Top architects accuse Israelis of oppression
by Hugh Muir | The Guardian | 26 May 2007
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Leading British architects have accused their counterparts in Israel of complicity in schemes that contribute to the "social, political and economic oppression of Palestinians".
The architects, including Will Alsop, Terry Farrell, Richard MacCormac, Royal Institute of British Architects president Jack Pringle and president-elect Sunand Prasad, have signed a petition organised by the group Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine.

"APJP asserts that the actions of our fellow professionals working with these enterprises are clearly unethical, immoral and contravene universally recognised professional codes of conduct," a spokesman said. "We ask the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) to meet their professional obligations to declare their opposition to this inhuman occupation."
More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on Jun 01, 07 | 10:36 pm

Confront the colluders in Israel's academy
by Lisa Taraki | Times Higher Education Supplement | 23 June 2006
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Israeli scholars have either collaborated in the occupation or turned a blind eye. They deserve a boycott, argues Lisa Taraki

Although Menahem Milson's career path and mine have been on a collision course, we have never met. In 1976, I joined Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank as a junior instructor in sociology. The same year, Milson, a professor of Arabic language and literature at the Hebrew University, became "adviser on Arab affairs" in the Israeli Government.

By 1981, when the academic community I was part of was struggling under the crushing yoke of Israeli punishments, he was appointed head of the military administration in the West Bank. One of the highlights of his tenure was the notorious "Village Leagues" scheme, a failed experiment in promoting a class of Palestinian collaborators to mediate Israeli rule. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on Jun 24, 06 | 11:14 am

Barred from the ivory tower
by Dalya Markovich | Haaretz | 15 July 2005
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"Akademia besviva mishtana" ("Academia in a Changing Environment: Higher Education Policy in Israel, 1952-2004) by Ami Volansky, Hakibbutz Hameuchad and Shmuel Neeman Institute, 422 pages, NIS 88

University students are a minority group in Israel. But compared to students in other countries on an economic par with Israel, local students are a minority group with few rights and a very marginal place in public discourse. Studies that analyze the state of higher education in this country are also few and far between.

"Akademia besviva mishtana" ("Academia in a Changing Environment: Higher Education Policy in Israel, 1952-2004"), recently published by Hakibbutz Hameuchad, does not help to change things much, although it is filled with facts and figures. The author of the book, Ami Volansky, was the adviser on higher education to four Israeli ministers of education, and the Education Ministry's deputy director general on policy planning and evaluation. Although the book is based on his long years of experience in an official capacity, Volansky neither adopts a critical stance nor accepts "ministerial responsibility" for any of his findings. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on Jul 24, 05 | 4:27 pm

Haifa University students protest against 'racist' conference on demography
by David Ratner | Haaretz | 17 May 2005
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Several dozen Jewish and Arab students protested Tuesday morning at Haifa University against an academic conference titled "The Demographic Problem and Israel's Demographic Policies" that they described as racist.

The students, prevented by campus security personnel from entering the auditorium where the conference was being held, sat down outside and refused to be evacuated.

Conference participants are slated to discuss the forecasts that Arabs will constitute the majority of Israel's population with several decades. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on May 18, 05 | 12:12 pm

Israeli Anthropology and American Anthropology
by Smadar Lavie (article 1), Andre Levy (article 2) | Anthropology Newsletter, page 9 & page 10 | January 2005
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In March three registered NGOs, Ahoti (Sistah, Hebrew), Israel’s feminists-of-color movement; the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow; and Mossawa, the Advocacy Center for the Palestinian-Arab Citizens of Israel, filed an official complaint to Israel’s State Comptroller against anthropology departments in all Israeli universities.

These NGOs advocate Mizrahi (Arab-Jews of Asian and North African origins) and Palestinian-Israeli human rights. The complaint was researched and co-authored by Yif`at Hillel, Nurit Hajjaj, Vardit Damri-Madar, Rafi Shubeli, Smadar Lavie and by the late Vicki Shiran, founder of Israel’s feminist-of-color movement.

