Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday that Prof. David Newman is among the more than 1,000 people being presented an award by the Queen as part of her Birthday Honours list.
Newman will receive an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his promotion of the academic partnership between Britain and Israel. He has been a leading advocate of the academic partnership between the countries, and a key campaigner against the British academic boycott of Israel.
The awards presented by the Officer of the Order of the British Empire are given for a significant achievement or service in a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area.
Newman grew up in the UK and studied at the Universities of London and Durham. He has lived in Israel since 1982 and been at BGU since 1987. He is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, a faculty encompassing 21 academic departments, 250 tenured faculty members and almost 5000 students. Newman founded the Department of Politics and Government in 1997, and the Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society in 2002. He has been Dean since 2010 and has just been elected for a second three year term.
Newman works in the field of political geography and is currently the senior editor of the International Journal of Geopolitics. He has written extensively on territorial issues relating to conflicts, with a focus on Israel-Palestine. In recent years he has researched and published widely on the role of borders in the contemporary world. He is currently part of a 19 university European consortium (funded by the EU) entitled EUROBORDERSCAPES. In recent years he has represented Israel’s universities against the boycott attempts in Europe and the UK. In addition to his academic work, Newman writes a weekly political column in the Jerusalem Post.
Responding to announcement of his award, Newman, “I am very honoured to receive this award. Promoting scientific cooperation between Israel and the UK is of utmost importance, proving that science reaches beyond the borders of conflict. Scientific cooperation benefits humankind as a whole and does not differentiate between peoples because of their ethnic, national or religious backgrounds. Science must never be allowed to become captive to the political attempts to boycott or exclude. I am particularly pleased that the award has been given to someone who promotes scientific cooperation in the Humanities and Social Sciences, as this is an important component of scientific and philosophical thought, complementing the many cooperative projects which exist between the two countries in the fields of life sciences and medicine.”
Commenting on the award, British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould said, “Prof. Newman has been an important and powerful voice for academic links between Britain and Israel, at a time when such links have been criticized by some. I am delighted that he is being honoured for his work.”