The bulk of this article is based on Menachem Rahat’s “A Hornet’s Nest in Haifa,” published a week ago in News1 and in Matzav Haruach. as I was working on the translation, I realized that it had to be altered in order to make it accessible to an American reader. A lot of what Rahat has taken for granted, writing for an Israeli audience, is not necessarily known to Americans. But this article certainly owes most of its facts, and its spirit, to Rahat’s piece.
The Executive Committee of Haifa University this month refused to award an honorary doctorate to Nobel laureate Professor Israel (Robert) Aumann due to his pro-Israel politics. University director Ami Ayalon cited concerns that “the Professor’s politics are not in line with the University’s values.” The award board focused on this 2010 remark by Aumann, suggesting “the most sensible solution” to the Israeli-Arab conflict is “a Jewish state and an Arab state, where the Jewish state is settled by Jews and the Arab state is settled by Arabs.”
Something evil has taken over Haifa University. It has adopted a systematic policy of disengagement from the Jewish identity of Israel and engaging instead in a consistent pro-Palestinian approach. There it is: the first post-Zionist Israeli university.
Through its law clinics, Haifa university has become a tool of Palestinian concerns, the focus of which is—in case the folks up on the Carmel have forgotten—the annihilation of the State of Israel.
Let’s not forget, this hostile activity is being funded with our money. Israel’s government each year supports Haifa University with the inconceivable amount of half a billion shekels (roughly $144 million). They spit in our faces and we pay for the privilege.
In effect, Haifa University has already established within its campus the “State of all its citizens” concept, replacing the antiquated “Jewish State” concept with its unprecedented vacation schedule, which follows not just the Jewish calendar, but the Muslim and Christian calendars as well. Mind you, this is not the same as allowing non-Jews to have their holidays off, but actually work their holidays into the official school calendar.
As University President Amos Shapira put it: “This precedent-setting decision reflects our vision.” The vision of the end of the Jewish State, ushering in the cosmopolitan university.
June, two years ago, marked the first time in the history of Israel’s academia that the national anthem Hatikva was not played during an official ceremony. It was during the Haifa University law school’s MA awards ceremony.
The response, later supported by legal minds from across Israel’s academia, was that “Haifa University is a Zionist institution operating in a democratic Jewish state,” and therefore “the decision to not play the anthem at an academic ceremony actually honors the anthem in its own way.”
Because the anthem speaks so blatantly about Jews, it’s an insult to the notion of democracy, see? Yes, it took a lawyer to come up with that one.
Many times political Arab and anti-Zionist leaflets have been distributed unmolested on the university’s grass lawns, and inside the lecture halls PLO flags have been raised often. The dean of the Middle East Studies program demands that students refer to the Israeli War of Independence as the “1948 war.” Lectors at the program regularly use the term “Israel or Palestine.” Prof. Vered Kraus posted on her office door, facing the outside, a map of Israel in Arabic, with the caption: “Palestine before the Nakba” (Nakba-catastrophe is the Palestinian name for the “1948 war”).