Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO
(L-R) Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman, Sara and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett at the ground breaking ceremony for a new medical school building at Ariel University, June 28, 2017.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Wednesday announced that the decision of the Council for Higher Education’s Planning and Budgeting Committee against the establishment of a medical school at Ariel University in Samaria was only a recommendation.

Read: Higher Education Council Reverses Ariel Med School Vote, Bennett Vows to ‘Fight the Cartel’

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Read: Coup: AG Deputies Handicap Second Vote on Ariel Medical School, Sure to Spell Its Demise

Earlier this month, the AG’s deputies Dina Zilber and Raz Nazri instructed the Council to convene its Planning and Budgeting Committee to reconsider its earlier decision to establish the school. Zilber and Nazri argued that two committee members were in conflicts of interest when they voted in favor of Ariel’s school, ordered the two removed without being replaced, thus forging a committee that delivered the goods: killing the only medical school in the territories.

With the AG’s approval, the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday approved the school, which should be admitting 70 medical students for the 2019-20 academic year.

The vote was unanimous.

Minister of Education and Chairman of the Council for Higher Education Naftali Bennett (New Right), declared: “A huge victory for medicine in Israel. The good of Israel overcame the small politics of the universities’ cartel.”

The establishment of the medical school, built with donations from billionaire philanthropists Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, was promoted by Bennett and received the approval of an external committee made up of independent professionals.

Minister Bennett noted that “there is a serious shortage of doctors in Israel, and there is a need to establish a school, and there is a university that is suitable for this.”

“It’s the right thing for academia, for the world of medicine and for the Israeli public,” he continued. “All along the way, the university cartel tried to do everything to shove a stick in the sprockets and thwart the establishment of the school, in order to avoid one thing – competition. But the good of Israel overcame the small politics of the university cartel. We won,” Bennett said.

Ariel University welcomed the decision to open the new facility in October.

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