(JNS.org) More than 100 faculty members at the University of Haifa issued a formal protest against the school’s decision not to grant an honorary doctorate to Professor Robert Aumann, winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics in 2005, because his political beliefs do not align with the university’s values.
Aumann has previously remarked that “the most sensible solution” to the Israeli-Arab conflict is “a Jewish state and an Arab state, where the Jewish state is settled by Jews and the Arab state is settled by Arabs.” He also said that Jerusalem “needs to remain Jewish,” Israel National News reported.
A source involved in the school’s decision said that awarding Aumann an honorary doctorate “involves addressing the world he represents, and this does not express the value system of the University of Haifa,” Haaretz reported.
A statement by the university's faculty members protesting the decision said that “we the undersigned, members of the academic faculty of the University of Haifa representing all positions on the political spectrum, agree that the disqualification of Prof. Yisrael Aumann as a candidate for receiving an honorary doctorate from the University is embarrassing and has done enormous damage to the university’s image and public standing."
Steven Plaut, an economics professor at the University of Haifa, recently told JNS.org that the school has a “long series” of politicized decisions.
“The [University of Haifa] law school had earlier prohibited the singing of the national anthem Hatikvah at its graduation ceremonies… The university also continues to allow the anti-Semitic ‘Alef List’ chat list to operate under university auspices and through the university computer… In the past the University of Haifa employed [anti-Zionist historian] Ilan Pappe and granted him tenure,” Plaut said.