Forty years ago in the aftermath of the famous “Six Day War,” Israel took possession of the West Bank and the assumption of its nation’s leaders was seizing control of this area was a temporary step until a peace could be arranged with Arab nations. However, as years passed without any desire on the part of Arab nations to negotiate peace with Israel, forces of Jewish religious fundamentalism gained power and pushed the concept that the West Bank should become part of Israel. There can be no peace between Israel and Palestinians unless the West Bank is the core of a new Palestinian nation. Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered that a college in the West Bank town of Ariel should be recognized as a “university center” even though no such designation exists in higher education in Israel.
The Israel Council for Higher Education opposes this recognition, but the West Bank is basically controlled by the Defense Department. It appears this “university center” eventually will become a new Israel university and make even more difficult any effort at peace with Palestinians. The right wing government appointed a committee, but made certain only conservative professors were on it in order to gain support for this move.
The end result will, most probably, lead to boycotts by universities in other nations. But, of course, this is Israel which refuses to acknowledge that it lives in a world with other nations.