Sapir College &
IDI Watch - Ze'ev Tzahor (College President) Defends Massacre the
Jews "Art" Exhibit
Tzahor is all for politics on campus as long
as it is Leftist incitement and sedition. Tzahor justifies the
subversion and believes there is "more than one truth".
The academia cannot be
separated from politics. The academia's very essence expresses
And so, since its inception to this very day,
the academia has been suspected of subversion – and rightfully so.
The academia is subversive because pursuing the truth undermines the
current situation and searches for a different truth through
research and studies.
The main reason for encouraging political
activity at Sapir stemmed from the principle of pursuing the truth
and the assumption that there is sometimes more than one truth.
Politics belongs in the academia
Op-ed: The main reason for encouraging political activity on
campus stems from the principle of pursuing the truth and the
assumption that there is sometimes more than one truth.
An exhibition called "The
Power of the Word" was displayed last week at the new gallery
inaugurated at the Sapir Academic College.
Artist Gal Volinez chose
to present hamsas (palm-shaped amulets believed to protect against
the "evil eye") with the captions "ISIS," "Itbah al Yahud"
(slaughter the Jews) and "In blood and fire we will redeem
The presentation of these
words in an exhibition which seeks to express the power of the word
through art, stirred a row. During a student protest held outside
the exhibit, one of the students said that the academia – which is
supported with public funds – should not be allowed to engage in
For the sake of full
disclosure, I played a role in establishing the Sapir Academic
College and in designing its political way. Yes, political. The
academia cannot be separated from politics. The academia's very
essence expresses political thought.
The first academic
lecturer was Socrates, Plato's teacher, who lectured at a plantation
which was allotted to him 2,500 years ago by Academus, one of
Athens' wealthiest people – and this is where the word academia
comes from. Socrates was sentenced to death for treason over the
things he said at the academia.
And so, since its
inception to this very day, the academia has been suspected of
subversion – and rightfully so. The academia is subversive because
pursuing the truth undermines the current situation and searches for
a different truth through research and studies.
Some of the big questions
raised by the academia are clearly political. For example, whether
man and the universe were created or are the fruit of an
evolutionary development – a question which is also politically
So is the academic
research discussing the origins of monotheism, which places
pharaonic Egypt as the first to believe in one God and challenges
the claim that the ancient Hebrews were the first to recognize a
Even the question "why
democracy?" is political, and so are its answers.
The Sapir College was
founded as an independent college during the heated days of the
dispute over the Oslo Agreements. Later on, we experienced firsthand
the bitter dispute over the disengagement from Gaza, as dozens of
Sapir's students were residents of Gush Katif, and the campus raged.
The common solution for
calming down the situation was to ban political activity on campus.
That's what all other universities and colleges did. But at Sapir we
decided to do the opposite and bring the political activity into the
The main reason for
encouraging political activity at Sapir stemmed from the principle
of pursuing the truth and the assumption that there is sometimes
more than one truth.
And there was another
reason: Israeli politics was showing signs of corruptibility. More
and more politicians were revealed as corrupt.
We wanted to design a
different type of leaders among Sapir's students – not princes who
gained a place at the top thanks to their fathers, or messengers of
the extensive capital-government system. The alternative we sought
to nurture was of students who would be watchful towards politics,
strong-minded and, most importantly, bearers of good news.
We set one limitation for
encouraging politics on campus: A lecturer must not misuse the
advantage given to him by his position. And so discussions of
political questions, like the ones mentioned earlier, in the
classroom would only take place as part of the course's disciplinary
framework and would not spill over to parties' banal politics, and a
variety of opinions would be presented while pursuing objectivity.
The road towards building
a leadership which will bring along "different politics" is long,
and requires us to continue encouraging political activity among the
students, as well as among the lecturers.
The dispute created by
"The Power of the Word" exhibition is important for politics and
very important for students, as its existence reflects the
academia's role in society and its good essence.
Prof. Ze'ev Tzahor is the founder and former president of the
Sapir Academic College.
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