Category Archives: Free speech

Is the U.S. Consulate Cooperating in Silencing Palestinian Activists?

Mohammed Omer, the Gazan journalist and photographer, is scheduled for a U.S. speaking tour together with Ali Abunimah.  The U.S. consulate in the Netherlands, where Omer now resides, has put an extended hold on his visa application, effectively cancelling the tour.   Omer has lived in the Netherlands since 2008, after he was detained and severely beaten by the Shin Bet when he returned to Gaza from London, where he had been awarded the prestigious Gellhorn Award for Journalism.

A similar silencing happened earlier this month in the Bay Area where I live, when the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem never responded to the visa application of Mohammed Khatib, founder and leader of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall.  He was scheduled to speak at the Sabeel Conference and at universities throughout the area.  He had been arrested by Israeli forces in 2009 on charges of throwing stones (this 36-year-old Catholic High School teacher), and later released when it was proven that that he was abroad at the time of the alleged incident. He was arrested again in January, this time charged with possession of “incitement materials.” We never got to see him. By not responding, the U.S. Consulate effectively cancelled his trip.  .

The American Civil Liberties Union has described the practice of denying visas to foreign nationals whose views the government disfavors as “ideological exclusion”, which violates our First Amendment right as Americans to hear constitutionally protected speech.  In the case of Omer and Khatib, inaction has had  the same effect as denial of their  visas, except without the explanation that a denial would require.

So it makes you wonder whether the U.S. Consulate is acting in concert with Israel to keep Palestinian nonviolent activists from getting the word out about the reality of Occupation.

We in the Bay Area were deprived of our chance to hear Mohammed Khatib speak, but there is still a window of opportunity to call on the U.S. Consulate in the Netherlands to approve Omer’s visa application so that his voice can be heard here.

U.S. consulate information:
Ambassador Fay Hartog Levin
U.S. Embassy in The Hague
Lange Voorhout 102
2514 EJ
The Netherlands
T: +31 70 310-2209
F: +31 70 361-4688
-Carol Sanders
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San Francisco Jewish Federation officially excommunicates large swath of Jewish population

The San Francisco Bay Area’s Jewish Federation has made it official.

Here in one of the most cosmopolitan, diversity-friendly and culture-loving places on earth, there is a new litmus test for Jewish identity and it has absolutely nothing to do with religious practice, cultural expression, personal history or the values you embrace. Membership in the Jewish community has been officially reduced to one and only one question- do you UNCONDITIONALLY love Israel?

Do you love Israel so much that you are willing to stand by and do nothing as it destroys itself and everyone it controls by repeatedly violating international law, sending its youngest citizens to enforce the 43-year occupation of another people,  imprisoning them, killing them with impunity, denying them the right to health and education and work and claiming it’s all in the name of security while taking more Palestinian land and water and trees each day.

In other words, are you willing to love Israel to death?

If the answer is YES, you’re in! If the answer is NO, and you have the chutzpah to embrace the principled, creative, peaceful methods of Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Gandhi as a way to pressure Israel to  help provide true democracy for all Israelis and Palestinians, then you’re out!

Prompted by the controversy over the showing of the film Rachel at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the federation just announced this stunning set of McCarthyite policy guidelines which seek to sever any public ties that ANY Bay area grantees -including progressive synagogues and arts and educational organizations-  have with groups that support Boycotts, Divestment or Sanctions in whole or part, or who “delegitimize Israel” (according to who exactly? The judges who hold the Federation purse strings, that’s who).

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Think tank tells Israeli government to declare war on peace groups

They’re baaaaack – Israel’s “most influential” think tank tells Israeli government to “attack” and “sabotage” global peace and human rights groups (as opposed to domestic groups which are already under attack.)

I wrote last month about the Reut (pronounced Ray-OOT) Institute’s report on what they see as the new existential threat to Israel. No longer military, the report said, the primary threat to Israel is political. Israel must fight a “delegitimization network” of peace and human rights groups based largely in four international “hubs”: Toronto, Madrid, London and the San Francisco Bay Area (where Jewish Voice for Peace is located.)

(Now, more of the report is available on-line, including a cool animated PowerPoint! Read terrific in-depth pieces on the new material by Ali Abunimah and Richard Silverstein.)

