Israel says no to West Bank medical school


(JTA) — Israel’s Council for Higher Education voted not to allow a medical school at a West Bank university.

Thursday’s 3-2 decision overturns a vote held in July that approved the medical school at Ariel University. The attorney general ordered the second vote in January after it was discovered last year that one of the voting members had a conflict of interest.

The rejection means Israel will not accredit any graduates of the medical school nor will the government provide any funding.

The university said it would still open the school in October, as planned, with an inaugural class of 70 students.

American casino magnate and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson donated $20 million to the university in 2017 to expand, including building the medical school that is to be named for him and his wife, Miriam, a physician who was born in Israel. The couple attended the inauguration ceremony for the medical school in August.

Ariel had fought for many years to be considered a full-fledged university, and faced opposition from Israel’s other public universities, which feared  splitting government funds more ways and an increase in calls for academic boycotts of all Israeli professors because of its West Bank location.

There are five other medical schools in Israel, which are insufficient to train the number of doctors needed in the country.

Recommended from JTA