Bar-Ilan Lecturer Reportedly Denied Tenure Due to Views

Colleagues say remarks against occupation kept Ariella Azoulay, who teaches visual culture and contemporary philosophy, from promotion.

Or Kashti
Or Kashti
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Or Kashti
Or Kashti

Bar-Ilan University's appointments committee decided recently not to grant tenure or promote a lecturer, reportedly because of her political leanings.

Ariella AzoulayCredit: Courtesy

Associates of Dr. Ariella Azoulay, who teaches visual culture and contemporary philosophy in Bar-Ilan's Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies Program, and who has published books against the occupation, said: "The university has no germane reason to disqualify Ariella other than her positions. This is a political decision disguised as a professional one."

Bar-Ilan University said it "rejected any attempt to attribute to it extraneous considerations in the promotion of its faculty members," and that the matter was being dealt with and will be completed after the Sukkot vacation.

Azoulay has been teaching for 11 years at Bar-Ilan. She is also a director of documentaries and an art curator, and has published some 10 books and numerous articles in academic journals.

According to people familiar with the issue, Azoulay has been passed over in the past by university committees for tenure and promotion to professor, and now its supreme appointments body has ruled on the matter.

"Any decision can be validated by means of regulations and secret meetings," an associate of Azoulay said. If the university was dissatisfied with Azoulay, "how is it that she has been teaching there for more than a decade? Apparently her activities were unseemly to senior university officials," the associate said.

Among the books Azoulay has written is "Constituent Violence 1947-1950," an analysis of some 200 rare photographs whose purpose, the book says, was to recreate the formation of the Jewish regime while destroying Palestinian society.

She is coauthor with Prof. Adi Ophir, who is her partner, of "This Regime Which Is Not One: Occupation and Democracy between the Sea and The River - (1967 - )."

Among the films she directed is "I Also Dwell Among Your Own People: Conversations with Azmi Bishara."

"Few people dispute the fact that Ariella Azoulay is one of the most important researchers in cultural studies in Israel today," Prof. Yehouda Shenhav of Tel Aviv University, said. Shenhav also noted several recent cases of "persecution of lecturers in a political context" at universities, saying that "this is one of the crudest instances of preferring sectorial considerations over academic excellence."

A response from Azoulay, who is currently abroad, could not be obtained by press time.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op