MK slams Obama for excluding Ariel U. from speech

Bayit Yehudi's Chetboun says Obama's exclusion of W. Bank students is "puzzling"; Ariel student council chairman is "shocked."

Yoni Chetboun (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Yoni Chetboun
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Following an announcement that Ariel University students will not be invited to hear US President Barack Obama speak during his trip to Israel, Bayit Yehudi MK Yoni Chetboun condemned the exclusion of West Bank institution.
Obama is scheduled to make a speech in Jerusalem on March 21 as a part of his Middle East visit. The president's advisers said he will not be speaking at the Knesset because he does not intend to address politics.
Chetboun said that Obama's decision was "puzzling" and inconsistent. On the one hand the president announces his intentions are not political, he said, "but in the same breath he makes a political decision, boycotting Ariel University."
MK Chetboun added that "if the president invites students of all Israeli universities, he should also invite representatives from Ariel University, which is recognized by the Israeli government as legitimate academic institution."
Shai Gill, Chairman of Ariel University's student council said that the students were "shocked by the discrimination."
Gill added that this decision has provoked hostility among students and promised their presence in the vicinity of the event.