May 3, 2009
Dear Governors and Friends,
I am writing to you to clarify the University’s standing on the recent debate regarding Omar Barghouti, a Tel Aviv University master’s student of philosophy. Mr. Barghouti is leading an international campaign to boycott Israeli universities, despite being a student at one of those universities.
A university campus should be a place that encourages and tolerates free speech, no matter how offensive the expressed opinions may be to the majority of students and Our university has adopted a faculty at that institution, or indeed to the public at large.
similar policy also in previous occasions.
Moreover, if legal issues are involved, a university does not have the authority to prosecute individuals. Rather, such a matter should be pursued by the State through legal channels.
In response, therefore, to the petition calling for the expulsion of Mr. Barghouti that will be submitted to us in the near future, the University cannot and will not expel this student based on his political views or actions. He will be assessed only on the basis of his academic achievements and excellence.
I thank you for your time, and look forward to seeing many of you in May at the annual
Board of Governors meeting.