The Student Union at the University of Chile’s Law Faculty has voted to approve a resolution prohibiting any academic interaction with the State of Israel or its citizens.
According to a report by Israel Radio, some 56 percent of students at the University of Chile’s Law School voted in favor of banning activities in the law school that involve the participation of functionaries of the State of Israel or that are funded by the Israeli embassy.
Over 64 Percent voted that University of Chile, the largest and one of the most prestigious in the country, should not maintain links with Israeli universities, which they claim “directly contribute to the violation of human rights of the Palestinian people.”
The Palestinian Federation of Chile celebrated the vote, calling it a demonstration against “Israeli Apartheid.”
Chile in general has adopted an anti-Israel stance at international forums. The Palestinian community in Chile is believed to be the largest outside of the Middle East.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations, on Friday urged the University’s Rector, Ennio Vivaldi Véjar, to nullify the resolution, saying that the resolution does not befit an institution that claims to oppose discrimination and encourage international dialogue.
“‘Canada, Great Britain, the United States and the City of Paris have each passed legislation against BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) viewing it as a contributory factor to anti-Semitism and incitement to violence against Jews in their jurisdiction…Uniformed BDS squads in France fill there trolleys with kosher products on supermarket shelves, rush past terrified cashiers to burn these goods once outside…French Jews are reminded of the same behaviour under Nazi occupation…BDS is now prosecuted for religious discrimination,” noted Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Center’s director for international relations.
“A boycott falsely accusing the State of Israel of Apartheid, in fact, is practicing Apartheid against Israel and its Jewish and non-Jewish supporters…Maintaining this resolution would presage a multiplier closing University ties at the whim of individual or group prejudices based upon nationality, race, religion or gender – an unthinkable fate for any campus, but especially for a Law Faculty,” added Dr. Ariel Gelblung, the Center’s Latin American Representative.
“North American and European BDS bigotry must be prevented from importing its culture of hate to the Universities of Latin America,” concluded Center officials.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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