The University of Haifa
The University of Haifa Response to the AUT Decision
The University of Haifa is
saddened and not a little outraged by the utterly unjust and unjustifiable decision of the AUT
and by its attempt to erect barriers and obstruct the flow of ideas within the international academic community.
In lieu of evidence to support the
singling out of Israeli academia,
the authors of this campaign have chosen to adopt a three-year old urban legend.
We are astounded by the fact that
the AUT never requested our response
prior to adopting their resolution, and did not allow our position to be
presented by members of the AUT who are familiar with the facts.
against Israeli academia, in general, and the University of Haifa in
particular, is devoid of
empirical evidence and violates the principle of due process. Driven by a
prior and prejudicial assumption of guilt, the AUT has refused to confuse
itself with facts.
In actual fact, during
the past few years, Dr. Pappe has transgressed all common
life. Yet, despite his conduct, the University of Haifa has demonstrated extraordinary tolerance. One of his colleagues
did indeed lodge a complaint with the internal faculty disciplinary committee.
The complaint focused on Dr. Pappe's unethical behavior
towards his peers and his efforts to disbar them from international forums for daring to contradict
his views. However, Dr. Pappe was never summoned by the disciplinary committee
as the committee's chairperson decided not to pursue the complaint.
Moreover, and contrary to Dr. Pappe's claim, the university
made no attempt to expel him.
As to the now too
famous thesis that provoked this altercation, an independent
committee was asked to examine the validity of the quotes that
were used as the "scientific
the highly controversial charges proffered in this
thesis, authored by Mr. Teddy Katz.
After a thorough examination, the
committee members concluded that, in fact, the
quotes in the written text did not match the taped comments of the interviews
and that the text was grossly distorted. Therefore,
they disqualified this MA thesis.
findings, it is important to note, matched a court decision
issued on the same matter. As Dr. Pappe did not approve
of the committee's decision, despite the undeniable
discrepancies between the text and the taped interviews,
he reacted by calling on the academic community to boycott
the members of this committee and the University of Haifa. Despite
these violations of academic collegiality and ethics
Dr. Pappe never faced
disciplinary proceedings nor was his tenured status in any way endangered.
there is always more work to do, the University of Haifa is
proud of its record of Arab-Jewish cooperation and reconciliation, both on
campus and in the community. Twenty percent of our student body
are Arab citizens of the State of Israel, and the many Arab faculty
members at Haifa include
departmental chairs and a Dean. We will continue our efforts to further
Jewish-Arab reconciliation, despite politically motivated initiatives to
muzzle free speech and the academic discourse.
We are puzzled by the fact that
despite the deluge of abuses of academic freedom throughout the world, the
AUT has chosen to focus upon a politically spurious charge and, on the basis
of false allegations, single out the University of Haifa for
condemnation. The University of Haifa calls
upon the AUT to rescind its resolution; transparently discriminatory and
based on a complete distortion of the facts, it is far more embarrassing
to the AUT than to the University. We also call upon the academic community
in the United Kingdom to
reject this politically motivated abuse of the fundamental principles of