Activists from the BDS movement against Israel [File].
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Israel’s most important resource has been under international attack by anti-Israel elements for some time, Prof. Peretz Lavie, chairman of the Association of University Heads in Israel (VERA) and president of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology said this week.
Lavie issued a statement in response to reports that the University of Chile’s Law Faculty student union had voted to approve a BDS resolution against Israel.
“The academic boycott of Israeli universities has begun to metastasize outside the US and the UK,” he said.
“We all have to understand that an academic boycott means a boycott of the strategic advantage of the State of Israel – its human capital. This is our most important resource and it is under international attack by anti-Israel elements for a long time,” he added.
Lavie called on the government to intervene and consolidate its efforts to counter BDS.
“VERA will continue to fight the spread of the phenomenon and it is as determined as ever. But it is not enough,” he said. “The full mobilization on the part of the state is required, so that together we can provide a real counterweight against BDS and the other active organizations.”
He added: “The government of Israel must recognize this matter as one of national importance and act to halt it through organized activity, allocation of resources, and the creation of a single address in the country and will consolidate all the efforts.”
Earlier this week JTA reported that the Chilean student group had voted on two questions: Should students agree to ban activities that involve the participation of representatives of Israel or who receive funding from Israel in the law school and also should the University of Chile maintain institutional links with Israeli universities.
In both instances the students voted in favor of BDS – 56.3% in favor to 43.6 percent opposed to the first question and 64% in favor and 36% opposed in the second vote.
The Palestinian community in Chile is one of the largest outside of the Middle East, with some 300,000 Chileans of Palestinian descent. In contrast, only some 15,000 Jews currently live in Chile.