TEL AVIV - A British academic boycott on Bar-Ilan University is justified because one of the colleges affiliated with the institution is located in the West Bank, far left activist Uri Avnery says.
In a harsh letter to Bar Ilan's Rector Moshe Kaveh, Avnery slammed the university's conduct and accused the institution of mixing politics with academic activity.
Referring to the College of Judea and Samaria located in the West Bank town of Ariel and affiliated with Bar Ilan, Avnery notes Ariel is located in territory under occupation that was never a part of the State of Israel.
"Ariel is a settlement established through the power of arms by the occupation regime," Avnery writes. "Ariel's establishment was a severe violation of international law."
'Party to the crime'
Later in his letter, Avnery refers to Bar Ilan university as a "party to the crime," noting that the College in Ariel plays a central role in boosting the settlement's population and economic prowess.
"If you and your friends are proud of establishing the College of Judea and Samaria…you should have the courage to face the tough consequences stemming from your actions," the letter reads.
Avnery goes on to say that the university would be fully justified to demand the British boycott be removed, once Bar Ilan cuts it ties with the settlement enterprise.
Avnery's letter reflects the type of person he is, Bar Ilan University said in response to the letter.
"We are not surprised, but disappointed," the university said. "We are very proud of the five colleges under our sponsorship. We do not support any college financially, only academically."
Bar Ilan also referred to the British decision as "academic terror," and said it is regrettable a handful of Israelis joined forces with the British academicians.
"Just like in many universities in Israel, Jews and Arabs study together at Bar Ilan University, and there's room for tolerance and dialogue, not doctrines," the university says. "We view the episode with severity and concern."