Defense minister pens letter to PM advising he await Supreme Court ruling on petition over Ariel University Center's status.
By JPOST.COM STAFF, LAHAV HARKOV
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday penned a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recommending he postpone a decision on the status of the Ariel University Center until the Supreme Court rules on a petition against the institution.Barak also stated that Netanyahu should bring the issue to the cabinet following the Supreme Court ruling.Barak has been delaying any progress toward realizing the decision of The Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria to grant Ariel University Center full university status.Since Ariel is in the West Bank, which is under the IDF’s authority, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon must sign the declaration, and may only do so after receiving instructions from Barak.In 2010, Barak approved upgrading Ariel’s status from college to university center.In response to Barak's letter, MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beytenu), an Ariel resident who heads the Knesset Caucus for Turning Ariel University Center into a University, said: "Barak's failure to sign on to the change of the AUC status is a flagrant violation of coalition agreements under which he and his party are bound."Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely also slammed Barak for the letter. "As long as there is no security issue, Barak's opinion should not matter," she said, adding that Barak's move was "anti-democratic" and aimed only for "political gain."