U of Haifa Minerva Center’s Political Activism Disguised as Academics

Editorial Note
The forty-three Minerva Centers located in Israeli institutions of higher learning are said to help strengthen scientific cooperation between German and Israeli scientists. This idea is dated back to the early 1970s, envisioning the establishment of “noteworthy scientific research being carried out at centers of highest scientific standards.”  An advisory council of Israeli and German members advises the center on its research program, approves the budget, and evaluates scientific performance.  Minerva is supported by the Minerva Center Committee. Its members are internationally renowned scientists from different fields of research, responsible for the review and selection of applications, aiming to maintain a high level of scientific performance. Independent review committees evaluate the Minerva Centers at intervals of seven years. Minerva Stiftung supports the host institution with a capital endowment provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 
However, two of their Centers promote political activism and do not focus on high scientific standards. One is the Minerva Center for Humanities at Tel Aviv University, which has been the center of numerous IAM posts before. Little known is the University of Haifa’s Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions (Minerva RLEC).
Two recent events by Minerva RLEC deserve attention.  The first is an “International Webinar: Twenty Five Years since Oslo,” which took place in July, was a highly one-sided event with most participants having similar political views, such as Dr. Rami Nasrallah, Dr. Oren Shlomo, Prof. Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar, Dr. Yael Berda,  Amal Zuabi, Adv. Sari Bashi, Samer Abdelrazzak Sinijlawi, Prof. As’ad Ghanem, Prof. Gad Barzilai, Prof. Rassem Khamaisi, Dr. Itamar Mann.
Another political event held by Minerva RLEC, hosted the journalist Peter Beinart in August. To recall, in July, Beinart has published in the New York Times, a controversial article titled “I No Longer Believe in a Jewish State.” He explained that for decades he argued for separation between Israelis and Palestinians, but now calls for a Jewish home in an equal state of Palestinians and Israelis. Underlying Beinart proposition is the assumption that the Israelis and Palestinians can live in harmony, a notion that is Pollyannaish in the extreme.  For starters, the Palestinians have never shown any indications that they live in a democratic state. The Palestinian Authority after the Oslo Agreement is a case in point.  It was a corrupt and violent entity presided by Arafat and his cronies.  Things are even worse today. After Hamas forcibly ejected the PLO from Gaza in 2007, the Strip has been controlled by the iron-fisted Islamists.  The West Bank under Mahmoud Abbas devolved into a slightly less brutal dictatorship where journalists and dissidents are routinely jailed.  Of course, Beinart did not dwell on the apparent Palestinian lack of democratic qualifications when he gave his talk.  As for the Minerva RLEC, it should have scheduled a talk about how the Palestinians fare in the lawlessness and the extreme conditions in their territory.   
It is not surprising that Minerva RLEC recruits radical political activists. IAM reported in June 2019 that Dr. Ronnen Ben-Arie, a postdoctoral fellow at the Minerva RLEC, is a staunch supporter of BDS. Ben-Arie was among the signatories in a 2010 letter to the rock band Pixies urging them to “postpone your performance in Israel.”  In January 2011, he was among the signatories of a letter “BDS is Working: A Letter from Israel” by Boycott from Within!, a group of Israeli citizens who support the BDS call. In another petition, Ben-Arie was a signatory to “Dissident Israelis support Marrickville BDS plan” that was published in April 2011. Ben-Arie also promoted divestment from Israel in a co-authored book, From Shared Life to Co-resistance in Historic Palestine, published in 2017. The book asks “In what ways can we divest from settler arrangements in the present-day?” The book charges Israel with an “attempt to eliminate native life involved the destruction of Arab society” and a “settlerist process of dispossession of the Arabs.” The book offers an “Arab-Jewish co-resistance as a way of defying Israel’s Zionist regime.”  

