The secular finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, sounded somewhat religious Sunday when he spoke at Ariel University Center in Samaria, and declared that he and Education Minister Gideon Saar were a match "made in Heaven" in order to help the institution achieve full university status.
"At the end of this year, you will be leaving on your summer break from Ariel University," he told his applauding audience, "because in the course of this year, the Ariel University Center in Samaria will formally turn into Ariel University."
This was the point at which he invoked the Almighty: "I think the following can be said about the cooperation between me and the Minister of Education regarding the university at Ariel: It seems that our match as education Minister and Finance Minister was somehow intended from Heaven in order to turn the University Center into a fully fledged university.
"Against the combined force and determination of an Education Minister and Finance Minister, even the Defense Minister will not prevent [the formation of] a university here."
Minister Saar also told the audience at Ariel – which was composed largely of faculty and students – that the process of achieving university status was nearing fruition.
"We need a little more patience," he said. "I repeat what I have said in the past: there will be a university in Ariel!"
The opposition to the creation of a university at Ariel stems mostly from other universities' will to maintain their existing exclusive "club", and from political considerations, he charged. None of the arguments against the university are justified, he said.