Academics, activists condemn firing of Maoz

Responses are pouring in to support former Excellence Investments Ltd. chief economist Shlomo Maoz, who was fired Wednesday, following a screed against Ashkenazim in a speech at the Sapir Academic College.
In a statement today, Sapir Academic College says, "The freedom of expression is a basic value in academia and individual rights. Some of the opinions made by Mr. Maoz were unpleasant to hear, and the college does not agree with most of them, but we strongly insist on the right of every person to express his position on the academic dais without losing his livelihood as a consequence."
The college added, "The Sapir Conference on Alternative Politics is an important stage for the exchange of opinions and arguments about issues on today's agenda in Israel. It allows academics, economists, and social leaders to hold a deep and serious discussion on policy issues with the intent of providing a sharp clarity about the issues raised by the social protest. We consider the action taken against Mr. Maoz as a major blow to pluralism, which a democratic society cannot tolerate."
Excellence said in response, "We believe in the right of every employee to have any opinion or perspective of any kind, but as managers of the public's money, there is no authority to mix their personal opinions in their work. Our duty to our members is purpose, professionalism, and integrity."
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