Academic Boycott? Ariel U Holds Int'l Conference

Amid claims that there is a boycott of Israel, Ariel University held a conference which was attended by researchers from around the world.

Elad Benari,

Ariel University
Ariel University
Ariel University

The Ariel University in the Shomron (Samaria) proved this week that there is no boycott of Israel.

The Department of Criminology at the university held an international conference on the subject of Victimology and which was attended by the finest researchers from colleges and universities from Britain, the United States, Nigeria, Japan, and South Korea.

The conference was headed by Professor Mally Shechory- Bitton, deputy rector of the Ariel University. While Shechory- Bitton strongly identifies with the left, she emphasizes that she separates her personal opinions from her research work at the university.

The organizers of the conference told Arutz Sheva on Thursday that they were very much satisfied with its success, given the attempts to boycott Israel in general and the university in particular.

"The media claims that there are calls for an academic boycott of Israel and Ariel University. This conference is proof that there is no boycott of the Ariel University and that, in fact, it is cooperating extensively with international institutions," said one of the organizers.

Several months ago, the European Union (EU) published new guidelines which boycott Israeli entities operating beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines, including the Ariel University.

Israel and the EU subsequently reached a compromise on wording for Israel's participation in the "Horizon 2020" European scientific collaboration project.

Despite the EU boycott, Czech Ambassador to Israel Tomas Pojar visited the Ariel University in January, becoming the first European ambassador to visit the university.

During his visit, Pojar met with Ariel University President Prof. Yehuda Danon, rector Prof. Michael Zinigrad, and dean Yigal Cohen-Orgad.

Pojar expressed particular interest in the joint research conducted with and for the benefit of Arab residents of Samaria, and was interested to learn that hundreds of Arab students attend the institution.

He concluded his visit by saying he had come "to see what's really happening," and noted he was happy to see academic research can overcome political complexities.