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Friday, September 25, 2009

Spain bans Ariel College from competition because it's in Samaria

Ariel College had reached the final round of a competition to build a solar-powered house. The contest is being financed by the United States Department of Energy, but is taking place in Spain, and Ariel College was one of 20 finalists. The Spaniards threw Ariel out - it's located in Samaria, which means that it's not within the 1949 armistice lines.
"Spain acted in line with European Union policy of opposing Israel's occupation of Palestinian land," the Spanish official said on condition of anonymity, in line with ministry rules.

The Israeli university said it "rejects with disgust the one-sided announcement we received from the Spanish Housing Ministry and that the anti-academic decisions harms 10,000 students, including 500 Arab students who study there."

"The decision is an expression of the illegitimate political struggle which contravenes international law and international charters on academic freedom," it said in a statement sent Thursday to The Associated Press.

The contest is sponsored by the U.S. Energy Department, but Spain is hosting and financing a European version of it in 2010 and 2012 and has ultimate say over such details as who takes part, the ministry official said.

The Israelis were notified of the decision on September 11, and the U.S. Energy Department was also advised. The Spanish Housing Ministry did not hear back from the Americans, the official said.

Late last year, the Israelis' proposal made the final cut of 20 universities chosen to take part in the contest after a technical evaluation of their project. But at some point this year, the Spanish Housing Ministry realized their university is not in Israel but rather in the West Bank, the official said. He could not explain why this fact was initially overlooked.
Can someone please explain to me why this doesn't violate US laws forbidding cooperation in the Arab boycott? Does any of you have a way to get this before the appropriate Congressional committees? Why do I suspect that the Obama administration just decided to let this happen?

The picture at the top is a solar-powered home.


At 2:08 AM, Blogger onlyajew said...

I can get this to someone in Congress

At 2:34 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

It violates US law because the US government is paying for it. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Spain as well as elsewhere in Europe.

Ariel College doesn't need Spanish patronage. Good riddance!


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