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Far-Left Academic Incitement Drops, Thanks to Translation

Anti-Israel articles written by Israeli professors are fewer and farther between thanks to watchdog group’s translations.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/14/2013, 3:15 AM

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Israel news photo: courtesy of BGU

Fewer Israeli professors are publishing anti-Israeli articles in foreign journals, according to a study conducted by Israeli Academia Monitor. According to Israeli Academia Monitor editor Dana Barnett, who spoke to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday, the reason for the decline is simple: far-left professors now know that what they say abroad will be publicized at home as well.

“A lecturer who publishes an anti-Israel article in Australia needs to know that it will be read here, too,” Barnett explained. “We translate the articles and publish criticism.”

“We show those lecturers’ true colors,” she added. “We reveal their double standards, their anti-Israel worldview and their lies.”

There has been a significant reduction in anti-Israel activism among university staff since the group began its work in 2004, she said. Then, she said, “there were petitions against Israel signed by hundreds of Israeli lecturers. The Arab world used those petitions.”

Recently the Council on Higher Education decided not to close the political science department at Ben-Gurion University. The department had been threatened with closure due to an investigation that showed low academic quality, including a lack of diversity of ideas.

The threatened closure was seen by many on the political left as an attempt to shut down a department that challenged nationalist views.

Barnett said that contrary to popular belief, nobody wanted to shut down the department. “The demand was that they add more core subjects to the curriculum, because they cannot only teach the critical neo-Marxist approach,” she explained. “That is an important approach, but it’s not the only one.”

“Ben-Gurion University decided to make the changes and to bring new lecturers,” she continued. “Let’s see if it happens.”

The department still has a large number of “lecturers affiliated with the extreme left, people like Professor Neve Gordon and his friends,” Barnett said.

“But if they do bring additional lecturers who diversify the range of opinions [there], then the problem will definitely be solved,” she concluded.