Students from the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev appealed to Education Minister Naftali Bennett today (Tuesday) to intervene in the "serious politicization of the university."
The students also noted in a letter to be revealed this evening on Channel 20's "Lifnei Kulam" program that the university's management allows them to accumulate academic credits within the framework of political specialization - in organizations directly connected to the New Israel Fund only.
"In recent weeks, we have heard about the attempts of the university and its head, Prof. Rivka Carmi, to divert the subject of the important discussion about involvement and contribution of Israeli institutions and personalities to promote the boycott and delegitimization movement against the State of Israel," the students wrote to Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
The students call upon the Minister to intervene in the "serious politicization of the university" and demand that he explain why "senior lecturers calling to harm the State of Israel still teach in our institution."
"Unfortunately, President of the University Prof. Rivka Carmi avoids explaining how in recent years Israeli lecturers who have benefited from salaries paid by Israeli taxpayers are promoting initiatives to boycott Israel. Additionally, those same lecturers are actively involved in initiatives and activities against IDF soldiers and work de facto against these students who study at the university and serve in the reserves," the students wrote.
"We wonder why senior lecturers calling to harm the State of Israel are still teaching in our institution, why is Prof. Neve Gordon of the Department of Politics and Government still lecturing at the university? Why is Prof. Oren Yiftachel still a senior lecturer at the university?Why is Prof. Yitzhak Nevo, who only a few months ago wrote that he will cooperate with BDS activists, still funded by Israeli taxpayers' money?"
In addition, the students expressed resentment at the specialization offered in the Department of Politics and Government.Students studying in the department are required to undertake political specialization. According to the university website, the specialization may be done in one of two different tracks, both of which are offered in cooperation with the Shatil organization of the New Israel Fund, which is clearly identified with the left side of the political map.
A student studying in the department said in an interview to be broadcast this evening on the program, "The university does not proactively offer an internship in 'Yisrael Sheli' or in the Yesha Council, so why in Shatil?"