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BDS Spain anti-racism course cancelled following pressure from pro-Israel groups

May 20, 2020 at 3:22 pm

An activist holds up a placard during a protest supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) [Heri Rakotomalala/Flickr]

The regional government of Valencia has cancelled a teacher training course on human rights that was to be delivered by a Spanish Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) group following heated campaigning by anti-BDS organisations who compared the Palestinian solidarity movement with Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan.

The 20-day online seminar for teachers by BDS Pais Valencia organisation titled “Solidarity and human rights. Learning to teach against hatred and racism (Judeophobia, Islamophobia, and Palestine-Israel)” was scheduled to begin on 8 June.

However, on Monday the government of Valencia pulled offline the registration form without providing an explanation. The seminar had provoked strong backlash from national and international pro-Israeli groups.

Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM), a pro-Israel organisation that seeks to thwart the BDS movement said the “withdrawal of this teachers’ training comes after the intervention of prestigious international institutions such as The European Jewish Congress,  The American Jewish Committee,  The Anti-Defamation League,  B´nai B´rith or Simon Wiesenthal Centre.” All the organisations mentioned are staunch supporters of Israel.

READ: Pro-Israel group fails to have BDS supporting professor removed

On Twitter ACOM compared the Valencia pro-Palestinian group to Hitler saying that the seminar was like having “a Nazi lecturing against racism, or a member of the Ku Klux Klan speaking on racial persecution.”

ACOM has also taken credit for having 65 pro-Palestinian initiatives annulled by Spanish courts.