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Monday, October 27, 2003

BFD: Oxford suspends Wilkie for two months

Andrew Wilkie, the Oxford University professor who refused to hire an Israeli grad student because of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, has been suspended without pay for two months, the university said Monday.

In a statement, the university said the suspension of Nuffield Professor of Pathology Andrew Wilkie "reflects that there can be no place for any form of discrimination within the University of Oxford other than on the grounds of merit."

Oxford's Pembroke College said that in light of the suspension, Wilkie had resigned as a Fellow of the college and a member of its governing body.

In June, Wilkie rejected an application from Amit Duvshani, a graduate student at Tel Aviv university, for a post in his laboratory. In an e-mail to the student, Wilkie said he had a "huge problem" with Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

"I am sure that you are perfectly nice on a personal level, but no way would I take on somebody who had served in the Israeli army," Wilkie wrote. Military service is compulsory in Israel.

Oxford University said at the time it would investigate whether Wilkie had breached the university's anti-discrimination rules. On Monday, it said Wilkie had agreed to undergo
equal-opportunities training.

Days after he wrote to Duvshani, Wilkie apologized for "the wholly inappropriate expression of my personal opinions" in the e-mail.
The day this news comes in would be the day I have to share my computer with my son. It's okay, though, because I don't know what to say, anyway, except that we never win one.