Czech ambassador Tomas Pojar paid a visit to Ariel University on Thursday, even
though the European Union bars any EU financial cooperation with Israeli
entities beyond the Green Line.
Pojar’s visit was the first that an
ambassador from an EU country has ever paid to the school, which also cannot
participate in any of the EU’s Horizon 2020 R&D projects.
ambassador, who said his country “upholds everything agreed upon on the European
level,” told The Jerusalem Post he was visiting the campus because “Ariel is in
the news, and I wanted to see for myself what the situation is, and how the
Asked for his impressions, he said it was a
functioning university with “a lot of interesting research.” He added that he
was interested in seeing what type of student studied there, and how the
university “functions in the surrounding areas.”
Pojar said he had not
received any backlash about his visit, and that he had gone there – as he has
gone to many other universities in Israel and the PA – to get “firsthand
In meetings with the university’s officials, he said, he had
“openly discussed the European Union and the Czech Republic’s positions
regarding the settlement issue.”
He said the Czech Republic was in step
with the EU on this issue, and added that he did not know of any academic
cooperation between Ariel and universities in the Czech Republic.
ambassador met with the school’s top administration and visited its Medical
Radiation Protection and Research Center.
A communiqué from the
university said the envoy had taken a special interest in research done in
cooperation with Palestinian villages in the area, as well as in the “hundreds
of Arab students studying on the campus.”