Events around date of publication of this item.
|Wed, 10 Nov 2010|
|Israeli occupation forces kidnap the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Legislative Council|
|Israeli colonial forces enter Gaza east of Khan Yunis with tanks and bulldozers; jet fighters overfly Gaza at a low altitude during the night|
|Tue, 9 Nov 2010|
|start of Dozens of Israeli occupation forces invade Bilin in the middle of the night four times during seven days|
|Mon, 8 Nov 2010|
|Young Jews disrupt Netanyahu speech at Jewish Federation General Assembly in New Orleans|
|German foreign minister visits Gaza|
|Official opening of Ariel cultural centre|
|Sun, 7 Nov 2010|
|end of Demolition, by Israeli police, of a mosque in Rahat, a Bedouin town in Israel|
| Israel denies entry to Swedish MP and to ex-Israeli |
|Sat, 6 Nov 2010|
|start of Demolition, by Israeli police, of a mosque in Rahat, a Bedouin town in Israel|
|Thu, 4 Nov 2010|
|Israeli tanks and bulldozers enter Gaza east of the Al Bureij refugee camp|
|Wed, 3 Nov 2010|
|Israeli drone bombs car in Gaza; Hamas commander killed, and one severely wounded|
|Announcement of first ever treaty between United Kingdom and Palestinian Authority|
|Mon, 1 Nov 2010|
|Fearing arrest, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister cancels a scheduled trip to Britain|
|Sun, 31 Oct 2010|
|end of European Theatre Convention holds its General Assembly at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv|
|Sat, 30 Oct 2010|
|end of Israeli occupation forces order the closure of the Ibrahim mosque in Hebron for two days|
|Settlers damage christian church in Jerusalem|
|Fri, 29 Oct 2010|
|start of Israeli occupation forces order the closure of the Ibrahim mosque in Hebron for two days|
|Thu, 28 Oct 2010|
|start of European Theatre Convention holds its General Assembly at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv|
|Israeli occupation forces banish Wasfi Kabha, a Palestinian elected legislator, from his home town of Barta|
|Wed, 27 Oct 2010|
|Right-wing Israeli march in Umm al-Fahm|
: Compulsory ZionismBy
: Haaretz editorial writer Published in
: Ha’aretzDate of issue
4 November 2010Topic(s) addressed
: People/entities mentioned in this item:
Sa'ar is acting like a petty commissar seeking to have academic discourse conform to the Likud party platform.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had contended for years that academic institutions in Israel are afflicted with left-wing bias, bound by uniform thinking that produces students who think as they do. Even during his first term as prime minister, Netanyahu promised to change the situation. Upon his return to the post of prime minister, his government, with the assistance of a supporting cast of outside organizations such as Im Tirtzu and the Institute for Zionist Strategies, launched a media campaign to suppress those whom Netanyahu describes as "a radical core in our midst." The demand has been for university lecturers and researchers to restrain their freedom of expression, purportedly in the name of pluralism, to be reflected in promoting academics with right-wing views and pushing aside supporters of the left in university social science departments.
Gideon Sa'ar, the education minister and chairman of the Council for Higher Education, fired the latest salvo in the offensive against academia on Monday. At a session of the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee on the "exclusion of Zionist views in academia," Sa'ar spoke about the development of a new code of ethics for institutions of higher education that is supposed to ensure a range of opinion in study materials and require that support for the academic boycott of Israel by university lecturers would be construed as a violation of academic freedom.
From the spirit of the debate, it appears that the code of ethics is meant to force academic institutions to teach "Zionist" viewpoints according to Netanyahu's and Im Tirtzu's interpretation and restrain the freedom of researchers and lecturers to criticize government policy. Sa'ar's proposal will probably be enforced under the threat of withholding government funding from departments that don't toe the line.
The university heads are correct in bitterly criticizing the education minister's new idea and sounding the alarm against destroying higher education if a government agency headed by a politician sets the limits of freedom of expression enjoyed by lecturers and researchers.