There are many astonishing elements of the report. One is the blame it places on others including the global left for the increasing political viability of a one-state solution. In fact it is Israel’s never-ending expansion of settlements that has made a two-state solution seem more and more unlikely by the day, not the global human rights movement. What groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) seek to delegitimize is the occupation and massive inequality and human rights violations committed against Palestinians, not Israel itself. Even most Palestinians, polls show, want their own viable state over a one-state solution. (JVP is neutral on the issue of one state or two or three for that matter, supporting any resolution consistent with international law which is largely supported by both parties.)

If the Israelis really wanted the Palestinians to have a state of their own, they could have made it happen years ago and the entire world would have cheered, and since 2002, they would have had full relations with all their Arab neighbors. But instead, the Israeli government has used endless peace negotiations as a way to expand settlements while keeping the international community at bay.  If the one-state solution marks the greatest existential threat to Israel, as the Reut report suggests, the Israeli government has no one to blame
but itself. The global peace and justice movement is the symptom, not the cause.

Secondly, the report actually dares to suggest “sabotage” of groups like Jewish Voice for Peace who are part of an international peace and justice  human rights network and who actively support Israeli and Palestinian activists on the ground (our sites include: www.December18th.org, www.FreeEzra.org, www.TheOnlyDemocracy.org etc..). We take this very seriously. Perhaps this is the way NGOs are
increasingly handled in Israel, especially under Netanyahu. But it’s certainly not how the government, and especially a foreign government, is expected to respond to law- abiding NGOs here in the United States (Ahem, Cointelpro and other efforts notwithstanding). And frankly, we won’t stand for it.

Plus it’s just a stupid idea.

How a report that says in one breath that Israel’s future lies in branding itself as a high-tech, eco-conscious and cultured democracy while simultaneously suggesting “sabotage” and “attacks” on law-abiding peace groups is stunning.  Instead of driving a wedge between “soft” and “hard” critics of Israel, as the report suggests, promoting these kinds of war-like responses against human rights groups will backfire and turn the most casual critics of Israeli policies into supporters of much harsher measures. This, after all, is
the primary legacy of Cast Lead, Israel’s massive attack on Gaza’s entrapped population.

If the Reut Institute really wanted to offer some helpful advice on how Israel might stop the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, they might start by advising the Israeli government to end the
occupation.

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B’Tselem’s Anat Biletzki: the worst thing that we do is we don’t use words at all

Chanukah has ended. As Rabbi Brian Walt reminded us, one year ago

on Shabbat Hannukah (Saturday December 27, 2008), Israel launched Operation Cast Lead. On that day, Saturday December 27, 2008, at 11:30 in the morning, a time when schoolchildren were still in school, 88 Israeli aircraft simultaneously attacked 100 preplanned targets in Gaza within a span of 4 minutes. This initial attack was followed by another attack and by the end of that Sabbath day, at least 230 Palestinians were killed and more than 700 injured. Shabbat Hannukah last year, was the day with the highest one-day death toll in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

By its end, nearly 1,400 Gazans and 13 Israelis were dead, thousands more Gazans injured and left homeless.

Vicious character assassination, event cancellations, social isolation, and the infrequent lost job (or more frequent lost funding) all take their toll on our collective search for full equality for Palestinians and Israelis. Countless people remain silent when we could speak, bury our heads precisely at the moment we must raise them.

While we understand why this works, the truth is that there’s simply no excuse, not now, to allow ourselves to be silenced. Not when we know the price we pay is nothing compared to the price paid by millions of mostly Palestinians but also Israelis, all of whom love their children as much as we love ours. Not when we all know our silence will only lead to another Operation Cast Lead, another Jenin, another Sderot, another Mohammad Othman, another Rachel Corrie, another suicide bombing, another leg of the wall, another Yitzhak Rabin.

ABOVE: VIDEO From the vaults of Jewish Voice for Peace, B’Tselem’s Anat Biletzki poses the question, “What do we do with our voice?” She says, “Words don’t fail, it’s people who fail…We fail in using words: we misuse them, we abuse words, we do terrible things with words, but the worst thing that we do is we don’t use words at all. That we keep silent, that we don’t give voice to things that must be given voice.”

