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JERUSALEM, Aug 26, 2010 (IPS) - Rightwing Israeli groups financially supported by Jewish and fundamentalist Christian groups from abroad are on a campaign to undermine free thought in Israeli universities. Collaterally, a move is under way by right-wing parties in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, to limit the freedom of action of civil and human rights-minded NGOs.
The first target was Tel Aviv University with the country's largest student body.
An organisation called the Institute for Zionist Strategies is demanding that the TA University president survey the reading material proposed by a number of sociology lecturers with a view to balancing them with other lecturers who hold stridently opposing views.
Newly uncovered documentation reveals that The Hudson Institute, an influential and activist neoconservative think-tank, has provided nearly $500,000 to the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS), an Israeli NGO at the forefront of an ongoing campaign to purge Israeli Universities of faculty and programs deemed “left-wing.” The grants represent more than half of the IZS’s total reported multi-year funding and position Hudson as the organization’s largest donor.
In addition, the documents indicate that Hudson provided $600,000 to The Atlantic Forum of Israel, an opaque, security-oriented, organization founded by the Israeli National Security Adviser, Uzi Arad, and run by him until last year.
Why is this significant? It may not be, but there are any number of important reasons why this information should be fully in the public domain and subject to further scrutiny.
* The question of whether Israel should attack Iran and whether the US should support such a move is very tangibly on the (publicly perceived, at least) policy agenda of both governments.
* Numerous Hudson Institute scholars, past and present, have taken very hawkish positions on this question (see this very recent article for one example.)
* The Hudson Institute recently provided an opaque, security-oriented, NGO founded by Uzi Arad and, until last year, run by him, with over half a million dollars of funding.
* The Hudson Institute is a central component of an active and ideological neoconservative opposition to the foreign and security policy of the current US President; Uzi Arad serves as National Security Adviser to the current Israeli Prime Minister.