Dear Member of the Board of Governors of Ben Gurion University,
We, concerned citizens of Israel, greatly appreciate your contribution to enhancing Israeli institutions of higher learning. Your work and dedication is what makes our country excel.
· If you are concerned about Israel’s image in the academic world.
· If you believe that Israel’s academics in general and the members of your institution specifically should not be working to delegitimize Israel.
· If you believe that calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli academic institutions is unacceptable for salaried members of Israeli academia.
Here are some examples gathered since your last convention in May 2012 (click the links):
Uri Gordon (Politics & Govt) supports boycott call to British universities
Dept Politics & Govt is heavily biased toward anti-Israel radical activism: Out of 14 faculty 9 are known radical activists. Among the 4 fellows 2 are known radical activists. Among the 20 visiting professors 7 are known radical activists. There are 2 post-doctoral students 1 is a known radical activist. There are 13 doctoral students 9 are known radical activists. Out of 11 teaching assistants 4 are known radical activists
We, at Israel Academia Monitor believe that much can be done to change this:
The academics of your institution should be discouraged from appearing on campuses worldwide to falsely besmirch Israel’s image and equate it with the apartheid regime of South Africa.
Please convince your institution to take real measures to stop any call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and against your university that emanate from within the university.
Ask your university to review the extent of academic freedom practiced within your institution. Are courses offered in which students are being indoctrinated instead of being educated? Can students voice opinions freely? Do their grades depend on following the ideological agenda of instructors?
We have been following the various activities at your institution which we believe are detrimental. We would be honored to discuss these issues with you further.
6 May, 2013
Institutional Corruption at Ben-Gurion University
By Dr. Yaacov Bergman
During the last year, The administration of Ben-GUrion University has engaged in a struggle against the Council of Higher Education (CHE) in the affair of the Department of Politics and Government (the department). I wish to demonstrate to you that the existence of this department was based on a chain of frauds since its inception in 1998; to demand the investigation of the related matters; and to demand the appropriate treatment of the people who are involved in the frauds.
1. In 2001 the CHE appointed Professor Zeev Maoz and Professor Avner De-Shalitto review the department. Prof. Maoz filed a stern report recommending that the department not be accredited to award the Bachelors degree, because it lacked the core expertise expected of a department of politics. In contrast, Prof. De-Shalit filed a report that permitted the existence of the department without the core expertise.
2. In 2003 the CHE appointed a committee of three members, ostensibly to decide between the two opposing reports. But instead of appointing a third, impartial person to head the committee, lacking basic integrity the CHE appointed none other than De-Shalit himself to adjudicate between Maoz and De-Shalit… In his 2003 report, De-Shalit writes that himslef and the other two members of his committee, Prof. Gad Barzilai and Prof. Alla Belfer, received the reports by Maoz and by himslf as background material, meaning that all three members of the De-Shalit committee were well aware of the serious flaw of nominating De-Shalit to adjudicate between Maoz and De-Shalit, but they cooperated in the CHE’s 2003 corrupt ploy. Expectedly, the 2003 De-Shalit committee sided with De-Shalit of 2001, as this was the purpose of the ploy.
3. Professor David Newman, the department chair in 2003 had the department’s documents at his disposal at the time, including the two 2001 reports and the 2003 report by the De-Shalit committee. Therefore was also partner to the said ploy.
4. Following the stern report about the department by the international review committee headed by Prof. Thomas Risse, that found the same serious shortcomings in the department as did Prof. Maoz ten years earlier in 2001, the CHE demanded that essential corrections be made, with the hiring of three new faculty as the centerpiece of the corrections. In a public letter dated October 11, 2012 to the whole BGU faculty, administrative staff, and the students, BGU Rector Zvi Hacohen quoted from the De-Shalit committee 2003 report, on which Prof Gad Barzilai signed too; the very report that absolved the department of mustering the essential core expertise. Therefore, it is certain that Rector Hacohen has been familiar with the De-Shalit 2003 report. But in that same public letter, Rector Hacohen told the BGU community that he (or someone he authorized) appointed in 2011 Gad Barzilai to be the sole external supervisor of the corrections in the department; corrections that the very sameBarzilai already declared in 2003 that they were not needed at all… Therefore, by appointing Barziali in 2011, knowing about Barzilai’s involvement in De-Shalit’s 2003 committee, Rector Hacohen defrauded the BGU community, the CHE, and the public.
Gad Barzilai also defrauded similarly by accepting Hacohen’s nomination to supervise the corrections knowing that he is not up to the task.
The predictable result of Hacohen’s ploy was that the corrections supervised by Barzilai were totally rejected by Prof. Risse and By the CHE.
5. In his said letter from October 11, 2012, Rector Hacohen wrote that Gad Barzilai supervised all three new hires to the department, which should have comprised the centerpiece of the corrections. One of the three was Ayelet Harel-Shalev who was Barzilai’s PhD student. Therefore, according to Rector Hacohen’s public letter, Barzilai was in serious conflict of interests when he supervised the hiring of his own former student, and Rector Hacohen must have know that, since as Rector he must have gone carefully over Harel-Shalev’s dossier, certianly marking that Barzilai was her superviser.
In total contrast to Rector Hacohen’s declaration in his open letter, Barzilai totally denies that he was involved in any way in the hiring of his own former student…
Therefore, it must be investigated who is lying. Did Rector Hacohen lie to the BGU community when he wrote to it that Barzilai supervised all three hires, or does Barzilai lie when he claims, in order not to be implicated in the obvious conflict of interest, that he has not supervised the hiring of his former student?
Since clearly, Rector Zvi Hacohen is involved in the ploy of letting Barzilai supervise in 2011 the corrections that Barzilai decided — and Hacohen knew about it in 2011 — were unnecessary in 2003, and since Hacohen knew of the conflict of interests that Barzilai was in concerning the hiring of his own former student, according to Hacohen’s own words to the BGU community, I demand that Zvi Hacohen be relieved of the office of rector of BGU, which demands Impeccable integrity.
In addition, I demand that the involvement of Dean of the Social Sciences David Newman in the fraudulent actions described above be thoroughly investigated; both those of 2003 and of 2011, and that personal consequences of that investigation be drawn.
In his op-ed, “Academic Hypocrisy,” in Haaretz 20.11.2012, Prof. Maoz wrote about the BGU department of politics and government: “The common practice in such cases of academic crises is to put the department in academic receivership. An external chair of high academic stature is nominated to the failing department, who is given sweeping authority to hire new people and make essential changes to the curriculum.” The time has come that the people who defrauded the public many times before should be removed from the process of resurrecting the department on a true academic basis. Therefore, I demand of the BGU Board to adopt and implement Prof. Maoz’s recommendation. It is both the right and the obligation of the BGU Board to the Israeli public to whom it is accountable. Only thus the chain of frauds on which the failed department has been allowed to exist shall come to an end.
Dr. Bergman is involved in reforms of the Israeli higher education system