James Madison Program Lecturer Draws Protests

July 01, 2023 1 min read

1 Comment

Julie Bonette
Princeton Alumni Weekly

Excerpt: Ronen Shoval, a 2022-23 associate research scholar with the James Madison Program and lecturer in politics at Princeton, faced opposition from students, faculty, and locals while on campus due to his affiliations with a right-wing Israeli movement some have said has similarities with fascism.

Shoval founded Zionist nongovernmental organization Im Tirtzu in 2006, though he told PAW via email that he severed ties with the group more than a decade ago. In 2013, a Jerusalem district court ruled the group had characteristics similar to fascist organizations, though in 2015, the nation’s Supreme Court dismissed that ruling.

1 Response

Seth Akabas '78
Seth Akabas '78

August 04, 2023

I can accept that the right to speech is broader than is the right to teach, but even the circumscription of the right to teach should be limited to egregious cases. For example, if Mr. Shoval had uttered such hateful lies as Arab people “harvest organs of” Israelis, have an “unquenchable thirst" for Israeli "blood,” and are “genocidal,” or if Mr. Shoval had denied the facts of the connection of Arab people to lands where they live as “fictional indigenity [sic]”, and justified that denial in overtly racist terms, such as how easily or not people are susceptible to sunburn – as an honoree of the Princeton University English Department in fact said about Jewish Israelis, and had never severed himself from or disavowed those statements, then a circumscription of his right to teach might be appropriate (even while defending his right to speak utter lies and hate). A more than decade old affiliation with an organization, which affiliation has been long severed, however, should not be a grounds for denying the ability to teach.

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