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From: Dov Smith, Foreign Press Liaison, Hebrew University To: Richard Behar, Forbes January 9, 2014

ALLEGATION: The land on which some of its Mount Scopus campus buildings and facilities were expanded was acquired as a result of Israels 1968 illegal confiscation of 3345 dunams of Palestinian land. FACT: All of the Mount Scopus properties owned by the university are located on land that belonged historically to the university before 1948. More generally, the campuses of the Hebrew University, including the Mount Scopus campus, are inside the Green Line; and similarly, the academic and research activities of the Hebrew University are within the Green Line (except obviously for activities carried out in cooperation with Palestinian entities). ALLEGATIONS: Hebrew University does not provide teaching services to the residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas in contrast to those provided to Jewish groups; no courses are offered in Arabic. FACTS: This is totally untrue. First of all, I verified this morning the makeup of our student population: fully 8% of our 23,000 students are Arabs. Among other things they are served by a mosque on our Mount Scopus campus that I have personally visited and seen in use. Secondly, the university is deeply engaged in providing education and services throughout the city of Jerusalem, without regard for race or nationality. As just one example, about six weeks ago I was present during a visit by Israel's Minister of Education to the Hebrew University's Learning Center for the Blind, where he met with several visually impaired Arab students who benefit from the center's services.

To give you a specific example of how the university is trying to further reach out to the Arab population, see a press release from exactly one year ago ( about the appointment of an Advisor for Minority Affairs to the Hebrew University's President. This adviser, a lecturer and researcher in the Hebrew Universitys Faculty of Medicine, is developing programs to increase support for students from minority (i.e. Arab) backgrounds and encourage their access to higher education. The program includes plans for university representatives to conduct visits to minority schools in the Galilee and Jerusalem, as well as enhanced academic and social counseling programs for first-year students from minority backgrounds, and assistance in finding employment in technology and hightech. (This Hebrew University initiative is consistent with a national initiative of the Israeli government's Council for Higher Education to promote minority students access to academic institutions.) As another example, last month (see the university announced the appointment of the former president of the Sharia (Islamic) Court of Appeals in Israel, as a lecturer and researcher in our Faculty of Law. Qadi (Judge) Ahmad Natour, who served for two decades on Israel's Sharia Court of Appeals, has thus become the first Muslim law professor in Israel. He will teach courses on Muslim law and explore issues such as the status of women in Israel and the Arab world, the status of the Arab minority in Israel, laws of war and peace from a religious perspective, and the position and status of the Sharia judicial system in Israel. Let me share with you an example of how Palestinian students are studying at the university. The Hebrew University's dental school maintains a close and active collaboration with the dental school at Al-Quds University (a leading Palestinian university), and together they are making efforts to use the oral health profession as a vehicle for building relationships and understanding throughout the region (see for example Our dental faculty has collaborative training programs for dentists from the

Palestinian Authority, Cyprus, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco; and through a pioneering partnership between Hebrew University and Al-Quds University, graduate students from Al-Quds receive advanced specialty training at Hebrew Universitys School of Dental Medicine. As part of these programs, last year three Palestinian dentists successfully completed an intense specialization program of 3-4 years at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine in the departments of Endodontics, Oral Medicine and Periodontics. These dentists came from Ramallah, Hebron and Jerusalem and are now teaching their field of expertise at the Al Quds University Dental Faculty. In addition a Palestinian dentist from Jerusalem will be completing this program at the Maxillofacial Surgery department. This program was given free of charge by the best teachers of the Hebrew University dental faculty from the different departments. This program is continuing and four additional dentists (from Ramallah and Jerusalem) will begin training in various dental departments after they too complete a 100-hour course in Hebrew, given to them free of charge, at the dental school 3 times weekly. The purpose of this collaboration is to develop a new generation of teachers for Al Quds University. These teachers will be the leaders in their science and academic activities as well as ambassadors for peace between the two people. ALLEGATIONS: The Hebrew University administration restricts the freedom of speech and protest of its few Palestinian students. For example, it had forbidden a commemoration event for the invasion of the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009 in which about 1,400 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli forces. On the other hand, the Hebrew University offered special considerations and benefits to students who participated in that invasion as soldiers. FACTS: This is absolutely false. There are at least 5 active Palestinian student organizations on campus, and some of them regularly engage in political activities,

including handing our materials, holding protests etc. (Their right to protest was not curtailed even after the deadly Palestinian terror attack at the main Mount Scopus student cafeteria 11 years ago!) As to special considerations and benefits for soldiers: Israel has a citizen army, and as such makes basic accommodations for those who miss classes due to their service. Here is the university's policy: A student who is absent due to reserve duty is entitled to assistance in completing the studies they missed. Options available to the student to complete the course material (subject to its availability in each course) are as follows: training, mentoring, tutoring, reference materials, and watching or listening to lessons that were filmed or recorded. Speaking of Al Quds University, here's something you might find interesting: the signing in 2005 of a joint Hebrew University Al-Quds University statement in opposition to a foreign boycott initiative (see Signed by the presidents of both universities, it reads in part: Cognizant of the moral leadership universities should provide, especially in already turbulent political contexts, we, the President of Al-Quds University and the President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have agreed to insist on continuing to work together in the pursuit of knowledge, for the benefit of our peoples and the promotion of peace and justice in the Middle East. Our position is based upon the belief that it is through cooperation based on mutual respect, rather than through boycotts or discrimination, that our common goals can be achieved. Bridging political gulfs rather than widening them further apart between nations and individuals thus becomes an educational duty as well as a functional necessity, requiring exchange and dialogue rather than confrontation and antagonism. Our disaffection with, and condemnation of acts of academic boycotts and discrimination against scholars and institutions, is predicated on the principles of academic freedom, human rights, and equality between

nations and among individuals. We therefore call upon academics here and worldwide to act in support of our mission, as one which might allow for ending our shared tragedy rather than prolonging it. ALLEGATION: Hebrew University is "closely associated" with the separation wall. FACT: I dont even know what this means. It looks like a really terrible attempt at guilt-by-association. Anyway -- you should definitely stop by when in Israel. Among the various things you could do on campus: meet with the outstanding Arab students who for two years in a row were recognized by the university for scoring higher than anyone else on the psychometric exams< pdf>; attend a Muslim prayer service in our mosque; meet people from our medical and dental faculties who daily provide services to Arab and Muslim patients; meet our Master's in Public Health students from countries in South America, Asia and Africa who are training here to initiate life-saving public health programs in their home countries; talk to our Minority Affairs Advisor who is leading the university's efforts to encourage greater access for Arab students to higher education; etc., etc. ###!