Gordon with Arafat
Gordon with ArafatIsrael news photo

Members of the Knesset from across the political spectrum demanded Sunday that Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva fire a professor who called on the international community to boycott Israel.

Professor Neve Gordon, head of the political science department at BGU and a notorious left-wing activist, wrote an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times Thursday entitled “Boycott Israel” and subtitled, “An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it’s the only way to save his country.”

“Dr. Gordon’s article is repugnant and should be scorned,” Education Minister Gidon Saar said. He spoke by phone with BGU President Rivka Carmi and indicated that Gordon should be dismissed from his post.

Earlier in the day, Carmi had already made it clear that Gordon should seek work elsewhere. “We are shocked by Dr. Gordon’s irresponsible words which we absolutely condemn,” she said in a statement. “Academic personalities who feel this way are invited to look for an academic and personal home elsewhere.”

Opposition MK Robert Tiviaev from Kadima agreed Gordon should be fired. “Gordon’s continued employment by the state is unthinkable in light of his call for a boycott of his own country,” he said, referring to the fact that Gordon is employed by a public university.

Gordon wrote in his article that “the most accurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state” and claimed that Arabs in Judea and Samaria “lack many of the most basic human rights.”

The BGU professor went on to say that he has come to the realization that the “only way” to save Israel from itself is “through massive international pressure” and joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Although BGU President Rivka Carmi was quick to condemn Gordon’s statements, she had come under fire previously for promoting Gordon to head BGU’s political science department in the first place. Gordon led a solidarity visit to besieged PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah during the Great (Oslo) Terror War in 2003, and said that then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was responsible for the outbreak of violence. 

Professor Alan Dershowitz said in 2005 about Gordon: “Considered one of the world’s most extreme anti-Israel academics, he belongs to the class of rabidly anti-Israel far-left professors whose trademark is the delight they take in comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany.”

Other MKs who called for Gordon to be fired Sunday were Zevulun Orlev from the Jewish Home party and Minister of Religious Affairs Yaakov Margi (Shas). The National Union party also published a statement calling on BGU to relieve Gordon of his post.