CAMPUS was the leading left force on the Israeli university scene for the years 1974-1984. It represented an extraordinary and authentic expression of unity on the left. This is the way the group presented itself to the local and international public:
C.A.M.P.U.S (Kvutzoth La'meuravoth Politit Va'khevratit Studentialit) -Groups for Social and Political Student Involvement - are student groups active in most of the main universities in Israel. C.A.M.P.U.S’ activists are Jewish and Arab students, Zionists,non-Zionists and anti-Zionists, members and supporters of the Israeli Communist Party, of Sheli, of Shasi - Israeli Socialist Left and students not affiliated with any political party, united in their fight for peace, democracy and social progress.
The basic political elements in the C.A.M.P.U.S. program are:
- The struggle for an overall Israeli-Arab peace, and particularly - for Israeli-Palestinian peace, based on Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, the right of self-determination of the Palestinian Arab people, including the right to an independent state, and negotiations between Israel and representatives of the Palestinian Arab people, including the PLO.
- Struggle for the defense of the students' standard-of-living, as part of the defense of the living conditions of the working classes, for fair student wages and for a reduction of tuition.
- Struggle for the defense of democratic rights in the universities, and in particular the rights of the Arab students.
- Struggle for the democratization of the academic system and for the strengthening of its social involvement.
C.A.M.P.U.S. was founded in 1974 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and since then C.A.M.P.U.S. groups have been started up in Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Beer-Sheva universities. The Jerusalem group has participated since 1975 in the Student Union elections, has received steady support of over 1,000 voters, and has succeeded in recent years in creating a united front of the opposition groups (including Mapam-United Workers Party-students, democratic non-political groups and at times also Labor students) in which C.A.M.P.U.S. is the largest and most active group. This front has often received over 50% of the votes (but due to the anti-democratic indirect elections system, was unable to win office).
C.A.M.P.U.S. groups in each university have weekly forum-meetings open to every student who wishes to join C.A.M.P.U.S. and accepts its basic positions. Each group has a local secretariat, elected by the forum in direct personal elections. C.A.M.P.U.S. has been in sharp conflict with the right-wing groups in the universities and with the Student Unions led by them. In Jerusalem, C.A.M.P.U.S. has struggled since 1975, together with the Arab students for their right to their own independent organization, for recognition of the local Arab Students’ Committee and the National Union of Arab Students in Israel as bodies dealing with Arab students' particular problems.
C.A.M.P.U.S. has been faced with increasing violent attacks by the right-wing groups on democratic rights in the universities, especially against the rights of Arab students; these include physical violence and attempts of intimidation. These attacks are supported by the political establishment, both openly and behind the scenes, while university authorities tend to turn a blind eye on them.
On the other hand, C.A.M.P.U.S. and Arab C.A.M.P.U.S. activists carry on a deep political-ideological controversy with groups like the Progressive National Movement, Abnaa-al-Balad (Sons of the Village) Movement and MATZPEN groups, all of which do not recognize the right of the Jews in Israel to national self-determination and the right of the State of Israel to exist within the pre-1967 lines.
This collection includes, in addition to CAMPUS, material reflecting the activity of the Arab Students Committee, especially that at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Of course, many Arab students were active in CAMPUS, and other groups. However, the Arab Students Committee served as an appropriate instrument to express and represent the many complex problems of the Arab student, away from home, and as part of a distinct minority, often the object of various forms of discrimination.
In addition, there is a file of documents relating to the YESH group, a left wing formation created in Haifa University, which was based on a wide coalition of the left, as well as some material on left organization on the youth and high school levels.
This collection contains about 150 items. The material includes press clippings, photographs and material authored not only by CAMPUS but also by radical student and youth groups - including leaflets, organizational lists and documents.
The archive language is English, while the items may be in Hebrew, English or Arabic.
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