Anti-zionist Editorial in Student Paper Will Have No Effect on Haifa U and Wisconsin U. Exchange Pla
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Anti-zionist Editorial in Student Paper Will Have No Effect on Haifa U and Wisconsin U. Exchange Pla

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An editorial in the student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, assailing plans for an exchange relationship between the university and the University of Haifa and describing Israel as “a colonial-settler state,” will have no effect on those plans, the Wisconsin university chancellor has declared. Chancellor Werner Baum said the UWM would continue “to explore the proposed relationship” and that he hoped a specific plan would be ready within a few months, according to the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle. Baum said the decision would be made on educational, not political grounds.

The editorial, written by Tom Maurer, denounced the university administration’s approach to the proposed tie with the Israeli school and its “serious political implications.” The editorial asked why “members of this university community want to align themselves with an institution of a colonial-settler state, waging an expansionist campaign in the Mideast and conducting systematized violence on a mass scale against the people it displaced over 20 years ago.”

The Jewish weekly reported that neither Maurer, described as a spokesman for the New Left, nor Dan Ulrich, the student newspaper editor, returned repeated calls for comment from the weekly. Maurer has written earlier editorials supporting the Palestinian terrorists. The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle reported that most students it interviewed disagreed with the editorial and supported a possible exchange relationship with the Haifa University.


Isaac Lakritz, a member of the student board of the Jewish Student Service-Hillel on the campus, called the latest editorial a “continuation of the same New Left rhetoric we keep hearing.” He said “Maurer has been living in a New Left Dream World for the past five or six years.” Lakritz said he doubted the editorial would have any significant impact on the student body which he called “78 percent apathetic, with no opinions at all.” He said about 10 percent of the other students might agree with the pro-Arab, anti-Israel tone of the editorial.

Saul Sorrin, executive director of the local office of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, said the type of “extremist rhetoric” in the editorial was “what has been the stumbling block to peace in the Middle East.” He said he did not expect it to be a stumbling block in the way of the proposed exchange relationship.

Chancellor Baum said the proposed exchange program would be “entirely voluntary.” He described the Haifa school, which he visited recently, as “a young, dynamic institution clearly on the way up, qualitatively and quantitatively.”

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