BGU vows to fight attempts to close political science dept
Tomer Velmer
Published: 09.09.12, 16:45
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27 Talkbacks for this article
1. acdemic freedom
BGU ,   TA- Israel   (09.09.12)
This department sponsored a professor who incited to murder against settlers. While there can a difference of opinion, incitement to muder and other racist heinous acts emanting from BGU- certainly justifies the decision to close down the department. If the management of BGU supports the department and its' views, the whole university should be closed down . Maybe moved to Ramallah.
2. Whether it is left or right wing indoctrination
Ehud   (09.09.12)
...if you abuse your position as a university lecturer to present your personal (radical) views as 'science' rather than opinion and make life miserable for the students who disagree or wish to hear alternative explanations and theories - you are indoctrinating, not teaching, and you are dealing with ideology and not science.
3. Funny
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (09.09.12)
The leftists attempt to shut down an entire university because it doesn't adhere to their extremist positions, but if a professional group recommends that an extreme leftist department headed by individuals inciting murder be curtailed - well watch out. The name calling will really begin
4. Stalinism
Abraham Nachmias ,   Petach Tikva IL   (09.09.12)
This professors are not democrats! They have Stalinist views about education and democracy. Just cut them out!
5. am I dreaming?
E. G. Marsch ,   Nahariya, Israel   (09.09.12)
This, combined with Makor Rishon buying out Maariv, combined with the latest Israel Democracy Institute survey finding 50% of Israelis identifying themselves as right-wing, 30% as centrist, and less than 20% as left-wing? Has a gate of heaven opened, to allow a ray of joy and wisdom to shine through? O must rejoice...
6. about time. this is not issue of academic freedom. only left
ralph   (09.09.12)
yells that when positions opposite to it are forwarded. it meanwhile censors everything it is against.
7. Perversive to fund anti-Israel BGU professors
Danny ,   Teaneck, USA   (09.09.12)
American Jews will not give a penny to them. Let Nasrallah pick them up.
8. Jews onlly see the truth when they are up against a wall
Rachel ,   Negev   (09.09.12)
It is too bad that so much land was given away for nothing. The Pals don't care about their independence or children. They have turned victimhood into an ideology that other countries have to pay for.
9.  What happens if BGU closes its doors
Nora Tel Aviv   (09.09.12)
to Rigtists and Ariel university to Leftists Then will TAU follow BGU ? and Bar Ilan Uinversity follow Ariel ? Come on are supposed , as university professors, to represent the cream of the cream of the Israeli education. Don`t play down the level of our universities. If you are politically prone, get out of your chairs and enter politics.
10. Academic freedom - with somebody elses money.
Dr. L. Brnd ,   San Diego, USA   (09.09.12)
BGU is acting like a state within a state. BGU professors are notorious for covering up sloppy scholarship and leftist bigotry with the "academic freedom" claim. The voters and the taxpayers must have the final say. If BGU is not serving the public that funds it, it should be defunded. The anti-state traitors can then go work for a private university funded by New Israel Fund or Peace Now or the Saudis.
11. Raising traitors?
Beary White ,   Norway   (09.09.12)
If Rivka, Zvi Hacohen and David Newman are making trouble because they are not allowed to spread her leftist propaganda, then take they off the payroll from the state. Hopefully they can leave Israel for a muslim university who looooves their political view.
12. The face our home grown fascism
Avramele   (09.09.12)
Blacklist professors Attack minoritied for fraternizing with members of the majority Undermine a free press by undercutting the market and driving alternative voices out Create war hysteria Demonize the left Encourage religious extremism Legitimize price tag operations
13. There is salvation for Israel after all!
jack ,   San Diego,USA   (09.09.12)
14. BGU is really two universities under one roof
Raymond in DC ,   Washington, USA   (09.09.12)
It's unfortunate that folks like Neve Gordon and David Newman (with help from Carmi) have so besmirched the reputation of Ben Gurion University. Because there's a major part of BGU that's doing excellent work in the natural sciences (including supporting Israel's Physics Olympiads), desert sciences, water technology, etc. That's the part many of us would be happy to support (as folks like me support Technion and Weizmann). So here's my proposal: Split BGU into two schools. The school for serious stuff, and the school for nonsense (that's almost everything under Newman's authority). Spin off the latter as a private institution, ending their reliance on state support. As to the claims of "academic freedom", it was nowhere to be found recently when a BGU lecturer had the temerity to offer a non-PC opinion on gay families. Then the call was "Fire his ass!" We saw a similar response in the US when Harvard historian Fergusson had the gall to write a piece in Newsweek calling for Obama to "Hit the Road". Once again, those otherwise calling for academic freedom insisted Harvard fire him. Oh yes, they're all for freedom - as long as you agree with them.
