Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
12:40 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
18 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Israeli cabinet backs first West Bank university
Agence France Presse
A+ A-

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel's government on Sunday approved plans to upgrade a West Bank college to a full-fledged university, in a symbolic move which still requires a ruling by the High Court and the attorney general.

In July, the "Council for Higher Education in Judaea and Samaria," a group close to Jewish settlers, recommended that the Ariel University Centre receive the upgraded status, which would make it the first university in the West Bank.

But Israel's Council for Higher Education, which regulates the seven universities in the Jewish state, opposed the move, branding it political and filed a petition against it to the High Court of Justice.

On Sunday, the cabinet voted on a resolution declaring the move to be of "national importance," while ordering that all measures be taken "to approve the decision of the Council for Higher Education in Judaea and Samaria, subject to the attorney general's stance."

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has yet to present his opinion to the move.

"It is important to have another university in Israel, it is important to have a university in Ariel," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the vote.

"I like breaking monopolies and cartels in every field," he said, noting that there has not been a new university in Israel in 40 years, while the population has nearly tripled.

"Ariel is an inseparable part of Israel, and will stay an inseparable part of it in any future arrangement, like the other settlement blocs," he said of the settlement which lies deep in the northern West Bank.

Education Minister Gideon Saar addressed the objection from academia to upgrading Ariel to a university, noting that "universities objected new universities in the past as well, such as Tel Aviv and Bar Ilan."

"They were wrong then and are wrong today," he said in a statement.

Set up in 1982 as an annex to Bar Ilan University, Ariel has 12,000 students in four faculties -- medicine, engineering, natural sciences and social sciences -- and also has architecture and telecommunications facilities.

Full recognition as a university entitles the Ariel facility to significant additional funding and the ability to grant advanced degrees.

Leftists, Arab Israelis and several universities firmly oppose the move, citing the risk of an international boycott targeting other Israeli universities. Israel has faced several academic boycotts over its occupation of the West Bank.

Head of the opposition Meretz party Zehava Galon slammed the move, which she said would cause Israel further international isolation.

"Providing a university in Ariel, on occupied grounds, with millions of shekels instead of strengthening the universities in Israel exemplifies the extreme-right government's distorted priorities," she wrote in a statement.

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Israel / Palestine
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS