From correspondence of prof. Amusia with Humboldt Foundation
Published on: 2013-08-22 @ 12:47
Dear Humboldt Foundation President Professor Helmut Schwarz,
Dear Secretary General Dr. Enno Aufderheide
As you, perhaps, know, European Commission recently demanded that all EU institutions have to cease partnerships and other relationships with companies and institutions in Israel, located in Judea, Samaria and Eastern parts of Jerusalem, or those having partnerships with them, thus proclaiming their boycott. This include Universities and colleges of Israel.
Curiously enough, EU did not proclaim boycott universities of countries with gangster regimes like Syria or North Korea.
The wild idea to boycott Israel, to stop financing her enterprises, and imposing sanctions to “punish” the country has been promoted since long ago by a small group of international thugs from science, like English “professor” Rose and his wife, by left-wing trade union leadership, and by a small group of clerics. Who could imagine that the European Commission will join and reinforce this marginal movement?!
The official argument justifying the actions of the EU, namely “occupation of Palestinian territories” and violation of “Palestinians human rights” does not sustain criticism from neither moral nor legal points of view. I could prove it as a rigorous mathematical theorem, since Israel does not occupy somebodies territory, does not restrict religious, economic or personal rights of any nation or ethnic group.
In my view, scientific boycott is absolutely counterproductive diminishing the role of scientists who effectively build international connections and understanding. Instead of cooperation boycott will only create and enforce hate. The interference of politicians unto relation of scientists certainly diminishes academic freedom. This is why scientists individually and their associations have to oppose boycotts strongly.
Israeli scientists devote all their intellect to the development of world science, its fundamental and applied parts. Israeli great discoveries in medicine and agriculture directly serve all people in the world regardless of their religion, ethnicity or race, wealth and education level. Anyone can verify this simply by e.g. logging into any of the many hospitals in Israel, and by looking at their patients. Free help is available even to wounded soldiers of Assad’s army and to opposing the ruling regime rebels.
The opposition to boycotts can be expressed by issuing direct statements, as was recently done by the American Physical society. I think that similar step has to be undertaken by Humboldt Foundation, who is really an international organization. Another way to oppose boycott is scientist-to-scientist relations. I would recommend EU colleagues, other Humboldtians to strengthen ties with the scientists of Judea and Samaria, of all the Israel, to use their money for the development of joint projects with Israel in general, and with colleagues working in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem – in particular. It will pay off, believe me.
I would recommend EU scientists, other Humboldtians to take the research staff of the boycotted institutions for training, visit these institutions and lecture there. It is necessary to ensure that the scientific community and in the first place, such unique international organization as Humboldt foundation, other European scientific organizations, as well as National and European Academies of Sciences condemn the boycott.
I expect your active action – the international nature and stile of science is in jeopardy.
Sincerely yours, Miron Ya. Amusia, Professor of Physics, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt research award 1990, Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Dear Professor Amusia
Let me thank you, also in the name of Professor Schwarz and Dr. Aufderheide, for your email from August 18 where you expressed concerns about the relations between the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and institutions in Israel, due to the guidelines for future agreements between Israel and the EU.
I can assure you that of course applications from scientists in all research universities in Israel are welcome and will be attended to the selection process of the Humboldt Foundation. The scientific dialogue between Israel and Germany has a long tradition, and the Humboldt Foundation is happy to contribute to this scientific exchange with sponsorship programmes fostering scientist-to-scientist relations and scientific events like the German Israeli Frontiers of Humanities Symposia (GISFOH) strengthening the network of our Humboldt fellows.
I hope this information will appease your concerns.
thank you for a prompt and convincing answer. I assume that this is not a private one and I can share your information with my concerned colleagues. If not, let me know.
Best regards, Miron Ya Amusia
Dear Professor Amusia
Many thanks for your feedback, and of course you can share our email with your colleagues, we are always delighted to receive applications by excellent candidates for our sponsorship programmes!
I do trust that you make clear in your communications that the Humboldt Foundation did not comment the decision of the European Commission.