Simona Sharoni is an academic fraud who wrote an article earlier this year that pretends that there is a relationship between Israeli policies and men raping women on college campuses.
"Intersectionality," you know.
After she exposed herself as an idiot, it is natural that people would start to look at her background a little bit. This is the person who helped send Rachel Corrie to Israel to protest IDF actions for college credit, and she may be one of Corries' mentors who told her that her "whiteness" would protect her, something that may have directly caused her death as the poor, stupid girl felt she was invincible in front of the slow-moving bulldozer that couldn't see her.
Someone, apparently from Stand With Us, filed a Freedom of Information request to SUNY Plattsburgh, where she now teaches, to find out about Sharoni's hiring, employment history and participation in academic conferences.
It is a legal request. It is a moral request to find out whether state-funded employees who teach New York students are really qualified to do so. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to find out this information.
But Sharoni suddenly went from being the principled, strong voice speaking truth to power that she pretends to be into a whining, quivering weakling who is complaining, "Look! I'm being persecuted by the evil, all powerful Lobby!"
I'll let Electronic Intifada explain:
[O]n 6 September, Sharoni says she was informed by a school administrator that an individual had made five requests under New York's Freedom of Information Law asking for records on her hiring, employment history and participation in academic conferences.
According to Sharoni, Sean Brian Dermody, assistant to the vice president for administration and director of management services at SUNY Plattsburgh, asked Sharoni to help with the request by locating the records and turning them over.
The next day, Sharoni says, Dermody sent a follow-up email asking her to give him all correspondence in her possession related to her hiring. Sharoni began working at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2007. She became a professor in 2010.
In the latest update, Sharoni says she was informed that a request was made to disclose all of her travel authorizations and records of what she did and who paid for it.
Ken Knelly, a spokesperson for the university, stressed to The Electronic Intifada that the administration must follow the law. "We are subject to the New York State Freedom of Information Law," which he says was created to ensure that the government and its institutions are responsive to the public. "The law is based on a presumption of access."
In response to concerns that the requests may be part of a campaign of intimidation and harassment, as Sharoni and MESA argue, Knelly said the school will review the requests. "Based on the content of individual records requested, we can restrict access if exemptions apply in accordance with state law."
"We need to follow the law," he said.
Bob Freeman, executive director of New York's Committee on Open Government, told The Electronic Intifada that according to precedent dating back to the beginning of the Freedom of Information Law, public records are accessible to anyone without regard to the nature of their interest.
Freeman noted that a request can only be denied if it meets the standard of an "unwarranted invasion of privacy." He remarked that if every government employee could protest that a Freedom of Information request was intended to intimidate them, then not many requests would be granted.
But Sharoni wants to pretend to be the victim:
"My administration's utter silence on the matter until today," she added in reference to Ettling's email, "underscores an alarming trend in higher education of appeasing external political entities by curtailing the free speech and academic freedom of faculty and students who according to administrators work on 'controversial issues.'"
"It is an attempt to undermine and discredit scholarly work on Israel/Palestine that includes calls to hold Israel accountable for its systemic human rights violations and repression."
But Sharoni has no intention to retreat from her work. "I am going to deal with my sense of insecurity and vulnerability by speaking up even louder on these issues, by refusing to let administrators define support for justice in Palestine as controversial and by letting colleagues who don't work on these issues know what are the broad implications of the loss of academic freedom."
Sharoni here admits that the FOI requests are not affecting her academic freedom at all.
If she is so brave, and has nothing to hide, and if these requests aren't chilling her speech one iota, and if they are legal requests, then...why is she whining about it?
The reason is because victimhood is sine qua non for anti-Israel activists. They must claim that the Israel Lobby is all powerful and that they are the victims, while at the same time saying that they are brave and they fight despite the crushing weight of pressure from the Zionists.
This case shows that this narrative is utterly false. The truth is that there is no quashing of academic freedom by asking questions, and a true academic would welcome people seeking out information.
Sharoni doesn't base her research on facts. She comes up with her assertion of Israeli evil first, and then tries to shoe-horn any wisps of evidence she can find from any other field to support her foregone conclusion.
No wonder she is against anyone trying to find actual facts.