Another political activist disguised as an academic is Dr. Itamar Mann, the principal investigator at the Minerva RLEC. Mann has published the article “Zionism and Human Rights,” where he discusses the “Jewish and democratic” nature of Israel. Mann argues that “Zionism is morally questionable,” and that “The most persistent critique of Zionism is not that it failed to protect the rights of Jews, individual or collective. It is rather, that Zionism has systematically prevented the collective self-determination of another group.”  Mann ignores repeated Israeli offers to the Palestinians which they rejected, including the so-called Clinton Parameters which underlaid Ehud Barak’s plan to settle the conflict during the Camp David Summit in 2000.  As well known, Barak offered to create a Palestinian state within the Green Line borders, a Palestinian capital in a neighborhood of Jerusalem and a condominium in the Holy Basin. 

On second thought, no one should expect academic objectivity from Mann, a crafty political activist.  His view on Zionism is telling: “Zionism is no longer a relevant political category. Insisting on reviving it now is like boarding a train that has already run over a great number of victims and continues to rush full speed in precisely the wrong direction. A more promising course would seek to bring together the particularity of the real-life experiences of the political community — those living in this area — with a certain universalism. In the 1990s, this position used to be called “post-Zionism,” a label that has by and large been discarded and that I dislike like because it suggests a merely negative agenda.”   This convenient post-modern linguistics provides a negation of Zionism.

Arguably most intriguing is Mann discussing the bond between “Zionism and American global power” in Trump’s era.  Having determined that the Israeli right-wingers forged relations with America, he notes that “a left-liberal, non-Zionist political camp” should also “try to forge relationships with global power.” Mann goes on to state that the “contemporary generation” of “lawyers, based in human rights organizations, has arguably done so, at least partially. The transnational coalition they have established takes the form of successful applications for public funding from European liberal democracies.” Mann’s words possibly mean that the funding from Germany for Minerva RLEC could be viewed as part of the “European coalition” efforts to undermine Israel’s ties with the United States and stir Israel into Beinart’s utopian land where the Jews and the Palestinians would coexist peacefully.

The Minerva RLEC academics should consider themselves lucky that they operate in Israel, which tolerates freedom of speech.  The political activists masquerading as academics should view themselves even more blessed because Israel is the only Western country where public universities allow activist-scholars to receive a government salary for pushing their political agenda.  The German donations are the icing on the cake of their charmed existence.   


Webinar with Peter Beinart

Futures for Israel / Palestine

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 16:00-18:00 (Israel time-GMT+3)

Recording is available on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/qsAZhlzE0v4

Event was live and available on Facebook as well

Online discussion with

Peter Beinart
Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY and editor at large of Jewish Currents

Moderated by

Dr. Itamar Mann
PI at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa.


Prof. Fania Oz-Salzberger
Faculty of Law, University of Haifa

Samer Abdelrazzak Sinijlawi
Chairman, Jerusalem Development Fund

Adv. Gilead Sher
Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)

Dr. Assaf Malach
Shalem College, Jerusalem

Background material:
Opinion by Peter Beinart published in the New York Times, July 8, 2020: I No Longer Believe in a Jewish State



International Webinar: Twenty Five Years since Oslo

Haifa Logo trans

Minerva logo transp

Twenty Five Years since Oslo: Contemporary Forms of Governance, Control and Resistance 
in Israel and Palestine

Twenty-five years after the collapse of the Oslo process, it seems that the trajectories of conflict and peace between Israel and Palestinians are entering a new phase. The Trump “Peace to Prosperity” plan and Israel’s intention to go forward with the annexation of parts of the occupied territories cast serious doubt on the possibility of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the bases of mutual agreement. However, the working hypothesis of this workshop is that the reality on the ground in the last two decades suggests that on the micro-level, state apparatuses, organizations and individuals have been adopting novel forms of governance, control and resistance in the occupied territories long before these current events. In this reality, the occupation is developing towards not only the stabilization and entrenchment of Israel’s forced control over the Palestinians, but also towards the normalization of such control as an acceptable reality that “works” on the ground. In this developing reality, novel practices, arrangements and forms of governance and control constantly emerge on different social and spatial scales, all of which merit attention as an actual and developing base-constellation for any future political prospects..


Wednesday, July 22, 16:00 – 17:30: Recording is available here
Realities on the ground: governance, control and resistance

Chair: Prof. Eli Salzberger, Head of the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa.

Dr. Rottem Rosenberg Rubins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions.
From a state of exception to hyper-legality: Israeli counterterrorism law in the post-two-state era.

