Yediot Aharonot printed edition (p. 32) is reporting today about an ongoing scandal in Ahva college in the south, where a Muslim Bedouin professor, ‘Alian al-Qarnaqi (54) from Rahat, was supposed to be appointed president of the college, but several of his colleagues voice their objection to this appointment and opt to elect another (Jewish candidate). Objectors claim that it is ‘inconceivable’ that a Muslim would head a teacher-training college: “how can a Muslim uphold values like the love of the country, military service and contributing the state – an approach upheld by this college for many years? Our concern is that his appointment to this highly important position would diminish our Jewish enrollments and the college would be destroyed. We have no doubt that very quickly, Bedouin students would become the majority, and the campus will fill up with hijabs and kuffiyehs.”
During another discussion in the college’s council, other objectors asked: “what would the Bedouin professor do during the commemoration sirens on memorial and Shoa days? will he stand up? Will Jewish student refrain from enrolling in a college headed by a Muslim? would a Muslim college appoint a Jew as its president?” Others assumed the appointment go through and started to conceive of a plan to impeach him. A senior lecturer at the college claimed: “I am not a racist, but this is a Zionist college that should promote Jewish values.” Other claim that prof. al-Qarnawi does not come from the discipline of education but from the department of social work, and therefore unfit to head the college.
Talal al-Qarnaqi, the professor’s brother and former mayor of Rahat comments: “My brother was selected because of his skills. We are Israeli patriots just like everyone else. This is our state, and we are its citizens, and we all must live together with mutual respect and equality.”
Ra’anan Sarid, a member in the search committee also commented: “the Committee worked professionally and meticulously to find the most suitable candidates, and its considerations were purely professional.”