Im Tirzu's success shows that after a generation of accepting the Left’s domination of the public discourse the public has had enough.
Caroline B. Glick
24 August '10
Israeli academia is in an uproar. And this is a good thing. Last week, the Zionist student movement Im Tirtzu opened a rather modest campaign against Ben- Gurion University’s Politics and Government Department.
And the howls of protest stretched from the Negev to the border with Lebanon.
Im Tirtzu is a grass-roots initiative of university students.
Over the past few years it has managed to amass a modest budget funded by Jewish and non-Jewish Zionists here and in the US.
One of Im Tirtzu’s central goals is to engender an atmosphere of academic freedom and intellectual pluralism on university campuses. Over the past generation or so, those campuses, and particularly the humanities and social sciences faculties, have become hotbeds of anti- Zionist activism and intellectual terror. Stories of professorial intimidation of and discrimination against Zionist students are widespread, as are instances of outright indoctrination in the classrooms.
As Ma’ariv’s Ben Dror Yemini reported this week, at Hebrew University’s law school, Prof. Yehuda Shenhav teaches a class called “Bureaucracy, Governance and Human Rights.” In the course of their studies, the students are expected to participate in the work of anti-Zionist organizations including Machsom Watch and Yesh Din. At the end of the year, the participants – who will be paid NIS 1,450 for their activism – are expected to write an article describing their experiences which will be turned into a booklet edited by Shenhav and anti-Zionist activists Michael Sfard and Yael Barda and published by their anti-Zionist NGOs.
The situation at Ben-Gurion University’s Politics and Government Department is particularly distressing. It is headed by Dr. Neve Gordon, an anti-Zionist activist who has written that Israel is a “proto-fascist state,” has castigated it as an “apartheid state” and has signed petitions calling for international academic, scientific, economic and cultural boycotts of the country.
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