Vincent Berger, president of Diderot University in Paris, is investigating a question “of a polemic nature” which was posed to students of the Bichat Hospital Faculty of Medicine, Agence France Presse reported.
CRIF, , responded with “indignance” in a public statement on Thursday to the “scandalous” question relating to the bombing of civilians in Gaza, which it claimed constituted “incitement against Israel”.
According to the umbrella organization of French Jewry CRIF, as corroborated by a report by the National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, Diderot’s Professor Christophe Oberlin posed to the students of humane medicine the question, referring to the deaths of 22 members of the same family in a “classic bombing” during the Gaza conflict of 2008-2009.
“To what extent does it constitute a perpetual crime (war crime, crime against humanity, genocide crime)?” Oberlin asked, according to reports.
Diderot University President Berger expressed his “consternation” at the professor’s choice to include this question “in the context of a non-compulsory medical exam.”
“It implies a regrettable polemic attitude which contravenes the neutral and secular nature of higher education,” Berger’s statement continued.
Berger recalled that the independent principles of the founding educators, enshrined in the French constitution, don’t allow for the abuse of the fundamental values of public service.
“As it stands, this question constitutes an absolute incitement to hate Israel,” stressed Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF. “It has no place in medical education, much less in a university, and amounts to a violation of the neutrality [demanded of] professor Oberlin.”
“We would like to remind Mr Oberlin that he doesn’t have a right to use the university to espouse a selective agenda,” added Prasquier.
Meanwhile, the Union of Jewish Students in France (UEJF) claimed the professor had “encouraged the students to adopt condemnatory positions” in posing the question to them.
“In the eyes of the UEJF, Professor Oberlin abused his position of authority, in his role as exam moderator, by not allowing students to publicly express their disagreement with this misleading ideological statement,” the organization declared in a statement.
UEJF president Jonathan Hayou demanded the University summon the professor to explain his actions.