lanninq a mitzvah
VISION FOR ISRAEL from page 25
the students, his parents, those in
the military, his widow, sat
together at the graduation of his
class, and I saw the beauty and
strength of the students of Ben-
Two hours later, Braverman
says he went to an auditorium on
campus where 450 students who
serve as mentors to 6,000 chil-
dren in surrounding disadvan-
taged neighborhoods, were cele-
brating their work. "It was beauti- Avishay Braverman in his o
ful to see such positivity," he says.
Braverman also singles out
difficult — and also affect the quality
BGU's Joyce and Irving Goldman
of a future peace in Israel.
Medical School for its innovative
He believes in a two-state solution
approach to community care. He says
that includes statehood for the
that a new program in International
Health and Medicine, in collaboration
"A day will come, around 2010, that
with Columbia University in New
collective wisdom will prevail. But
York, trains physicians to practice in
how can we maintain this [peace], if
the developing world.
don't rule our own country morally
Claiming to have "the best center for
and with integrity?" he asks.
Hebrew Literature in the world" at
The meaning of these words can be
BGU," Braverman lists_as faculty some
interpreted very differently, as
of Israel's most famous writers — Amos
Braverman found when he awarded
Oz, Haim Be-'er and Aharon Appelfeld.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon an
To promote the creation of a
degree from BGU last
National Institute for Biotechnology
About 150 people, includ-
adjacent to the university, Braverman
ing BGU faculty, protested his "legit-
brought together a consultant's dream-
imizing" Sharon's military action, as
team of scientists. The committee
reported in the Ha'aretz English edi-
includes Philip Needleman, who devel-
tion of Dec. 13, 2001.
oped the arthritis drug, Celebrex, con-
Some faculty members said
sidered the largest-selling drug in the
decision was for his own
world; Raymond Dwek, head of bio-
political gain, a possible position in
chemistry at Oxford University in
England, and Nobel Prize laureate_ Sir
But just as many people protested,
says Braverman, when he gave an hon-
orary degree to Peres, winner of the
Nobel Peace Prize, who has a more
c`peaceful" image than Sharon.
Despite such successes, Braverman still
Moskowitz, former national devel-
has many challenges.
opment director for the Jewish
While the intifada (Palestinian
National Fund of New York, defends
uprising) and the world economic sit-
Braverman's actions [awarding the
uation have dried up funds, the Israeli
BGU degree to Sharon] because of the
government has gone back and forth
results. Sharon, a resident of the
on offering incentives to encourage
Negev, rode the train down from Tel
people to move to the desert commu-
AviNt and brought 100 businessmen
nity. Big-city dwellers in central Israel
with him for a conference on develop-
argue that the money taken from their
ment there, Moskowitz says.
poor, in the form of tax incentives for
Does Braverman have political
the Negev, is given to middle-class
ambitions? "Avishay believes he can do
professors and students in Beersheva.
Braverman counters that he needs the more outside the system than in it,"
Moskowitz says simply.
money to attract the best students and
Still, in the Ha'aretz article,
faculty to develop his desert dream.
Braverman says that if the Negev were
Frustrated by the power centered in
an autonomous state, "as in the United
bigger cities like Tel Aviv and
States," with a separate budget, he •
Jerusalem, Braverman says bluntly,
would "definitely be ready to become
"We have such great Jews, but we
governor of the Negev."
don't have a good government. We
Braverman has particular thoughts-
deserve better ... we need a quiet, civil
for Detroiters and other American
revolution." He says that poor leader-
ship and the bureaucracy make change
VISION FOR ISRAEL on page 28
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