Wiesenthal Centre to Spanish Prime Minister: “Cancel anti-Semitic Summer Course on ‘Apartheid in Palestine and the Criminalization of Solidarity’ at the Public University of Navarra and Satelite Campuses."
September 4, 2020
PARIS – In a letter to Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, had commended Spain “for adopting, on 22 July, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism”... Nevertheless, “Sadly, this endorsement is now to be betrayed by the Public University of Navarra (Universidad Pública de Navarra - UPNA) and satelite campuses, in an 'online course' to be held from 9 September until 7 October, entitled 'Apartheid in Palestine and the Criminalization of Solidarity'.”
Samuels added, “This is apparently coordinated by Sodepaz, alleged to be linked with Batasuna Basque nationalists and, reportedly, in contact with the PLFP, a Palestinian group on the European Union terrorist list. On the programme is Omar Barghouti, head of the international BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign – reminiscent of the 1930s Nazi ‘Kaufen Nicht bei Juden’ (Do not buy from Jews!) programme – viewed as illegal in municipalities across Spain.”
The Centre noted that, “The highly respected ACOM (Accion y Comunicacion sobre Oriente Medio - Action and Communication on the Middle East), presented a court in Pamplona – the city hosting the UPNA – with the jurisprudence to declare the boycott of Israel as illegal in Spain. Moreover, academic freedom to incite to hate violates the Spanish Constitution.”
The letter continued, “Mr. Prime Minister, our Centre joins ACOM in calling on you to take measures to cancel this course – on grounds of antisemitism, invoking the IHRA Definition – that can incite lone wolves to attack Jewish institutions, schools, synagogues and cemeteries in Spain.”
“Mr. Prime Minister, incitement to hatred and violence is not a human right – even and especially on campus, where students are to be formed in open-mindedness and tolerance, not in discrimination and hate,” concluded Samuels.
“We are sharing this letter with Madam Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and General Thomas Greminger, Secretary General of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), where our Centre is accredited and where Spain is an active member, to ensure that both organizations pay attention to the danger of antisemitism – in all its forms – across Europe.”
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).