To Left (double meaning) - the new look for Hebrew University leftism?
The Hebrew University just elected for itself a new president, Dr. Menachem Ben-Sasson, who used to be a Knesset backbencher from the Kadima Party.
His nomination comes not only in the midst of a financial crisis for the Hebrew University but also in the middle of a growing crisis of identity. The seriousness of that crisis was made evident yesterday when a group of leftist and Arab students on the campus, no doubt with the blessings of radical anti-Israel professors, gave Nazi salutes to pro-Israel students singing Hatikva and "Jerusalem of Gold." The story is reported in the Jerusalem Post today, here.
Like the other liberal arts secular universities in Israel (Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University, and my own University of Haifa), much of higher education in Israel has been converted by these institutions into leftist indoctrination and anti-Israel anti-Zionist "re-education." There are entire departments in which no non-leftist or Zionist may teach. Classrooms, especially in the social sciences, law, education, and humanities, are often turned into little camps for North-Korean-style extremist propagandizing. Incompetent pseudo-academics whose entire academic records consist of anti-Israel propagandizing get hired, tenured, and promoted, while dissident Zionist faculty sometimes have their careers sabotaged. Professors preach ideology in class instead of engaging in research and scholarship, and that ideology is invariably post-modernist anti-Israel Marxist radicalism. (The non-radicals seldom use their classrooms for political indoctrination. My own students do not have the foggiest idea of what my own political opinions are unless they google me on their own!)
The politicalization of the Israeli campus and the misbehavior of Hebrew University radical faculty are documented in detail at the web site of the Isracampus watchdog group here. Isracampus is a group initiative based in part on the legendary Campus Watch watchdog that operated in the United States, set up by the courageous Dr. Daniel Pipes.
Politicalization and radicalization of the faculty at the Hebrew University is about as bad as it is anywhere in Israel, and worse even than that on many American campuses. The whole collection of reports on Hebrew University extremism assembled by Isracampus appears here.
The Hebrew University record ranges from faculty members justifying anti-Israel terrorism, to other calling for an end to Israel's existence. It includes faculty members being arrested for engaging in illegal and violent behavior. It contains track records of numerous Hebrew University faculty members smearing Israel and Zionism, denouncing Israel as an apartheid peace-hating state, one that carries out horrific Nazi-like war crimes for the heck of it.
Anti-Israel students at the Hebrew university are probably much more rare than are anti-Israel faculty members, and there are probably less people in all of Eastern Europe who believe in socialism than there are on the faculty of the Hebrew University.
Nevertheless the growing anti-Israel faculty extremism there is having an impact, and the parading of leftist and Arab students on the Hebrew University's campus giving the Nazi salute in the middle of the meetings of the school's Board of Governors is disturbing evidence of this.
To right - Hebrew U's new Prez. He has his work cut out for him!