March 4, 2016 | The Jerusalem Post

German public university to host boycott Israel lecture

Ruhr University Bochum—one of Germany’s largest public academic institutions—is slated to hold in March a Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) lecture targeting the Jewish state from a Palestinian official.

The news website Ruhrbarone first reported on Friday on the BDS event with the headline “Advertisement for Jewish Boycott on the Ruhr University.”

According to the website Bochum Alternative, the invitation states that Salah Al-Khawaja, a member of the executive committee of the Palestinian National Committee BDS, will speak on “Palestinian civil resistance against the Israeli occupation power and settler politics as well as the Stop the Wall and BDS campaigns.”

The invitation says Al-Khawaja is an executive committee member and coordinator of the People’s Committee of the Stop the Wall Campaign.

The Ruhr University Bochum, which was founded in 1962, had just over 44,000 students enrolled in 2015, making it one of the  five largest academic campuses in Germany.

The Jerusalem Post's efforts to secure a statement from Ruhr University Bochum on the weekend were not successful.

The university is located in the industrial stronghold city of Bochum in the West German state  of North Rhine-Westphalia .

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone on record stating her opposition to boycotts against the Jewish State. The Bremen city cultural center Bürgerhaus Weserterrassen pulled the plug on a pro-BDS activist talk in January.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center termed BDS “an anti-Semitic, anti-peace poison pill” in its 2013 report on the group. 

Charlotte Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor who heads the Munich Jewish community, told the Post in November, “The BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] campaign disguises the socially unacceptable ’Don’t buy from Jews!’ as a modernized form of Nazi jargon by demanding ‘Don’t buy from the Jewish State.”’

The BDS organization states its goals are: “ending  its [Israel’s] occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall; Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and  Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.”

Benjamin Weinthal is a Berlin-based fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenWeinthal.