In response to an enquiry by the Alternative Information Center (AIC) about its reported removal of Judge Richard Goldstone from the Board of Governors, Hebrew University of Jerusalem responded by email that:
“The Hebrew University of Jerusalem revises from time to time its membership roles on its Board of Governors. It recently has been decided to remove from the list of governors a number of members, among them Judge Richard Goldstone, who was an honorary member of the board but for more than a decade has not attended its meetings nor expressed interest in the operations of the board. The purpose of this technical act is to enlist new, active members for the board in place of those who do not play any role on behalf of the University.”
However, on 25 April the online Hebrew language newspaper nrg.co.il quoted the Hebrew University as saying that “honorary membership in the Board of Governors is a position given to people on the basis of actions that justify this at the time. The university possesses no mechanism to annul the membership of honour of a member.”
Hebrew University was further quoted in the above article that following the early 2010 request of a Hebrew University graduate to annul Judge Goldstone’s membership in the Board of Governors due to his participation in the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, that “the subject was considered and the decision (not to annul) was taken following discussion in a senior forum of the university.”
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is thus providing contradictory information about its decision to remove Judge Goldstone from its Board of Governors, a decision taken despite the reported lack of a university mechanism for doing so and following at least one official petition to remove him.
The Hebrew University has a long history of directly and indirectly supporting the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and dispossession of the Palestinian people. This support includes (but is not limited to) the confiscation of Palestinian lands; the hiring of former military and intelligence officials, including the former head of the General Security Services, Carmi Gilon, as Vice President for External Relations; financial support to student-soldiers who served during Israel’s military attacks on Gaza about which Judge Goldstone wrote; and demanding police-issued ‘character references” from Palestinian but not Jewish non-student visitors to its campuses.
Additional information about Hebrew University’s support for the Israeli occupation, in addition to that of other Israeli universities and institutes of higher education, may be found in the AIC research: Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in Occupation of Palestinian Territories.
The Alternative Information Center (AIC) continues to call on international solidarity activists to contact Hebrew University and express your support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, including an academic boycott, due to actions such as the removal of Judge Goldstone from the Board of Governors. This is particularly so given the contradictory information provided by the Hebrew University.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem media department may be contacted here: http://www.huji.ac.il/cgi-bin/dovrut/dovrut_search_eng.pl?conct