A campus watchdog organization released recordings Thursday of a Hebrew University political science professor who compared the State of Israel to Nazi Germany.
Im Tirtzu, a Zionist NGO which monitors radical left-wing incitement on college campuses across Israel, published a 20-minute video recording of a class by Hebrew University professor Dr. Ofer Cassif, during which Cassif argues with students to justify his comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany were based “on fact, not opinion”.
During the class in question, Cassif said a number of laws – including Basic Laws – in Israel were eerily similar to laws passed by the Nazi regime, including the infamous Nuremberg Laws.
When a student objected, Cassif argued that his statements were facts and that there was no room for argument.
"There's not really much to argue about here."
While Cassif acknowledged that Israel was not guilty of genocide, he claimed that the Jewish state was on a “slippery slope” towards Nazism.
"The fact that we're on a slippery slope to fascism isn't an opinion,” said Cassif. “I'm sure that if we were sitting... in the University of Freiburg in 1933, and there would be a professor who would dare to speak like I did, there, too, some of the students would say 'Well, that's your opinion'. Guys, no, it’s not. Just because something is hard for us to hear doesn't make it opinion."
As evidence of Israel’s alleged slide towards fascism, Cassif pointed to the recently passed NGO law, which denies national service credit for work done in NGO’s which derive most of their funds from foreign governments. Cassif also cited the expulsion law, which allows a supermajority of Knesset members to strip a fellow member of his or her seat for expressed support for terrorism.
These and other pieces of legislation passed or supported by the Netanyahu government, Cassif claimed, were reminiscent of the Nuremberg Laws.
The Nuremberg Laws, which include the Reich Citizenship Law and the German Blood Protection Law, established Germany citizenship along racial lines and barred interracial marriage in Germany.
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said that Cassif’s comments were further proof of the need of an academic code of ethics.
“Comparing the State of Israel to the most wicked regime in the history of mankind is not only a disgusting display of anti-Israel propaganda, but something more severe than Holocaust denial,” said Peleg.
“This is further proof of the need to fully implement the academic code of ethics, which will restore pluralism and diversity to academia."
Peleg added: "We are calling on Education Minister Naftali Bennett not to fold under the pressure of radical leftist elements in academia who are doing all in their power to torpedo the code."
The is not the first time Cassif’s comments have drawn controversy.
In 2015, Cassif called Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) “Neo-Nazi scum”.
"In the land of my shame, Shaked is screaming," Dr. Cassif wrote on Facebook. "This neo-Nazi scum is not only partially responsible for the fascisization of Israel, but is also an indirect partner to genocide in Africa and crimes against humanity."
"The dictionary has lost all words which could be used to describe this filth," he added.
Despite his inflammatory and less-than-eloquent remarks, Hebrew University declined to take any action against Cassif.
"Anyone who thinks there is incitement or a violation of the law within this or any other post should turn to law enforcement agencies,” a Hebrew University spokesperson said in response.