Dr. Rami Nasrallah, IPCC – International Peace and Cooperation Center, Jerusalem.
East Jerusalem: Occupation, urban resilience and the illusion of sovereignty.

Dr. Oren Shlomo, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions; The Open University of Israel.
From Contested Sovereignty to urban politics? Palestinian protest and urban right claiming in post-Oslo East Jerusalem.

Monday, July 27, 16:00 – 17:30: Recording is available here
Emerging forms of governance, control and resistance

Chair: Prof. Nurit Kliot, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa.

Prof. Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa. Non-Presenting Co-Author Quamar Mishirqi-Assad 
Rule and Resistance in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: A Legal Geographical Analysis of the Transformation of the Shafa-Yatta شفا يطّا Region Between 1967 and 2000 as a Test Case

Dr. Yael Berda, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Hebrew University.
Citizenship as a mobility regime: a new paradigm for security – equal rights and freedom of movement

Amal Zuabi, coordinator, area C., Bimkom – planners for planning rights
Techniques of preventing development: Eliminating the law and creating novel situations that aim at displacement

Wednesday, July 29, 16:00 – 17:30: Recording is availabale here
Resistance and future paths to political change

Chair: Dr. Itamar Mann, PI at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa.

Adv. Sari Bashi, Human rights lawyer, writer, analyst at independent consultant.
Demanding accountability from the regime you wish to topple?

Samer Abdelrazzak Sinijlawi, Chairman, Jerusalem Development Fund.
Is the one state solution emerging among Palestinians? Why, when and how will it be the dominant and majority choice?

Dr. Shaul Arieli, Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center and the Hebrew University
Annexation and its impact on Israel

Prof. As’ad Ghanem, School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa.
The Israeli third republic: The consolidation of the Israeli right dominant bloc system and the prospects for the future of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Wednesday, July 29, 17:30-19:00:
Future prospects and political horizons for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Chair: Prof. Deborah Shmueli, PI at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions,Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa.

Prof. Gad Barzilai, PI at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions,Faculty of Law, University of Haifa.
The feasibility and construction of confederate and federal solutions.

Prof. Efraim Inbar, President, Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security.
Conflict management in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Prof. Rassem Khamaisi, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa.
From back-to-back to face-to-face: Spatial development of Israel/Palestine.

Dr. Itamar Mann, PI at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa.
Concluding remarks.

See here for short biographies of participants

Dr. Rottem Rosenberg Rubins (rottemro@tauex.tau.ac.il), and Dr. Oren Shlomo (orenshl@gmail.com)

Twenty Five Years since Oslo – participants biographies

Twenty Five Years since Oslo: Contemporary Forms of Governance, Control and Resistance
in Israel and Palestine

International Webinar

July, 2020

University of Haifa

List of Participants (alphabetical order) Samer Abdelrazzak is the Chairman of the Jerusalem Development Fund. Head of the Diplomatic and International relations for the Fateh Shadow Leadership and Reform Stream. He was the President of the Palestinian Council of Young Political Leaders 2000-2006,and Head of Israeli and International File for Fateh Supreme committee 1994-2000. He was detained by the Israeli authorities at the age of 15 for 4 years Durring the first Intifada 1988-1992.

Colonel Res., Dr. Sharul Arieli is an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Previously, he served as a brigade commander in Gaza Strip and as the director of peace negotiations in the Prime Minister’s Office. Today, he is an outside lecturer at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center and the Hebrew University. Has published numerous articles, various studies and 6 books on the conflict, and this year two new books are about to be published.

