I've been following the reactions to the recognition of Ariel College and hesitating to join, but couldn't stay quiet any longer. First, I agree with ________ and _________ that the issue of the future of the occupied Palestinian territories, the number of states there should be ideally or practically, should not split those who understand the need to respond to yet another step toward annexation, yet another reinforcement of occupation. Both for those who (like ________) prefer to continue the Zionist project by separating into two states, and those (like _____ and ________ and _______ and ______) who look forward to equality of rights under one polity, the "university" of Ariel is the institutionalization of discrimination, inequality, and rule by military force. (As ___________ said, the number of states matters less in this case than the quality of the regime and society). Whatever the future may be, this is an act in the present that must be condemned, opposed, resisted.
Second, I also agree with all those (___, ______, ____, and others) who point out that this is a done deal - Ariel College has existed in any case, and now by the Israeli rules that govern the occupied territories (as ________ explained), is recognized as a university. But I also agree with _________ that it can't be allowed to pass in silence, and with _________ that this is an opportunity for Israeli academics to be motivated in opposition to the occupation, even if this is by no means the worst abuse or atrocity of the occupation (as several others have said).
Third, I agree with ___________ that a committee or action group needs to be set up to put into action the various suggestions that have been floated to protest the recognition. I would also suggest that we don't need to decide on the "one right thing" to do, and instead there should be many measures taken - legal challenges to the decision, perhaps the protest strike, demands for the admission of Palestinians from the occupied territories as students and faculty. While the goals of the protest, or resistance, should be in mind (whether reversing the recognition, or as I'd think is more important, furthering the goals of equal rights and democracy in higher education as part of a broader movement), there can also be some different goals pursued by some different means. It's also more important to get people involved in some way - even if it's only signing an on-line petition - even if that act in itself changes nothing or little (not least because the signatories who at one point don't want to be very involved are potential participants in more active struggles, or donors). Social media are very good for generating such low-level but wider support. I'd be happy to take on a role in that committee, building international support.
Fourth, on the boycott issue - there's no doubt that the Israeli government recognition of Ariel will, as _______ writes, strengthen the cause of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), especially in Europe, and which applies to all Israeli academic institutions too. __________ asked if any serious journal would refuse a paper written by someone from Ariel College, and the answer is yes, because journals have already refused articles written by Israeli academics. The boycott isn't on the grounds of purely "academic" standards, but there of course ethical standards for academic research and journals can refuse to publish research that doesn't meet those standards. The conditions under which academic research is conducted are part of that ethical evaluation. In my view, the conditions at Ariel render all its research unethical, but those at Israeli institutions within the green line are not much worse than in other unequal and racist societies that set the ethical standards. Anyway, the discussion seems to be dampening down a little, which I hope is a sign that people who care are ready for action. How about this for a name of the group - The Israeli Council for Ethical Higher Education,
One reason for this discussion list is the college in Ariel is in occupied territory and does not provide access to the Palestinians - professors or students - to teach or study there. A second reason the discussions here is a military body, not an academic body has decided to establish a college there. Because of these reasons, it is impossible to talk about academic freedom that you belong to a process in which there is no freedom, period.
Ariel College was established in its place against international law, and its establishment is another step in making the occupation an occupation forever. That's what we are protesting against this and will continue to operate.
It is no coincidence that you, the lecturers, arrived there. You chose to apply to an illegitimate college, and when been accepted, you decided to teach at the college located in occupied territory.
Certainly you are free to choose where to teach, as we - who do not agree with the existence of the college in general - may decide not to cooperate with the professors who chose to teach there.
I have no doubt that if you, lecturers, academic institutions decide to go back inside the Green Line, would be very pleased to collaborate with you - in terms of academic fields. You can keep your political views (each with his political views - right to left). There is a no demand that you change your political views, but don't continue to choose to teach in an institution located in occupied territory, in violating human rights every day, every hour.
As long as you continue to choose to teach at the college in occupied territory, taking the most basic rights of the local population, we will not cooperate with you, academically.
You took a decision and each decision has its price. That's the story.