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"University of the North" Published 3-4 times a year, by the Division of External Relations and Resource Development

 

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SPRING 2005

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Presidentís Focus

Battling Unjust Resolutions

Prof. Aaron Ben-Zeíev
abenzeev@univ.haifa.ac.il

I was outraged by the utterly unjust and unjustifiable decision to boycott the University, its teachers, and researchers that was taken by the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) on the eve of this past Pesach. I was disheartened by that organizationís attempt to erect barriers and obstruct the flow of ideas within the international academic community. If there was any good that emerged from the AUTís act, so reminiscent of similar actions taken in the 1930s, it has been the encouraging responses that we have received from overseas, Britain included.

In making their accusations, the authors of this campaign of vilification have chosen to adopt a three-year-old urban legend. Worse, the AUT never requested our response prior to adopting the resolution, nor did it allow our position to be presented by members of the AUT who are familiar with the facts. The case against Israeli academia, in general, and the University of Haifa, in particular, was devoid of empirical evidence and in violation of due process. Driven by a prior and prejudicial assumption of guilt, the AUT has refused to confuse itself with facts.

In actual fact, the University has demonstrated extraordinary tolerance during the past few years, when certain of its own staff transgressed common ethical standards of academic life, including efforts to disbar other faculty members from international forums. Let it be clear: the University made no attempt to expel anyone for expressing radical views.
Although there is always more work to do, the University of Haifa is proud of its record of Arab-Jewish cooperation and reconciliation, both on campus and in the community. We will continue our efforts to further Jewish-Arab relations, despite politically motivated initiatives to muzzle free speech and academic discourse.

It is indeed puzzling that despite the deluge of abuses of academic freedom throughout the world, the AUT chose to focus upon a politically spurious charge and, on the basis of false allegations, to single out the University of Haifa for condemnation. We call upon the AUT to rescind its resolution, whose complete distortion of facts is in the end far more embarrassing to that body than to the University.

The academic community throughout the free world is once again put to the test. It cannot sit aside in silence, but must expressly and unequivocally reject the AUTís politically motivated abuse of academic discourse. As I mentioned, certain prominent individuals have issued encouraging responses, for which we and, I am sure, our sister university, Bar-Ilan, similarly singled out for undeserved condemnation, are grateful. But entire organizations and even governments must roundly denounce the AUTís unconscionable decision to give it its due burial.

The University of Haifa is determined not to remain passive.
 

Aaron

 

In This Issue:

Presidentís Focus - Battling Unjust Resolutions

Prof. Azy Barakís SAHAR Offers a Vital Virtual Shoulder to Those with Nowhere Else to Turn

University Joins War on Drugs,
Campaign Is Integral to Interdisciplinary Clinical Centerís Service

Kidma Project Helps Students Face Their Identities

University Will Not Be Silent in Face of UK Boycott

Anat Liberman Is New External Relations Head

Prof. Majid Al-Haj to Be New Dean of Research

Prof. Sophia Menache Ė New Dean of Graduate Studies

Prof. Menachem MoróDean of Humanities

Virtual Open House Proves a Big Hit

Students Have an Address for Complaints: Professor Schatzker, Their Ombudsman

Computer Science and Occupational Therapy Team Up for Virtual Reality Conference
Student Develops Innovative Technology to Deal with Post-Traumatic Stress

Giora Lehavi: His Job Is to Check on Quality Management, and Other Standards

Universityís Sports Teams Prove a Winner in More Ways than One

Student Publishes His Road to Wisdom

Honors and Awards

Mother and Sonóin uteroóStudied Hebrew at Universityís Summer Ulpan

Universityís China Connection Continues

Unique Algorithm Enables Better Mobile Wireless Communication
 

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