CAM Urges Rector of Spanish University to Reconsider Anti-Semitic Course
September 22, 2020
Earlier this month, an anti-Semitic course began this semester at the Public University of Navarra, the second largest university in the Navarra region of Spain. Titled, “Apartheid in Palestine and the Criminalization of Solidarity,” the course agenda advocates for the dissolution of the world’s only Jewish state and takes a discriminatory approach to Israel and its Jewish population. In response, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) sent a letter to the university’s rector, Ramón Gonzalo García, urging him to postpone the course in order to find an equitable solution.
The Public University of Navarra is supported by public funds and the course features several anti-Semitic speakers and supporters of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. Writing to the rector, CAM’s Director Sacha Roytman Dratwa points out that the course “celebrates and advocates for the dissolution of the world’s only Jewish state.”
Explaining how the intent of the course is clearly problematic, Roytman Dratwa states, “In holding Israel to a standard unlike any other, and embracing the BDS Movement, which calls for its desctruction, this course promotes anti-Semitism.”
Noting Spain’s historic decision to become the twenty-third European country to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism earlier this summer, Roytman Dratwa details how the course is engaged in anti-Semitism as defined by the Spanish government.
Under the IHRA definition, “Anti-Semitism as it relates to Israel…includes ‘denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor’ and ‘Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.’ The online course seemingly violates these guidelines and is therefore engaged in anti-Semitism,” Roytman Dratwa expounded.
The Public University of Navarra is located in the region’s capital city, Pamplona. Highlighting that the city itself ruled that the boycott of Israel to be illegal for “finding that it created discrimination against Israel and Israelis – a violation of the right to equality, as enshrined in the law,” Roytman Dratwa expressed that “A university course that promotes the very act that was locally found to be illegal is an act of injustice in its own right.”
Urging the university to reconsider, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement asked the rector to “consider postponing the course and formally collaborating with our Spanish colleagues at Acción y Comunicacion sobre Oriente Medio (ACOM) to find an equitable solution.”
The full letter can be viewed here.
As of this writing, the rector of the university has not yet responded to CAM’s letter.