Bar-On to lecturers: It is wrong to hold 120,000 students hostage

Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On on Thursday slammed the striking senior lecturers for making "exorbitant" demands during negotiations to end the strike, and claimed that the professors were taking Israel's students hostage. "We bear responsibility for the state of higher education, but so do the lecturers," Bar-On said during a speech at a Tel Aviv business conference. "It is wrong to hold 120,000 students hostage." "[The lecturers] have turned down every single offer, and even when they convened with [Histadrut head Ofer] Eini they made exorbitant, wildly exaggerated demands to pay [salary] erosion percentages that share only a casual connection with reality."