Paris university avoids ‘Israel-bashing’ seminar

A French university last week closed its doors for two days to avoid hosting an event designed to encourage a boycott of Israel, writes Cnaan Liphshiz for The Jerusalem Post. CRIF, the representative body of French Jewry, called the closure of the University of Paris VIII “a victory in the fight against the boycott campaign”.

CRIF attributed the closure to a recent French court ruling stating that political boycott campaigns do not belong in academia. In contrast, the board of the university – a public institution – cited the need to preserve “public order”. The controversy leading to the closure revolved around a discussion event titled “New sociological, historical and juridical approaches to the call for international boycott: Israel, an apartheid state".

The organisers described the event as a seminar but the university rejected this term, calling would-be participants “protesters”. Event organisers then said they would hold the event with or without the university’s consent – leading the university’s president to announce a two-day shutdown.
Full report on The Jerusalem Post site