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Israeli University Picked as First Middle East Partner for Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School

Much has been made in recent weeks regarding efforts to academically boycott Israeli institutions. Two particular campaigns – those mobilized by the American Studies Association and Modern Language Association – have received particular attention.

The ASA passed a pro-boycott resolution and was forced to almost immediately scramble to backtrack, though a backlash that included explicit accusations of anti-Semitism by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper eventually had the group literally pleading with universities to ease pressure.

More broadly, efforts to cut off Israeli academics from their American counterparts are proceeding at a pace that might – most generously – be described as uneven. A new program announced today will see the Woodrow Wilson School of Government at Princeton University launch a joint program with the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC).

Founded in 1994, the IDC was Israel’s first private university. The new program establishes the IDC as a key Middle Eastern academic partner to Princeton:

Under the program, juniors from the Wilson School will enroll in the Middle East specialization at the Lauder School. At the end of the semester in Israel, the students will write a policy paper as part of the Princeton Task Force Program. IDC Herzliya is the Wilson School’s only partner in the Middle East. Princeton has similar partnerships with six universities worldwide, including the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and Sciences Po in Paris.

The announcement comes a few months after the United Kingdom and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue joint academic and scientific research projects. American university presidents had recently traveled to Israel in an effort to boost cooperative arrangements with Israeli institutions.

[Photo: LauderSchool / YouTube ]