The Association for Israel Studies [AIS], the largest association in the
world focusing on Israel studies, is alarmed and seriously concerned about
the sanctions recently imposed by the MALAG [The Council for Israeli
Higher Education] on the Department of Politics and Government at Ben
Gurion University. The AIS wholeheartedly opposes any sanctions on the
Department and considers the attempts to close it as both unconstitutional
and in complete contradiction to basic principles of academic freedom.
Whatever our political opinions, whether we are 'left' or 'right', whether
our methodologies are quantitative or qualitative, we consider these
attempts to restrict or close the Department to be attacks on Israeli
democracy and its core principles of freedom of expression and academic
freedom. We call on the MALAG to reject the recommendations of its
subcommittee to halt student registration for the academic year 2013-2014,
and to allow the Department to continue to function and evolve on its own.
Professor Gad Barzilai, AIS President, and The Board of Directors, AIS