By Jonathan Cook
The Electronic Intifada
"A sustained battle by the Israeli right to stifle academic freedom at the
country’s universities is close to claiming its first major scalp.
In an unprecedented move last month, officials from Israel’s Council for
Higher Education (CHE) — a government-appointed body overseeing universities and
colleges — recommended the effective closure of the politics department of Ben Gurion
University, based in the Negev/Naqab city of Beersheva.
Unless a rearguard action is successful by the university to mobilize
protests from overseas academics, a meeting of the full CHE later this month is
expected to rubber-stamp the decision to cancel the department’s enrollment of
students for next year.
The threatened closure comes in the wake of a series of repressive measures
sanctioned by the hardline right-wing government of Benjamin
Netanyahu to intimidate or silence domestic criticism, from human rights
groups to the media and judiciary....."