Monday, August 23, 2010

Rightwing Attacks Israeli Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is perhaps the core pillar of democracy, and it is today under fierce attack in Israel.

In response to the effort by the Israeli rightwing undermine academic freedom in Israeli universities by punishing universities for employing professors whose political views the rightwing dislikes, former president of Ben-Gurion University and former head of Israeli Military Intelligence Shlomo Gazit warned today:

Israeli society is on the verge of being consumed by a menacing wave of McCarthyism stoked by nationalist movements and publicity-hungry legislators. If we ignore this wave and it's not stopped immediately, it will endanger - perhaps even destroy - Israeli democracy.

This is precisely what I mean by the “black shoots of fascism,” and the situation is Israel is all the worse for the silence of the rightwing extremist Netanyahu regime , which, to put it mildly, “gives the impression” (as lawyers like to say) of collusion. As Gazit continued:

It is particularly sad that the authorities have kept quiet on the matter. No one is condemning this phenomenon, nor will anyone act to thwart it. We have not heard any remarks on this issue from the president, prime minister, Knesset speaker, chairman of the Knesset Education Committee or Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, chairman of the Council for Higher Education's Planning and Budgeting Committee.

Further Reading:

For essential background on the collusion of American rightwing so-called “friends” of Israel, see Coteret’s continuing expose.

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