To summarize, because of a State Department travel advisory, Drew University is not allowing students to go to Israel at this time, though apparently we have allowed it in the past. There has always been a policy in place keeping students from attending study abroad program in countries that appear on any sort of State Department watch list. People have been allowed to go to Israel in the past due to inconsistent application of the policy as recently as this summer. With a new study aboard coordinator, a more consistent application of this policy has arrived. I am not happy about, but I understand the University’s position with regards to insurance. Apparently, policies like this are quite normal at schools our size all over the country.
This entire issue center’s around a particular Drew student who is planning on going to Tel Aviv University next semester, which is looking increasingly unlikely, which is making this student increasingly unreasonable.
What follows was added to this post on November 28, after the student this issue revolves around contacted me, asking for me to remove his name from my blog. Previously, this post had contained a number of specific references to things that the individual said to me. He told me after the fact that those things were said in confidence. Though that was not made clear to me at the time, I have decided to honor his wishes and drastically truncate this post.
That is not to say, however, that I am in any way happier about this issue than I was when I first posted this. I still find the transformation of this issue, which is about consistent application of a silly rule (which is now in the process of being revised), into an issue about anti-Israel statements.