Ariel University has received a payment of nearly $100,000 (NIS 430,000) from the government of Spain.
The payment is a compensation award by the Spanish government, paid to end a discrimination lawsuit forced on both parties by the BDS movement.
Six years ago, the Spanish government caved in to pressure from the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement and refused to allow students from the university – based in Samaria – to participate in an international contest.
The competition to design “green” buildings that were environmentally friendly was to be open to students from universities around the world. The students from Ariel University designed “Abraham’s Tent” – a design that attracted great interest, and brought them into the finals.
The anti-Israel BDS boycott movement got to work making sure the students would not be allowed to take part in the competition, however, because they study in Samaria.
Upon their arrival in Spain for the finals, however, the students were stopped. They were informed by the Spanish Construction Ministry which funded the competition that they had been barred from the contest.
Ariel University petitioned the decision in Spain via a local attorney, and sued the Spanish government for compensation. The university also demanded the students be allowed to return to the competition.
As mentioned above, that was six years ago.
After a legal struggle, the Spanish government was forced to admit it had discriminated against the students and the university. It offered to settle the case for NIS 430,000; the payment was transferred recently to the university.
“The decision to compensate the university and to declare the barring of the students from the competition as ‘null and void’ is the required, ethical and legal response to this attempt to boycott Israel,” Ariel University President Yigal Cohen-Orgad told the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot.
“It proves that it’s possible to succeed in foiling these efforts,” he added.Hana Levi Julian