Professors and lecturers who are employed at universities in the West Bank areas are facing complicated processes and harsh standards to obtain VISAs from Israel. They are finding the requests are denied, delayed or are granted for arbitrary periods of time that won’t allow for the completion of teaching contract requirements. CCS has written the Prime Minister of Israel requesting clarification of these requirements.
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Building C
Jerusalem 91950, Israel
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our grave concern about your current VISA process and how it is applied to international academics who have been employed to teach at universities in the West Bank territories.
It has been reported that international professors and lecturers who are employed at these universities face increasingly harsh standards for obtaining a VISA that seem arbitrary in length with many being denied entry at all. Extensions of visas, we have heard, are either denied or delayed and are granted for arbitrary periods of time – many so short that they cannot complete their obligations to a classroom of students as they are forced to leave mid-way through a contract period or a semester or academic year. We have also been informed that instructors are required to deposit large guarantees, sometimes as much as $23,000 (equivalent in US dollars) which is almost prohibitive to many working in the education fields.
This makes it nearly impossible for many of these universities to continue to exist or to provide any quality education to their students, which we would think would be a major benefit to Israel, as well.
We would greatly appreciate your clarifying these requirements and the VISA policy for international academics so that we may better understand what is really happening as you encourage your neighbors to provide quality learning to their citizens.
We look forward to your response to the issues in this regard.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists