(June 3, 2019 / JNS) Professor Amiram Goldblum, a senior lecturer at Israel’s Hebrew University, called pro-Israel student activists “Nazi dogs” and threatened to prevent them from getting accepted into advanced degree programs, Israel’s Makor Rishon newspaper reported last week.
Goldblum, an outspoken critic of Israel who serves on the public council of the far-left New Israel Fund, made the remarks in the comments section of an article about a new website launched by Israeli pro-Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu that lists Israeli professors who teach at publicly funded universities yet engage in anti-Israel activity.
“The Nazi dogs at Im Tirtzu can’t do anything to me,” wrote Goldblum. “Now I promise: I will photograph every Im Tirtzu scum on campus and publicize their names as much as I can, so that teachers know who they shouldn’t accept to advanced degrees.”
Dozens of students at Hebrew University affiliated with Im Tirtzu were shocked to learn of the Goldblum’s remarks, and submitted a formal complaint to the university.
The university condemned the remarks, but stated: “Hebrew University is not responsible for the remarks made by its professors and it is not its role to deal with them, so long as the academic podium is not being exploited to disseminate these ideas. In this instance, the University Rector made it unequivocally clear to Professor Goldblum that he cannot act this way towards students.”
Despite the rector’s warning, Goldblum said that if a student enters his class wearing an Im Tirtzu shirt, he will refuse to continue teaching and will “call security.”
“Im Tirtzu’s intention is to harm professors, and I am unwilling to speak in the atmosphere created by Im Tirtzu activists, and that is what I told the university administration,” said Goldblum.
Yuval Brami, Im Tirtzu’s Hebrew University branch coordinator, called Goldblum’s remarks “outrageous” and accused the university of turning a blind eye towards them.
“It is outrageous that a professor in Hebrew University would dare to prevent students from studying in his class due to their personal views and social affiliation,” said Brami. “What is even worse,” continued Brami, “is that the University does not see fit to deal with this issue at all.”
Knesset Member Keti Shitrit (Likud) called Goldblum’s remarks a “red line” and asked to be informed of any further developments on the subject.
Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu, said that Goldblum’s actions are reminiscent of a “tyrannical regime” that tries to stifle different opinions and freedom of expression.
“Every student has the right to voice his or her support for Israel and IDF soldiers. It is a disgrace for anyone to try and shut this down,” said Peleg.