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i PAGE 8A Ex-lsraeli soldier Kamm's prison term cut by year JERUSALEM (JTA)--The prison sentence of former Israeli soldier Anat Kamm, who turned classified military documents over to a reporter, was shortened by one year. On Monday, Israel's Su- preme Court cut the 4 1/2- year term in response to an appeal filed by Kamm in July. She now likely will go free by February 2014. Kamm entered the Neve Tirza prison in Ramle last November. The original sen- tence and 18-month proba- tion ordered by the Tel Aviv District Court was well below the 15 years requested by prosecutors. Her two-year house arrest was not counted as time served. Kamm was convicted in February 2011 of collecting, holding and passing on clas- sified information without authorization. She had been charged originally with es- pionage, but the charge was dropped as part of a plea bargain. Kamm was arrested in early 2010. She admitted to stealing about 2,000 documents, in- cluding hundreds identified as classified or top secret, which she downloaded on two discs, while serving her mandatory military service in the Israeli army's Central Command. She turned the information over to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau, who wrote stories based on the information that were approved by the military cen- sor. The stories led to a search for Blau's source. Following her military service, Kamm was a media reporter for Walla, an online news site that at the time was partly owned by Haaretz. As part of her filing, Kamm pointed out that Blau, who also accepted a plea bargain, was sentenced to four months of community service. Tel Aviv to offer free Wi-Fi JERUSALEM (JTA)--The city of Tel Aviv is set to offer free Wi-Fi to its residents and guests. The $1.6 million projectwill provide a free high-speed In- ternet connection throughout the city as well as technical support all day, every day, Haaretz reported. The connection will be installed in about 80 stations throughout Tel Aviv in stages during 2013, including public parks and the Promenade. HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Weekly r,:,undup of world briefs from JTA 10 percent of Israelis with doctorates living abroad JERUSALEM (JTA)--Some 10 percent of Israelis holding doctorates are living abroad, according to an Israeli govern- ment report. They have been living abroad for at least three years for work or study, according to a report released last week by the Central Bureau of Statis- tics based on figures in 2011. Fourteen percent of those with doctorates in science and engineering have left Israel for at least three years, while the figure is 3.8 percent for those in the humanities and social sciences. Some 18,025 Israelis, or 5 percent, who received an advanced degree between the years 1985 and 2005 have lived outside Israel for more than three years, the report found. The rate of return among Ph.Ds in 2010 was 4 percent. The reportwas prepared for the Science and Technology Ministry's National Council for Research and Develop- ment. Peres calls peace a top priority at reception for Christian leaders JERUSALEM (JTA)--Israeli President Shimon Peres at a reception for Christian leaders clled peace a top priority. "Peace is not just a desire, it is not just a call from heaven, I think it can be attained and achieved," Peres said Monday in a greeting to his guests in Jerusalem. "We have to act determinedly, honestly and courageously to achieve it. That was from the very begin- ning, from the Old Testament to the New Testament and throughout the scriptures." Peres at the reception hon- oring the new year stressed that he opposes negotiations with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, while it rejects the three principles of the Quartet on Middle East peace: renouncing terrorism, recog- nizing Israel and accepting previous peace agreements. "There is a Palestinian Au- thority with which we signed an agreement and there is a separate organization in Gaza, Hamas. They must decide whether they want peace or war, what sort of relation- ship they want; shooting or building," he said. "We have no interest in seeing anybody in Gaza suffering, we would be happy to see Gaza be suc- cessful." Bar Mitzvah Jack Holden Sousa, son of Amy and John Sousa of Heathrow, will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 at Congregation Beth Am in Longwood. Jack is outgoing, fun- loving, kind-hearted and loves to make people laugh. He currently plays hockey at the RDV in Maitland. His hobbies and interests include hockey, playing video games, and spending time with family and friends. Sharing in the family's simcha will be Jack's younger sisters, Isabelle and Phoebe; grandparents, Karen and Irv Kushnick of Groveland, Fla.; grandparents, Nat and Carmela Sousa of Hernando, Fla., and family and friends from around the country. His message came a day after he told more than 150 members of the diplomatic corps in Israel that Pales- tinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a man of peace and that Israel can reach a peace agreement with him, angering the ruling government. AI-Qaida places