Albert Pinhasov

Israeli Academia Confronts Unsettling Realities

The ongoing war will irrevocably transform the identity of Israeli academia. The academic sphere can no longer sustain adherence to the modern academic mainstream, which has experienced dramatic and intimidating changes over the past decades.

We must refrain from passiveness in light of the escalating manifestations of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on the world’s leading academic campuses. These institutions serve as pivotal architects and catalysts for the progressive principles shaping the perspectives of younger generations globally.

While valuing the experiences and advice of others, we chart our own course. As Israeli universities, we stand united in our common vision for the advancement of science and technology. Progressing collectively, we affirm our solidarity and shared purpose. This trajectory signifies the optimal route for the immediate future.

Through engagement in diverse academic forums, it is evident that our unity is stronger now than ever before. While it is regrettable that the ongoing war has prompted this solidarity, I am confident that we will glean valuable lessons from this experience.

For decades, the Israeli academic community has willingly adopted principles that have proven successful in other countries. Our leading scientists regularly participate in international gatherings, often adjusting their thoughts to align with the expectations of colleagues from renowned international universities. However, the quest for recognition on the global stage has, at times, incurred a substantial cost for the Israeli academic sphere.

We have refrained from engaging in a comprehensive discourse regarding the boycott of Israeli scientists and their publications by international peers, and the growing incidence of anti-Semitism within academic institutions across diverse nations. Regrettably, we have not sufficiently addressed these concerns, even within our own discussions here in Israel. We comprise 10 Israeli universities and 53 colleges, educating yearly more than 300,000 students and contributing to hundreds of thousands of scientific discoveries, including Nobel laureates. As one of the youngest countries, our academy is among the most recent on the global stage.

Whether we accept it or not, the international academic community currently directs its attention towards us. Our identity is distinct, and we should take pride in it, fostering its growth and fortitude. Ultimately, who else but us?

About the Author
Prof. Albert Pinhasov is the Rector of Ariel University and a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and the Adelson School of Medicine. He specializes in Molecular and Behavioral Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology. Prior to his election as Rector, Prof. Pinhasov served as Vice President and Dean for Research & Development, as well as the Head of the Department of Molecular Biology at Ariel University.
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