Prof. Gad Barzilai is a Full Professor of law, political science and international studies, Professor Emeritus at University of Washington, Dean Emeritus of University of Haifa Law Faculty and Vice Provost and Head of the International School, University of Haifa. His academic degrees and training are from Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University Jerusalem, Yale, and University of Michigan Ann Harbor. He has published extensively 17 books and about 165 articles and essays in academic top journals and publishing houses on issues of law, society and politics. Several of his books are award winning books. Thus, for example, in his Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities [University of Michigan Press, 2003, 2005] he paved the way for a new understating of the role of communities in shaping practices in law and towards it. This book was awarded the Best Book Prize by the AIS and was selected to a special conference panel in the Law and Society conference in Chicago (2004). In his Law and Religion [Ashgate, International Series on Law and Society, 2007] he has edited some of the classics on law and religion and made a meaningful contribution to our understanding of this topic. In his Wars, Internal Conflicts and Political Order [SUNY 1996], he has suggested a new way for understanding the construction of political-legal order and disorder in times of national security emergencies. The Hebrew manuscript of this book was awarded the Best Book Award in National Security by the Ben Gurion Foundation. Among others he has published on politics of rights, comparative law, law and political power, law and violence, communities and law, group rights, liberal jurisprudence, national security, democracies and law, and issues concerning Middle East and Israeli politics and law. In his research he is often combining knowledge in law, the social sciences, mainly political science and political sociology, with political theory, theories of jurisprudence, comparative politics and comparative law. He has been trained to use both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Barzilai was the President of the Association for Israel Studies (2011-2013) and the Founding First Director of the Dan David Prize (1999-2002). He is a Board member of editorial boards in several world leading professional journals. 
Adv. Sari Bashi is a human rights lawyer and expert in international humanitarian law. She writes and lectures on Israeli policy toward the occupied Palestinian territory and is currently working on a book about the occupation of Palestine. Sari co-founded Gisha, the leading Israeli human rights group promoting the right to freedom of movement for Palestinians in Gaza, and served as Gisha’s executive director for nine years. She also served as Israel/Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch. Sari has taught international humanitarian law at Tel Aviv University and at Yale Law School, where she also served as the Robina Foundation Visiting Human Rights Fellow.

Dr. Yael Berda is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology & Anthropology, Hebrew University. She was an Academy Scholar, the Harvard Academy for International & Regional Studies, WCFIA from 2014-2017. Berda received her PhD from Princeton University; MA from Tel Aviv University and LLB from Hebrew University faculty of Law. Berda was a practicing Human Rights lawyer, representing in military, district and Supreme courts in Israel. Her most recent book is Living Emergency: Israel’s Permit Regime in the West Bank (Stanford University Press, 2017 ). Berda’s is currently working on a book manuscript entitled: “The File and the Checkpoint: the Administrative Memory of the British Empire”. Her other research projects are about the construction of loyalty of civil servants in Israel and India, the use of emergency laws to shape political economy of colonial states, and colonial legacies of law and administration that shape contemporary homeland security practices in postcolonial states. Berda publishes, teaches and speaks on the intersections of sociology of law, bureaucracy and the state, race and racism and sociology of empires.
During the 2019-20 academic year Dr. Berda will teach an undergraduate lecture course on Law and Society; an undergraduate junior tutorial on Race and Bureaucracy; and a graduate seminar on Transnational Historical Sociology.
 Prof. As’ad Ghanem is a senior lecturer at the School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa. Ghanem’s theoretical work has explored the legal, institutional and political conditions in ethnic states. He has covered issues such as Palestinian political orientations, the establishment and political structure of the Palestinian Authority, and majority-minority politics in a comparative perspective. His books include Palestinian Politics after Arafat: A Failed National Movement (Indiana Series in Middle East Studies). Ghanem has initiated several empowerment programs for Palestinians in Israel.

