The Israeli Sociological Society announced on Monday its decision to boycott Ariel University because of its location in the Shomron, a move which the university denounced as “semi-fascist.”
The organization of 1,000 sociologists declared its intention to sever all academic ties to Ariel, “since it is not located in Israeli territory,” the head of ISS, Uri Ram, told Army Radio.
The school administration responded: “Ariel University is surprised and disappointed over the fact that people who espouse pluralism as part of their profession are acting on the basis of semi-fascist behavioral models that preclude them from living in harmony with those who hold different views.
“Ariel University employs people with differing viewpoints, Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, leftists and rightists from various towns and communities in Israel,” the statement read.
“We are certain that the announcement made today represents a minority viewpoint among sociologists, and it is certainly not representative of the many hundreds of sociologists across the country who weren’t even asked their views on the issue.”
Education Minister MK Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) responded that he “sees the internal boycott as grievous,” and appealed to the chairman of the Council for Higher Education to take action to prevent the ban.
“Boycott is not education; it is the opposite of education. Boycott is not pluralism; it is the opposite of pluralism, and will be treated accordingly. It is absurd that those fighting for academic freedom, take it in own their hands to discriminate against an institution. Israeli taxpayers fund 10 billion a year for higher education and we have no intention of allowing boycotts,” said Bennett.