Sunday, March 03, 2013

Academic freedoms in France

From A.  :" I listened to the audio of your talk at Vancouver. You seem to assume that the United States and Canada are the two worst places in the world for pro-palestinian talks in college campuses, academic freedom... and you seem to think that Europe is a much better place for such things, and you mention the UK. OK for the latter. But what about France ? In this country (which I live in) a talk like the one you gave in Vancouver is just unimaginable. In 2011, some students of the Ecole Normale Superieure (the ultra selective school) attempted to organize a talk with Stephane Hessel in order to defend BDS. The debate was cancelled by the administration of the school after a campaign by local zionists (the CRIF). Then, the same students tried to set up a debate merely demanding whether its is legitimate or not to use the word "apartheid" to describe israeli occupation. So far from your thesis of liberation of Palestine. But still, the debate was cancelled after an even harsher campaign by the CRIF. The school was convicted by the justice, but still it didn't allow the debates as it was supported by the zionist lobby.  I've not heard of other attempts to debate of Palestine in french campuses.  So I think that France is much more harsher than the USA or Canada for this matter."