15. #5. E.G. Yes, you are dreaming
Tom W ,   USA   (09.09.12)
The hardcore, Stalinist left nowhere exceeded 20% of the population, not even in the the USSR under the Communist Party rule. Still they control all important levers of the Western/Israeli society: leftist cadres occupy key positions in the media, academia, trade unions and in the Arts. The are united in the Socialist International umbrella organization and forcefully stifle opposing voices. Don't be optimistic. The radical left has been vanquished only in those countries where they ruled for decades and destroyed every aspect of the host nation. Leftism is not a democratic ideology but a revolutionary, totalitarian militant creed which never give up their struggle.
16. Students get the full picture
Rebecca E ,   St. Louis, USA   (09.09.12)
I studied at BGU and had classes with Neve Gordon as well as other VERY left-wing professors. While I disagree with their views, not only do I believe that they are entitled to them - but I also believe that they do not indoctrinate their students. The students at BGU do not live in a bubble. They live in Israel. They are exposed to all sides of every argument every day of their lives, both before and after they encounter left or right leaning teachers in university. These professors are not inciting violence, they are presenting a point of view. I know from experience that these classrooms are full of heated discussion, where both sides of the argument are aired for all to hear. The idea of "shutting down" this department is both pointless and harmful.
17. To No. 14
Bertram ,   London, UK   (09.09.12)
You mentioned David Newman. The dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at BGU? The same person who said: "Boycotts do nothing to promote the interests of peace, human rights or – in the case of Israel – the end of occupation .....[and] the boycott campaign strengthens the rejectionists on both sides, and weakens those building practical or political foundations for peace." Yes, I can see why you might not want to tolerate such outrageous opinions.
18. to #15
E. G. Marsch ,   Nahariya, Israel   (09.09.12)
Yes, but in Israel the sane majority is now fighting back in earnest. Closing down one of their academic nests of pernicious radicalism is a good example. So are right-of-center takeovers of mass media.
19. Yes, shut down Neve Gordon's anti-
Reuven   (09.10.12)
20. Close the department! It's more than slanted!
michael redbourn ,   Arad   (09.10.12)
The effects that this horrible department have had on youth should not be underestimated. Young adults are taught that wearing an IDF uniform is shameful and if they even hint at having a more right wing agenda then they censored.
21. #17 - what occupation?
michael redbourn ,   Arad   (09.10.12)
22. #12. Avramele: Left has 160 years of history
Tom W ,   USA   (09.10.12)
With the worldwide collapse of Marxism - except for Cuba and N.Korea - the true face of the Leftist totalitarianism finally came to light. The economic devastation is palpable wherever the left ever ruled - in E. Europe and Russia and N. Korea. It's no longer a viable political system but a violent cult, full of obsolete dogmas and bizarre Utopias predicated on murky, unsubstantiated ideas. Looking back to the past century we can value those infamous Bolshevik "heroes" who murdered many as they were an army of bloody, insane Don Quixote-s.
23. BGU
howard singer ,   pittsburgh   (09.10.12)
As an attorney in the US, I know what is normal and what is insane. The Left in Israel, as represented by the Political Science Department at BGU, is not sane. It is desrtuctive and insane and should receive no income from taxpayers. Perhaps its staff can find employment with Haaretz and the Schocken Group.
24. I majored in political science in the 70s
Susan ,   Kfar Saba   (09.10.12)
at the University of Maryland. I couldnt tell you if my professors were left or right. They didnt express their personel views. I also did a semester at Tel Aviv University back then. Same there. That is as it should be. A univerity or any school should not be a place to indoctrinate students for a particular politcal view.
25. To No. 21
Bertram ,   London, UK   (09.10.12)
"What occupation?" The reference was not to your mind since there is clearly nothing occupying that space. So, I hope that you are not teaching at BGU or anywhere else for that matter, otherwise students really will have something to complain about.
26. Democracy
Ethan Schwartz ,   Eilat   (09.10.12)
I love how the extreme right uses the tools of democracy to destroy itself. If this continues all of these loony talkbackers won't have their platform for long.
27. lefties and their rights
Larry ,   Los Angeles   (09.10.12)
It was once that liberal meant understanding both sides, then the term degenerated into meaning socialist/communist leanings, then further degeneration into meaning Jews who side with Arabs. What is happening in BGU is not clear, but the rights to be and think differently should be watched, but that applies also to the right too.
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