Every time you are silenced or allow yourself to be silenced, you must come back stronger and louder than ever. On this, the anniversay of the attack on Gaza, I hope you too will make a promise to speak the truth you know, to stand for full equality and humanity and against repression in all its forms, to assertively challenge someone who puts forth lies or hatred. It’s not just the humanity of Palestinians that is at stake, it’s the humanity of Israelis, and indeed, we Jews and Americans.

-Cecilie Surasky

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Berkeley Daily Planet’s free speech battle goes national

Since March of this year, The Berkeley Daily Planet (BDP) has been struggling against a campaign by three long-time critics to scare away advertisers and shut the paper down, based on accusations that its publication of letters to the editor and op-eds critical of Israel constitute an anti-semitic bias.

On November 27th, the local controversy came to national attention when the New York Times published an article in its Business Section – “In a Home to Free Speech, a Paper is Accused of Anti-Semitism”

Jim Sinkinson, who has led the campaign against the BDP, is quoted as saying: “We think that [publisher Becky O’Malley] is addicted to anti-Israel expression…If she wants to serve and please the East Bay Jewish community, she would be safe avoiding the subject entirely.” Ms. O’Malley denies any personal or editorial bias, and says “I think that is unusual to say the least that anybody would think that they could dictate a whole area of the world that is simply off limits for discussion….” She points out that the Planet has always had an open-forum policy of printing all letters from local readers that are not obscene or defamatory.

Not covered in the New York Times article was the community response to the censorship campaign. Although many advertisers have been frightened away, readers have spoken out to protect free speech in their town and to keep the BDP alive. Scores of people have weighed in with supportive letters to the editor, and many Jewish residents signed petitions letting it be known that Mr. Sinkinson and his two allies in no way speak for the Jewish community. In addition, a coalition of local peace and justice groups — including Jewish Voice for Peace-Bay Area — took out a series of ads to expose the facts of Palestinian life under Occupation, to support the BDP free-speech policy, and to provide desperately needed advertising revenue to the paper.

www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/pdfs/07-02-09.pdf: See Jewish Voice for Peace ad in page 14
www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/pdfs/07-09-09.pdf: See statement of Jews who support the Daily Planet in page 28
www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/pdfs/07-30-09.pdf: See Bay Area Friends of Sabeel ad in page 28

Now, in immediate response to publication of the New York Times article, people from around the country have been moved to write to the BDP. Of some 20 letters to the BDP editor generated by the article, all but two supported the Planet and deplored the cynical use of charges of anti-semitism as a censorship tactic.

Notwithstanding reader support, BDP advertising revenue has been drastically reduced as a result of the campaign against it, together with the impact of the economic recession. To support the BDP’s commitment to free speech, you can write to the editor using this email: opinion at berkeleydailyplanet.com. Consider also contributing to the paper’s Fund for Local Reporting.

– Carol Sanders

There are a lot of benefits of a wholesome lifestyle. But can medicines help us? In fact, it is not so easy to find trusted web-site. Choosing the best treatment variant for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the merits and demerits of the existing treatment methodologies. Diflucan (fluconazole), the first of a new group of synthetic antifungal agents, is existing as a powder for oral suspension. Viagra which is used to treat erectile dysfunction and similar states when erection is of low quality. Cialis is a medicine prescribed to treat a lot of complaints. What do you know about buy cialis online cheap? Our article focuses on the treatment of erectile malfunction and buy cialis cheap. Generally, both men and women suffer from sexual dysfunctions. What are the symptoms of sexual disorders? In fact, a scientific reviews found that up to three quarters of men on such remedy experience erectile dysfunction. Such disease is best solved with professional help, commonly through counseling with a certified physician. Your sex therapist can help find the treatment that is better for you and your partner. The most common objectionable side effects of such medications like Cialis is dizziness. This is not a complete list of potential side effects and others may occur. Even if this medicament is not for use in women, this medicine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.

Billboards calling for end to military aid back up in Albuquerque

Back in April, after gaining approval for text and design, anti-occupation activists in New Mexico signed a contract with Lamar Advertising to display 10 billboards (pictured at left) for 8 weeks. But after only 3 weeks, and a pressure campaign on Lamar that included personal threats, the billboards all came down. Billboard critics did not like the call for no military aid, and some said that the “Stop Killing Children” message, which referred to the death of some 300 children in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, was evocative of anti-Semitic blood libel myths. Yet, repeated efforts to alter the text and design to meet the changing standards of Lamar were unsuccessful.

