Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi Peretz Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Former Ben-Gurion University president, Prof. Rivka Carmi launched a scathing attack against Minister of Education MK Rafi Peretz (Yamina) on Saturday for thwarting her nomination for the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) of the Council for Higher Education.

"People have [told me] he was a chauvinist and would prevent a woman from holding a senior position," she was quoted as saying on Ynet.

Carmi retired from her position at BGU due to what she claims were biased accusations on the part of Im Tirtzu, a Zionist organization dedicated to combating anti-Israel propaganda at Israeli college campuses. For her part, Carmi has said she has done her utmost to ignore the organization's claims and has referred to activists as "militants."

Carmi was the university's president in 2009 when radical leftist professor Neve Gordon called Israel an "apartheid state" and urged foreign governments and organizations to exert pressure on its government – even advocating a boycott – to changes its policies towards the "Palestinians."

Carmi not only failed to take any kind of action against Gordon; she termed the professor's attempts to encourage foreign governments and universities to cause damage to Israel an issue of free speech. In an interview to the media, saying she "wouldn’t want to live in a country where a university president could fire a faculty member over freedom of speech."

Carmi said that she hoped legislation making the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement illegal in Israel would not pass.

"Regarding MK Rafi Peretz's decision to leave her out of the running for committee, she said she thought "the main problem in my opinion is that he is a bit of a loner. Pressure from Im Tirtzu [against me] proved too much. People called me a troublemaker. And I can be a troublemaker because if I think things don't happen, I stand my ground."

"There is political involvement in the education system," she concluded. "I'm not afraid of saying that it's not good."