Press Release

IDI Statement on Naftali Bennett's New Ethics Code

In response to the ethical code for higher education proposed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) stated today that this step is a “negative example” of how to write an ethical code. According to IDI, the code was written by an individual rather than through discourse with professors at Israel’s various institutions of higher learning. It also undermines the autonomy of these institutions in violation of the Law of the Council for Higher Education.

“The ethical code that is being proposed unreasonably expands the definition of what is political. The definition does not differentiate between political and the public, between political and ethical, and between systematic preaching and free discourse. Political activity, according to the proposed ethical code, includes all direct support or opposition to ‘a particular point of view in a recognized public dispute'. Thus, the proposed code refers to many questions of economics, ethics, law, and political morality as political and calls for their removal from academic discourse.

Finally, IDI's statement adds that the code undermines the gist of the academic mission and spirit, which lies in the academic drive to raise innovative ideas and challenge conventional wisdom.

“Such an ethical code tramples freedom of expression with a heavy foot. It would cause professors to self-censor and create an opening for pursuing and harassing professors,” IDI's leaders say.

 For more: Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman - 050-718-9742