Valencia regional government sponsors “Judeophobia” seminar organised by local BDS chapter

The regional government of Valencia, one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, is offering a teacher training course on “Judeophobia and Islamophobia” organised and presented by a local BDS chapter, as reported by ACOM, a civil society organisation that promotes stronger ties between Israel and Spain.

The public course, titled, “Solidarity and Human Rights” purportedly seeks to teach against hatred and racism, and the Israel-Palestine conflict, whilst “promoting values of peace, solidarity, and human rights among students; dismantling the numerous myths and prejudices that exist around these matters and interculturality as a tool against hatred”, and is run by the BDS Pais Valencià chapter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

In a statement, ACOM described the decision by the Valencian government as “repugnant”, adding that the BDS Pais Valencià group promotes discrimination against Jews.

“It is worth pointing out that this group is responsible for the blackmail against Matisyahu,” the statement added, referring to an incident in 2015 where the chapter demanded that the American Jewish artist make a public statement endorsing Palestinian statehood and, when he didn’t, successfully applied pressure on a local music festival to disinvite him. The incident left the widespread impression that the chapter had targeted Matisyahu based in part on an assumption that Jews necessarily support all Israeli policies unless they prove otherwise.

“We reserve the right to adopt legal measures to prevent a group from breaking the framework of democratic coexistence using public funds as a platform for their antisemitic ideology,” the statement from ACOM concluded.

A resolution adopted by the German Bundestag in May 2019 declared that “the pattern of argument and methods of the BDS movement are antisemitic” and pledged “not to financially support organizations that question Israel’s right to exist, projects that call for the boycott of Israel, or organisations that actively support BDS.”

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