed by
Maariv Deputy Editor Ben-Dror Yemini. Interrogating and prosecuting
lecturers for what they say in the classroom is without precedent in
Israel or any democracy, notes Yemini. He then reminds readers that
Israel is filled with far-leftist anti-Israel and anti-Semitic
members of Israel’s Academic Fifth Column, who routinely use the
classroom to support terrorism against Jews, to call for Israel’s
annihilation, to denounce Israel as a Nazi-like apartheid regime,
and to urge law breaking. Not a single one of these has ever been
interrogated, let along prosecuted. Yet here we have the spectacle
of a naked political persecution of someone accused of having made
politically incorrect statements in his classroom, a claim
incidentally he denies, accused by a governmental enemy of freedom
Now as it turns out, even if Bukay HAD
made the anti-Arab statements in the classroom that he was falsely
accused of having made, they still should have been speech as
protected as are outbursts that are made in scores of
Israeli university classrooms every day by Israel’s tenured
radicals. To take just a handful of examples from the same
University of Haifa itself in which Bukay teaches, among the
statements that did NOT ever trigger any investigation by the
Prosecutor’s office have been these: The declaration by University
of Haifa theater professor Avraham Oz that Israeli soldiers are
Nazis and “Little Eichmanns”; the distribution via the “ALEF” chat
list run by the same Oz on the University of Haifa computer of the
names, addresses and photos of Israeli army officers with the
heading “war criminals,” as a thinly disguised call to murder them
or harass them; a denunciation of Israel for committing “genocide”
distributed by University of Haifa psychology professor Ramsey
Suleiman; calls by numerous University of Haifa faculty members for
a worldwide boycott of Israel; calls by many of those same people
for students to refuse to serve in the army; and countless other
anti-Israel pronouncements and statements by leftist University of
Haifa faculty members. And the University of Haifa is a relatively
tame place when compared to the legions of tenured treason to be
found at Ben Gurion University and at Tel Aviv University.
Israel has a long history of selective protection for
freedom of speech. Numerous Israeli Jewish Right-wingers have been
indicted and prosecuted for “racism,” for “sedition,” and for
“incitement.” Fanatic Jewish leftists and Arab radicals never have
been. The courts have repeatedly endorsed anti-speech prosecution
and litigation directed against non-Leftists, while protecting and
defending the most outrageous hate speech of far-leftist traitors.
In one infamous court case, an Israeli sitting judge ruled that
leftist sedition is protected speech while criticism of leftist
sedition is libel.
Israel needs your help. Israel needs to get Shai Nitzan
dismissed. Please write a short letter about the above outrage and
demand Nitzan’s immediate dismissal. You should send it to the
Minister of Justice, with copies to other Israeli leaders. A fax is
more effective than an email.
Fax the Minister at the Ministry of Justice 972-2-6285438
Email (not for certain anyone reads it, so fax is better):
Copy to the Director General of the Ministry of
Justice: Fax 972-2-6287757
And whose email is
And to the Spokesman for the Ministry
of Justice: Fax 972-2-6466722
You can copy your letter to the Prime Minister’s office
via this fax 972-2-5664838
or this web address:
or this email address:
New Deputy Attorney General Almost as Bad as Old One
The legal system as the left's political
Op-ed: In a democracy, different organizations have the right to
be part of a demonization campaign against the state. But since when
is it the state's duty to assist such bodies?
Dina Zilber, the deputy
attorney general, was the person behind the amendment to the
Prevention of Infiltration Law. The High Court rejected the first
amendment. Zilber worked very hard to prepare the second amendment,
which should have passed the High Court's test.
It didn't help. The High Court
rejected not only the legislature's discretion but also the
discretion of the advisor behind the law and of the attorney general
who backed it.
Zilber is not just an advisor. She also has a
sort of judicial role. She was the person who was supposed to rule
on the decision made by National-Civil Service Administration
Director Sar-Shalom Jerbi to remove
B'Tselem from the list of bodies where one can do national
Zilber wrote a long-winded
opinion on the issue, which looks like a judicial decision. It turns
out that she is in love with judicial activism too. The High court
struck down her amendment, and she struck down Jerbi's decision.
In the infiltrators
affair, there was a violation of basic rights. The argument revolved
around proportionality. In the B'Tselem affair there was no
violation of any right, as there is no right given to any political
body to receive aid from the state. In both affairs, the legal
element thought it was smarter. Both affairs point to a system
Zilber's opinion finds it
difficult to distinguish between a democratic society's duty to
allow different organizations – including B'Tselem – to operate and
the state's authority to decide which body to assist. Jerbi's
decision was political in the democratic sense of the word. Zilber's
decision was political in the dictatorial sense. Dictatorship of the
law. Jerbi's decision is reasonable and inevitable. Zilber's
decision is clearly unreasonable.
Why? B'Tselem Director
Hagai Elad has the right to refuse to call Hamas a terror
organization. The organization's past leaders (Anat Biletzki and
Oren Yiftachel) have the right to support the "right of return"
(which basically means Israel's destruction as a Jewish and
democratic state). The organization has the right to appoint a
refusenik, David Zonsheine, as its chairman.
The organization has the
right to include on its public council a person like Hussein Abu
Hussein, who says that Israel is a monster and that he wishes to
step on its head, and recommends moving from talk to action. And the
organization has the right to announce that it is "proud of his
membership" in its management after he made these defamatory
The organization has the
right to employ a field researcher, Atef Abu a-Rub, who is a
Holocaust denier (after denying it, B'Tselem admitted that Abu a-Rub
said the things attributed to him). The organization has the right
to receive a donation from Bubbes and Zaydes (BZP), a body which
endorses the BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) movement against
Israel. The organization has the right to cooperate with one of the
darkest bodies in the international arena (the United Nations Human
That's democracy. In
democracy, different bodies have the right to be part of the
demonization campaign against the state. But since when is it the
state's duty to assist such bodies? I searched in Zilber's opinion
for one precedent, one state which supports bodies like B'Tselem.
There is no such thing. There is no need for dozens of pages of
legal acrobatics to understand the obvious.
Late judge Menachem Elon
once wrote, during a dispute with judge Aharon Barak, that there is
a difference between the rule of law and the rule of the judge. The
years have gone by. Professors Andrei Marmor and Menachem Mautner,
who are not rightists, have argued each in his own way that the
legal system is becoming the left's political tool to bypass the
majority, after it lost its political power.
Zilber's decision proves
things are only getting worse. This is not the way to serve the rule
of law. This is the way to destroy it.
Op-Ed articles appearing on IsraCampus.Org.il are those of the writer and
do not necessarily represent the opinion of IsraCampus.Org.il