‘INSTEAD OF fighting the Israeli army on the battlefield or killing civilians through acts of terrorism, the BDS movement seeks to destroy Israel’s image in the eyes of the world.’.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Giovane Kehila, a youth group representing Italians in Israel, condemned on Sunday the decision by the University of Turin’s Student Council to boycott the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
The resolution, which marks the first time a BDS resolution has been formally adopted by an Italian university student council, was passed last week by a vote of 16 in favor and five opposed.
As part of the decision, the council called on the university to cease all academic collaborations and ties with the Haifa-based Technion, citing the institution’s complicity in Israel’s military rule over the Palestinians.
The motion is part of a broader campaign called “Students against the Technion,” initiated last year by university students throughout Italy in favor of BDS and in support of a group of Italian academics who circulated an online petition, “Italian Campaign for the Revocation of Agreements with the Technion.”
The motion still has to gain the approval of the Academic Council and the rector before it will take effect.
According to the Italian daily La Repubblica, University of Turin Rector Gianmaria Ajani said in response: “The cooperation we have with the Technion was approved by the majority of the Senate and the board and the agreements do not involve military activities related to the use of technologies or the violation of human rights.”
Giovane Kehila, which attempted to counter the boycott resolution, welcomed the fact that the vote was not a unanimous one and praised those who voted against it.
“The opposition to the criminal movement led by terrorist Marwan Barghouti, who was sentenced to five life sentences by Israel is the real tiding for us,” Michael Sierra, head of the organization, said on Sunday. “We, the young Israeli Italians, will continue to reach out to all students of any origin that choose to study in Israel, a country where universities are a meeting place and a source of culture, learning and pluralism.
Sierra called upon Ajani and the Academic Council to “reject the campaign of hate directed against Israeli democracy and join us, the Israeli-Italian youth, in building bridges between cultures.”