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Boycott coordinating organization established in Europe

Nov. 8, 2010 9:18 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 8, 2010 9:18 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Monday marks the establishment of a European coordinating organization for promoting the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, following a founding meeting in Paris in September.

EPACBI currently includes representatives from organizations in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine and the Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine are issuing special newsletters simultaneously to announce declaration.

EPACBI will coordinate the campaign across Europe in order to respond more effectively to the call of Palestinian civil society for a comprehensive academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Priority areas for campaigning will include the EU funding of Israeli academic research.

Professor Ahmed Abbes of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the secretary of AURDIP, said: "European decision-makers find it convenient to forget that Israel practices systematic discrimination against its Palestinian citizens. Europeans who participate in academic exchanges with Israel can expect to suffer harassment or worse if they happen to have Middle-Eastern or Islamic-sounding names."

He added: "Integrating Israel into the European research environment amounts to importing Israel 's discriminatory policies back into Europe. For me that's unacceptable."
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