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Jews are Excluded from European Universities. Does it Ring a Bell?

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Insidious, but more and more pervasive and lethal, is the academic boycott.

The case of Orange, the French mobile phone company that is considering abandoning the Israeli market, was on the front pages of all major newspapers. But there is a silent boycott of the Jewish State which is more insidious, latent and even more dangerous because it undermines Israel’s cultural superiority and cuts Israel’s link with the rest of the world.

In 2002, the year of the beginning of the academic campaign against Israel, Paul Zinger, the head of the Scientific Association of Israel, revealed that more than seven thousand scientific research projects are sent from Israel abroad every year. Dozens of scientific papers were returned that year, with the terse explanation: “We refuse to examine any document from Israel”. That phenomenon now seems out of control.

“The academic boycott is illegal according to all academic organizations in the world,” says Professor Zvi Ziegler, a mathematician at the Technion (Institute of Technology in Haifa) and head of the main scientific forum fighting the boycott. “It is against progress, so you will not find universities or European academics who officially boycott Israel. But many do silently, behind the scenes”.

Among the silent measures taken by the boycotters is refusing to participate in conferences held in Israel, ignoring requests to write letters of recommendation for Israeli scholars looking for promotions, and refusing contributions from Israeli scholars.

This happened to Oren Yiftachel, a leftist Ben Gurion University scholar, whose publication, sent to the magazine Political Geography, was refused by their saying that they did not accept anything that came from the state of the Jews.

The publishing house of St. Jerome in Manchester, specializing in translation and linguistic research, has refused to send academic volumes to Bar Ilan University in Israel. The English magazine, Dance Europe, refused to publish an article about Israeli choreographer Sally-Anne Friedland, Richard Seaford of the University of Exeter refused to review a book for the Israeli magazine Scripta Classica Israelica.

Seaford did it by sending the following motivation: “Alas, I am unable to accept your kind invitation, for reasons that you may not like. I have, along with many other British academics, signed the academic boycott of Israel, in the face of the brutal and illegal expansionism and the ethnic cleansing being practiced by your government”.

Chilling is the case of Ingrid Harbitz, researcher of the School of Veterinary Medicine, Oslo, who refused to send blood samples to the Goldyne Savad Institute of Jerusalem. “Due to the present situation in the Middle East, I will not deliver any material to an Israelitic university”, was the response of the Norwegian scientist.






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