To right, David Newman, enemy of freedom of speech
David Newman, a geographer sitting in the department of political science at Ben Gurion University, has an anti-democratic raving attack on freedom of speech in the Jerusalem Post, April 14, 2009, entitled, "Bashing the Academic Left." Newman is a leftist who once served as chairman of the department of political science at Ben Gurion University and is largely personal responsible for turning it into a monolithic anti-Israel propaganda agency in which not a single Zionist non-leftist teaches. He used to be a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post, but was evidently not considered up to snuff by the editors.
That does not stop Newman from attacking on the pages of the Jerusalem Post critics of seditious leftist anti-Israel propagandists pretending to be academics. Newman dismisses critics of anti-Israel critics as "McCarthyists," as people who should be stripped of their right to exercise THEIR freedom of speech, prevented from criticizing anti-Israel extremists. Newman specifically attacks Dr. Daniel Pipes of Campus-Watch.org, Prof. Gerald Steinberg of NGO-Monitor, and Israeli academic watchdog groups (such as isracampus.org.il), for the "crime" of exposing anti-Israel fanatics serving on Israeli campus faculties. In most cases, these watchdogs simply cite the malicious hate propaganda produced by these fanatics in their own words. But in the eyes of the neo-fascist McCarthyist Left, critics of the Left are not entitled to freedom of expression.
To Left, freedom of speech in David Newman's "correct leftist thinking only" department of political science at Ben Gurion University.
Or to sum up Newman's own McCarthyist notion of democracy, it is "freedom of speech for those who agree with me but none for anyone else."
Here is my letter to the editor of the Jerusalem Post concerning Newman's anti-democratic rant:
April 14, 09
Letters to the Editor
David Newman of Ben Gurion University displays in "Bashing the Academic Left" (Post, April 14) a highly selective notion of democracy and freedom of speech. Newman favors the exercise of freedom of expression by those who practice anti-Israel sedition in the guise of academic work, but not for those who criticize such people. He demands freedom of speech for Israel's "academic" enemies, but not for critics of those critics. Those who dare to criticize anti-Israel and anti-Semitic "academic" propagandists, including watchdog agencies like Isracampus.org.il and NGO Monitor, are "McCarthyists," themselves not entitled to the right of freedom of expression in Newman's learned opinion. Never mind that universities all over the world are now cracking down on and firing pseudo-academics whose records consist entirely of extremist political propaganda.
Newman's letter is also notable in what he intentionally ignores. He forgets to mention that there is not a single non-leftist in Newman's own department (political science) at Ben Gurion University, nor that the one pro-Israel dissident who had been there was fired for incorrect thinking. While claiming disingenuously that only 2 or 3 Israeli "academics" support the boycott of Israel, he neglects to mention that his own department chairman, Neve Gordon, is one of many scores of such pro-boycott anti-Israel extremists on campus faculties in Israel. Gordon, who was recruited by Newman and is his long-time sidekick, is on record as favoring Israel's annihilation and insists that Israel is a fascist apartheid terror regime. Gordon is currently a bash-Israel columnist for the Holocaust-Denying Tehran Times and for the pro-terror Aljazeera.com. Newman in fact supported Gordon's failed anti-democratic attempt to recruit the Israeli court to suppress freedom of speech for critics of the seditious far Left.
If academic hiring and promotion were as quality-based and ideologically neutral as Newman feigns in his letter, why are there so many pseudo-academics in the Israeli university system who have built entire "academic" careers on turning out anti-Israel hate propaganda and misrepresenting it as scholarship? Some of these sit in the very same department as Professor David Newman. Why are there entire university departments in Israel in which no Zionist may set foot?
Prof. Steven Plaut
University of Haifa