West Bank university’s researchers quit conference over non-recognition


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Israeli researchers from Ariel University in the West Bank withdrew from a conference in London after being told they could not mention their institution.

The researchers had been invited to deliver papers at the annual conference of the European Association of Israel Studies, which was held last month at the University of London. But they were informed that they could present their papers as individual scholars, not as representatives of the university, Clive Jones, the association’s chairman, told the London-based Times Higher Education magazine.

The association, Jones said, has taken the position that “until the status of the Occupied Territories has been decided between the two parties, we cannot recognize Ariel as a university which is part of the broader Israeli higher educational body.”

Ariel was recognized as a full university in 2012, a step that was controversial in Israel and abroad.

The researchers decided to withdraw from the conference. The issue was addressed at the conference by Israeli scholars from other universities, according to Times Higher Education.

The West Bank university announced the slight in a statement issued Thursday.

“The event described is an extreme manifestation of hypocrisy and absurdity,” the statement said. “While the conference organizers are interested in research and researchers of Ariel University, they are trying to ignore the existence of the institution where these studies have emerged.”


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