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Norwegian university will not boycott Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The board of trustees of a university in Norway unanimously decided not to initiate an academic boycott against Israel.

The board of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology met on the recommendation Thursday.

The boycott recommendation originated with a letter to the board from 34 university professors and assistant professors, which said Israeli universities "have played a key role in the policy of oppression" in Israel and that "Israel goes against all the ideals of open universities and academic freedom."

The letter called for a boycott of Israel’s educational, research and cultural institutions.  It dated what it said were Israel’s repressive practices to 1948, suggesting that the signatorieswould not be satisfied with anything less than the dismantling of the Jewish state.

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, a European-based pro-Israel group which includes several Nobel laureates, had circulated a petition condemning the plans for a boycott.

The American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League praised the decision.

"By categorically rejecting the proposed boycott, the University of Trondheim demonstrates that it will continue to uphold the values and ideals of academia and refuse to allow politics and discrimination to taint and question their commitment to those values," ADL said in a statement.

 
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