Academic Freedom Letter of Support for Dr. Uri Horesh

Professor Yifat Bitton
President, Achva Academic College

Professor Pinchas Dahan
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Eti Grobgeld
CEO, Achva Academic College


Dear President Bitton, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dahan, and Chief Executive Officer Grobgeld,

On behalf of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and its 8,000 members we write to you after learning that Dr. Uri Horesh, who served as senior lecturer of linguistics, had his employment terminated by Achva Academic College due to two posts he made on his personal Facebook page. Decisions about promotion, tenure, and termination should be made primarily on the basis of scholarly merit.

Our Association is deeply committed to the principles of academic freedom, which is essential for researchers, teachers, and students to advance the purpose of institutions of higher education, including Achva Academic College, in serving the common good. We adhere to the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) Statement on Academic Freedom, which also recognizes that “the common good depends on the free search” for knowledge and its free exposition.

The pattern of recent events in the Middle East and, indeed, around the world indicate a gathering storm that threatens the academic freedom of anthropologists and other academics. Historically, these threats have been most effectively mitigated when scholarly and professional associations like ours have investigated and spoken out against attacks on academic freedom.

We call upon you to reinstate Uri Horesh and rescind the allegations made against him. We are also concerned that your decision is a potential threat to the overall College faculty’s freedom of academic inquiry and expression and urge you in the strongest possible terms to use the full capacities of your office to preserve, protect, and promote the pursuit of knowledge and the free exchange of ideas.



Ady Arguelles-Sabatier
Executive Director
American Anthropological Association