Israeli academics are pushing back against ‘national suicide’

Sociology professor Eytan Ben-Yair from the University of Haifa has been appointed a senior lecturer at the American university, where he is currently the first openly gay professor in its history.

Ben-Yarrow will teach a course on the history of American Zionism at the University at Albany.

“Eytan has a unique perspective on the legacy of Zionism in the United States,” said the school’s president, Robert D. Lipsitz.

“He has been an outstanding academic for many years and his scholarly accomplishments will be particularly valuable to our faculty.”

The appointment was announced by the University’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday, with the announcement made to Al Jazeera by Ben-Zionist Professor Dr. Yehuda Stern, who will be the first Palestinian professor in the US.

Stern, who teaches at the Center for Contemporary Israel Studies at the Bar Ilan University, is the author of several books on the American Zionist movement.

He will teach an introductory sociology course titled “The American Zionist Movement: From its Birth to the End of the Holocaust,” focusing on the period from 1948 to 1952, when the movement’s founding members left the country and established Israel.

He has also written extensively on the subject of Zionism.

“I am honored to welcome Eytans appointment to the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts at Albany,” said Lipsit.

“Eytans extensive academic and scholarly work will be a valuable addition to our history of the American Jewish Zionist movement and the American state.”

The move comes just months after a number of Israeli academics, including Benjamin Netanyahu, were publicly criticised by the university’s president for supporting the boycott of the Israeli flag by students and faculty, and for promoting Zionism as a legitimate national religion.

In his opening address, Netanyahu, who is the leader of the Jewish Home party, described the boycott campaign as an attempt to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.

“Our goal is not to destroy the Jewish state, but to save it from destruction,” he said.

“It is an attempt, which will not succeed, to destroy a state founded by the Jews.”