Dear Prof. Nosonovsky,
It has come to our attention that you are a member of the international advisory committee for the upcoming conference "The Ninth International Conference on Materials Technologies and Modeling" at Ariel University.
We are not sure if you are aware of the contentious status of Ariel University as a university founded by Israel in territories that it has occupied in 1967, and that it is governing by martial law ever since then. This occupation is not recognized by any country in the world. You may be interested in looking at a website that we have recently established called "The Truth About Ariel University",
We would like you to consider these facts before agreeing to participate in
any academic activity at Ariel University, or cooperating with this institute in any manner.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Prof. Ofer Aharony and Prof. Nir Gov
On behalf of Israeli Academics for Peace
OPEN LETTER TO Drs AHARONY AND GOV
Dear Ofer and Nir,
Thank you for your letter about my collaborators from Ariel University in the West Bank.
I am well aware about the controversies related to the West Bank / Samaria, which has been a disputed land between Israel and Arab states. Many politicians, including most US presidents and even Yasser Arafat himself, have agreed that Ariel will likely become a part of Israel, if an Arab-Israeli peace agreement will ever be achieved in the future.
Your website is saying that "Palestinian residents living around Ariel are not allowed to enter the settlement, let alone the university." Ariel University has more than 400 Palestinian (Israeli citizen) students. I speak some Arabic and have deep interest in Arabic culture and poetry, and use every chance to practice my Arabic, so I personally spoke to some of Israeli-Palestinian students during my previous visits to AU. Many people view AU as a model for peaceful co-existence.
Ariel is located next to the ancient Hebrew sites of Shiloh and Mt. Gerizim, so it is understandable that some Jews want to live there. The Jews should have a right to live in both parts of the Land of Israel / Palestine similarly to how the Arabs can live in both the West Bank and Israel proper.
However, all these political considerations are irrelevant when the MMT-9 2016 conference is discussed. The principles of academic freedom imply that politics should not intervene in the free exchange of scientific ideas. Previous MMT conferences at Ariel University were very strong scientifically. I reserve my right to collaborate with whom I find appropriate, certainly including my colleagues from Ariel.