“108 professors, but not a single Arab”


Israel’s highest academic society: 108 professors, but not a single Arab

Haaretz. Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which comprises 108 of Israel’s most distinguished scholars, doesn’t have a single Arab member. The universities employ only a handful of Arab scholars each – between one and five – in the most senior position. “In academia abroad, in the United States for example, they boast of affirmative action in the approach to minorities. In Israel there is no openness or desire to accept the other,” says Professor Yousef Jabareen of the Technion. The academy selects its members from among scholars at the peak of their career, usually when they’ve passed 60 years old. Members include former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak and Nobel Prize winners Yisrael Aumann,  Dan Shechtman  Aaron Ciechanover. The academy’s president is Ruth Arnon. Every year the members are permitted to choose up to five new members in humanities and natural sciences. The chosen few, picked on the recommendation of academy members, are typically the most senior tenured professors in an academic institution. Higher Education Council figures show only 2 percent of the 174 senior staff members of state-funded institutions are Arab. A Haaretz survey of research universities found few Arab scholars in the highest professional level at each university. Hebrew University has two Arab professors at the highest level out of 20 senior faculty members. Ben-Gurion University has 13 Arab professors out of 451, five at the highest level and eight in lower positions. Haifa University has two Arab professors at the highest rung and 10 in a lower levels, out of 265 professors. Tel Aviv University officials said there were about 25 senior Arab faculty members there, and at Bar-Ilan University there are two senior Arab faculty members. Ariel University’s 80 professors include not a single Arab.

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