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”).
While operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza terrorism was on, in November, 2012, Jewish and Arab students honored by standing at attention in memory of the Hamas chief of staff, the murderer Ahmad Jaabri. A few days later, Camal Hatib, a senior member of the anti-Israeli Islamic Movement Northern Branch, who once called Jews “fleas,” was invited to hand out awards to excelling students.
But the worst damage, by far, to Israel is being caused by Haifa University’s legal clinics, which serve almost exclusively jailed Palestinian terrorists.
It’s all done under an academic cover, with open collaboration with extremist radical organizations, many of which are funded by the New Israel Fund and foreign governments.
And Jewish students are recruited to work for free in support of the Palestinian enemy, prisoners of an academic system that they must obey or risk not graduating.
According to a study of hundreds of appeals and court decisions conducted by Dr. Shahar Golan and published by Im Tirtzu (Politics in Haifa University Law Clinics), “The legal clinics are trying to camouflage and conceal their controversial agenda in order to to avoid a critical and incisive discussion of their activities. At the same time, participating students have been victimized by having to be accosted with chauvinistic anti-Israel propaganda. Needless to say, such anti-Israeli propaganda only wears away at the fabric of Israeli society.”
The study has revealed that out of 20 cases pursued by Haifa University law clinics, 18 dealt with security prisoners and assaults on the Jewish identity of the State of Israel.
According to Dr. Golan, “The clinics and the students that participate in them are being exploited to represent, among others, terrorists and murderers,” and they “have chosen to devote their efforts to legal cases that are part and parcel of the Arab national struggle against Zionism: disparaging Israel’s national anthem, placing special emphasis on assistance to Arab-Israeli terrorists (‘political prisoners’) and undermining Jewish communities in Acre and Meron.”
“Ultimately, the Clinics represent an academia that is devoid of discussion, pluralism and ideological alternatives,” Golan accuses, citing an initiative to establish “a clinic that would defend Israel’s legal rights vis-à-vis litigation that accuses Israelis of having perpetrated ‘war crimes.’” It “was blocked because the initiative was alleged to be ‘political and controversial.’ But of course, defending murderers and terrorists is not.”
The truth is that by rejecting Nobel laureate Prof. Aumann, the leaders of Haifa University have made an error, bringing to the fore evidence of a shocking reality they would prefer to keep hidden. Having received the highest honor in his field, Aumann can live without an awards from Haifa U. But how will Haifa U. fare if pro-Zionist American and European Jews used every opportunity, when meeting with Israeli officials, to inquire about the lavish state funding given this hotbed of anti-Israel warfare?
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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