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March 17, 2016 8:08 am

Ariel U Scientist Decries Israeli Sociologists’ Boycott Call; Says ‘Diseases Have No Borders’

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Ariel University.  Photo: Chezi Eyal/ Tazpit News Agency.

Ariel University. Photo: Chezi Eyal/ Tazpit News Agency.

An Israeli scientist took issue with this week’s call by a group of Israeli sociologists to boycott his university, due to its location in the West Bank.

“We have many hundreds of Arab students,” Moshe Rogosnitzky, director of Ariel University’s Center for Drug Repurposing, told The Algemeiner on Wednesday, in response.

Rogosnitzky recounted:

Once a UN InterPeace representative was visiting with me on campus. He was amazed to see so many Arab students. He approached one and asked him why he doesn’t see it wrong to study at an institution on “occupied” land. The student’s answer was plain and simple. “Where should I study instead? Hebrew University? Tel Aviv University? Haifa? Ben-Gurion? They are all on occupied land.”

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Rogosnitzky — whose announcement of his center’s discovery of a new method to stop uncontrolled bleeding common to stab and other deep wounds happened to coincide with the sociologists’ boycott call — also explained to The Algemeiner why he believes boycotting an institution of higher learning in Israel because it is situated in Samaria is wrong:

With the research projects we have at the Center for Drug Repurposing, we have ongoing collaborations with many Arab countries, including Libya, Turkey, Iran, United Arab Emirates and others. Diseases have no borders and mankind’s quest for health is universal. I am happy that we can contribute our share to creating a better future for mankind and I feel sorry for those who prefer to destroy hope with misguided philosophies.

I would call upon those who advocate for academic and other boycotts, to perform a controlled study to assess whether they have delivered any benefit to those audiences they profess to care for. So far many thousands of Palestinian families have lost their livelihood and future hope thanks to these boycotts.

On Monday, the newly elected president of the Israeli Sociological Society (ISS) called for the boycott.

“We will not cooperate with the institute known as Ariel University, which is not located within the bounds of the state of Israel,” Prof. Uri Ram of Ben-Gurion University told Israel’s Army Radio, as the Jerusalem Post reported.

According to the Post, before such a boycott can be enacted, it must first be approved by a vote of the entire Society, scheduled to take place next month.

If it should pass, it would be the first time that an Israeli academic society has boycotted an Israeli university. The ISS would then join a number of non-Israeli academic societies that have endorsed boycotts of Israeli universities, including the American Studies Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and the National Women’s Studies Association.

The Algemeiner reached out to Ram, but no response was received by press time.

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