In these NGOs’ complaint, clarification is sought on the almost complete absence of tenured Mizrahi faculty, and the total absence of Palestinian-Israeli faculty in anthropology departments in Israeli universities. Such absences are in complete violation of any principal of equal opportunities employment. Mizrahim and Palestinian citizens of Israel consist of about 70% of Israel’s citizenry. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on May 12, 05 | 7:33 pm

D I A L O G U E
by Various | Anthropology News | May 2005
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The Correspondence column is primarily for the use of American Anthropology Association members for the purpose of addressing issues that relate to the discipline and practice of anthropology. AN reserves the right to select and edit letters. All letters must be clearly marked for Anthropology News Correspondence, not to exceed 400 words and consisting of a signed original plus an electronic copy whenever possible. Letters published reflect the views of the correspondents; their publication does not signify endorsement by the American Anthropological Association. Editor’s fax: 703/528-3546 or email: slathrop@aaanet.org .

“Political Discourse”

As editor of a AAA scholarly journal, I am dismayed to learn that vitriolic invective has become an acceptable means of engaging discourse in any publication of AAA. What disturbs me about the epithets used by certain proponents of political causes, just or not, is not so much their intemperate heat, as their hyperbolic misappropriation of concepts. When our colleague, anthropologist Smadar Lavie (Jan 2005 AN see copy in http://www.ha-keshet.org.il/articles.asp?article_id=192 ), misuses the term “apartheid” to characterize Israeli anthropology departments in which certain ethnic-identified groups are underrepresented, she debases a term that carries the weight of horrific suffering and inhumanity. Her evidence, such as it is, does not support this characterization; my understanding of the facts is confirmed by Andre Levy’s response in the same issue (see copy in http://www.haokets.org/Files/levyant.ext.doc) . Where Lavie might appropriately have called for a more concerted effort at affirmative action to redress a past imbalance (as proposed by Levy), her epithet instead attempts to evoke an inappropriate emotional response. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on May 12, 05 | 2:54 pm

The Collapse of Academic Freedom in Israel: Tantura, Teddy Katz and Haifa University
by ZALMAN AMIT | Counterpunch | 11 May 2005
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On April 22, the Association of University Teachers in the United Kingdom voted to boycott the University of Haifa in Israel. Supporters of the boycott referred to the university's treatment of one of its staff, Dr. Ilan Pappe, in the controversy over an MA thesis which had been written by Teddy Katz about events in 1948 in the Palestinian coastal village of Tantura, a few miles south of Haifa.

The boycott decision has led to a media storm in both Israel and the United Kingdom. The debate is ongoing -- opponents of the boycott have collected the twenty-five signatures needed to call a special emergency conference to discuss the boycott again; this meeting will be held on May 26.

I should declare, up front, that I have been tangentially involved in the Katz affair: I attended the court proceedings as a member of the public and I have recently finished translating Katz's thesis into English. However, my interest in the events at Tantura in 1948 goes back much further. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on May 12, 05 | 8:59 am

Chapter Five: (More on the Katz Affair) La Libre Parole, The Plot, the Trial and the Acquittal.
by Ilan Pappe | Translation from French Book The Demons of the Nakbah published by la fabrique paris 2003 | 2003
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Although the Katz and Tantura affairs were the motivating force complicating my relationship with the University, there was a wider context for my growing isolation - directly linked to the general deterioration in the state of basic freedoms in Israel, described in the previous chapter. In the campus, this was manifested in the increased tension between the university and the Palestinian students in it. The relative large number of Palestinian students in the campus (20 percent of the overall student population) meant that the events in October 2000 were immediately felt in the university compound. And indeed the link was established in a very personal and bloody manner. Two nephews of Arab lecturers in our university were among those murdered by the Israeli police in October 2000. One of them, Wissam Yazbak, I knew and his uncle is a very good friend of mine. I was the only one who made a note in public about the victims, but my desperate call for a show of solidarity with members of our faculty was received as an act of treason. The community of academics in Haifa University almost unanimously parroted every move the government took without a modicum of criticism. My seclusion and exclusion in the university was a foretold story given this immoral and cowardly behaviour of a community of scholars in the so called ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on May 06, 05 | 8:50 pm

