Israel’s Institute of Technology (Technion) has come under fire for hosting four guest lectures featuring members of the controversial NGO Physicians for Human Rights–Israel (PHRI).
The lectures are being held Tuesday as part of a the medical school’s course on integrated systems for fourth year students.
PHRI, a recipient of substantial funding from the EU, the UN, and the New Israel Fund, works to “change discriminatory and abusive structures and policies towards Palestinians in the Occupied Territory.”
The organization is known for its critical stance on Israel, and its founder and honorary president Dr. Ruchama Marton has openly supported the BDS movement.
During last year’s riots along the Gaza Strip border, in which armed Hamas terrorists tried to storm the border with Israel, PHRI issued a press release accusing Israel of shooting unarmed demonstrators.
According to Im Tirtzu, hosting PHRI is an explicit violation of the Council for Higher Education’s ruling to reject the politicization of Israeli academia.
“This is a violation of the council for higher education’s 2011 decision, which clearly states that all attempts to politicize academia should be rejected,” Technion students wrote medical school dean Dr. Elon Eisenberg.
“The Technion, which defines itself as apolitical, is not supposed to give a platform to political organizations, especially not organizations that promote anti-Israel activities,” the students’ letter said. “As Israelis and students that are proud of the Technion, it pains us to think that such an organization is part of our study program, especially in a course that is mandatory.”
According to Im Tirtzu, the Dean has yet to respond to the letter.
Yishai Gelem, who studies at the Technion, said he was shocked to learn that the Technion would bring such a radical-left organization to give lectures.
“And not only that,” Gelem noted, “but students are being forced to attend because the lectures are mandatory.”
Another student, Ofek Dvir, said “it’s embarrassing for the Technion that such radical anti-Israel organizations are coming to give classes. We came here to learn, not to be indoctrinated with anti-Israel propaganda.”