August 8, 2013
A dozen Fellows of the StandWithUs UK Summit program, designed to prepare incoming college freshman in the United Kingdom for on-campus Israel advocacy, visited Ariel on August 8, 2013 to round out their view of life beyond the Green Line. The tour aimed to provide the Fellows with an increased understanding of how commercial and academic boycotts of communities in Judea and Samaria undermine coexistence and the quality of life for all populations in the area.
They began their tour at the Barkan Industrial Park, a model of professional co-existence with Israelis and Palestinians working together in factories, followed by a trip to the seat of culture in Samaria, the Ariel Regional Center for Performing Arts. Ariel University spokesperson, Shmuel Dovrat, then greeted the students at the University with an overview of its development into Israel’s 8th University. The Fellows met with two students from Ariel University, a Jewish immigrant from the US and an Arab Israeli who is in charge of academic absorption of the Arab sector. From the faculty, Dr. Kobi Ankar discussed his joint research with Palestinian and Jordanian researchers on water resources in Judea and Samaria and the negative impacts that academic boycotts of Israeli research centers beyond the Green Line have on the advancement of environmental science in the region.
Avi Zimmerman of American Friends of Ariel was on hand throughout to address many of the challenging questions that students will most likely encounter in their college careers about the legal and moral case for Ariel and its outlying communities.