bounty on head of Jewish U.S. envoy to Yemen (JTA)--Al-Qaida in Yemen has placed a bounty on the head of the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa, Gerald Feierstein. In a message posted on terrorist websites, al-Qaida offered three kilograms worth of gold, or about $160,000, to anyone who kills the ambas- sador, who is Jewish. The group also offered cash for the killing of American soldiers inside Yemen. Both offers are valid for the next six months, according to The Associated Press. The statement called the awards a way to "inspire and encourage our Muslim na- tion for jihad," the statement reportedly said. Feierstein has been ambas- sador toYemen since Septem- ber 2010. He formerly served as deputy chief of mission in Islamabad. The Daily Beast quoted an unnamed Yemeni govern- ment official as saying that Feierstein is "very well pro- tected" and that the "threats are taken seriously, and he is the most secured diplomat in Yemen." Israel's Supreme Court up- holds Arab-Israeli lawmak- er's right to election run JERUSALEM (JTA)--Arab- Israeli lawmaker Hanin Zoabi may run in the upcoming Israeli elections, Israel's Su- preme Court ruled, overturn- ing a vote by a government panel. The nine justices ruled unanimously on Sunday to overturn the vote earlier this month by the Central Elec- tions Committee to disqualify Zoabi from the Jan. 22 elec- tions. The committee's 19-9 vote with one abstention came despite a decision by Israel's attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, that there was not enough evidence to disqualify the lawmaker. "The court's decision proves that the attempts to disqualify me were the result of politi- cal and personal persecution against me, against my party and against the Arab public as a whole," Zoabi said in a state- ment following the court's ruling. "The motions to have me disqualified were devoid of any legal merit. Still, this ruling does little to erase the threats, delegitimization and physical and verbal violence that I have endured inside and outside of the Knesset over the past three years." Zoabi participated in the May 2010 flotilla to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza. She was on the Mavi Marmara, the ship on which nine Turkish passengers were killed after Israeli comman- dos storming the ship were attacked. She was punished by the Knesset Ethics Com- mittee for her actions. She also has been accused of incitement against Israel and its military. The combined campaign of the ruling Likud Party and the Yisrael Beiteinu party released a statement regretting the decision and saying it would alter the law. Muslim Brotherhood offi- cial calls on Egyptian Jews to return (JTA)--A Muslim Broth- erhood official called on Egyptian Jews to return to Egypt and leave Israel to the Palestinians. Essam al-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brother- hood's .Freedom and Justice Party, put out the call during an interview late last week with Dream TV, the Egyptian newspaper AI-Masry AI-Youm reported over the weekend. Every Egyptian has a right to live in his country, Erian is quoted as saying. He also reportedly said that the Jewish presence in Israel contributes to the occupation of Arab land. Egyptian Jews should re- fuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity," Erian said during the television interview. lrian also questioned why former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled the Jews from Egypt in the first place. Jailed in Israel, Marwan Barghouti says he'll be president of Palestine JERUSALEM (JTA)--Mar- wan Barghouti, a convicted terrorist jailed in Israel, said he will be the president of a Palestinian state. Barghouti also said in an interview reported Dec. 26 on Israel's Channel 10 and conducted jointly with the Haaretz newspaper that he would not promise that there would not be a third intifada-- unlike Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas-- though he believes it could be a nonviolent uprising. Military censors did not allow the actual film of the interview to be broadcast. In- stead, Barghouti's comments were repeated by reporters. The interview had taken place last month during Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Barghouti is serving five consecutive life sentences and an additional 40 years for ter- rorist activity. He was arrested on April 15, 2002. Rita Levi Montalcini, Nobel Prize winner in medicine, dies at 103 (JTA)--Rita Levi Mon- talcini, an Italian biologist who defied World War II fascist anti-Semitism and went on to win a Nobel Prize in medicine, died at the age of 103. Her niece told reporters that Levi Montalcini died quietly in her sleep on Sunday at her home in Rome. Tributes poured in from across the Italian spectrum for one of Italy's most admired and honored women. The Rome newspaper I1 Messag- gero said news of her death was greeted on the Internet "with the same affection and same outpouring of messages as would have accompanied the death of a rock star or cinema idol." Recognized.as a moral as well as intellectual author- ity, Montalcini was named a Senator for Life, one of Italy's highest honors, in 2001. Levi