Bar-Ilan University yesterday condemned a Facebook post by a professor emeritus that called for annihilating the Palestinians.
In his post, published three weeks ago, Prof. Hillel Weiss addressed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (using his nickname, Abu Mazen). “Listen, Abu Mazen, you aren’t a people and therefore there’s no genocide,” Weiss wrote. “To annihilate you as a rabble is a mitzvah, and it will ultimately be carried out, even though the Israeli government still doesn’t recognize its own guilt for kindling your fraudulent national recognition, starting from [former Prime Minister Menachem] Begin and ending with [Meretz party leader Zahava] Gal-On, and for everything it has contributed to the deception of the entire world and the flourishing of all the monsters that arose because of its weakness and lack of faith. The faster you admit that you aren’t a people and don’t belong anywhere within the boundaries of the Land of Israel, the better it will be for you – the faster you voluntarily vacate this land.”
Weiss ended the post by quoting two Biblical verses, Deuteronomy 32:21 and 32:43: “They have roused Me to jealousy with a no-god; they have provoked Me with their vanities; and I will rouse them to jealousy with a no-people; I will provoke them with a vile nation”; and “Sing aloud, O ye nations, of His people; for He doth avenge the blood of His servants, and doth render vengeance to His adversaries, and doth make expiation for the land of His people.”
Weiss also teaches at the Orot Israel College of Education, and that institute said it is looking into the matter.
The Education Ministry said Orot’s president had promised to take severe action if it is proven that Weiss had really written such a post.
Responding to a question from Haaretz, Bar-Ilan University said Weiss is a professor emeritus and is therefore no longer part of the university’s regular faculty, but is teaching two courses as a volunteer in the Hebrew literature department, at his own request.
“Firstly, it’s necessary to state that the things Prof. Hillel Weiss published on his Facebook page are contemptible and very grave, and any cultured person – Jewish or non-Jewish, religious or nonreligious – must condemn them,” the university’s statement said. “A call to kill people is un-Jewish and immoral.”
Whether the post constitutes a criminal offense or is protected by freedom of expression is a question for the law-enforcement agencies, the statement continued. “But, in any case, Prof. Weiss’ comments were written on a private platform, his Facebook page, and not in any university setting.”
Rabbi Neria Guttel, the president of Orot Israel College, said in response to Weiss’ quotes, “That’s not academic freedom; that’s academic anarchy, and I will not accept remarks of this sort. With all due respect to pluralism, his statement deviates from that, and we do not accept it. We invite him to clarify, and we will hear out his version because it’s our obligation.”
Guttel added that the college’s disciplinary committee will discuss the proper approach to handling disciplinary matters. Guttel did not discount the possibility that the disciplinary committee could decide to expel Weiss from the college.