The Uri Weiss Affair and Bar-Ilan’s Cowardice
For years, the anti-Israel academic Left in Israeli universities has defended the “right” of anyone and everyone to boycott Israel. The BDS terrorists are just exercising freedom of speech. So are those who organize conferences on why Israel needs to cease existing. Every antisemitic loon has the “right” to appear on Israeli campuses, from neo-Nazi Norman Finkelstein to Mister Khmer Rouge — Noam Chomsky. In addition, the Left wants everyone to have the right to boycott “settlers,” which is why artists and performers who refuse to work across the Green Line must not be denied their cushy governmental subsidies. And of course Ariel University must be boycotted!
The one thing the Left will never tolerate is a boycott of violently anti-Israel left-wing academics. Students at Israeli universities must themselves never be allowed to boycott tenured traitors or radical anti-Israel howling pseudo-academics. That would be anti-democratic!
All of which brings us to the Uri Weiss Affair at Bar-Ilan University last week. Bar-Ilan is usually not the campus of choice for the left-wing ultras in Israel, although it does have a few, like political science prof Menachem Klein, who thinks Sephardim are Jewish Arabs and who wants the Old City of Jerusalem to be judenrein.
Another faculty member at Bar-Ilan is one Uri Weiss, who studied law at the radical leftist law school of Tel Aviv University and teaches a course in the Bar-Ilan business school. To clarify, Weiss is not a tenure-track appointee but an outside adjunct, which in the world of academia makes him well below the janitors in terms of status or importance. More to the point, adjuncts who do not have a quorum of students for their course get that course cancelled and they do not get paid.
Now Komrade Uri has been in the news a lot in recent days. In particular, he published ghoulish attacks against settlers whose children were murdered by terrorists. The settlers not only deserved to see their children murdered, but are themselves guilty of psychosis for living in places the Palestinians want. Never mind that the Palestinians also want the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv.
Weiss accused IDF soldiers of committing “war crimes” when they raided the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara terror ship in 2010. The flotilla’s goal, according to him, was “to break through a combination of a cruel naval and land siege imposed on an entire population.” He also praised controversial Arab Joint List MK Hanin Zoabi, who was aboard the ship and last week caused a furor in the Knesset when she accused IDF soldiers of committing murder during the raid. Weiss has published trash in the neo-Nazi web magazine Counterpunch, accusing Israel’s Supreme Court of “engaging in apartheid.”
In 2014, in response to his cheerleading for terror, students demanded that they be allowed to drop his course and swap it for a different course with someone else. Back then, Bar-Ilan agreed. But Bar-Ilan quietly let him sneak back in, until his comments this week. Bar-Ilan students led by Im Tirtzu Zionists demanded that the university allow them to boycott the course. The problem is that, at this point in the summer, the course is done and there is just the exam to take. The university proposed as a compromise that the students who so requested should be allowed to opt out of the exam and just take a “pass” as their course grade. That way, the students could still be boycotting the pro-terror anti-Israel lecturer. Freedom to boycott — just what the loony Left says it wants.
Ah, but then the radical academics, together with Haaretz, went on the warpath. Why should these students claim the right not to be indoctrinated in anti-Israel hate! Isn’t that why we have Israeli universities in the first place?
Bar-Ilan’s courage lasted less than 24 hours. It then cancelled the deal with the exam and ordered students in the course to take it, after all.
And so the bottom line is this: in Israel Thou must not boycott left-wing dingbat faculty members ,nor get their propaganda courses shut down!