Thanks to wackyleaks we now know that news that professors at NTNU who proposed an academic and cultural boycott of Israel presented as a combo pack with highly biased “seminars” on Israel, caused considerable Transatlantic upset and that Washington politicians got seasick with this unexpected maneuver.
NTNU chancellor Digernes whines that
We were subjected to a massive international pressure. The tools and language used [against us] was surprisingly harsh, to put it mildly.
And continues (to make a fool of himself):
It did surprise us that the US authorities was following up this case so closely.
And adds – concomitantly exposing that big fat hole where logical coherence in argumentation would have been expected:
But on the other hand, the international action was initiated and managed from the US, so that probably explains it.
First of all, from one academic to another, logically, you cannot be surprised and not surprised at the same time as they are mutually exclusive, so that gives you an F in Debate Technique for Dummies.
Secondly, of course decent people around the world would be extremely put off by the thought of the Nobel nation singling Israel – and only Israel – out for harassment and boycott.
We academics have a particular responsibility in ensuring a transparent and unhindered flow of information, unbiased, untampered. We also have a clear responsibility to work towards peace – or perhaps more realistic, reduction of conflict – non-discrimination and social cohesion. To quote your own strategy document
NTNU’s value statement is expressed in its strategic plan ”Creative, constructive and critical” from 2001.
NTNU is based on the fundamental democratic idea of the university as a critical and independent institution. All NTNU’s activities are to be characterized by openness and high ethical standards.
NTNU is to have a working and learning environment that is compatible with creative interaction, constructive problem-solving and critical assessment. NTNU is to encourage contributions from its students and staff, and promote tolerance irrespective of sex, faith or culture.
When you so blatantly deviate from your own value statement to single out only one nation – Israel – executing her on the public square – just like Iran does with the people it does not like, have a look here, 12 people in the gallows , you should not only be NOT surprised at the outrage, you should expect it!
The same strategy document gives students and professors the right to express their opinion, but in the name of freedom of expression, you would not have allowed a professor to present a motion to do the nazi salute, or to use the University as a platform to publish an offensive drawing of Mohammad, yet you allow those very disgusting Norwegian Rednecks, spurred on by self-confessed Israel hater Peder Martin Lysestøl to sully the name of the institution you have been entrusted?
Lysestøl, the founding father of the Norwegian Palcom, on record for saying that Hamas is not an Islamist organization, a marxist in bed with some very ugly bugs, and as late as 2009, his political offspring collected money for PFLP. And he is by no means the only far left academic who signed the petition in question… his other co-author was Agnes Bolsø, but she prefers perhaps to keep a very low profile after she was exposed as a pseudo-scientist in a Norwegian TV series on the state of Norwegian academia, Hjernevask (brain wash).
A Chancellor for an elite institution such as the NTNU cannot be so naive as to not appreciate that while professors and staff are free to use their name for whatever political purpose outside the institution, his job is first and foremost to protect the integrity of the institution and that when he fails to do so, his faux pas will be pointed out to him, loudly and vigorously!
Prof. M. McGonagall