The Jewish Chronicle - - News -

This week, a re­li­gious stu­dent at Bar Ilan Uni­ver­sity, af­ter be­ing struck with a bout of in­som­nia, ven­tured to the halls of res­i­dence’s com­puter clus­ter in the early hours of the morn­ing to dis­cover strictly Or­tho­dox men brows­ing the in­ter­net’s more ques­tion­able ma­te­rial.

“I was in shock,” she re­called. “I passed them and they just con­tin­ued surf­ing porno­graphic sites as if they were watch­ing the news. Th­ese are not peo­ple that I know; they are too old to be stu­dents, and any­one can en­ter the uni­ver­sity, so they sim­ply took ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion,” she said.

The uni­ver­sity is aware that many Charedim from the nearby pre­dom­i­nantly strictly Or­tho­dox town of Bnei Brak take ad­van­tage of the room in or­der to surf the net, as in­ter­net ac­cess at home is not usu­ally per­mit­ted by rab­bis. A Bar Ilan spokesper­son told Is­raeli news web­site ynet: “In co­or­di­na­tion with the union, we reached a de­ci­sion to de­crease the amount of hours the offices are open and we were in­deed suc­cess­ful in sig­nif­i­cantly re­duc­ing the phe­nom­e­non. The uni­ver­sity ad­min­is­tra­tion is plan­ning on as­sess­ing ad­di­tional steps in com­pletely elim­i­nat­ing the en­trance of strangers.” Em­bla­zoned on the front cover of this week’s is­sue of Felix, the Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don stu­dent news­pa­per, is the story of Zo­hair Abu Sha­ban, an elec­tri­cal-en­gi­neer­ing grad­u­ate from Gaza Uni­ver­sity who is, ap­par­ently, un­able to ac­cept his place at Im­pe­rial Col­lege for a mas­ters de­gree ow­ing to be­ing “trapped” within Gaza by an Is­raeli bor­der pa­trol.

The piece chron­i­cles Zo­hair’s failed at­tempt at cross­ing both the Erez and Rafah bor­ders of Gaza.

Ad­di­tion­ally it claims that “there are an es­ti­mated 600 stu­dents in Gaza who have been ac­cepted into for­eign uni­ver­si­ties, not tak­ing into ac­count promis­ing stu­dents who have been de­terred from even ap­ply­ing”.

The ar­ti­cle quotes a spokesman from the Is­raeli For­eign Min­istry as say­ing: “Gaza has be­come a hos­tile en­tity ruled by Ha­mas, a group that have es­sen­tially de­clared war.”

The Im­pe­rial Col­lege Jewish So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Yoni Weiner said: “The Is­lamic So­ci­ety wanted to launch a stu­dent-union cam­paign to let Zo­hair across, but we, and UJS, felt that the best course of action would be to let the uni­ver­sity run the cam­paign”.

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