Farther Distances

I was sarcastically delighted when I received the current issue of Tel Aviv University’s Friends Globally 2014 newsletter, bearing the cover-story headline: “TAU President Klafter Reelected”:

With a bountiful show of hands, Tel Aviv University’s Board of Governors ratified the election of Prof. Joseph Klafter, TAU President, for an additional five-year term. The Chairman of the TAU Executive Council, Dr. Giora Yaron, said before the vote: “The Search Committee unanimously voted to recommend Prof. Klafter for a second term; the TAU Senate overwhelmingly supported the resolution; and the Executive Council unanimously approved the Senate’s recommendation.” Prof. Klafter said that he would “work hard to take the University to greater heights and farther distances” and he thanked the University governors, supporters, leaders and managers for their commitment and caring in helping him succeed in his job.

Greater heights? I’m a nationally top-ranked skyscraper-staircase racer, who’s climbed half the height of Mt. Everest in 8 hours, 15 minutes. I know a thing or two about heights. What’s applicable here for TAU’s president is the old joke about someone who is so low that he has to look up to see down.

Farther from what? TAU’s Code of Honor? For those who are not aware of the Lipschits/Finkelstein Scandal, President Klafter did not even show the courtesy of responding to a TAU Professor Emeritus, who expressed a concern about a blatant violation of TAU’s Code of Honor by 2 of its (aforementioned) staff members.

That there was “a bountiful show of hands” to reelect him, indicates that TAU has either a blissfully ignorant or despicably corrupt Board of Governors, Executive Council, & Search Committee.

Friends indeed, not in deed.

G.M. Grena

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