Students in support of Dr. Anat Matar | #StopAD #PalHunger

Monday, 30 April 2012 11:03| AIC NEWS

Unofficial blog of Tel Aviv Univ. Dept. of Philosophy

Dr. Anat Matar, lecturer in the Department of Philosophy of Tel Aviv University, is under attack by the right-wing Im Tirzu organization for her struggle against Israel’s administrative detention of Palestinian political prisoners. Below is a public letter of support signed and circulated by students of Dr. Matar. Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC).


Dr. Anat Matar in a 21 March demonstration at Tel Aviv University in support of then hunger-striking administrative detainee Hanaa Shalabi (Photo: Im Tirzu Facebook)

As past and present students of Dr. Anat Matar, we wish to express our full support for the right of Dr. Matar to express her opinions, and to denounce the unrestrained and baseless accusations recently directed against her.

In her many years as a lecturer of philosophy, Dr. Matar taught generations of students how to combine responsible, meticulous and in-depth research with independent, free and critical thinking, and how to develop abstract and complex ideas without losing connection with the reasons and justifications which comprise our lives’ reality.

The integrity, courage and honesty of Dr. Matar do not permit her to ignore the connections between her philosophical work and morality and politics, and for a long time she has represented one of the clearest and loudest voices calling on Israeli academia to recognize the political implications and connections of research and to examine them with a critical eye. Accordingly, Dr. Matar does not fear expressing her opinions and acting for goals she finds worthy and important, and against acts which she cannot accept. Thus it has happened in numerous instances in the past and so it occurs in her current struggle to free administrative detainees. This is a characteristic that should be appreciated and praised in every person, even more so in a lecturer of philosophy, and her insistence on breaking the wall separating academia and the political reality proves that Dr. Matar is not simply a lecturer, but also a teacher in the fullest sense of the word.

The false and slanderous campaign of the Im Tirzu organization cannot change the harsh reality against which Dr. Matar protests, and the violent means used against her over a long period of time serve solely prove how tangible are the dangers to which she points. To our happiness, these attacks are unsuccessful in harming the optimism and good nature of Dr. Matar or her belief in the ability to change reality for the better, but this is not to detract from the need to come out against the attempts of delegitimisation and the recent acts of thuggery and to stand alongside Dr. Matar in this principled matter.

We thank Dr. Matar for her numerous years of brave, honest and challenging teaching and research and express our full support in her.


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