Anti-Israel Academics, Beware!

Dana Barnett of Israel Academia Monitor says the number of Israeli university professors who write or speak against Israel has dropped markedly.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 14:59

Ben Gurion U Library
Ben Gurion U Library
Israel news photo

Dana Barnett of Israel Academia Monitor (IAM) says the number of Israeli university professors who write or speak against Israel has dropped to about 70 - partially thanks to her organization.

IAM was founded in 2004, Barnett told Arutz-7’s Benny Tucker, to fight the phenomenon of Israeli professors and academics who “receive their salaries from the Israeli taxpayer, yet who speak against Israel freely and call on other countries to boycott it. This is unacceptable.”

In 2001-2, Barnett said, “there were about 360 academics who signed anti-Israel petitions and the like. We started in 2004, and now there are about 70 people engaged in that type of activity. It’s of course hard to say exactly, because some people stop writing and then resume after a year or two…”

One of the reasons for the decline, she is convinced, is because of the work her group does: “Many of them don’t want people to know that they have taken these positions, and so our publicity deters them. But some, of course, want the opposite, such as those who make money from their writings.”

Barnett, currently working on her Kings College doctorate on the topic of post-Zionism, says her organization makes sure “to inform the universities’ boards of directors of their professors’ anti-Israel articles and activities." She said that the two universities with the most anti-Israel professors are Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva.

“Most of the articles are written in English,” Barnett said, “as they are directed to audiences abroad. The professors turn to European pro-Arab organizations who seek out Israelis who will say that Israel is an apartheid, conqueror country that must be boycotted.”

She said that many even make a living from speaking against their country: “Some of them have left Israel, they write books with all sorts of anti-Israel accusations, and they sell like hotcakes… Many people are thirsty for any dirt about Israel; even the most bizarre ideas can become big hits.”

From IAM's Website
“IAM supports the universal tradition of academic freedom that is an indispensable  characteristic of higher education in Israel. At the same time, it is concerned by the activities of a small group of academics - sometimes described as revisionist historians or post-Zionists, among other labels - -who go beyond the ‘free search for truth and its free exposition’ (to quote the American Association of University Professors) that is the hallmark of academic freedom. Exploiting the prestige (and security) of their positions, such individuals often propound unsubstantiated and, frequently, demonstrably false arguments that defame Israel and call into question its right to existence.”