Tel Aviv University President Joseph Klafter's decision to examine the syllabi of certain sociology courses for alleged post-Zionist content stemmed from a request by the director general of the Council for Higher Education, Moshe Vigdor, sources at Tel Aviv University confirmed yesterday.
Klafter's decision was prompted by a report by the Institute for Zionist Strategies, "Post-Zionism and Academia," which accused several TAU sociology courses of having a post-Zionist tilt.
But Haifa University rector Yossi Ben-Artzi, said it was actually Vigdor who sent the report to all the university presidents several weeks ago, along with a note that "this seems more serious than Im Tirtzu's [similar] report." TAU sources confirmed this.
In a letter sent to his university's faculty yesterday, Ben-Artzi wrote that the IZS sent the report to the council and its Planning and Budgeting Committee, and "someone there decided it 'made a serious impression' and passed it on to the university presidents so they could consider how to respond. Our president sent the draft to me and I was shocked ... I was particularly horrified by the fact that the council/PBC thought we even needed to respond to a report by an ideological/political organization."
Klafter's decision, reported in yesterday's Haaretz, prompted an outraged response from many TAU lecturers. "The university is on a slippery slope to destruction," wrote one, charging that the distance between examining syllabi and "firing lecturers who refuse to sign a loyalty oath" is not far.
The council declined to comment on "internal correspondence between the council and the university presidents." PBC chairman Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg said he viewed the IZS and Im Tirtzu reports as internal university matters."
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