Montalcini, who never married, was born to a Jewish family in Turin in 1909. Dur- ing World War II, because of anti-Semitic restrictions by the fascist government, she worked secretly in a clandes- tine laboratory that she built in her bedroom. She and her family fled Tu- rin in 1941, first to a mountain village and in 1943 to Flor- ence, where they spent the rest of the war in hiding. After the war, Levi Montalcini moved to the United States and eventu- ally divided her time between the U.S. and Italy. In 1986 she shared the Nobel Prize in medicine with American biochemist Stanley Cohen for groundbreaking research carried out in the U.S. Hitler statue unveiled out- side former Warsaw Ghetto (JTA)--An Italian artist reportedly placed a statue of Adolf Hitler in a building outside what used to be the Warsaw Ghetto. The statue, which depicts Hitler kneeling and is titled "Him," is part of a new exhi- bition by Maurizio Cattelan titled "Amen," according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. In a statement last week, the center called the display a "tasteless misuse of art." Ariel becomes first Israeli university beyond Green Line By Israel Hayom Exclusive to JNS.org Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave the order last Monday to officially ac- credit Ariel University Center of Samaria as a full-fledged university, making it the first Israeli university to be located beyond the 1949 Green Line. Barak instructed Israel Defense Forces GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon to approve the Judea and Samaria Council of Higher Education's recommendation last Monday night. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein ruled Monday night that nothing stood in the way of making Ariel University Center a'university. Prime Minister Benjamin Netan- yahu and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar praised the deci- sion, while representatives of Israel's other universities 'hope that the High Court will overturn it. The Green Line was drawn in the 1949 Armistice Agree- ments between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Ariel is situated on land beyond the Green Line that Israel won during the 1967 Six-Day War. Located 11 miles east of the Green Line, Ariel is the fourth-largest Jewish community in the West Bank, and its university's accreditation came under fire from Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists. Likud-Yisrael Beytenu Co- alition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin called Monday's ruling a "righteous decision that sends a clear message that Ariel will forever stay part of Israel." The Israeli government rec- ognized Ariel University Cen- ter as an accredited university in September, and asked the attorney-general to review it, before passing the decision to Gen. Alon, who has the final say in matters in the region. Ariel University Center's recognition follows a ruling by a committee from the Judea and Samaria Council of Higher Education, which operates in accordance with regional councils. The com- mittee monitored the academ- ic progress of the school before making its recommendation. The decision to upgrade Ariel University Center's status was met with harsh resistance from the presiding heads of the other universities as well as from the budget and planning committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel. Sa'ar, the education min- ister and chairman of the Council for Higher Education in Israel, said the decision brought one of the "biggest campaigns I have led" to completion, and that "despite countless irrelevant objec- tions, this [decision] sends an important message to the academic community as a whole." Prime Minister Benja- min Netanyahu called Ariel University Center President Yigal Cohen-Orgad to con- gratulate him. "After many decades the state of Israel finally has another univer- sity. This is a big day for higher education in Israel," Netanyahu said. Ariel University Center posted a statement following the decision, saying, "We are happy to see that those involved were not derailed by baseless claims made by people with foreign inter- ests. First and foremost, we thank Education Minister MK Gideon Sa'ar, who faced incredible pressure and per- severed to inaugurate Israel's eighth research university." Some were less enthusiastic about the decision. Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On called the decision "disheart- ening." "The fact that Ehud Barak decided to adopt it is a flawed political decision on his part meant to help Netanyahu in the elections," Gal-On said. "The recognition of this uni- versity will cost Israel further international isolation and academic boycotts." The committee represent- ing the presidents of Israel's other seven universities criti- cized the decision as well. "We were sad to see the attorney-general backa flawed decision tainted by political interests, one that will spell catastrophe for Israeli higher education," the committee said in a statement. "At no point were credible evalua- tions made of the university's academic level. The matter is now in the High Court's hands and we believe the