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The Carmel Academic Center in Haifa shut down the concentration in accounting within its Department of Business Administration because a majority of the students applying were Palestinian citizens of Israel. This was revealed in a news item reported on Israeli news Channel 10 on 24 May (in Hebrew only).
According to this report, just over one week before studies were to commence, the center administration announced that the accountancy concentration would not open. According to a student (S.), “I was told […] that the students for accounting did not pay tuition, and later that there were not enough students.”
Dr. Amos Baranes, a senior lecturer at the Carmel Academic Center and head of the Accounting Concentration, held a conversation about this decision with Gil Reshef, the entrepreneur behind the for profit Carmel center, which opened in the current academic year:
In this recorded conversation, Reshef said
“If it is a majority Arab, we can’t allow ourselves, because we can’t allow ourselves an institution that will be categorized as Arab. Haifa University has this image and has a big problem [as] it is perceived as a university of Arabs […] We are not funded (by the state) and if we will be seen as Arab, [students] will not come […]”
Shocked by this conversation. Dr. Baranes met with Carmel Academic Center President, Professor Yehezkel Taler, formerly the Deputy Chair of the Israel Council for Higher Education. The conversation was recorded:
Dr. Baranes: “Yesterday I had a conversation with Gil; Gil also raised the issue about which you spoke, the Jewish/Arab issue, that we shouldn’t be an Arab majority […]”
Taler: “Here there was also a problem.”
Dr. Baranes: “What?”
Taler: “Here there was also a problem. Of all those who registered, three were Jews, the rest Arab.”
A horrified Baranes turned to the Israel Council of Higher Education, which accredits all institutes of higher education in Israel, including the Carmel center. In a written response, the Council noted that “it was clarified beyond doubt that the college didn’t open the program due to financial considerations.”
However, when Carmel College President Taler learned that Dr. Baranes contacted the Israel Council for Higher Education, he removed Baranes from the center’s academic council and told him his future at the college is unclear. Taler told Baranes (in a taped conversation):
Taler: “I don’t want you there (Carmel’s academic council) […] I am not prepared that someone from the academic council will correspond with Ahmad Tibi (Dr. Tibi, Knesset member from the Ra’am Ta’al party) and the Israel Council for Higher Education.”
Carmel College’s website (in Hebrew only) provides a telephone number (*5745) that can be dialed only from the areas under Israel’s control. When calling this number, the AIC was told that no telephone number exists that can be dialed from abroad, and that no fax number is available. However, we found their email and fax number, which you may find below.
The Alternative Information Center encourages Palestinian, Israeli and international activists for justice to contact the Carmel Academic Center and the Israeli Council of Higher Education to protest this blatant case of institutionalized racism by the Carmel Academic Center, and the lack of an in-depth investigation of this case by the Israel Council for Higher Education.
Carmel Academic Center:
Fax: +972 (0)2 5611914
Telephone: +972 (0)2 5611914