Ad in Haifa University Planner Warns of 'anti-Israeli' Lecturers

Haifa University's students union is distributing a daily planner containing an ad branding left-wing lecturers in Israel's universities as "anti-Israeli" and a "fifth column."

The full-page ad, entitled "Warning! Academic fifth column! Meet the anti-Israeli lecturers in Israel," was posted by the IsraCampus organization. It refers readers to the organization's Web site, which monitors allegedly left-wing faculty members.

"Black lists of academics are reminiscent of dark eras in dark regimes," says Maor Dahan, a law and psychology student at Haifa University. "The ad's title warning of a 'fifth column' is incitement, because everyone knows what should be done to a traitor."

The ad accuses the "anti-Israeli lecturers" of being "involved in subversive activities" such as "openly supporting terror attacks against Jews, initiating an international boycott against Israel, exploiting their status in class to anti-Israeli preaching and anti-Zionist brainwashing, cooperation with known anti-Semites... who call openly to destroy Israel."

The group's site lists dozens of faculty members nationwide including Professors Zeev Sternhell of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Yehouda Shenhav and Gadi Algazi of Tel Aviv University, Lev Grinberg of Ben-Gurion University and Ilan Gur-Ze'ev of Haifa University.

Dahan complained about the advertisement to the students union and university administration, saying "a planner bearing the university's name and distributed [on its campus] should not carry such an ad."

The university's students union chairman Felix Koritney said "We only published the ad, but we have no problem with pro-Zionist and pro-Israeli content."

The university said that it enables freedom of expression on campus, as long as the content is not against the law.

"Freedom of expression not only [applies to those] supporting Israel's destruction, but also the right to criticize the criticizers [of the state]," said Haifa University's Professor Steven Plaut, an IsraCampus activist who paid for the ad.

Sternhell said the group's activity is "so despicable it is unworthy of comment... They may as well say witch hunting is also part of freedom of expression."