'Not in Israel.' University in Ariel
Photo: Meir Fartush
Some 150 university lecturers from across the country have called to boycott the Ariel University Center of Samaria.
In their petition, the lecturers said they are not willing to take part "in any academic activity in the college in the settlement of Ariel.
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"Ariel is not under Israeli sovereignty, and therefore we cannot be forced to appear there," the petition read. "Our conscience and public responsibility obligate us to take a stand, particularly now, when there is an opportunity for peace and it is clearer than ever before that the settlements are meant to hinder it.
Professor Rivka Carmi, chairperson of the Heads of University Committee said boycotting any academic institution would have "severe repercussions" on academic freedom.
"Academic activity is supposed to be detached from ideological or political appeals," she said.
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar called the boycott "a provocation without practical significance, because the signatories do not take part in academic activity at the university in Ariel anyway, and it is doubtful they will be asked to do so."
Dr. Nir Gov of the Weizmann Institute, who initiated the boycott, said it is aimed at "expediting the end of the occupation and reaching a solution of dividing up the land to achieve peace between us and the Palestinians."
He added that the academic boycott hopes to take advantage of the "certain momentum created by the artists' boycott of Ariel and show that the consensus surrounding Ariel is false and collapses like a house of cards when put to the test.
Professors for a Strong Israel chairman Elisha Haas said the petition "contradicts the essential foundations of the academia," adding that "every professor has the right to make his or her position known, but calling for a boycott is an entirely different story and is foreign to the academia."
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