The decision of the Open University’s Humanities and Social Sciences subcommittee was slammed as a “disgrace.”
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Many Israelis are outraged over the recent decision by Open University staff to give more weight to the Palestinian narrative in courses on Israel Studies, 0404 reported Tuesday.
Assuming that such a narrative would directly conflict with the positive view of the state’s history and culture taught in the Israel Studies track, Im Tirzu head Matan Peleg said, “We call on the chairperson of the Council for Higher Education, the Minister of Education, to intervene immediately and stop the disgrace and severe anti-Israel incitement coming out of the Open University.
“It simply cannot be that Israeli academia will pave the way for the elimination of the State of Israel from within.”
On Monday, 0404 reported that in a meeting of the Haifa-based institution’s Humanities and Social Sciences subcommittee, dozens of professors had voted to change the division’s traditional track so that in the future, students would study instead for a degree in “Israeli and Palestinian Studies.”
According to the website, there is also a plan to expand courses stressing the Palestinian aspect to all the other university departments.
While the decision still has to be ratified by the university’s Senate, Peleg demanded immediate repercussions.
“The minister must immediately announce the suspension of government funding for the Open University until the resignation of the university president and all the lecturers and members of the administration who voted in favor of this despicable and dangerous decision,” he said.
The proposal had been pushed by Israeli literature and culture Prof. Adia Mendelsohn-Maoz, Dr. Itamar Radai, a senior lecturer of Israel Studies who focuses on the Israeli-Arab conflict, and Dr. Dafna Hirsch, a senior lecturer in the Sociology, Political Science and Communications Department.
According to Im Tirzu, Hirsch has, among others, signed a petition supporting an American Anthropologists Association decision to boycott Israel, one accusing Israel of massacring innocent people, and another calling for the EU to pressure Israel to accept Hamas demands.