Liberman, Cassif and the Donors of Hebrew U

Avigdor Liberman, chairman of Israel Beitenu, an MK, and former Minister of Defense is calling the Israeli Election Committee to disqualify a candidate from the Hadash political party from running to to Knesset. On regular days this issue could be considered an internal issue of Israel, but I will try to show in the below this issue is also a matter for the donors of Hebrew University from around the world to be aware of.

Members of Israel Beitenu Protesting Against Cassif.

I will start by saying that the Hebrew University is dear to me. I have good friends and family members who studied there and that I always loved the special connection it has to Albert Einstein. My connection to Hebrew U is also because of  July 31, 2002. On that hard day, I was doing homework at the Law Faculty library when all of a sudden there was a big blast that shook the building and windows. It was that terror attack which took place in the Frank Sinatra building and which killed 9 innocent students and staff. As an IDF combat medic, a reserves soldier at the time, I rushed to the place to give assistance to the wounded.

A week later, at a memorial ceremony held at the university, I made a big sign with the words “World, Wake Up” or something like that, and I lifted it up during the ceremony. I think I also shouted these words out what has led to my immediate arrest by the university security guards and taken to their office for questioning.

Why all of this introduction?  Because I believe the Hebrew U, its board of directors and trustees, the Friends of Hebrew U from around the world, and its donors need to wake up! Why? because the Hebrew U is the “proud” employer of a Ph.D faculty member, by the name of Ofer Cassif who is a fanatic anti Zionist, anti Israel, anti IDF, anti Israel’s democracy. Do you really want your donations to be spent as salary to such a person?

Who is Ofer Casif? He is someone who thinks that “Zionism” encourages “antisemitism”, he called Prime Minister Netanyahu an “Arch-murderer”, he called Ayelet Shaked a “neo Nazi scum”, he called Jews going to Har Habait, a “cancer with metastases that have to be eradicated”, he called Miri Regev a “repulsive gutter contamination”, he called the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, a “war criminal”, he claims that Israel is committing “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza, and that Israel is conducting a “massacre” of innocent people over there. All these statements have one purpose and it is to de-legitimize Israel, and it’s right to exist.

It seems that in his eyes, Israel is the reason to all problems of the region. Did you ever see him criticize the Hamas terror organization for its actions? Can someone show me one article he wrote against Hamas launching of thousands of rockets against Israel? Can someone show me one article he wrote mentioning the Jewish historical rights to the land and the fact that Jerusalem was a Jewish kingdom 1500 years before Islam came to the world?

When he says Zionism encourages anti-Semitism, he basically means that Jews have no right for a land of their own. Did you ever hear him say anything about any other nation, and weather they have a right for a country of their own? Please show. His obsession against Israel speaks for it self. Seems that he believes that there is room in the world for 200 countries, and that there is room for over 20 Arab countries, but there is no room for one small Jewish state in its historic homeland. When he comperes Israel to the Nazi regime, can this fall under the freedom of speech, or is this an indication to a Holocaust denial?

And also with regards to the university. This person, who is engaging with BA and MA students, preaching them with his “wisdom” is also publishing research papers under the Hebrew U name. Why is that an issue? Because if he is a manipulator of reality in Israel’s case, who says he is not a manipulator of reality in his academic research and teachings? And if the Hebrew U is hiring such manipulator, is this strengthening the Hebrew U positioning as a center of excellence in the academic world or weakening it? How is this influencing the acceptance of other Hebrew U faculty members as legitimate academic staff, if he is their face?

As mentioned above. On regular days this would be an internal issue of Israel. A fanatic anti Israel candidate is trying to run for Knesset. But I believe, the donors of Hebrew U should know that this guy is getting their donations. Parents who send their kids to Hebrew U, need to know this guy might be their teacher. Is it only him or are there others? I don’t know.

Liberman righteously plans to take this issue to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem if needed. Ofer Cassif has no place in the Knesset, and in my opinion, he has no place in the Hebrew University. This is a wake up cal for all of us!

Disclosure — Shahar Alon, is a member of Israel Beitenu and is on their list for Knesset.

About the Author
Shahar Alon works as an attorney at Checkmarx, an Israeli cyber security company. He is a member of the Israel and the New York Bar associations. In the past, he worked at the Israeli consulate in New York, and was a part of the Economy Mission. Also in the past, he has worked at the Legal Department of the Knesset. In his life, he lived for a year or more in Canada, the USA, in Venezuela, and in Hong Kong.
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