The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, a multi-ethnic, multi-religious coalition working to “end to the ten year commitment of $30 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded military aid pledged to Israel in 2007 by the Bush administration,” reports they have a new set of billboards (below) with a new company and slightly altered message. Seventy-five percent of US military aid to Israel is, by law, given to US arms manufacturers.

watch?v=BI57Z67PyBo

There are a lot of benefits of a wholesome lifestyle. But can medicines help us? In fact, it is not so easy to find trusted web-site. Choosing the best treatment version for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the merits and demerits of the existing treatment methodologies. Diflucan (fluconazole), the first of a new group of synthetic antifungal agents, is existing as a powder for oral suspension. Viagra which is used to treat erectile dysfunction and similar states when erection is of low quality. Cialis is a medicine prescribed to treat a lot of complaints. What do you know about buy cialis online cheap? Our article focuses on the treatment of erectile malfunction and buy cialis cheap. Generally, both men and women suffer from sexual dysfunctions. What are the symptoms of sexual disorders? In fact, a scientific reviews found that up to three quarters of men on such drug experience erectile dysfunction. Such disease is best solved with professional help, commonly through counseling with a certified physician. Your sex therapist can help find the treatment that is better for you and your partner. The most common undesirable side effects of such medications like Cialis is dizziness. This is not a complete list of potential side effects and others may occur. Even if this cure is not for use in women, this medicine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.

Goldstone, Human Rights Watch, New Profile et al. The Israeli govt. assault on human rights.

The proxy war between Israel and its critics is growing more intense, more desperate, more anti-democratic, more comically absurd.

Just a few weeks ago, and with a straight face, professional defender-of-Israeli-human-rights-violations Hillel Neuer of UN Watch happily compared Naomi Klein to Goebbels and said she was “today’s leading opponent of Israel in the Western world.”

The Goldstone Report goes further than Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers by stripping the Jews not only of the ability and the need but of the right to defend themselves. If a country can be pummeled by thousands of rockets and still not be justified in protecting its inhabitants, then at issue is not the methods by which that country survives but whether it can survive at all. But more insidiously, the report does not only hamstring Israel; it portrays the Jews as the deliberate murderers of innocents–as Nazis. And a Nazi state not only lacks the need and right to defend itself; it must rather be destroyed.

Yglesias points out, “the Goldstone Report just doesn’t say anything remotely like this.”

But these uncommonly vicious, nasty and unintentionally campy attacks are no coincidence.

In The Nation, Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss have a very important article detailing the range of human rights groups that are being targeted by Netanyahu’s right-wing government.

“For the first time the Israeli government is taking an active role in the smearing of human rights groups,” says Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch workers had long been a target of Gerald Steinberg’s NGO Monitor, which seeks to gut the international law enforcement infrastructure because they believe it is a threat to the Israeli status quo- which of course it is. (They call journalists, diplomats and human rights workers part of the ‘axis of evil.’)  Steinberg has been busily scanning the internet to build extensive dossiers on anyone who has worked in the Middle East division at HRW, and is also part of the campaign to defund human rights groups in Israel that get EU funds. But there’s more:

The Israeli government has also sought to quash domestic dissent. In April it targeted the anti-militarism organization New Profile, seizing computers and detaining activists. In July, when a group of Israeli veterans called Breaking the Silence released dozens of anonymous soldiers’ testimonies from the Gaza assault describing indifference to civilian targets, the Israeli government went, well, ballistic. It threatened to cut off the financial support the group receives from the Dutch, Spanish and British governments and warned those governments that their support was illegal. Israel indicated that it would look into foreign support that Israeli human rights groups B’Tselem and Machsom Watch receive as well.

Ron Dermer, a Netanyahu adviser who was raised in Florida, struck a fearsome tone: “We are going to dedicate time and manpower to combating these groups. We are not going to be sitting ducks in a pond for the human rights groups to shoot at us with impunity.”

Meanwhile, Isi Leibler, writing in the Jerusalem Post, ominously wants to “exorcise the [Jewish] renegades from our midst,” through some form of excommunication.