decision will be overturned." i PAGE 8A Ex-lsraeli soldier Kamm's prison term cut by year JERUSALEM (JTA)--The prison sentence of former Israeli soldier Anat Kamm, who turned classified military documents over to a reporter, was shortened by one year. On Monday, Israel's Su- preme Court cut the 4 1/2- year term in response to an appeal filed by Kamm in July. She now likely will go free by February 2014. Kamm entered the Neve Tirza prison in Ramle last November. The original sen- tence and 18-month proba- tion ordered by the Tel Aviv District Court was well below the 15 years requested by prosecutors. Her two-year house arrest was not counted as time served. Kamm was convicted in February 2011 of collecting, holding and passing on clas- sified information without authorization. She had been charged originally with es- pionage, but the charge was dropped as part of a plea bargain. Kamm was arrested in early 2010. She admitted to stealing about 2,000 documents, in- cluding hundreds identified as classified or top secret, which she downloaded on two discs, while serving her mandatory military service in the Israeli army's Central Command. She turned the information over to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau, who wrote stories based on the information that were approved by the military cen- sor. The stories led to a search for Blau's source. Following her military service, Kamm was a media reporter for Walla, an online news site that at the time was partly owned by Haaretz. As part of her filing, Kamm pointed out that Blau, who also accepted a plea bargain, was sentenced to four months of community service. Tel Aviv to offer free Wi-Fi JERUSALEM (JTA)--The city of Tel Aviv is set to offer free Wi-Fi to its residents and guests. The $1.6 million projectwill provide a free high-speed In- ternet connection throughout the city as well as technical support all day, every day, Haaretz reported. The connection will be installed in about 80 stations throughout Tel Aviv in stages during 2013, including public parks and the Promenade. HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Weekly r,:,undup of world briefs from JTA 10 percent of Israelis with doctorates living abroad JERUSALEM (JTA)--Some 10 percent of Israelis holding doctorates are living abroad, according to an Israeli govern- ment report. They have been living abroad for at least three years for work or study, according to a report released last week by the Central Bureau of Statis- tics based on figures in 2011. Fourteen percent of those with doctorates in science and engineering have left Israel for at least three years, while the figure is 3.8 percent for those in the humanities and social sciences. Some 18,025 Israelis, or 5 percent, who received an advanced degree between the years 1985 and 2005 have lived outside Israel for more than three years, the report found. The rate of return among Ph.Ds in 2010 was 4 percent. The reportwas prepared for the Science and Technology Ministry's National Council for Research and Develop- ment. Peres calls peace a top priority at reception for Christian leaders JERUSALEM (JTA)--Israeli President Shimon Peres at a reception for Christian leaders clled peace a top priority. "Peace is not just a desire, it is not just a call from heaven, I think it can be attained and achieved," Peres said Monday in a greeting to his guests in Jerusalem. "We have to act determinedly, honestly and courageously to achieve it. That was from the very begin- ning, from the Old Testament to the New Testament and throughout the scriptures." Peres at the reception hon- oring the new year stressed that he opposes negotiations with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, while it rejects the three principles of the Quartet on Middle East peace: renouncing terrorism, recog- nizing Israel and accepting previous peace agreements. "There is a Palestinian Au- thority with which we signed an agreement and there is a separate organization in Gaza, Hamas. They must decide whether they want peace or war, what sort of relation- ship they want; shooting or building," he said. "We have no interest in seeing anybody in Gaza suffering, we would be happy to see Gaza be suc- cessful." Bar Mitzvah Jack Holden Sousa, son of Amy and John Sousa of Heathrow, will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 at Congregation Beth Am in Longwood. Jack is outgoing, fun- loving, kind-hearted and loves to make people laugh. He currently plays hockey at the RDV in Maitland. His hobbies and interests include hockey, playing video games, and spending time with family and friends. Sharing in the family's simcha will be Jack's younger sisters, Isabelle and Phoebe; grandparents, Karen and Irv Kushnick of Groveland, Fla.; grandparents, Nat and Carmela Sousa of Hernando, Fla., and family and friends from around the country. His message came a day after he told more than 150 members of the diplomatic corps in Israel that Pales- tinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a man of peace and that Israel can reach a peace agreement with him, angering the ruling government. AI-Qaida places bounty on head of Jewish