Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life condemns the decision by the University of Johannesburg Senate to withdraw from a research project with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev as part of a global academic boycott of Israel. This retrograde act is a blow to peace in the Middle East. Peaceful coexistence can only be achieved by increased interaction among nations, not isolation.
Israeli universities are a haven for individuals of all backgrounds and faiths from within Israel and around the world who avail themselves of their openness, rigorous scholarship and cutting-edge innovation. Boycotts of these institutions only harm the individuals who might benefit from their work. By terminating this research project to combat algae in the Johannesburg reservoir, the University of Johannesburg will deprive citizens of Israeli expertise that could contribute to their health and welfare.
At a time when Ben-Gurion University and other Israeli institutions of higher education are subjected to rocket fire from Gaza, we call on individuals who support academic freedom to show their solidarity with Israeli universities by denouncing violence and increasing joint research and exchange programs.
Hillel hasÂ a center at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and ten other locations in Israel. Hillel in Israel strives to meet the specific needs of Israeli, overseas and new immigrant students. The core pillars of Hillel Israel programming include Jewish celebration, social justice and community, peoplehood and leadership initiatives.