Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Israeli universities

"The idea that Israeli universities adhere to the values of free academic institutions, where academic freedom, objectivity and meritocracy prevail is widely accepted in the West. From our experience we attest – and indeed prove beyond doubt - that this is not the case. In recent years Israeli universities have changed the criteria of acceptance to various faculties in order - as a certain president of an Israeli university put it - to prevent large number of undesirable [i.e. Arab] students from attending prestigious faculties such as Medicine and Natural Sciences. Moreover, lecturers who presented findings which are at odd with the official ideology – such as Ilan Pappe and Neve Gordon – are bullied and harassed or forced to resign. Meanwhile raw racist statements by many lecturers are considered by the administrations of the universities as benign or even objective statements. For example, recently Dr. Dan Scheuftan stated in one of his lectures: “The Arabs are the biggest failure in the history of the human race... there’s nothing under the sun that’s more screwed up than the Palestinians”; “Throughout the Arab world, people fire guns at weddings in order to prove that they have at least one thing that’s hard and in working order that can shoot.” It goes without saying that none of these lecturers has ever been disciplined. Moreover, foreign students are warned by the security authorities of Haifa University not to visit Arab villages or towns." (thanks "Ibn Rushd")