Hebrew University is facing sharp criticism for sponsoring a conference earlier this week featuring representatives from Coalition of Women for Peace, an Israeli NGO promoting the BDS movement.
The conference, “Arms Trade, Saving Lives: Exporting Weapons to Areas of Conflict,” was organized by the Hebrew University’s Truman Research Institute and focused on Israeli military exports.
The conference featured members of Coalition of Women for Peace’s “Hamushim” (“Armed”) project, which “works to expose the true human price of the Israeli military industry and arms trade, as well as to mobilize actions against it.” The project is co-sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, an American organization that promotes BDS and the “right of return for Palestinians.”
Shai Glick, head of the Betzalmo organization that exposed the story, noted that “it is ludicrous for Israeli academia to host representatives from an organization that calls to boycott Israel and Israeli academia itself.”
“It is very unfortunate that Hebrew University opts to provide a platform for BDS organizations who are the embodiment of new anti-Semitism,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman Matan Peleg, who pointed out that “the Coalition of Women for Peace is a radical organization that leads boycott campaigns against Israeli banks, security companies like Elbit and G4S, and was even involved in the Norwegian Government Pension Fund’s decision to divest from Israel. It is absurd that an Israeli university funded by taxpayers could provide a platform to such an organization.”
Hebrew University issued a statement saying its institutes and centers are independent and a enjoy a free hand in regards to their conferences. “Hebrew University does not boycott any person or organization, even those who wish to boycott us, so long as these organizations operate within the legal framework of the state,” the statement said.