Hebrew University program bashes Israel, promotes BDS, says NGO

Campus watchdog group reveals recordings from graduate program showing anti-Israel bias, hostility towards students who challenged claims.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hebrew University on Mount Scopus
Hebrew University on Mount Scopus
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Newly released recordings from Hebrew University's international graduate program in human rights reveal how international students are subjected to explicitly anti-Israel content, the pro-Zionist activist group Im Tirtzu said Monday.

In recordings obtained by Im Tirtzu from a course given by senior professor Daphna Golan, co-founder of the far-left NGO B'Tselem, she can be heard bringing an array of anti-Israel guest speakers to talk with the students.

Among the guest speakers was a representative from the NGO Zochrot, which promotes the return of Palestinian Arab refugees and their decedents to Israel, who told the class that "most of Israeli society is going more and more in the fascist direction."

Another speaker, who talked to the class during a tour of eastern Jerusalem arranged by Golan with the far-Left NGO Emek Shaveh, accused Israel of arresting and "torturing" Palestinian children on a "daily basis."

During another class in which Golan brought the students to the abandoned Arab village of Lifta, the tour guide advocated for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Hebrew University's international graduate program recently made headlines following its support of Lara Alqasem, a former member of the pro-BDS group "Students for Justice in Palestine." Alqasem was among the students studying in the class.

Golan was also not shy in penalizing students who disagree with her viewpoint, students told Im Tirtzu.

In a reflection paper written by a student in response to the class' tour to Lifta, in which the student disagreed with the guide's support for BDS, Golan gave the student a "0" and called his paper "disgraceful" and "unintelligent."

"I am not sure why you are studying in my course – but both your handouts are disgraceful," read the email sent to the student by Golan.

"You are a student whose presence in class is very disturbing to the whole group and your remarks are very unpleasant. I am sorry I had to read your unpleasant and not intelligent papers," wrote Golan.

Screenshot of email Im Tirtzu

Panteleimon Papadopoulos, a foreign student from Greece who was enrolled in the course, said that Golan "created a hostile image of this country which does not correspond to reality."

“Is it the role of Hebrew University to create a hostile and inaccurate image of Israel for students to come to the conclusion that this is a state that is heavily discriminatory, and to be preached to by her guest speakers that this is a fascist state?" Papadopoulos said.

Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Golan would provide them with misinformation and silence students who challenged her views.

"You could tell that the professor was very biased and aggressive to people whose positions weren’t the same as hers. She was too aggressive and too overpowering us with fake facts," the student said.

Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu, said that Hebrew University is undergoing a "moral and ethical crisis."

"It is disgraceful that Hebrew University, which is supposed to be a beacon of academic light, has become a political incubator of anti-Zionist professors who devote their lives to attacking the State of Israel," said Peleg.

"Who would've thought that students coming from abroad to study in Israel would be subjected to hateful lectures against Israel from professors who earn their living at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer?"

"The University must immediately work to implement the academic code of ethics and to root out this severe phenomenon of academic politicization," added Peleg.