Becomes a Little Like Annapolis (and West Point)
The University of Haifa has launched Israel's closest approximation
to Annapolis, the U.S. Navy Academy.
"I am happy to announce we now have a naval academy in Israel," said
Rear Admiral David Ben-Baashat, who commands the Israeli Navy. He
was speaking at a ceremony at the Haifa Navy Base inaugurating the
University's new program for Navy officers that will lead to a B.A.
degree in interdisciplinary studies. The formal announcement was one
of the events of the University's 33rd Board of Governors Meeting.
Dr. Onn Winckler, a historian who is academic adviser to the special
academic program and Chair of the Dept. of Interdisciplinary
Studies, said he hoped it would make the midshipmen not only better
officers, but also better people. The program of studies actually
began in April with its first class of aspiring officers.
Ben-Baashat noted that other universities had vied for the program,
but in the end "we preferred to do it with Haifa [University]."
University President Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev expressed the hope to
develop the first program of its kind in Israel into a regular Naval
Academy. The program includes courses in political science,
economics and administration, transportation and shipping, as well
as such courses as Terror and Counter-terrorism and an Introduction
to National Security.
The University already offers a unique Master's degree program for
Army officers. The University works closely with the Israel Defense
Forces' National Defense College, where the officers receive their
advanced military training. Ben-Ze’ev cited the long history of
cooperation with the security services on research and aspects of
the curriculum for military-academic programs.
Reinforcing the Annapolis-West Point atmosphere surrounding the
University is the fact that both the Navy's commander, Ben-Baashat,
and the past Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon have
degrees from the institution. Several days after this ceremony, Ben-Bashaat
also gained another degree from the University, this one an MBA.
Commander Chen Tal, who commands the Haifa Navy Base, welcomed the
University governors, who were given a tour of an advanced missile
boat. Under the rubric, Israel is a maritime state, the Israeli
Navy's objectives and missions were outlined by Navy Capt. Yoni Vart,
a submarine flotilla commander, who also has a B.A. from the
The University Becomes a Little Like
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