Israeli Plan For West Bank University Fuels Boycott Debate In British Academia [View all]
Relations between Israel and one of its closest European allies dipped this week when Britain joined Washington and the European Union in trying to stave off a unilateral strike by Israel against Iran's nuclear program. But it isn't just Iran that is straining Israeli-British ties.
In less-noticed comments, Britain’s foreign secretary spoke out in unusually strong terms against the Israeli cabinet’s decision to approve the upgrade of Ariel University Center – officially a college, at present – to full-fledged university, the first in a settlement in the West Bank.
William Hague said that the decision “would lead to the creation of Israel’s first university beyond the Green Line, in a settlement illegal under international law. It would further entrench the presence of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and create an additional barrier to peace with the Palestinians.”
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In Britain, home to some of the Palestinians’ most active international support groups, campaigners have been ramping up pressure each year for a boycott of Israeli universities. Now, they believe the current focus on Ariel University Center could boost their effort