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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nobel Prize winner laughs at University of Haifa

Nobel Prize winner Yisrael (Robert) Aumann reacted on Saturday night to reports that the University of Haifa considered granting him an honorary degree and decided not to because of his politics.
Speaking to Channel 1’s program Roim Olam, Aumann joked : “I’ve prayed and aspired to getting an honorary doctorate from Haifa University for my whole life.”
“I’m very disappointed,” he added, sarcastically.
Aumann linked the issue to academic boycotts against Israeli schools. “I have to say that we create this issue of boycotts ourselves,” he said.
There were also reactions from the political sphere.
Former Member of Knesset and professor Aryeh Eldad, head of the Professors for a Strong Israel forum, responded to Haifa University’s decision with a warning that the university is hurting itself, not Aumann.
“The ‘blow’ to Professor Aumann does not actually exist,” Eldad said. “The only party that could be hurt by this is the university. The idiots sitting there are so dumb that they forgot that universities give honorary degrees in order to honor themselves, not in order to honor the recipient.”
“When Tel Aviv University gives a degree like this to Bill Clinton, we can assume that he would have managed to get through the month without the degree. But the university is honored by his honor,” Eldad explained.
It is “excellent” that Haifa University allowed its decision to be made public, Eldad continued. “It reveals the university’s true face, which varies between five shades of anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism, between simply recognizing the Arab right to the land of Israel and establishing legal clinics for terrorists as an exercise for law students,” he said.
Minister Naftali Bennett made similar remarks Saturday night on Facebook. "Haifa University’s refusal to grant an honorary degree to Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Aumann for his right-wing views is like a minor league in Alaska choosing not to grant an honorary degree in basketball to Michael Jordan. We'll get over it,” he wrote.
The real issue here is why state-financed universities like Haifa are allowed to play politics in this manner. One would hope - but don't hold your breath - that the Knesset's Education Committee will take up the issue. 

By the way, for a taste of why the Left hates Professor Aumann, please read this post - one of the most important among the nearly 34,000 posts on this blog.

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