Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz on Tuesday participated in a demonstration in Jerusalem against attempts to close Ben-Gurion University's political science department, saying that right-wing groups were conducting a "witch hunt" against the institution.
The future of the department could be decided on Tuesday as the Council for Higher Education (CHE) meets to reconsider last month’s decision to shut down the program.
The CHE had come to the decision after the program had been criticized by the Zionist organization Im Tirzu for being “unbalanced” and teaching only left-wing political approaches. Im Tirtzu had specifically pointed fingers at members of the department’s faculty for their political opinions and activities, which it says affects their teaching.
"This is political persecution, a witch hunt that is the result of ongoing incitement from extremist right-wing organizations," Horowitz said. "It is particularly shameful that the government is supporting the suppression of academic freedom. This is the first time since the establishment of the State that they are closing a university department - a testimony to the ill will of the current government."
He also expressed support directly for the department, calling it "exemplary," and touting its "many achievements."
Danielle Ziri contributed to this report