In Toronto, Jews were at the forefront of a campaign to boycott Israeli films at a film festival because the anniversary of Tel Aviv – ‘built on the destroyed villages of Palestinians’ – was being celebrated; two Israeli women who evaded national service are conducting a North American campus tour under the auspices of ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ to persuade students to intensify their role in the “resistance movement”; in San Francisco the local Jewish Federation is providing funds for a film festival which promotes the vilest anti-Israel films; radical Rabbi Michael Lerner invited a woman who justifies suicide bombings to address his synagogue on Yom Kippur; and so on.

IM EIN ani li mi li? If we are not for ourselves, who will be? We are engaged in a battle against fiendish enemies committed to our destruction. The Israeli government must now take steps to neutralize the impact of renegade Jews who present themselves as legitimate alternative Jewish viewpoints. Such an initiative by a country which provides genuine democratic rights to all its citizens, including Arabs, could hardly be categorized as eradicating freedom of expression. It would rather represent a highly overdue effort to exorcise such odious groups from the mainstream and expose them as unrepresentative fringe groups with no standing.

The heightened discourse of nastiness is matched on the ground by what many observers believe is an  intentional effort by Netanyahu to trigger a third intifada.

Cecilie Surasky

There are a lot of benefits of a wholesome lifestyle. But can medicines help us? In fact, it is not so easy to find trusted web-site. Choosing the best treatment variation for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the merits and demerits of the existing treatment methodologies. Diflucan (fluconazole), the first of a new group of synthetic antifungal agents, is existing as a powder for oral suspension. Viagra which is used to treat erectile dysfunction and similar states when erection is of low quality. Cialis is a medicine prescribed to treat a lot of complaints. What do you know about buy cialis online cheap? Our article focuses on the treatment of erectile dysfunction and buy cialis cheap. Generally, both men and women suffer from sexual dysfunctions. What are the symptoms of sexual disorders? In fact, a scientific reviews found that up to three quarters of men on such preparation experience erectile dysfunction. Such disease is best solved with occupational help, commonly through counseling with a certified physician. Your sex therapist can help find the treatment that is better for you and your partner. The most common undesirable side effects of such medications like Cialis is dizziness. This is not a complete list of potential side effects and others may occur. Even if this medicament is not for use in women, this medicine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.

Who’s afraid of young Israelis talking?

Are Israeli youth allowed to speak about their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Not always.

Some believe that the ideals of Israeli democracy and free speech stop at the border. Take the example of the young Israeli conscientious objectors — the Shministm — currently in speaking tours both in the United States and in South Africa.

Here’s Dan Klein, the North America campus director for StandWithUs, speaking to the JPost on the issue:

I definitely understand that Israelis have the right not to agree with their government. That`s fine. Every citizen in a democracy has that right. But you take that up in your country. Once you take that abroad, what does that gain you?

I do not understand the distinction he makes. Maybe Dan believes that news and information stop at the border, at any border. Or maybe he ignores the fact that the Shministim have already gathered a great deal of international attention while they were still in Israel: over 60,000 letters of support and counting, over 53,000 hits on their short film in Youtube, and a great deal of media attention in a good number of countries around the world.

Here’s Dan again,

I definitely do not agree with what they`re trying to do because I think they`re misguided.

Misguided? Now, that’s a bit patronizing, isn’t it? These young Israelis do not need ‘guidance.’ They have been smart enough to develop their own political analysis of the Israeli occupation (you can read their letter here) and brave enough to go to jail for their convictions.

The Shministim have been greeted with interest in many campuses throughout the United States (UC Berkeley, University of Arizona-Tucson, University of Southern California, Cornell University, Hunter College, Brown University, Clark University, Vassar College, and Brandeis University to name a few.)

Why the interest? Many people are past the StandWithUs propaganda, either you are with us or against us kind of thinking. The Shministim offer a view of the Israeli occupation that is both critical of the human rights abuses and compassionate towards Palestinians and Israelis. And they’ve been extraordinarily open to dialog with those that disagree with them. I’ve been to a number of their talks in the Bay Area. They opened each presentation inviting people to share their ideas — whether in agreement or disagreement — and they answered all questions with care and respect.

Not everyone sees it that way, of course. Jerusalem Post columnist Isi Leibler referred to them as ‘renegade Jews.’ He called them,

‘non-Jewish Jews,” many with no prior involvement in Jewish life, [who] exploited their Jewish origins or Israeli nationality to defame Israel.

In hysterical terms, he starts by calling for their excommunication and ends by calling for their exorcism.

