Senior professors at Bar Ilan University attacked its president, Prof. Moshe Kaveh, for signing a letter along with the other university presidents in Israel, against giving Ariel University Center in Samaria (Shomron) full university status. The professors – all members of Bar Ilan's directorate, were interviewed by daily newspaper Maariv.
Bar Ilan University is seen as an institution that has helped Ariel U.C. along in its initial years.
"The president does not represent the faculty of Bar Ilan on this matter," said Prof. Elisha Haas, who heads the Biophysics Department. "The majority thinks differently." He said that the wording of the presidents' letter was reminiscent of the anti-Israel boycott movement. "This letter is mostly the result of political motives, and the president's signature greatly damages Ariel's effort to establish a university."
Mathematics professor Eli Mertzbach was of a similar opinion. "The subject never came up in the senate or the directorate of Bar Ilan," he said. "It is the personal opinion of the president and he has a right to think that way, but it does not represent the opinion of the institution by any means."
Prof. Yossi Katz of the Geography Department said the president's decision to sign the letter surprised him, and noted that Hebrew University had fiercely opposed the establishment of Bar Ilan University when it was founded.
Maariv said President Kaveh's refused to respond to the accusations.