Ben Gurion University professor Idan Landau, author of the important Israeli blog, Not to Die a Fool, protested a decision by University President Rivka Carmi to punish Landau for refusing to perform his reserve military service in the Occupied Territories. For the week he spent in military prison, the University has docked 50% of his salary.
The professor of foreign languages protested the punitive measure and announced that he no longer found the school to be his “academic home” and would search for an institution that would be more congenial to his values. The faculty association has announced that it will stand behind Landau in protesting his punishment.
This is the same Rivka Carmi who told Neve Gordon that his support for BDS meant he shouldn’t be teaching at Ben Gurion, because it was a fundamentally “Zionist” institution and he had committed “treason.” Naturally Neve remained at the school where he chairs his academic department. Also the same Rivka Carmi who sat by and watched as University trustee, Michael Gross said the world would be better off with Prof. David Newman dead. Newman ran for the position of dean of the humanities and social sciences and won thanks to the bullying and administration’s passivity. Also, the same school which informally offered Assaf Oron a job, only to have Prof. Yisrael David Israel introduce purely political criteria into the hiring process, causing the department to withdraw the offer.
In related news, Peace Now activist, Hagit Ofran suffered the second round of vandalism and death threats at her home from settler brutalists, who scrawled graffiti threatening her life. The faux terrorist buzzed her intercom and told her he’d left a bomb at her doorstep which would explode in 10 minutes. She called the bomb squad and the building was evacuated. A few days earlier, Israeli emergency services were called in a ruse to Peace Now’s Jerusalem office. Naturally, the police seem to have lost the ability to do their jobs and find and arrest suspects. Funny thing how that happens when the victims are Palestinian or Jewish peace activists.
What is the punishment? No one gets his salary from his workplace when he go to reserves. He gets it from social security. Why should one who didn’t do his duty and was in jail for breaking the law should get full salary? I really don’t get it.
“Funny thing how that happens when the victims are Palestinian or Jewish peace activists” – I agree with you. That’s a real fiasco by the police. .
Richard Silverstein says
I’d say you’re wrong. The University made the decision to dock his salary. There must be a process by which the University pays faculty who do miluim that you don’t know about. Though it’s possible that the National Insurance is paying the salary to the University which passes it on to the faculty member.
There are two standard procedures for reimbursement for hired workers who serve in miluim, the choice is usually with the worker.
1. The worker continues to get his salary from his employer, and the employer deals with getting back money from the National Insurance.
2. The worker does not get his salary, but claims himself from NI.
Invariably the worker will choose the former as he’ll keep on getting his “extras” for that salary (pension, etc.) and he won’t have to deal with the beurocracy of the NI reimbursment.
In the case of imprisonment (military or otherwise) the worker will not be entitled at all to NI, and certainly was not working for the university during his incarceration, thus if the University paid him half of his salary for that period it was not out of obligation but rather out of generousity on its behalf!
So in fact his salary was not “docked” by half, but was given a half salary for doing nothing! One ought to praise the university for this gesture!
And the university won’t be reimbursed at all by NI for the period of his incarceration.
Richard Silverstein says
You have no idea how Israeli universities work & should read Magnes Zionist on the subject, who actually has an Israeli faculty appointment & knows whereof he speaks. Professors do their work in ways that are totally diff than you. They can do research in jail. They can do make up classes when they return. Professors’ schedules are flexible & there is no possible way to say he wasn’t performing his responsibilities while in prison. The only thing he couldn’t do was teach & he scheduled make up classes as I said & so fulfilled those obligations to his students & the University.
He didn’t do “nothing” as you so glibly claimed. He did everything either while in prison or after he returned.
I read what Magnes zionist wrote, and I do know how University staff work (why do you always assume that others don’t know things?}.
There is still a major difference between “taking work to jail” and other research at home or on holiday.
Just as a researcher who may take work home for the weekend doesn’t get extra pay, the fact that he may have read a few articles in jail doesn’t entitle him to pay at all for that period (let alone the university’s generous half pay offer)
Whilst he is in jail he will not even have his laptop or internet so fat chance of any serious research being done there.
I wonder if you would expect the university to continue paying a researcher if he was imprisoned for sexual harrassment if he did research whilst imprisoned?
I respectfully suggest you distinguish between the principle of paying a salary to a researcher whilst imprisoned, and the possible political repression of researchers employed by the university. The two are not nescessarily connected, and I think here there is no connection.
