Students at the Academic College of Tel Aviv Yafo are angry after finding a book edited by Azmi Bishara, a former MK who fled Israel after collaborating with Hezbollah during wartime, in the bibliography for a course on “The History of the Political Idea.”
The students were asked to read an essay – “Answering the Question – What is Enlightenment?” by 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant – as it appears in Hebrew translation in a book that Bishara edited. The book, to which Bishara also wrote the preface, is called “Enlightenment – An Unfinished Project?”
"It is illogical and immoral that Azmi Bishara – a man who gave information to the enemy and escaped justice – would take part in the education of students in Israel, especially on the subjects of enlightenment and morality,” a student in the course told Israel Hayom.
"The lecturers at the academy went too far,” she complained. "Bishara is not a composer of music, whose art can be viewed as disconnected from his actions. Here, he is writing statements that pretend to reflect morality in society. Teaching him reflects deep moral confusion.”
"Perhaps it is true that in the name of academic freedom, any text can be taught,” she added. “But in the name of freedom of expression amd the values of justice, Academy students have the right, and even the obligation, to protest this terrible wrong.”
The Academic College of Tel Aviv Yafo told Israel Hayom in response that the college is “an academic institution that educates the students who study in it about the importance of freedom of expression, and places emphasis, in its study materials, upon pluralism of ideas and viewpoints, on a variety of issues. Specifically, the article mentioned is one written by famous philosopher Immanuel Kant, which appears in translated form inside a book edited by Dr. Bishara. The book also includes articles by Moshe Mendelson, Jurgen Habermaas, Jean-Baptiste d'Alembert and others.”
The Dean of the Academic College's School of Government and Society is Prof. Naomi Chazan.
Azmi Bishara was questioned by the Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet) in 2007, after the ISA found that he spoke with Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War and gave it instructions on where to strike Israel. He escaped to Cairo and later to Kuwait.