July 30, 2008

Israel's "infamous" numerus clausus

It's not infamous, is it? Infamous isn't the opposite of famous. Perhaps I should have said unfamous since Israel's racist education policies don't get any coverage as a rule in the mainstream.

Still the Independent does stick its neck out occasionally as it has here:
The heads of six of the country's most prestigious universities have written to the Defence minister Ehud Barak, taking issue with a limit on Palestinian students to 70 a year in Israel and requiring them to justify to the military the exceptional academic grounds for admission.

One prominent Hebrew University professor has warned that the regulations – which include barring Palestinian students from courses "that could be used against the State of Israel" – will help campaigners in Britain and elsewhere seeking to impose a boycott of Israeli academia. "Since its establishment, the State of Israel has carefully maintained a tradition of academic freedom... We expect the military to maintain this tradition and to limit its involvement to matters in its area of authority, meaning security evaluations only," said the letter. It was signed by the rectors and deans of Tel Aviv, Hebrew, Ben-Gurion and Haifa universities along with the Weizmann Institute and the Technion.

At the same time, five leading professors have sought to join a Supreme Court petition against the restrictions. In an affidavit denouncing the idea of a discriminatory fixed quota for Palestinian students, one, Professor Tzvi Mazeh of Tel Aviv University, declared: "The Jewish people suffered for many years from restrictions on academic freedom imposed on European Jews, known infamously as the 'numerus clausus'."

Jews have suffered many of the things that Israel inflicts on its non-Jewish population. It doesn't seem to outrage Israeli public or academic opinion.

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