Chapter Four: The Katz Affair
by Ilan Pappe | Translation from French Book The Demons of the Nakbah published by la fabrique paris 2003 | 2003
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In the late 1980s I gave a course in Haifa University on the history of the conflict. Students were allowed free hand in choosing how best to present their thoughts on the issue of the conflict. One relatively elderly student of mine, a member of a kibbutz, Teddy Katz, decided to look into the chronicles of his kibbutz in the 1948 war.

He discovered that his Kibbutz, Magal, was sitting on the ruins of a village called Zeyta. He further found out that this village was not occupied in 1948, but was rather confiscated after the war by the Israeli government as it was coveted by the Kibbutzim movement for its fertile soil and convenient location on the way between Haifa and Tel-Aviv. As was quite common in the years between 1948 and 1955, such a wish by the Kibbutz movement could easily turn into reality. The villagers were ordered to leave and rebuilt their village to the east. When the new kibbutzniks arrived in their novel place – they were still unhappy. They could from their windows those who were evicted so that they could have a home. So they asked, and were heeded, that Zeyta should be moved again. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on May 06, 05 | 8:38 pm

Israel founds W Bank university
by | BBC News | 2 May 2005
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The Israeli cabinet has voted to confer university status on a college in a settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Thirteen ministers voted for the proposal to upgrade the College of Judea and Samaria in the Ariel settlement, while seven voted against. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on May 03, 05 | 9:00 pm

Letter from Jerusalem
by Reuven Kaminer | Alef List | 1 May 2005
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n our very first lessons on the British constitution we were impressed with the most salient of facts to the effect that the British Parliament can turn a man into a woman (or vice versa). This, it turns out, was excellent intellectual and psychological preparation for understanding what is happening in the Israeli settlement of Ariel, before our very
eyes.

Today’s issue of the Israeli daily, Ma’ariv, informs us that the next meeting on the Israeli cabinet is going to turn the College of Judea and Samaria into a university. It appears that the initiative is coming from the Minister for Education, Limor Livnat. Ms. Livnat, it transpires, has granted her acquiescence to Sharon’s Gaza Disengagement Plan conditionally.

The condition – you guessed it – is to intensify settlement in the West Bank. Livnat figures that the ‘new university’ will attract additional population to the Ariel area. She is also certain, according to the same source, that there will not be any difficulty concerning her initiative which has reportedly received the backing of Ariel Sharon, with the United States, which has given its blessing to the settlement blocs, Ariel included. Thus if all goes well, the Israeli government will turn a college previously established by fiat of a military officer in the occupation, into a full fledged university. Livan claims that there is no financial problem involved since the College is already funded by the
Israeli Council of Higher Education. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on May 02, 05 | 8:17 pm

Cabinet votes 13-7 to declare West Bank college a university
by Gideon Alon and Tamara Traubman | Haaretz | 2 May 2005
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The cabinet voted 13-7 Monday to confer university status on Judea and Samaria College in Ariel, less than two weeks after a major British lecturers union sparked wide controversy by declaring a boycott against Bar-Ilan University for its links to the West Bank college.

The vote was held amid acrimonious debate in the cabinet over the political significance of upgrading the status of a college in a West Bank settlement. Likud ministers followed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's lead in supporting the Ariel proposal, while Labor ministers - with the exception of Dalia Itzik, who abstained - complied with Vice Premier Shimon Peres' call to vote against it.

The government also unanimously approved a proposal to combine a number of northern colleges into a Galilee university, an initiative that has been promoted recently by Peres. More...
Submitted by: Mona Baker on May 02, 05 | 5:31 pm

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