Tel Aviv University
Stalinism Day at Tel Aviv
March 26, 2009
25, 2009, Tel Aviv University ran a full-day indoctrination session
in communism, misrepresented as an "academic conference" to discuss
the history of the Israeli communist party. We had been posted
numerous warnings about this before it was held.
single speaker at the conference was either a member of Israel's
Stalinist party MAKI or a pro-communist fellow traveler. The most
"moderate" speaker was Yair Tsaban, a leader in Israel's Marxist
MAPAM party, and he was booed by the communists in the audience.
challenged by a worldwide wave of public denunciation and criticism
for allowing the campus to be used for such purposes, the president
of Tel Aviv University, Prof. Zvi Galil, issued a defense of this
communist indoctrination congress, defending it as a legitimate
academic activity. (His letter was reprinted
here). In part he justified it because the Zionist scholar Anita
Shapira would be participating in it. But Shapira merely greeted the
participants at the beginning of the "conference" and dd not lecture
about the subject at hand.
details about the conference had appeared in the media before it
took place, including
here. The complete program for the event, with the list of
speakers, can be seen
here. The defense by the Tel Aviv University president of the
misuse of campus facilities for Stalinist indoctrination was all the
more alarming when coming from the very same campus officials who
had censored a student protest exhibit exactly a year ago about
human rights abuses in communist China and had ordered the student
exhibit shut down. Academic freedom at Tel Aviv University is
content of the talks at the "conference" was exactly as expected.
Several of the speakers were party henchmen from the Stalinist MAKI
party and not academics at all. Representatives of the communist
party were on the scene distributing party "literature" and
propaganda books. Every single speaker celebrated and praised
communism, and most spent time attacking Zionism, Israel and
Israel's very existence, praising Arab terrorism as "resistance" to
the speakers was Elana Kaufman, who teaches a pro-Arab "narrative"
course at Israel's Open University. She had been a collaborator with
the late pro-terror Marxist sociologist Baruch Kimmerling, best
known for his long pseudo-academic fabrication of the history of the
"Palestinian nation." She spoke at the conference about the
communist party's wonderful role in organizing Arab resistance to
Zionism. She denounced Zionism for coercing the Arabs to become
dependent upon the marketplace and for stealing their lands. She
hailed the communist party for organizing the early violent "Land
Day" protests among Arabs to "protest" Israel's supposed policy of
"inflicting injury" on its Arab population. This led to the party's
greatest electoral victory, she said, in which it won 80,000 votes
followed by Dr. Amal Jamal, currently head of the department of
political science at Tel Aviv University. He bewailed the fate of
the poor Arab communists in Israel. He objected that the communist
party is first and foremost the communist party of Jews, a rather
curious observation given its voter support and membership makeup,
and objected that Arabs who wish to be communists also have to be
followed by Samiach Al-Qassam, presented as a "Druse poet," whose
lecture was supposed to be on "literature and politics." Instead,
his talk was devoted to the thesis that Jews and Arabs could not be
equal in Israel and so Israel should be dismantled and enveloped
within a larger bi-national Palestinian state with an Arab majority.
In other words, a sort of Middle Eastern version of Rwanda.
denounced President Obama and ex-President Bush of the United States
for trying to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel instead of
a state that replaces Israel. He then launched a lengthy sycophantic
celebration of how wonderful communists are, how they not only
defended the downtrodden workers but even the middle class. He
declared that the Israeli communist is the true patriot, whereas
American capitalists are phony patriots. He then bragged about how
he had been hosted by the Romanian dictator Ceauşescu and by
Russian's Gobachev, although claimed that as a poet he feels
somewhat constricted in formal communist discipline. Thus when he
was in Romania he preferred to dine with his Romanian security
service guide and not with Comrade Ceauşescu himself.
the "open discussion" section of the "conference," Al-Qassam also
bragged about how he had been arrested and later was on Israel's
wanted list for his seditious and illegal activities. Al-Qassam
insisted that Israel stop looking upon the Hamas and the Fat'h as
its enemies and instead should look upon the Jewish political right,
which he described as "racists," as the true enemy. To loud applause
he added that while he understands the suffering of the family of
Gilad Shalit, the Jews have to understand that there are 11,000
Palestinian "Gilad Shalits" imprisoned by Israel. In other words,
Gilad Shalit is the moral equivalent of imprisoned mass murderers,
terrorists, bombers and ordinary criminals in prison.
followed by Marxist Gadi Algazi, a radical anti-Zionist from Tel
Aviv University's department of history. Algazi has long denounced
Zionism as a form of colonialism and vilifies every attempt by
Israel to defend its civilians from terrorists, including Israel's
security fence. For a sampling of his anti-Israel propaganda
this. His talk was devoted to celebrating the Arab "resistance"
to Israel and to Zionism, a resistance that just happens to take the
form more often than not of atrocities and terrorism.
Tsaban, who had long served in the Knesset as a representative of
the Marxist MAPAM party and later of MERETZ (into which MAPAM was
merged) enraged the hostile audience, most of whose members made
little secret of their violent anti-Israel political sympathies. He
was the closest thing to a Zionist participating in the conference.
Tsaban aroused the enmity of much of the audience when he suggested
that commemorations for any suffering of Palestinians be separated
from Israel's own celebrations of its Independence Day. For this he
was booed and denounced as "anti-humane."
Chanin, a Stalinist Knesset member from Israel's Maki-Hadash
communist party, gave a dry boilerplate denunciation of Western
capitalism as the true danger to human civilization, because
capitalism is based on the pursuit of profit for its own sake.
Communism, he insists, represents the future hope of humanity.
If you are upset
by this story, please take a few moments and let the heads of Tel
Aviv University know what you think.
President, Professor Zvi Galil
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978
Fax: 972-3-6422379 and 972-3-642-2752
Rector: Prof. Dany
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978
Offices of Tel Aviv University:
Other "Friends of"
The Council for Higher Education in Israel
(governmental body that funds and supervises Israeli universities
Prof. Shlomo Grossman
Planning & Budgeting Committee Chairman
Council for Higher Education
P.O.B. 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem
Phones: 972-2-5602330/856/584; 972-3-6935523/4/5
Faxes: 972-2-5602246; 972-3-6951769