Monday, June 30, 2003

HOW NOT TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE

What with the Michigan Law School case being a big news item last week, you'd think it would be awhile before discrimination in university admissions hit a new low. Wrong again.

Seems that an Oxford (the one in the UK, not Ohio) professor told a PhD candidate he would not be welcome. Why? He is an Israeli who served in the Israeli army. The professor who delivered the bads news said:

"Thank you for contacting me, but I don't think this would work. I have a huge problem with the way that the Israelis take the moral high ground from their appalling treatment in the Holocaust, and then inflict gross human rights abuses on the Palestinians because they [the Palestinians] wish to live in their own country.

"I am sure that you are perfectly nice at a personal level, but no way would I take on somebody who had served in the Israeli army. As you may be aware, I am not the only UK scientist with these views but I'm sure you will find another lab if you look around."


The good news is the professor has now issued an apology and the university has indicated he did not speak for Oxford. The professor is being investigated, but the potential student has indicated he will not go where he's not welcome.

The entire article is available (after registration) here.


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