Buckingham Palace announced Saturday that an Israeli professor is among the more than 1,000 people being presented an award by Queen Elizabeth as part of her Birthday Honours list.
Professor David Newman, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, will receive the award for his promotion of the academic partnership between Britain and Israel. He has been a leading advocate of the academic partnership between the countries, and a key campaigner against the British academic boycott of Israel.
The awards presented by the Officer of the Order of the British Empire are given for a significant achievement or service in a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area.
Newman grew up in the U.K. and has lived in Israel since 1982. He founded the department of politics and government in 1997 and has been dean since 2010.
Responding to announcement of his award, Newman, "I am very honored to receive this award. Promoting scientific cooperation between Israel and the UK is of utmost importance, which prove that science reaches beyond the borders of conflict
"Science must never be allowed to become captive to the political attempts to boycott or exclude. I am particularly pleased that the award has been given to someone who promotes scientific cooperation in the Humanities and Social Sciences, as this is an important component of scientific and philosophical thought, complementing the many cooperative projects which exist between the two countries in the fields of life sciences and medicine."
Commenting on the award, British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould said, "Prof. Newman has been an important and powerful voice for academic links between Britain and Israel, at a time when such links have been criticized by some. I am delighted that he is being honored for his work."
Over the past year, Ben-Gurion University's politics and government department has been at the center of a controversy amid claims of a leftist bias among its faculty members.
In February, the Council on High Education reversed an earlier decision to close the department. Additional faculty members were hired and changes made to course curricula, in keeping with the recommendations of an international panel appointed to evaluate political science programs at Israeli institutions of higher education.
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