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March 26, 2018 11:32 am

University Code of Ethics Limits Political Agendas in Israeli Classrooms

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A general view of a classroom at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Oct. 22, 2006. Photo: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash90 – Israel’s Council for Higher Education is encouraging universities to begin enforcing a new code of ethics intended to prevent lecturers from promoting specific political agendas or boycotts of Israel in classrooms. The ethics will become fully mandated next year.

The code will apply to all lecturers, irrespective of political orientation. The new code also halts discrimination for or against any student by the lecturer as a result of his or her political views, and prohibits any connection or public support of academic boycotts of Israeli institutions. Violations will go before a disciplinary body.

The ethics document, requested by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, was written last year by Asa Kasher, who also authored a code of ethics for the Israel Defense Forces.

A committee of university heads has pushed back against the new regulation, saying it “gravely and fundamentally violates academic freedom.”

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