|Jewish Home Leader, and Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett|
The ostensible targets of this code would be professors who foist specific party affiliations on students, though I have never met a professor who’s done this. But the real target of Israel’s government is the justifiable, inevitable affinity of academic communities for liberal principles in general.
In part, academics’ affinity for liberal ideas derives from their being intellectual nonconformists: we emphasize personal freedom, we’re skeptical of appeals to the pack, we believe that minds grow, and we support secular principles over the coercive faith traditions.
But the greater reason for this affinity is that the modern university is inherently a liberal institution. To keep a democratic republic going, you're always going to have to move against the current. The university is the place you learn to swim, not so much in what you learn, but how you learn. Personal freedom, skepticism, erudition, rules of evidence, equality, secularism—you might as well be describing the very foundations of the classroom experience. It is meant to incubate doubt and mentoring and merit.
It is a radically liberal society in microcosm.
Continue reading at Haaretz: