Spanish Jews call on university to cancel pro-BDS course that encourages antisemitism

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE), the country’s EJC affiliate, has asked the rector of the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) to cancel a pro-BDS online course on the grounds that it will encourage antisemitism.

The course, entitled “Apartheid in Palestine and the criminalisation of solidarity”, will feature Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, who in the past has uttered inflammatory antisemitic statements; Lidón Soriano Segarra, who has published several articles justifying terrorism and the “armed struggle” against Israel; Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory, who in the past has exhibited a long-held anti-Israel bias, including accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing and serving as a leader of a group that promotes Israel Apartheid Week; and sociologist Alys Samson, European coordinator of the BNC collective that also promotes BDS.

The course is being financed and co-organised by SODEPAZ, an NGO that has shown support for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) systematically. Consequently, the FCJE considers that the course will be of a “partisan character”and will “present a distorted version of the conflict.”

“We believe that students who attend courses at prestigious Spanish universities deserve impartial and qualitative education. This course will encourage hatred against Jews and Israel and therefore we request that it be cancelled,” said the FCJE in a letter the rector of the Public University of Navarra, Ramón Gonzalo García.

The FCJE insisted that, in view of the scheduled speakers, the course’s stated objective of “analysing the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the current context from different perspectives “will be completely unattainable”.


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