Letter to Hebrew University President Ben-Sasson

December 28, 2015

Professor Menachem Ben-Sasson
President, Hebrew University

Dear Professor Ben-Sasson,

We are writing regarding media reports about offensive statements by Dr. Ofer Cassif and Professor Amiram Goldblum from the Hebrew University against Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked.

In a comment responding to a Facebook post by Professor Amiram Goldblum, which accused Minister Shaked of receiving campaign funds from a suspected arms dealer accused of selling guns in Sierra Leone and to Columbian drug cartels,  Dr. Cassif called Minister Shaked "a neo-Nazi scum" and "dirt," and claimed she is responsible for crimes against humanity. Professor Goldblum blamed Shaked for being indirectly responsible for genocide, and posted a photo depicting her with bleeding hands and her body made up of images of guns and dead Africans.

The statements made by both individuals cross all lines of decency, and constitute incitement against Minister Shaked. Comparing Minister Shaked to members of the neo-Nazi movement, and suggesting that she is complicit in gun violence in Sierra Leone and Columbia is outrageous. These kinds of statements have no place in the discourse of Israeli society, especially when it comes to university lecturers who are expected to show greater responsibility and live up to the highest standards of civil discourse.

We urge you to condemn the statements made by Professor Goldblum and Dr. Cassif, and call on the two lecturers to unequivocally apologize for their comments.

Carole Nuriel
Acting Director, ADL Israel