Jerusalem-based marketing specialist and businesswoman Miriam Schwab uncovered the bias last week when she checked into applying to the university’s San Diego branch Beyster Institute program for Middle East Entrepreneur Training (MEET). She discovered that the program was open to citizens of “Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel (limited to Israeli Arab citizens), Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, West Bank/Gaza and Yemen.”
In response to an IsraelNationalNews.com question for confirmation of the restriction in Israel, program manager Mona Yousry verified, “It is only for Arab Israelis.” A subsequent question as to why Israeli Jews are not eligible for the program elicited the following reply from the Institute’s Director of Entrepreneurial Programs, Rob Fuller: “Iâm sorry for the unfortunate misunderstanding about eligibility for the new MEET program. To be clear, for the programs for which we are now recruiting to be held in 2008, ALL Israeli citizens are eligible to participate. Sorry for any confusion we may have inadvertently caused.”
Israeli Jews originally were excluded despite the programâs stated advantage as “an important cultural exchange.” Fuller did not explain the initial “confusion” in barring Israeli Jews.
The programs are to be held in Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, all of which have relations with Israel.
Following the e-mail complaints to Beyster, the US Embassy of Yemen online document which announces the program was down for more than a day until the words “limited to Israeli Arab citizens” were deleted. [View the document announcing the program by clicking here. (I’ve disabled this link because it was virus-ridden.) When prompted with “Do you want to open or save this file,” click on “Open.”]
The US official who made the online edit, however, reposted the story in “track changes” format so that the document displays in the left margin, at the time of this writing, the words: “Deleted: Limited to Israeli Arab citizens.” (See pics below).