To Matan Vilnai, deputy defense minister:
On August 10th of this year, the press reported that you were calling on Bar-Ilan University to fire Professor Hillel Weiss, after he swore at an IDF officer in the West Bank town of Hebron. You also noted that the IDF will look into its ongoing ties with Bar-Ilan University.
“If the university believes he should continue to work there, we will have to reconsider whether we have any reason to be involved with the university,” you said at the time.
Even though the professor’s conduct was not in the framework of his job and did not take place on behalf of the academic institute he was teaching in, you saw fit to hold the university responsible for the things Professor Weiss did in his leisure time.
However, this week we read reports about a lecturer at Sapir College, called Nizar Hassan, who refused to teach an IDF officer who arrived to class in uniform, and insulted him. This incident happened at the school during a film class.
As I happened to miss several newscasts that day, I was wondering whether one of those newscasts or even a news update I happened to miss reported about your threat regarding the IDF reconsidering its ties with Sapir College should if fail to take steps against the anti-IDF lecturer.
As it appears that both you and your superior, the defense minister, failed to publicly address this recent incident and the lecturer in question, while earlier you addressed Bar-Ilan and Professor Weiss firmly and extensively, I hereby assume that the difference in your reactions stems from the following four reasons (either all of them combined, or each one separately.)
1. You did not watch the news this week so you don’t even know about the matter. 2. Arabs are allowed to insult soldiers. 3. A college is not the same as a university. 4. As we may recall, the religious and right-wing Bar-Ilan University assassinated Prime Minister Rabin, and therefore it bears responsibility for the conduct of its lecturers at any given time or location, while Sapir College did not murder Rabin, and therefore it is absolved of any responsibility in any given case.
I await your response.