The president of the Israeli Sociological Society (ISS) Professor Uri Ram declared Monday that the society will not cooperate with Ariel University, located in the northern West Bank.
The ISS stated that "the institute known as Ariel University is not located in the borders of the state of Israel, and so it is not a part of the sociological society's activities, which associates only with Israeli sociologists and institutes." The ISS explained that this is merely the renewal of a similar resolution adopted in 2010.
The ISS was founded 40 years ago, and has about 1,000 members. It's goals include promoting and encouraging sociological research and discussion in Israel. According to a list that was last updated in February, it has three members from Ariel University. Professor Ram, who lectures are Ben Gurion University of the Negev, began serving as ISS president about a month ago. At the moment, it is still unclear if the boycott resolution will actually be implemented by the ISS in practice, or if it is merely a statement of principle.
Ariel University responded by saying, "Ariel University is surprised and disappointed by the fact that people whose professional emblem is the flag of pluralism are working under models of semi-fascistic behavior, which cannot dwell alongside opinions different from their own. Ariel University has people of different worldviews, Jewish and Arab, religious and secular, left and right, from all of Israel's cities and towns."
Education Minister Naftali Bennett spoke of the matter, saying he sees the boycott as a very severe step. He is reportedly seeking a means of combating the boycott. "A boycott isn't education, it's the opposite of education," he said. "A boycott is not pluralism, it's the opposite of pluralism, and will be handled accordingly. It is absurd, because the fighters for academic freedom are taking the right to discriminate between institutions into their hands. The Israeli taxpayers fund higher education and we have no intention of allowing boycotts."