Ariel University Center
Ariel University CenterAriel University Center

Over 200 Israeli academics have signed a petition calling on the Council for Higher Education in Israel to oppose a government plan to apply Israeli law on academic institutions of higher learning in Judea and Samaria.

Currently, academic institutions in Judea and Samaria fall under the jurisdiction of the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria, but earlier this month the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill that would apply Israeli law on Ariel University and other academic institutions of higher learning in Judea and Samaria, thus incorporating them into the Council for Higher Education in Israel (CHE).

"Ariel University is situated in an area that has a sharp separation between Palestinian residents and the settler community," read the letter addressed to the members of the CHE that was published yesterday in Haaretz newspaper.

"Annexing Ariel University to Israel turns the entire Israeli academia into an active partner in the occupation, as it is defined in Europe and in other places in the world."

The letter continued: "Therefore, we are calling on you not to be a partner in the decision of the Ministerial Committee, and to prevent this move that has grave implications to the distinguished Israeli academia and academics in universities and colleges that are within the borders of the State of Israel."

The letter was signed by academics from 15 different Israeli universities and colleges, with the majority coming from Hebrew University, Tel-Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University.

"This is BDS from within, and nothing less," Im Tirtzu Chairman Matan Peleg said. "These so-called enlightened academics have joined the ranks of the most vile anti-Israel advocates in the world who use boycotts as a means to destroy the Jewish state."

"This is further proof of the urgent need to implement the proposed academic code of ethics, which will restore sanity to Israeli academia."