Prof. Efraim Inbar is the President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security. Educated at the Hebrew University (B.A. in Political Science and English Literature) and at the University of Chicago (M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science), he served as the founding director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies. He was visiting professor at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Boston universities, and visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Boston University (2015). Prof. Inbar was a visiting Fellow at the (London) International Institute for Strategic Studies (2000). His area of specialization is Middle Eastern strategic issues. He has written over 80 articles in professional journals. He has authored five books and has edited twelve collections of articles. Prof. Inbar also served the President of the Israel Association for International Studies.
 Professor Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar teaches at the Law School at the University of Haifa. He holds a Doctorate in Law (S.J.D) from Harvard Law School. He was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School as well as a Grotius International Law Visiting Scholar there and a visiting associate professor at the Frankel Institute for Judaic studies in the University of Michigan. His research focuses on legal geography, legal history, law and society and land regimes in settler societies and in Israel. He served as the President of the Israeli Law and Society Association, is the co-coordinator of the Legal Geography CRN of the Law and Society Association and a member of its international committee. He is the co-founder (in 2003) and director of the Association for Distributive Justice, an Israeli NGO addressing these issues.
 Prof. Rassem Khamaisi is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Haifa. He was elected at 2007 as President of the Israeli Geographical Association. Dr. Khamaisi received his PhD in Geography (1993) from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, MSc (1985) from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and a BA in Geography from the Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva (1981). He is a member of various professional international and local associations and NGO’s involved in public and environmental policy issues, planning and development. He has recently managed a planning project funded by the Israeli Home Office, the Israeli Land Administration Office and the Prime-Minster Office. In addition, he is a senior researcher at Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem and at the International Peace and Cooperation Center, Jerusalem. He is the manager of a private company (Center for Planning and Studies), which engages in urban, and Strategy planning and Management. A strong focus of his efforts is aimed towards geography, urbanization and planning among the Arabs in Israel and the Palestinians in the Palestinians territory and Jerusalem, besides concentration on public administration, public participation and urban management.
 Prof. Nurit Kliot is Professor Emerita at the Dept. of Geography and Environment Studies university of Haifa. Her research areas are: Political Geography Water Resources Management Climate change  and Social Geography.
Nurit  holds BA from the Hebrew university of Jerusalem and the University Of Haifa, MA in Geography from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and PH.D in Geography from Clark University Worcester Ma USA.  So far, she authored  five books, edited seven Books, and published four monographs and 76 articles and chapters in books.

Dr. Itamar Mann is a law professor at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law. His research is in international law and political theory. He teaches  international law and a number of related courses, including an elective on law and terrorism, environmental law, and a clinical seminar on law and politics in the Mediterranean region.
Before moving to Haifa, Itamar was the national security law fellow and an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law Center, Washington DC. He holds an LLB from Tel Aviv University, and LLM and JSD degrees from Yale Law School.
Alongside teaching and research, Itamar provide pro-bono consultancy to several human rights organizations, and is a member of the legal action committee at GLAN (Global Legal Action Network). He has previously provided services to Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Justice Initiative on issues related to refugee and migration law in Europe.

 Dr. Rottem Rosenberg Rubins is a postdoctoral fellow at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions. She specializes in criminal law, particularly in crimmigration and the interrelations between criminal law and citizenship. Her research at the Minerva Center will focus on Israel’s new counterterrorism legislation and the manner in which it reflects the changing relationship between Israel and the occupied territories. The research will examine the new balance struck in the legislation between emergency powers and measures of conventional criminal law, and its effect on the civic status of the Palestinian residents of the occupied terrorists, as well as the Israeli citizenship regime in general.
Rottem holds an LLB (magna cum laude), an LLM (summa cum laude) and a PhD from the Tel Aviv University faculty of law. During the previous academic year, she was a Cheshin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Hebrew University faculty of law. She additionally serves as the coordinator of the public committee for preventing and amending wrongful conditions, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Prof. Yoram Danziger, and for the last three years has taught a course on the amendment of wrongful convictions at the Tel Aviv University faculty of law. Her articles on the subject of wrongful convictions in Israel have been quoted in verdicts of the Supreme Court, and an article based on her PhD has been recently published in the New Criminal Law Review.

Prof. Eli M. Salzberger was the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa and the President of the European Association for Law and Economics. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University Faculty of Law (1st in class). He clerked for Chief Justices Aharon Barak and Dorit Beinish. He wrote his doctorate at Oxford University on the economic analysis of the doctrine of separation of powers. His research and teaching areas are legal theory and philosophy, economic analysis of law, legal ethics, cyberspace and the Israeli Supreme Court. He has published more than 40 scientific articles. His latest book (co-authored with Niva Elkin-Koren) is The Law and Economics of Intellectual Property in the Digital Age: The Limits of Analysis (Routledge 2012), preceded by Law, Economic and Cyberspace (Edward Elgar 2004). He was a member of the board of directors of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, of the public council of the Israeli Democracy Institute and of a State commission for reform in performers’ rights in Israel. He was awarded various grants and fellowships, among them Rothschild, Minerva, GIF, ISF, Fulbright, ORS and British Council. Salzberger was a visiting professor at various universities including Princeton, University of Hamburg, Humboldt University, University of Torino, Miami Law School, University of St. Galen and UCLA. Currently he is the director of the Haifa Center for German and European Studies, the director of the Minerva Center for the Study of the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions and he is the co-director of the International Academy for Judges at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law.

