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Beit Berl College Photo: Amit Sha'al
Beit Berl College Photo: Amit Sha'al

Students join Ariel boycott

Education students refuse to participate in teaching project beyond Green Line; College administration rejects request to change location, says will give students alternate option

Tomer Velmer
Published: 11.17.10, 23:04 / Israel News

Ariel boycott – first artists, now students. A group of education students from Beit Berl College on Wednesday informed the college's administration that they refuse to hold their final project at an educational facility in the city of Ariel.


"We will not teach beyond the Green Line," the students said.


The students, who are completing their studies in the Informal Education track, were scheduled to hold their final project at an educational institution in Ariel considered one of the leading facilities for informal education in Israel.


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Ten of the 30 students attending the course told their professor that they refused to participate in the project for political reasons.


The professor handed over handling of the matter to the administration, which announced it would hold the project in Ariel as planned.


In a conversation with the students, a college representative explained that the institution refrains from making political considerations, and stressed that the decision to hold the project in Ariel stems entirely from the suitability of the educational facility in the city.


The administration's response stirred further controversy, leading other students to voice their objection to the project's location. While the protest was gaining stean, a group of students who disagreed with their classmates' refusal to teach in Ariel formed their own group, insisting to hold the final project in its planned location.


"Precisely during this time, when artists are boycotting Ariel, we must display unity and hold our project – because all Israelis are a family," one student said.


Beit Berl College Student Union Chairman Shahar Abud noted that "we decided that if some of us refuse to conduct the project based on political views – then the others won't do it either."


"We do not want to jeopardize the social and educational experience of the group. Therefore, we decided to return the ball to the administration's court, and we are now waiting for their answer," he said.


"Personally, I oppose boycotts and believe that everything can be resolved through dialogue," Abud said. "At the same time, I understand that some of the students have ideological principles, and therefore their objection is legitimate. In this case, the college should find a solution for those particular students, and not force them to go through with the project."


Beit Berl College said that "the project will be held as planned, and students who refuse to participate in the activity in Ariel will be allowed to take part in an alternate project."



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