[Marxism] Witch-hunt begins in Israeli schools

Philip Ferguson philipferguson8 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 14 20:36:39 MDT 2010


 Witch-hunt begins in Israeli schools and colleges - Jonathan Cook
Published Monday 12/07/2010 (updated) 12/07/2010 15:37
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Hundreds of Israeli college professors have signed a petition accusing the
education minister of endangering academic freedoms after he threatened to
“punish” any lecturer or institution that supports a boycott of Israel.
The backlash against Gideon Saar, a member of Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, comes after a series of moves which
suggest he is trying to stamp a more stridently right-wing agenda on the
Israeli education system.
The education minister has outraged the 540 professors who signed the
petition by his open backing of a nationalist youth movement, Im Tirtzu,
which demands that teachers be required to prove their commitment to
right-wing Zionism.
Two of Saar’s predecessors, Yossi Sarid and Yuli Tamir, are among those who
signed the petition, which calls on the minister to “come to your senses …
before it’s too late to save higher education in Israel.”
Saar’s campaign to “re-Zionise” the education system, including introducing
a new right-wing Jewish studies syllabus and bringing soldiers into
classrooms, has heightened concerns that he is stoking an atmosphere
increasingly hostile to left-wing academics and human-rights activists.
Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva who
called for an academic boycott of Israel last year, has reported receiving
death threats, as has a school teacher who refused to participate in Saar’s
flagship program to encourage high-school recruitment to the Israeli
military.
Daniel Gutwein, a professor of Jewish history at Haifa University, said: “A
serious red flag is raised when the education minister joins in the
de-legitimization of the academic establishment. This is a method to
castrate and abolish Israeli academia.”
full at: *http://maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=298800


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