Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Israel Academia Monitor Fears the Enemy Within: News

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Israel Academia Monitor Fears the Enemy Within: News

Article excerpt

Debate on academic politics in Israel has been reignited by Stephen Hawking's decision to boycott a presidential conference after lobbying from Palestinian colleagues.

Meanwhile, a campaigning Israeli organisation has claimed that universities in the country - and the state itself - are being undermined from within by academics with pro-Palestinian viewpoints.

Introducing a round-table event on academic freedom in Tel Aviv on 3 May, Dana Barnett, director of the Israel Academia Monitor (IAM), stated that "neo-Marxist critical scholars" had "expanded control of humanities and social sciences departments" in the country.

Ofira Seliktar, professor of political science at Gratz College in Pennsylvania, argued that Israeli academics enjoyed greater freedom than those in the UK, Germany and the US - but at "a heavy price", with many "using their classroom as a platform for political indoctrination rather than a 'marketplace of ideas'".

Michael Gross, a member of the board of governors at Ben Gurion University, said he believed that poor corporate governance had led to a situation "where elements of the university are now. …

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