Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi praised the Trump administration Wednesday for its decision to end the ban on cooperating with Israeli research projects outside of the pre-1967 borders.
On Wednesday afternoon, US ambassador David Friedman and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu signed a series of amended agreements, removing clauses drawn up in the 1970s which had imposed geographic limitations on US-Israeli research and scientific cooperation.
Hitherto, the US had refused to fund Israeli projects which were conducted in part in Judea, Samaria, or the Golan Heights, or which were conducted by researchers based in those areas.
The new amendments were signed at Ariel University, located in Samaria.
Revivi, who was a guest at the signing of the amended agreements removing the geographic limitations, lauded the Trump administration, comparing it favorably to the Obama administration, which, Revivi noted, snubbed Ariel University in 2013.
"It is a joy and an honor to accept Prime Minister Netanyahu's invitation to be here in Ariel during this historic ceremony that will expand the scientific cooperation between the United States and Israel. This is a significant step in the academic world, and a huge leap forward for peace and coexistence.”
"In 2013, when Obama asked to meet with Israeli students, he did not invite students from Ariel. Members of Knesset protested this boycott, but it did not help.”
“Now, thanks to President Trump and Ambassador Friedman, the academic and scientific boycott of Ariel University is ending, and the injustice is being corrected. The United States is sending a clear message against the backdrop of corona - it is preferable to promote the world of science and research over politics.”
“I expect that other countries who have discriminated against us for years will now act in the spirit of the United States government. By erasing the scientific and academic 'green line', the Trump administration is expressing their recognition of the reality on the ground. Peace can only be made when we deal with reality and not fantasy.”
“Today's agreements are another fulfillment of the doctrine of peace for prosperity - the catalyst for peace will be when Israelis and Palestinians see each other as partners in the future. Ariel University is an economic opportunity for Israelis and Palestinians. "