On his blog, Dean Torbjørn Digernes at NTNU “salutes” the organizing committee behind the NTNU seminars on Israel and remains convinced that the seminars-series is a “praiseworthy initiative”. Students, staff and ordinary citizens are less convinced. The latest comment to Mr.Digernes’ blog is another protest – unauthorized translation below:
It is saddening to see my university invite lecturers who are world-famous for their hatred of Israel to speak here at NTNU. Ilan Pappe?!?! To NTNU!?!? No, this is awful. I do not know how to attack this. Why not invite Benny Morris or Manfred Gerstenfeld? I believe the arguments in favor of a boycott would fall as a house of cards if the Norwegian public just one single time receied input from knowledgable people (Morris is the foremost on Israel’s history. Willoch eagerly quotes him, even though Morris has asked him to stop since Willoch contorts reality).
When we see which lecturers have been invited to the seimnar series, we understand that there are exclusively Israel-hostile voices behind the call. Do not take us for “fools”. We understand this cynical game. We are so endlessly tired of the criticism against Israel, which is blown beyond any meaningful proportion. By the way, where are all of those who spoke of proportionality during the Gaza-war?,
We will not give in. The more you treat Israel unfairly, the more we shall resist you! However I did believe that students and staff were to spend their time on studies and science and not on countering political propaganda!
I welcome a seminar which invites lecturers who represent different sides in the conflict, but in this respect our back-water university fails completely!