 Dr. Oren Shlomo is a postdoctoral fellow at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions. His research focuses on the political geography and ecology of cities and metropolitan areas, particularly through the lens of the politics and governance of infrastructure and services and planning and development policy. His PhD research on the governmentalities of East Jerusalem’s infrastructure and services in the post-Oslo era (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 2016) was awarded Best PhD Dissertation by the Israel Political Science Association. After completing his PhD research Oren was awarded a Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship to continue his research on Jerusalem at the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University. In the last two years he served as a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Sustainability at IDC Herzliya where he worked on the environmental policy and infrastructure governance in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. He is the coeditor of Cities of Tomorrow – Planning Justice and Sustainability Today (2014, Hebrew), and his work has been published in leading academic journals.

Prof. Deborah F. Shmueli is a faculty member in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Haifa, Head of the National Knowledge and Research Center for Emergency Readiness (awarded in 2018), and a co-Principal Investigator (PI) of the Minerva Center for Law and Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa (awarded in 2013).  

 Amal Zuabi is an Architect & Urbanist. She holds B.Arch from Bezalel Academy for Art and Design, Jerusalem and Masters in Rehabilitation of Buildings with Historical Value, from Erasmus combined Spain and Italy.
Amal worked previously in private offices, and since 2003 she is working at Bimkom, as a planner, directly with communities.
Since 2 months she is the coordinator of the west bank department.
Amal is a mother of 2 children, and lives in Jerusalem.  


Minerva RLEC – Twenty Five Years since Oslo: Contemporary Forms of Governance, Control and Resistance in Israel and PalestineVideos

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFh2lYv9I5s
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSbSxvIIKeU
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4atviE5RVY
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZNAOLl58bk


Minerva Centers

The idea of establishing Minerva Centers dates back to the early 1970’s as a measure to help strengthen scientific cooperation between German and Israeli scientists in very specific fields of research which are of equal interest to both sides by way of cooperative projects, seminars, lectures, workshops and short term visits to and from the center. The criteria for establishing these centers is scientific excellence and cooperation with Germany. This concept has resulted in noteworthy scientific research being carried out at centers of highest scientific standards, and we today count 43 active centers at Israeli universities and research institutions. One chair is presently being run under the name of Minerva. In order to establish a center, Minerva supports the host institution with a capital endowment provided by the BMBF to be invested at the highest possible interest rate. The interest proceeds are matched by the host institution and both add up to the annual budget of the center. Funds are disbursed towards the center’s research activities and are not – with the exception of travel allowances – available to the German partners. An advisory council with Israeli and German members advises the center on its research programme, approves the budget and follows up on scientific performance. It also helps to promote cooperation with partners in Germany. The council convenes at least once every two years and is chaired by one of its German members. Aiming at maintaining the high level of scientific performance in this programme, Minerva is supported by the Minerva Center Committee which is chaired by Professor Herbert Walther, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching/Munich. Its members are internationally renowned scientists from different fields of research who are responsible for the review and selection of applications. The Center Committee also helps to select the members of independent review committees that are charged with the task of evaluating Minerva Centers at intervals of seven years. These reviews are crucial in measuring scientific output as well as the scope of cooperation and thus form the basis for the decision to extend (for another seven year period) or close a Center.

The total amount of funding provided by the BMBF for this programme to date amounts to approximately DM 136 mill. Applications are submitted by the partner organizations in Israel. In the future, the establishment of new Minerva Centers will – as a rule – only be possible when older centers are closed. This policy will lead to a concentration of resources and an optimization of research with regard to the scientifically most efficient centers. programme on a rotational basis. The Award amounts to DM 50.000 and may be used for all purposes in direct connection with the award winners’ research.

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