UPDATE 9 am Israel time Thursday:
No major terrorist events in Israel thus far today.
Internationally, Hamas is blaming Mossad for the assassination of the terrorist Kamal Ranaja in Damascus yesterday. Ranaja was was the right hand man of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh who was assassinated in Dubai in 2010.
In a few weeks, despite the sordid efforts of those in Israeli academia on the extreme “left”, the Ariel University Center of Samaria (AUC) is expected to be granted “full university status” and as such will begin to receive government funding for its research.
Back in late 2010, Nir Gov, of the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Chemical Physics, initiated and organized a petition against recognition of AUC, a petition that reads like it was written using a Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) template:
We, academics from a variety of disciplines and from all the institutions of higher learning in Israel, hereby publicly express our opposition to the continuation of the occupation and the establishment of settlements in the occupied territories.
Therefore, we declare our refusal to participate in any academic activity, of any sort, that takes place in the college operating in the settlement Ariel.
Ariel was established on occupied land. A few kilometers from flourishing Ariel, Palestinians live in hardship in villages and refugee camps, deprived of basic human rights and a life of dignity.
Not only are they denied access to higher education, some of them do not have access to their own lands and means of livelihood, denied of access even to electricity and running water. Two different realities exist in the occupied territories side by side, resulting from a policy that is leading to Apartheid. Ariel is an illegal settlement, in breach of the international law and the Geneva convention, which Israel has signed.
The establishment of Ariel was aimed at one and only purpose: to prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, thereby denying us, citizens of Israel, the chance of ever achieving a peaceful existence in this region . . .
Your humble servant is not going to address the absurdities of this petition “occupied land”. . . “live in hardship” . . . “deprived of basic human rights” . . . “denied access to education” . . . “denied of access even to electricity and running water”. . . “a policy leading to apartheid” . . . “in breach of the international law and the Geneva Convention” . . .–simply because I have addressed all of these points in previous blogs.
Suffice it to say that following this petition, which was signed by some 150 Israeli leftist academics and went nowhere, Gov came up with another petition this year that has now been signed by just over 600 of his colleagues (out of a total of 7500 Israeli academics). The new petition deletes the fraudulent “apartheid vocabulary” of the original petition but essentially takes up where the old one left off:
Section one claims that the establishment of Ariel University is “academia in the service of a political ideology.”
Section 2 claims that the establishment of Ariel University will taint “the entire Israeli academic establishment as supportive of settlements and occupation policies” and thereby jeopardize existing contacts between Israeli and international universities. The petition approvingly notes that an Israeli boycott of Ariel is justified because “a selective academic boycott already exists today; researchers in Ariel are barred from applying to research grants in many international granting agencies.”
Section 3 claims that the University in Ariel would inevitably be “non-democratic” because “the continuing occupation and settlements policies destroy the democratic foundation of the state of Israel.”
All of which brings us to yesterday when the 7 Presidents of existing Israeli universities sent a letter to PM Netanyahu, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz calling on them to stop the confirmation of Ariel University because such confirmation would “deal a mortal blow to the higher education system in Israel” by sending needed funding to an unneeded 8th university which would, in turn, exacerbate an already existing brain drain of Israeli researchers to other locations outside the country.
The letter came on the heels of a declaration made by Daniel Zeifman two days ago. Zeifman, the head of Weizmann Institute where Niv Gov teaches and does research told his six colleagues flatly that he would do everything within his power to have the Weizmann boycott Ariel University no matter what decision was made regarding Ariel.
In conclusion, your humble servant finds its simply nauseating how facilely those on the extreme Israeli academic “left” so facilely repeat the BDS and Palestinian mantra and encourage the boycott of Ariel University–a boycott that BDS, so-called ‘human rights’ NGOs, and the Palestinians have already sought to have enacted against the other 7 Israeli universities–including the Weizmann Institute of Daniel Zeifman and Nir Gov.
As of June 1, 2012, your humble servant begun to recognize those of you who support Israel by donating to this website. Today, we highlight Annika–from Lund, Sweden:
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