The English Hebrew University: 'Totally absurd'

Zionist Organization Deputy Chairman Yaakov Haguel grapples with Hebrew U decision to examine changing instruction language to English.

Hezki Baruch ,

Yaakov Haguel
Yaakov Haguel
Hezki Baruch

Zionist Organization Deputy Chairman Yaakov Haguel opposes the Hebrew University decision to examine changing the instruction language to English for graduate and doctoral studies.

"I sent an angry letter to Hebrew University President Professor Asher Cohen, and I intend to go all out," Haguel told Arutz Sheva following the university's decision, first published in Makor Rishon.

"Already at the Zionist Congress it was decided to establish a Hebrew university as the first academic institute in Israel. We want to strengthen the Hebrew language because language is part of the nation's infrastructure," he said.

"There's no possibility of turning it into an international university instead of Hebrew," Hagual warns. "The destruction of the Temple and exile happened after we left Hebrew, and the first Zionist Congress happened after Eliezer Ben-Yehuda revived the Hebrew language, a very important principle in the foundation of a people."

In Haguel's letter last week to the Hebrew University President, he wrote: "I call on the members of the Presidency and the Executive to remove the issue from the agenda and to disavow this decision.

"The Hebrew language that has existed for thousands of years accompanies the pages of history from before our emergence as a people. Is the language on the basis of which Israel renewed its natural and historical right to return to the Land of Israel and to maintain its Jewish and cultural way of life. Israel's national anthem, Hatikvah, was also written in Hebrew, years after the establishment of an independent state.

"For the Hebrew University, the Hebrew language is a natural sign, a symbol and expression of its basic right to exist, while continuing to be established in the academic world in Israel and the Diaspora.

"In preparation for the 100th anniversary of its founding, I call upon you, the Presidency and the leadership of the first university in Israel, to retract the mistaken decision that leaves the university empty of all historical, Zionist, and Israeli content."