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Israel government moves to gag professors who back BDS

March 26, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett[Solidarity with Palestine Walter Herrman/Facebook]

An Israeli government panel for higher education headed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett yesterday adopted “a code of ethics…that moves to bar academics from calling for a boycott of Israel”, reported Haaretz.

According to the paper, the principles call for a “ban on discrimination, positive or negative, of students based on their political opinions,” and a “ban on discrimination, positive or negative, of a faculty member or candidate for such or for promotion, based on their political opinions.”

The fourth principle bans “party propaganda in the framework of teaching,” and the fifth would prohibit “presenting or publishing materials “with political or personal opinions as if they are the opinions of the institution”.

The measures, Haaretz says, “would extend to both teaching faculty and administrators.”

Read: Israel bars Arab MPs from speaking engagements abroad, as part of BDS crackdown

In addition, the committee also proposed that lecturers be prohibited from “wrongly taking advantage of the teaching platform to systematically and improperly exhort a political position that clearly exceeds what is required by the teaching of the course in its broader context within its field/”

The principles have been sent to the heads of Israel’s academic institutions for response, before the issue is then “brought before the entire council”.

The Committee of University Heads has called the code “a collection of government-dictated rules over an ensemble of academic activities of the academic faculty in Israel”.