Lucky for them, they are not alone. Dr. Neve Gordon, Naomi Klein, Eve Ensler, and many others — including me! — join them in that grey space between the excommunicated Baruch Spinoza and the exorcised dybbuk.

Some South African Jews may be victims of Leibler’s hysteria. Reportedly, some Jews in Cape Town are concerned that a visit by three Shministim could fuel anti-Semitism.

Here’s National Vice Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation David Hirsch,

They are speaking out to the greater South African population, that does not really know or understand the complex issues of the conflict in Israel.

You see, only us Jews really understand it.

Hold the presses… not even Jews can be exposed to the Shministim heresy!

They have been refused a chance to give a talk in Cape Town’s largest Jewish day school. One talk. This says a lot about the level of dialog and openness in Jewish communities around the world to be able to talk about what is going on in Israel from all points of view.

The Shministim are coming to talk about the Israeli occupation, about its effects on Palestinians and Israelis, and about the nonviolent path they have chosen for themselves. In other words, the Shministim are coming to present a more complex picture of the situation, not a simpler one. This should have been a welcome development.

I leave you with Ilan Strauss, of Open Shuhada Street (one of the groups sponsoring the Shministim’s South Africa tour),

…it is important that South Africans are exposed to these courageous, non-violent perspectives, which adhere to human rights for both parties and aim to ensure a just resolution to the ongoing violence.

If you are in South Africa, you should go hear them yourself.

– Sydney Levy

There are a lot of benefits of a wholesome lifestyle. But can medicines help us? In fact, it is not so easy to find trusted web-site. Choosing the best treatment variant for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the merits and demerits of the existing treatment methodologies. Diflucan (fluconazole), the first of a new group of synthetic antifungal agents, is existing as a powder for oral suspension. Viagra which is used to treat erectile dysfunction and similar states when erection is of low quality. Cialis is a medicine prescribed to treat a lot of complaints. What do you know about buy cialis online cheap? Our article focuses on the treatment of erectile dysfunction and buy cialis cheap. Generally, both men and women suffer from sexual dysfunctions. What are the symptoms of sexual disorders? In fact, a scientific reviews found that up to three quarters of men on such preparation experience erectile malfunction. Such disease is best solved with occupational help, commonly through counseling with a certified physician. Your sex therapist can help find the treatment that is better for you and your partner. The most common undesirable side effects of such medications like Cialis is dizziness. This is not a complete list of potential side effects and others may occur. Even if this preparation is not for use in women, this medicine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.

Prof. Carmi’s personal opinion in the LA Times

As I thought, Ben Gurion University cannot legally fire Dr. Neve Gordon. So the campaign to fire him, without firing him continues, this time in the pages of the LA Times.

Ben Gurion University President Rivka Carmi published her own op-ed there, in order to explain why she is so upset at Dr. Neve Gordon’s op-ed in the same paper calling for international pressure to end the Israeli occupation–including boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

Oh, she’s not only upset. She also explains why he should leave BGU, of course.

She starts, as you would expect, establishing her credentials as a defender of academic freedom,

As president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, I have always remained open and impartial to the wide diversity of opinions within our academic faculty and their right to free speech, no matter how controversial their views or writings may be.

But things go downhill from then on.
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Fire Gordon, without firing him

The words of condemnation against Ben Gurion University’s President, Prof. Rivka Carmi, for her incendiary attack against Dr. Neve Gordon continue to pour in. You may recall that in response to the op-ed he printed in the Los Angeles Times endorsing boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel, Prof. Carmi issued the following statement,

“We are shocked and outraged by his remarks, which are both irresponsible and morally reprehensible. We strongly disassociate BGU from Gordon’s destructive views that abuse the freedom of speech prevailing in Israel and at BGU.”

She added that,

BGU is a Zionist institution that is fulfilling David Ben-Gurion’s vision on a daily basis, promoting the development of the Negev and Israel and reiterated its commitment to advancing research and activities that benefit all of the residents of the region. This kind of Israel-bashing detracts from the wonderful work that is being done at BGU and at all Israeli universities. Academics who entertain such resentment towards their country are welcome to consider another professional and personal home.”

In a period of 48 hours, Prof. Carmi received over 4,000 emails of protest.

Over 180 Israeli professors — many from BGU — have signed a petition in defense of Dr. Gordon.
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