A new website has been set up – Israeli Academia Under Attack (and a Hebrew site). A letter people can use as the basis for their own letter is available below. I wrote mine before this was written, and it’s been posted online too. And the story is discussed in this French website. Here’s the text:
This is a suggested draft of a letter of protest/concern to be finalized, of course, by each person
To: Xxxx Official position
(eg member of the Israeli Council of Higher Education)
Re: Grave Concern Regarding Attack on Academic Freedom in Israel
I am writing to express my grave concern about reported moves to close the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University
I have found out that this is a very good academic department, which excels in research and teaching, using a good range of academic approaches. It appears as if the pressures to close it are external to the university and are politically motivated.
I am alarmed about this loss of academic freedom affecting a leading Israeli university. This may be the beginning of a slippery slope, leading to academic decline, and loss of academic contacts for Israeli academia.
Further, Israel’s name as a center of academic freedom and excellence will be severely damaged. Critical scholarship is at the heart of any academia in democratic countries, and should be protected and nourished.
I call on you to do all you can to prevent the closure of this department and work in your important capacity to protect the most important value of academia.
Full institutional details