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Update: Oxford University Disciplines Professor for Rejecting Israeli Student
Update: October 28, 2003

On October 27, Oxford University announced that its disciplinary committee had recommended that Professor Andrew Wilkie be suspended for two weeks without pay for his rejection of an Israeli graduate student, Amit Duvshani, solely because of his nationality. According to the university press release, this suspension is the “most serious penalty that the University can impose, short of dismissal or removal from office.” The committee also recommended that Professor Wilkie “undergo further equal opportunities training,” which he has agreed to do. According to Reuters, Mr. Duvshani expressed satisfaction that Oxford had taken action against Professor Wilkie.

Posted: June 30, 2003

ADL Urges Oxford to Investigate Professor’s Rejection of Graduate Student

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged Oxford University to investigate a professor’s rejection of a graduate student for an internship solely because he was an Israeli. In a letter to Oxford’s Vice Chancellor, ADL urged the University to take a strong stand in support of academic freedom and fairness and against an act of discrimination and bias.

Andrew Wilkie, the Nuffield professor of pathology and a fellow of Pembroke College at Oxford, allegedly informed graduate student Amit Duvshani in an e-mail message that he would not consider an Israeli for a position in his lab because, “I have a huge problem with the way that Israelis take the high moral ground from their appalling treatment in the Holocaust, and then inflict gross human rights abuses on the Palestinians because they wish to live in their own country.”

In the days since this information became public, Professor Wilkie issued a public apology, and Oxford announced that it had begun an investigation to determine if Professor Wilkie has violated the University’s code of conduct by discriminating on the grounds of nationality.

Unfortunately, Professor Wilkie’s diatribe is part of a troubling pattern of politically motivated anti-Israel academic boycotts in Europe and the United States. Fortunately, such efforts have been publicly rejected by principled and fair-minded academics around the world.

Oxford’s statements, along with Professor Wilkie’s apology, can be viewed online.

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