And this drove the far-left CRAZY.
Haaretz wrote an editorial attacking the decision; the Meretz Party put out a special press release condemning it; the Joint Arab List sent a letter to the president of Hebrew U trying to torpedo the decision; and the New Israel Fund-backed NGO Zazim, even started an (unsuccessful) petition.
Due to the wide media coverage, Hebrew U rector Barak Medina even took the time to pen an op-ed in Haaretz defending the university’s decision.
The fact that Hebrew U – for years – has been granting four academic credits AND scholarships for volunteering with radical anti-Israel NGOs like “B’Tselem” and the terrorist-defending NGO “HaMoked” was of no consequence to the hypocritical far-Left.
This is an incredible story for two reasons:
1. For a long time, Im Tirtzu has been working to stop the phenomenon of receiving academic credits for social activities, because until now, the vast majority of NGOs who were eligible were associated with the far-Left.
But when we were unable to get the necessary decision makers on board, we pivoted and began to push for an equal opportunity for all organizations to receive these credits. We succeeded in this effort, and as a result, we achieved two things: 1] IDF Reserve Duty now also counts as social activity for which students receive credits; and 2] Pro-Israel organizations are also now eligible to receive these credits.
And this is something that the hypocritical far-Left can’t stand.
2. With just two weeks left until the elections, not only is the media devoting a large portion of its coverage to this objectively trivial story, but Meretz and the Joint Arab List are investing valuable campaign time and resources into attacking Im Tirtzu because they believe it will score them political points.
Whether they are right or not, their thinking seems to be based on the idea that Im Tirtzu is widely known in Israel and known for being an unapologetic defender of Zionist values, and a crusader against Zionism’s de-legitmization.
This is an incredible illustration of our impact on public discourse.
Im Tirtzu is a Zionist non-governmental organization based in Israel. Its name is derived from an epigraph appended to the frontispiece of Theodor Herzl’s novel Altneuland, ‘if you wish it, it is no fairy-tale,’ rendered into modern Hebrew in Nahum Sokolow’s translation in 1903, as Im tirtzu ein zo agadah.