Posters printed by grassroots Zionist movement Im Tirtzu are designed “in a Nazi style,” according to a Hebrew University professor.
The professor's observations were posted in a discussion on Im Tirtzu's Zionist Thought lecture series at Hebrew University and Ben Gurion University.
Students who take part in the program hear lectures by Zionist members of the public and academics, which Im Tirtzu says are intended to offset the post-Zionist and anti-Israel trends in academia. Among the speakers in the series are Nobel prize winner Prof. Israel Aumann, General (res.) Yaakov Amidror, Middle East expert Dr. Guy Bechor, former MK Dr. Einat Wilf, and attorney Yoram Sheftel.
When the Zionist Thought program was advertised, a Facebook discussion developed in the group called “Im Tirtzu is a Fascist movement” between Prof. Alon Harel of the Hebrew University Law School and chemist Prof. Amiram Goldblum.
The two argued about whether or not Im Tirtzu should be allowed to launch the program on campus.
Prof. Goldblum posted: “Im Tirtzu is trying to build a fascist movement on campus and destroy Hebrew University and Ben Gurion University. Where is the student protest?” Prof. Harel responded: “I despise Im Tirtzu more than you do and yet I do not think we are in a position to censor them.”
Goldblum’s response was swift: “This is a normal case of fraud, deception, a trick by the Fascist movement Im Tirtzu, which draws posters in a Nazi style. On the basis of free speech, they’ve allowed into the university one of the people whose should be shouting in the gutter, not in a conversation in the university – Yoram Sheftel. 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.”
In response, Hebrew University campus coordinator for Im Tirtzu, Bar Shalev, wrote to Prof. Ehud Shavit, the Dean of Students, demanding immediate attention to the matter.
“My hands are shaking as I write this letter. These are the professors teaching us! They teach me, and the members of my group – some at Givat Ram campus and some on Mount Scopus. I demand you take care of this matter. We do not deserve to be delegitimized. Im Tirtzu has never done and will never do anything that would justify exclusion from the public sphere," wrote Shalev.