U.S. envoy to Yemen (JTA)--Al-Qaida in Yemen has placed a bounty on the head of the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa, Gerald Feierstein. In a message posted on terrorist websites, al-Qaida offered three kilograms worth of gold, or about $160,000, to anyone who kills the ambas- sador, who is Jewish. The group also offered cash for the killing of American soldiers inside Yemen. Both offers are valid for the next six months, according to The Associated Press. The statement called the awards a way to "inspire and encourage our Muslim na- tion for jihad," the statement reportedly said. Feierstein has been ambas- sador toYemen since Septem- ber 2010. He formerly served as deputy chief of mission in Islamabad. The Daily Beast quoted an unnamed Yemeni govern- ment official as saying that Feierstein is "very well pro- tected" and that the "threats are taken seriously, and he is the most secured diplomat in Yemen." Israel's Supreme Court up- holds Arab-Israeli lawmak- er's right to election run JERUSALEM (JTA)--Arab- Israeli lawmaker Hanin Zoabi may run in the upcoming Israeli elections, Israel's Su- preme Court ruled, overturn- ing a vote by a government panel. The nine justices ruled unanimously on Sunday to overturn the vote earlier this month by the Central Elec- tions Committee to disqualify Zoabi from the Jan. 22 elec- tions. The committee's 19-9 vote with one abstention came despite a decision by Israel's attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, that there was not enough evidence to disqualify the lawmaker. "The court's decision proves that the attempts to disqualify me were the result of politi- cal and personal persecution against me, against my party and against the Arab public as a whole," Zoabi said in a state- ment following the court's ruling. "The motions to have me disqualified were devoid of any legal merit. Still, this ruling does little to erase the threats, delegitimization and physical and verbal violence that I have endured inside and outside of the Knesset over the past three years." Zoabi participated in the May 2010 flotilla to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza. She was on the Mavi Marmara, the ship on which nine Turkish passengers were killed after Israeli comman- dos storming the ship were attacked. She was punished by the Knesset Ethics Com- mittee for her actions. She also has been accused of incitement against Israel and its military. The combined campaign of the ruling Likud Party and the Yisrael Beiteinu party released a statement regretting the decision and saying it would alter the law. Muslim Brotherhood offi- cial calls on Egyptian Jews to return (JTA)--A Muslim Broth- erhood official called on Egyptian Jews to return to Egypt and leave Israel to the Palestinians. Essam al-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brother- hood's .Freedom and Justice Party, put out the call during an interview late last week with Dream TV, the Egyptian newspaper AI-Masry AI-Youm reported over the weekend. Every Egyptian has a right to live in his country, Erian is quoted as saying. He also reportedly said that the Jewish presence in Israel contributes to the occupation of Arab land. Egyptian Jews should re- fuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity," Erian said during the television interview. lrian also questioned why former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled the Jews from Egypt in the first place. Jailed in Israel, Marwan Barghouti says he'll be president of Palestine JERUSALEM (JTA)--Mar- wan Barghouti, a convicted terrorist jailed in Israel, said he will be the president of a Palestinian state. Barghouti also said in an interview reported Dec. 26 on Israel's Channel 10 and conducted jointly with the Haaretz newspaper that he would not promise that there would not be a third intifada-- unlike Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas-- though he believes it could be a nonviolent uprising. Military censors did not allow the actual film of the interview to be broadcast. In- stead, Barghouti's comments were repeated by reporters. The interview had taken place last month during Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Barghouti is serving five consecutive life sentences and an additional 40 years for ter- rorist activity. He was arrested on April 15, 2002. Rita Levi Montalcini, Nobel Prize winner in medicine, dies at 103 (JTA)--Rita Levi Mon- talcini, an Italian biologist who defied World War II fascist anti-Semitism and went on to win a Nobel Prize in medicine, died at the age of 103. Her niece told reporters that Levi Montalcini died quietly in her sleep on Sunday at her home in Rome. Tributes poured in from across the Italian spectrum for one of Italy's most admired and honored women. The Rome newspaper I1 Messag- gero said news of her death was greeted on the Internet "with the same affection and same outpouring of messages as would have accompanied the death of a rock star or cinema idol." Recognized.as a moral as well as intellectual author- ity, Montalcini was named a Senator for Life, one of Italy's highest honors, in 2001. Levi Montalcini, who never