I just read the story of 3 generation of Jewish people originally from Central Asia. They suffered genocide, racism, killings, oppression by muslims, Russians, Bolsheviks, Germans, French and finally by the Nazis. Only 2 of the entire extended family survived the Holocaust. I was in tears when I finished reading the story.
I just can’t believe that people whose ancestors suffered so much have become one of the most racist people I have ever met. I live in New York and interact with them all the time and see their comments all over the MSM.
I guess humans are just not able to learn from history. It must not be in our DNA.
RE: “Naturally, the police seem to have lost the ability to do their jobs and find and arrest suspects. Funny thing how that happens when the victims are Palestinian or Jewish peace activists.” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: It also seems to happen when the victims are gay.
SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Tel_Aviv_gay_centre_shooting
Richard Silverstein says
I’ve heard that Jack Teitel may be a prime suspect for this attack. But now that they’ve committed him to a mental asylum he’ll never be charged.
I find it kind of funny that you are lecturing me to provide credible sources when you put some soundbytes like in this one and all of this to blacken Israel. In a matter of fact, on May 2010 Jack Teitel was examed by the district psychiatrist and was recognized as a mentally ill (I guess that you suggest that the psychiatrist is biased too. Probably he’s a settler) but on September 2010 the same psychiatrist suggested that Teitel isn’t a mentally ill and therefore the court ruled that he can be chraged. Please stick to the facts.
I guess the University of Johannesburg knew what it was doing when it decided to boycott the Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
I know Richard is not happy with historical parallels, but these anecdotes of institutions and police aligning themselves with the state, whether by choice or coercion, brings to mind Gleichschaltung, the term the Nazis used for the first stage of creating its totalitarian state. In that place, at that time, as here and now in Israel, many institutions gladly adopted the state’s politics and went beyond their lawful duties to punish those with faltering zeal. There are myriad anecdotes of such ad hoc, extra legal actions in Israel now. Carmi’s actions are ad hoc and extra legal: Surely there are laws for resistors, but for Carmi that was not sufficient punishment. With its spitting rabbis and super patriots, the reality being created in Israel is one of power, fear and dread, the very opposite of the “Western” civilization the state purports to represent.
Richard Silverstein says
I have no problem with historical parallels as long as they’re presented carefully and not painted with a broad brush. I think yr parallel is totally apt.
I don’t. There isn’t any connection between them.
The nazis didn’t allow any jewish (or any kind of race which wasn’t acceptable by them) student to learn in those institutions. You can’t say that about Israel (i.e. Omar barghouti).
Neve Gordon – When a lectruer in these institutes calls to boycott them and doesn’t have the integrity to leave these institutes which pay his salary, I would have fired him by myself. If he wants to call to boycott, he should resign.
And once again about Landau- when a citizen called to perform his reserve military service, the social security pays to his workplace the salary. When one disobey his orders and spent this time in jail, the social security doesn’t pay. That’s the way it is and no more.
“MY COMMENT: It also seems to happen when the victims are gay.” – Nice try to blacken the police but it won’t work this time. Israel is well-known by giving rights to the LGBT community. I suppose that in other countries there are more rights to these community. Let’s say Iran or Egypt or even Palestine.
“The shooter was masked, dressed in black and used a pistol to carry out his attack” – I understand that in your POV the police could solve any murder case. I guess that in the US every gay-murder case is solved like the case in the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Robert_Eric_Wone
You are wrong. The process of “coordination” in Germany took time and did not emphasize the anti-Semitic core of Nazi doctrine at all. It emphasized coordination with the state across all sectors of society and Jews continued to be accepted in the state schools throughout the period. But, they were subjected to increasing ad hoc harassment by institutions anxious to curry favor with the new regime. This emphasis on conformity is increasingly evident in Israel. The doctrine, for example, that criticism of the state is fundamentally anti-Semitic aims at silencing criticism both within and without the state. There is much to the parallel particularly now as ad hoc actions against Palestinians and “price tag” events increase. If my hunch is right these, too, will eventually be coordinated under legalisms.
.”Two new bills aim to strip Israeli human rights organizations of funds and silence dissent. According to one of the bills, which proposes to put a hefty tax on donations to NGOs, the legislation intends to stop groups from altering “Israel’s political discourse from within.”
Silencing discourse is part of the conformity process: It also sounds ominously like a preamble to war move.
G*d forbid a democracy show allow for altering the national discourse! Some democracy.
free man says
Only one problem with what you’ve written here.
It has no connection with reality.
When a person is in reserve duty, it is not the employer who pays his salary, but the state.
So the University has nothing to do with this.