Education students boycott Ariel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Education students at a college in central Israel have refused to participate in their final project at a facility in Ariel.

In refusing to join in the teaching project in the Jewish West Bank city, the students from Beit Berl College have joined theater professionals, authors and academics in boycotting institutions in Ariel.

The college rejected the students’ request to change the location of their final project, currently scheduled at an educational institution in Ariel that is considered to be one of the leading facilities for informal education in Israel. However, the college said it will give students who refuse to cross into the West Bank an alternate project in a different location.

Ten of 30 students have refused to go to Ariel, Ynet reported.

Meanwhile, Ynet also reported that the construction of a $2.7 million cultural center in Kiryat Arba, a Jewish settlement of about 7,200 near Hebron that is known as a hotbed of nationalist ferment, will be completed in time for a grand opening in June 2011.

Several major Israeli theater companies are being tapped for the 2011-2012 season, Ynet reported.

Dozens of Israeli theater professionals signed a petition in late August saying that they would not perform in the new Ariel cultural center when it opened this month. The center, which cost more than $10 million, was built with public funds. Several major Israeli theaters are scheduled to stage productions there this year. At least 150 Israeli academics and authors also threw their support behind the boycott.

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