married, was born to a Jewish family in Turin in 1909. Dur- ing World War II, because of anti-Semitic restrictions by the fascist government, she worked secretly in a clandes- tine laboratory that she built in her bedroom. She and her family fled Tu- rin in 1941, first to a mountain village and in 1943 to Flor- ence, where they spent the rest of the war in hiding. After the war, Levi Montalcini moved to the United States and eventu- ally divided her time between the U.S. and Italy. In 1986 she shared the Nobel Prize in medicine with American biochemist Stanley Cohen for groundbreaking research carried out in the U.S. Hitler statue unveiled out- side former Warsaw Ghetto (JTA)--An Italian artist reportedly placed a statue of Adolf Hitler in a building outside what used to be the Warsaw Ghetto. The statue, which depicts Hitler kneeling and is titled "Him," is part of a new exhi- bition by Maurizio Cattelan titled "Amen," according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. In a statement last week, the center called the display a "tasteless misuse of art." Ariel becomes first Israeli university beyond Green Line By Israel Hayom Exclusive to JNS.org Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave the order last Monday to officially ac- credit Ariel University Center of Samaria as a full-fledged university, making it the first Israeli university to be located beyond the 1949 Green Line. Barak instructed Israel Defense Forces GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon to approve the Judea and Samaria Council of Higher Education's recommendation last Monday night. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein ruled Monday night that nothing stood in the way of making Ariel University Center a'university. Prime Minister Benjamin Netan- yahu and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar praised the deci- sion, while representatives of Israel's other universities 'hope that the High Court will overturn it. The Green Line was drawn in the 1949 Armistice Agree- ments between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Ariel is situated on land beyond the Green Line that Israel won during the 1967 Six-Day War. Located 11 miles east of the Green Line, Ariel is the fourth-largest Jewish community in the West Bank, and its university's accreditation came under fire from Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists. Likud-Yisrael Beytenu Co- alition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin called Monday's ruling a "righteous decision that sends a clear message that Ariel will forever stay part of Israel." The Israeli government rec- ognized Ariel University Cen- ter as an accredited university in September, and asked the attorney-general to review it, before passing the decision to Gen. Alon, who has the final say in matters in the region. Ariel University Center's recognition follows a ruling by a committee from the Judea and Samaria Council of Higher Education, which operates in accordance with regional councils. The com- mittee monitored the academ- ic progress of the school before making its recommendation. The decision to upgrade Ariel University Center's status was met with harsh resistance from the presiding heads of the other universities as well as from the budget and planning committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel. Sa'ar, the education min- ister and chairman of the Council for Higher Education in Israel, said the decision brought one of the "biggest campaigns I have led" to completion, and that "despite countless irrelevant objec- tions, this [decision] sends an important message to the academic community as a whole." Prime Minister Benja- min Netanyahu called Ariel University Center President Yigal Cohen-Orgad to con- gratulate him. "After many decades the state of Israel finally has another univer- sity. This is a big day for higher education in Israel," Netanyahu said. Ariel University Center posted a statement following the decision, saying, "We are happy to see that those involved were not derailed by baseless claims made by people with foreign inter- ests. First and foremost, we thank Education Minister MK Gideon Sa'ar, who faced incredible pressure and per- severed to inaugurate Israel's eighth research university." Some were less enthusiastic about the decision. Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On called the decision "disheart- ening." "The fact that Ehud Barak decided to adopt it is a flawed political decision on his part meant to help Netanyahu in the elections," Gal-On said. "The recognition of this uni- versity will cost Israel further international isolation and academic boycotts." The committee represent- ing the presidents of Israel's other seven universities criti- cized the decision as well. "We were sad to see the attorney-general backa flawed decision tainted by political interests, one that will spell catastrophe for Israeli higher education," the committee said in a statement. "At no point were credible evalua- tions made of the university's academic level. The matter is now in the High Court's hands and we believe the decision will be overturned."