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Friday, June 27, 2003

News Release from University of Oxford

27 June 2003

Comments by Professor Andrew Wilkie

A spokesperson for the University of Oxford said:

“Our staff may hold strongly felt personal opinions. Freedom of expression is a fundamental tenet of University life, but under no circumstances are we prepared to accept or condone conduct that appears to, or does, discriminate against anyone on grounds of ethnicity or nationality, whether directly or indirectly. This candidate is entitled to submit an application and to have it dealt with fairly according to our normal criteria.

“Professor Wilkie has issued a personal apology regarding remarks he made by e mail to an applicant for a research degree at Oxford. An immediate and thorough investigation of this matter is now being carried out in accordance with the University’s procedures and a report will be presented to the Vice-Chancellor next week.”

Note to editors:

The full text of Professor Wilkie’s apology is:

“I recognise and apologise for any distress caused by my e mail of 23 June and the wholly inappropriate expression of my personal opinions in that document. I was not speaking on behalf of Oxford University or any of its constituent parts. I entirely accept the University of Oxford’s Equal Opportunities and Race Equality policies.”

University of Oxford, Public Relations Office, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD
Tel: 01865 280528
Fax: 01865 280535

- End -


The text of Wilkie's email to Israeli applicant for a doctoral position:

Original Message -----

From: "Andrew Wilkie"
To: "Amit Duvshani"
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: PhD application

Dear Amit Duvshani,

Thank you for contacting me, but I don't think this would work. I have a huge problem with the way that the Israelis take the moral high ground from their appalling treatment in the Holocaust, and then inflict gross human rights abuses on the Palestinians because the (the Palestinians) wish to live in their own country.

I am sure that you are perfectly nice at a personal level, but no way would I take on somebody who had served in the Israeli army. As you may be aware, I am not the only UK scientist with these views but I'm sure you will find another suitable lab if you look around.

Yours sincerely
Andrew Wilkie

Nuffield Professor of Pathology,
Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine,
The John Radcliffe,
Headington,
Oxford OX3 9DS,
UK.

Tel (44)-1865-222619
Fax (44)-1865-222500
Email awilkie@worf.molbiol.ox.ac.uk