Ariel university upgrade doesn’t prompt int'l outcry

Decision to make college in West Bank settlement into full-fledged university passes quietly despite protest warnings.

By
July 19, 2012 05:29
1 minute read.
Aerial view of Ariel settlement in West Bank

Aerial view of Ariel settlement in West Bank 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
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Tuesday’s decision to upgrade the status of the Ariel college to that of a university did not evoke international condemnation on Wednesday, even though some warned of a wave of protests because the school is located in a settlement.

One Foreign Ministry official said that no governmental condemnation was registered in any of the major capitals around the world about the matter.

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One reason given for the silence – despite the fact that condemnations are routinely issued in various capitals where there is any announcement of building or plans to build beyond the Green Line – is that while the status of the Ariel University Center might change, nothing is changing on the ground.

According to this reasoning, were the school to announce plans to build a number of new dormitories to absorb an influx of new students, then the world reaction would be different.

Instead, this is largely seen abroad as an internal Israeli matter, though one with obvious symbolism, as it’s the first such institution over the Green Line.

One senior US official, when asked about the matter, said he did not know how to respond, because he was not sure of the decision’s real significance.

The Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria voted Tuesday to grant full university status to the school.

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