עוד על שביתת הסטודנטים ושתיקת המרצים
I am happy to see that after almost a month of strike there is finally some debate in Segel+ on the issues at stake.
I think that we should support the students. Actually, I believe that not only the segel and vaad hasegel should support the students but first and foremost VERA. A major issue the students are struggling for is to increase the budget of higher education. What is the Otzar doing seems to me to be blackmail - help us break the students and you will get the much needed budget for the universities. (Actually - I believe that it will be only for a short time, as the agenda is to gradually decrease state allocation to the universities). But i refer you to the research directed by Ilan Gur Zeev - the heart of the budgetary crisis in the university is not because of the decrease of tuition, but because of the cuts made by the Otzar to the universities budgets.
Now, i think that there is a clear political (in the larger sense ) struggle going on under the guise of "efficiency" etc.
I do not intend to open the full fledged debate about the tuition, but I would like to point that it is not a question of scarce resources but a question of how to allocate them.
There are large amounts of "odafey Takziv" this and last year and i think that even without getting into questions of distributive justice, it is just an important and good investment to invest much more money in the universities.
Let me just remind you that Israeli invested, if i remember correctly, something like 2 billion $ in Intel because it believes that it will provide work and be a catalyst for economic growth. I think that investing in education (from kindergartens to universities) is an excellent investment economically and not less importantly socially.
Also, it is amazing to see how the Otzar is succeeding in dominating the discourse. Let me remind us of some recent expenditure that the Otzar did not oppose - at least not so violently and vocally:
Israel has invested in the hitnankut (and in the settlers from Gaza) several billions of shekels without any serious debate about the price and whether it could have been done more "efficiently"; Israeli is investing huge amounts of money in the illegal outposts (see Doch Talia Sason); Israel is privatizing some resources for a fraction of their real worth (such as Zim for example), Israel is giving land rights to connected sectors while it could have used these resources for other aims.
But not less relevant - at least to some of us, is that if and when the Otzar will succeed in breaking the students - we (the segel) will be the next. I would not count on any agreements reached with them - we have seen what they do with the agreement reached after the previous student strike. They do it all the time with Hok Hahesderim - they even circumvent legislation - by using Hok Hahesderim. So when they will finish with the students - they will turn to us - the plan is written in the draft of Hok HaHesderim, and it was only taken out in the last minute. The Shochat Committee was established to legitimize this plan.
So there is a clear agenda. And in order to pursue this agenda they will do everything possible to break us and divide us just as they are now dividing the University Community into factions, this will continue. Then - if we do not support the students - we will not be able to count of them. So not only because of moral and social grounds, but also for pragmatic and self interest ones, i think that we should strongly support the students.
I think that after almost a month - it is about time to get off the fence and join the debate - and hopefully the struggle.
At any event, it is about time to have an emergency meeting of the segel Academy.
I have looked for the money invested in Intel. I was wrong about the numbers - apparently it was a bit more than 2 billion Shekels - not dollars.
At any event, the person who initiated the investment was our good friend Bayga Shochat.
there are also doubts about the decision process to allocate the money:
See the position of Haaguda Le Eichut Hashilton: