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Threatened prof wins out

    London-born academic David Newman, of Ben Gurion University, came in for some stick last autumn after appearing in a Channel 4 programme about the Israel lobby.

    One Anglo governor of the university, Michael Gross, was so apoplectic that he emailed Professor Newman to say: "I will use whatever influence I have at BGU to have you thrown out… I hope you perish."

    Lest the message was lost, he followed up with: "The sooner you are removed from BGU and the face of the earth, the better."

    How much influence does the fulminating Mr Gross wield, you may wonder.

    Well, not only does Professor Newman remain to stride the earth but he has just been elevated by his colleagues to the post of dean of Ben Gurion's faculty of humanities and social sciences, comprising 21 departments and 6,000 students.

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