update deskSchools & Higher Education

Bar-Ilan University moves anti-Israel professor’s lecture online

Jews should turn Israel into a binational state and return to being a "diasporic people," Professor Daniel Boyarin argues.

Professor Daniel Boyarin. Credit: Canary Mission/Twitter.
Professor Daniel Boyarin. Credit: Canary Mission/Twitter.

Bar-Ilan University moved an in-person lecture by Berkeley Professor Daniel Boyarin online after Zionist student group Im Tirtzu complained about his anti-Israel positions.

Boyarin, who was invited by the Ramat Gan school’s Department of Jewish Philosophy, gave the lecture via Zoom on June 4.

Once it came out that the lecture would take place, the university closed it to outside guests and moved it to Zoom, an Im Tirtzu spokesman told JNS.

Im Tirtzu had demanded that the lecture be canceled entirely, noting that Boyarin had been quoted as saying that Israel is “reminiscent of the Nazis” and “guilty of destroying human rights and democracy.”

The group said that Boyarin argues in his book published this year, “The No-State Solution: A Jewish Manifesto,” that Jews should turn Israel into a binational state and return to being a “diasporic people.” In his book, he calls for severing “the nation from the mononational state with which it has become so thoroughly conflated.”

Adiel Cohen, coordinator of Im Tirtzu at Bar-Ilan, said, “I am shocked that a university that prides itself on its Jewish-Zionist flag invited an antisemitic and post-Zionist lecturer who relentlessly encourages a boycott of Israel.

“We are glad that the decision was made to cancel the open lecture. However, holding his lecture on Zoom is still unacceptable. There is no place in academia for someone who supports a boycott of Israel.”

Boyarin, who holds both Israeli and U.S. citizenship, is a professor of Talmudic culture in the Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

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