Im Tirtzu protest
Im Tirtzu protestIm Tirtzu

A week after a noted Hebrew University professor compared Im Tirtzu to Hitler Youth, the extra-parliamentary group is hit back hard. 

Amiram Goldblum, a chemist and one of the founders of Peace Now, began torching the group on a Facebook discussion with law professor Alon Harel. 

The discussion was part of a prelude to the Zionist Thought Program lecture series initiated by Im Tirtzu at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. 

Discussing whether Im Tirtzu should be allowed launch the pro-Zionist program on campus, Goldblum wrote: "Im Tirtzu is trying to build a fascist movement on campus and destroy Hebrew University and Ben Gurion University. Where is the student protest?"

Continuing, Goldblum argued, ​"This is a normal case of fraud, deception, a trick by the Fascist movement Im Tirtzu, which draws posters in a Nazi style....In the 1930s, the Hitler Youth and the Gestapo entered universities in the name of free speech and removed the Jews, Socialists and Communists. This is what will happen if we do not stand up to the danger of the fascists, Im Tirtzu.”

Im Tirtzu activists responded Wednesday by storming Goldblum's lecture at the Mt. Scopus campus of Hebrew University. They carried signs like “Demanding Academic Freedom,” “Stop Incitement,” “Silencing Happens Here,” “Different Opinion? Shut up!” 

Matan Peleg, the CEO of Im Tirtzu, read a statement during the interrupted lectured: “Your statements hurt us. I am the grandson of Holocaust survivors and we would never bring up Goebbels or any of those other monsters.  You are an educator and you cannot insult students in this way. You insult the entire student body who want only to promote the love of Israel.”

Goldblum responded that he discussed his political opinions outside of the classroom, and not within an academic framework. 

Undeterred, Im Tirtzu distributed flyers to all the students showing the controversial comments Goldblum had made. 

The flyers also stated: “Even if you don’t agree with Im Tirtzu, you must agree that it is inappropriate for a lecturer to call his students Hitler Youth or prevent them from holding a lecture just because he does not agree with the values they promote.  Silencing opposing opinions hurts all of us.  We demand academic freedom!”