Hebrew University bars use of educational platform to encourage students to protest
“Using an educational platform for the benefit of political coercion is wrong and contrary to the Council for Higher Education’s regulations,” says Im Tirtzu CEO.
Israelis block a road and clash with police as they protest against the Israeli government’s planned judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, March 1, 2023. Photo: Erik Marmor/Flash90.
Administrators at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have barred staff from using the Moodle educational platform to encourage students to protest against the Israeli government’s judicial reform plan.
The move came in response to a campaign by the Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu, which noted that school staff were violating the Council for Higher Education’s bylaws, which explicitly state that the open-source learning management system cannot be used for political content.
“Considering the political use of university resources, many students turned to the Im Tirtzu Movement on the subject,” the organization said in a statement.
“Following this, Im Tirtzu led a campaign with the participation of thousands of students and many citizens, who sent emails to the lecturers and the university administration, demanding to stop the political coercion. The letters were sent to corporate addresses in accordance with the law,” added the group.
In response to the campaign, the university rector informed staff that Moodle can only be used for pedagogical content and not for “other purposes.”
“We thank the thousands of students and citizens who responded to our campaign,” said Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg.
“We welcome any civic activity of a lecturer in his spare time. However, using an educational platform for the benefit of political coercion is wrong and contrary to the Council for Higher Education’s regulations…. We will continue to take care of the freedom of expression of lecturers and students, within a legal framework and in accordance with the regulations,” he added.