Leading scientist: Science Minister Akunis is damaging Israeli-German ties

Professor Yael Amitai slammed Science Minister Ofir Akunis for " a corrupt political spin meant at self-promotion."

Professor Yael Amitai speaking in Beersheba September 1 2018  (photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
Professor Yael Amitai speaking in Beersheba September 1 2018
(photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
Leading brain scientist Professor Yael Amitai blamed Minister of Science Ofir Akunis for causing "incredible damage" to Israeli-German relations and Israeli science when he decided not to confirm her appointment.
"What is happening here", she said, "is the destruction of a scientific fund for personal publicity."
Speaking in a cultural event in Beersheba on Saturday, Amitai pointed to the resignation of two German scientists who served in the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development. The two, Professor Brigitte Roder from Hamburg University and Professor Ute Frevert from the Max Planck Institute for Human Devlopment, quit on August 25'th after 450 Israeli scientists announced they will not work with the foundation until Akunis appoints Amitai.
Roder and Frevert warned that the foundation is doing work which is too important to be corrupted by political struggles.
"I have no idea how the foundation keeps on working", Amitai said, "[if] Akunis didn't want me he should have appointed someone else."
While the foundation is meant to have three Israelis and three Germans in it, right now there are only two Germans and one Israeli serving in it. 
Akunis refused to confirm Amitai because, in 2002, she signed a petition calling to support Israeli IDF soldiers who refuse to serve in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. His decision came after his Ministry reached out to Amitai and asked her to assume the role.
"The damage [Akunis caused] is worse than what I caused in the 2002 petition", Amitai said. "What he did to me is an act of villainy", she added, "I was quite happy as an unknown grandmother."
Amitai stated that she believes that Akunis targeted her because she's near retirement whereas he wouldn't have gone after a younger scientist with a career ahead of her.
According to Amitai, the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development isn't the largest fund in her field but "it's important because of the German cooperation", she said, "[Germany] is a scientific superpower in Europe and we [Israelis] are in a very good and comfortable [position] to be learning from them."