Government Approves Ariel University
“You win some and you lose some” is the tally for nationalists in the Cabinet, which approved on Sunday Ariel University as well as a leftist deputy Attorney General.
After a long struggle against leftist and Israeli universities vying for a larger slice of the economic pie, the Cabinet put the stamp of approval on recognizing the institution in Ariel as Judea and Samaria’s first full-fledged university.
“It is important that there be an additional university in Israel; it is important that there be a university in Ariel,” said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the meeting.
“I love to break monopolies and cartels in every field, and this is one of them,” he continued. "I do not think that it is sufficient that the State of Israel has seven universities; another university has not been added in 40 years. Ariel is an inseparable part of the State of Israel, and it will remain an inseparable part of the State of Israel in any future agreement just like the other settlement blocs.
“Approving the university in Ariel is one of a series of actions that we are taking in order to strengthen higher education in the State of Israel and this decision expresses our confidence in the academic level in Ariel."
The government also approved the appointment of Shai Nitzan as Deputy Attorney-General for special projects, but only after Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman promised Likud Cabinet ministers that he would not deal with issues pertaining to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.
Nitzan has been a constant thorn in the side of the National Religious community, particularly for his having approved arrests for youth from Judea and Samaria without pressing charges. He also pushed for investigating leading National Religious rabbis for publishing religious books that he considered as incitement. The cases were closed without any charges in both cases, involving Kiryat Arab-Hevron Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef.
Instead of Nitzan, Dina Silber, whose appointment as another Deputy Attorney-General also was approved by the Cabinet Sunday, will deal with issues in Judea and Samaria. He replaces Michael Blass, who recently refused to back a government policy in favor of residents in the Jewish community of Migron, in Samaria, who were expelled even though their land was legally bought from alleged Palestinian Authority owners.