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We are the Tenured Far Leftists on the faculties of Israeli universities.  We obediently sign our names to sundry petitions initiated by our colleagues, but those petitions do not really explain fully and clearly what we want.  We wish to clarify what that is once and for all.

First of all, while we obsessively recite the mantra about how the “occupation” is the quintessence of all evil in the world and the source of all Middle East violence, we actually understand that any ending of the “occupation” in the West Bank would have exactly the same consequences as the ending of “occupation” in Gaza.  These would include tens of thousands of missiles fired into the rump-Israel, into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and Haifa, from the “liberated Palestine,” in addition to thousands of incursions of armed terrorists.  So if we actually understand this perfectly well, why do we advocate the ending of the “occupation”?


Such advocacy is a form of comfortable political recreation and moral posturing for us, a sort of lounge-chair high and hot-tub mirth, not really an alternative we want to see implemented.  It is to allow us to posture righteousness.  We know that we represent only the most extreme 2% (or less) of Israelis and so the rest of the public will never agree to any such implementation.  We are counting on that.

This way we may confidently advocate ending the “occupation,” knowing it will never go ahead and so we are safe from the thousands of missile attacks our “agenda” would produce.  Knowing the electorate will never agree to it allows us to advocate ending “occupation” harmlessly and costlessly.  We then may feel gallant and our anti-Israel leftist friends around the world will salute our moral courage!

We support all anti-Israel NGOs because that way we may strut our high-minded righteousness for all the world to see, proclaiming daily how courageous we are for taking our political positions.  Anyone can faintheartedly attack anti-Israel forces working to harm the county, but we have the courage to join those and endorse them!  Here we are gallantly embracing those advocating things directed against us as Israelis.  We rise above narrow self-interest.  We have no problem with the BDS boycott-Israel movement because we hold cushy academic jobs paid for by the same Israeli taxpayers whom the BDS people seek to harm.  We have tenure and we can’t be fired no matter how unproductive or silly or seditious we are.

We know that radical NGOs in Israel are all propped up with funding from foreign anti-Israel sources.   We know that leftist “human rights” groups do not have any interest at all in defending the human rights of Jews.  For them, “human rights” is a useful bludgeon to delegitimize Israel, but it is also delightful window-dressing that allows us to pretend that we ourselves are righteous compassionate carers about humans.   As the old adage goes, we are passionate lovers of humanity, it is just people we can’t stand, especially when people vote for the wrong parties.

We are most strongly opposed to democracy.  Democracy in Israel always results in election results we do not like and so it must be undermined and subverted.  We want international extortion and pressures against Israel because the public overwhelmingly rejects our “ideas.”  We know we can never persuade more than a tiny minority of Israelis to support our proclaimed agenda and so an alternative to democratic rule must be pursued.

Why should correct policies be hostages held captive to the need to win elections?  We demand pluralism in the form of having people from all backgrounds, Jews and Arabs, men and women, Ashkenazim and Mizrachim, advocating correct leftist ideas.  Our idea of pluralism is on display for all to see every day in Haaretz.  Pluralism in academia must never allow anyone to express any incorrect ideas, including on the chat lists of professors.  There is no reason why academic departments need include non-leftists on their teaching staffs because our ideas are the correct ones.

We are all in favor of free speech for radical leftists, but the exercise of free speech by anyone else is incitement and must be suppressed, criminalized and prosecuted.  Freedom of speech means the right to advocate correct ideas, those of the Radical Left.  It is not license to advocate incorrect ideas.  Islamists in the Northern Islamic Movement advocating jihad are just exercising protected speech.  But LEHAVA activists or students from Im Tirtzu must be prosecuted for saying evil things.  When conservatives or right-wingers exercise freedom of speech, it produces violence and so it must be suppressed.

More generally, we have the right to defame Israel, IDF soldiers, and anyone else with whom we disagree, or to insult them and denounce them and call them names.  That is because we are morally superior.  People who disagree with us are not only morally inferior but evil primitives.  If they were not evil and ignorant, they would agree with us.  We leftists may vilify Israel as an apartheid regime but no one should have the right to denounce and insult and mock us.  THAT would represent a clear and present danger to democracy and academic freedom.  People who denounce us and mock us are simply sick.

We believe that leftists and Arabs should be exempt from obeying the law and doing things like paying taxes or serving in the military.  We believe in socialism and equality just so long as no one asks US to give up any of OUR property.

Most importantly of all, it must be emphasized that it is the role of academic institutions to teach correct ideas, and these correct ideas are our opinions.  Courses should be pluralistic presentations of the ideology of the Left.  Academic standards should be suspended when hiring leftists.  Correct opinions should be both a necessary and sufficient condition for hiring of faculty.

It is the job of universities to indoctrinate students in correct thought.  Law schools must run law clinics that indoctrinate.  Courses and programs must be conducted in collaboration with radical NGOs.  Rightwing NGOs must be kept off campus lest they politicize.  The expression of incorrect ideas by students in the classroom must be prevented.  University departments should emulate the Dept. of Politics at Ben-Gurion University, where all complaints about the lack of non-leftists teaching there must be attacked as McCarthyist suppression of academic freedom.
We demand a marketplace of ideas in which the correct thinkers have the monopoly.  That is our human right!  It is the only way to preserve academic freedom.


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Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at