Spain compensates Israeli university for boycott exclusion

(JTA) – Spain compensated an Israeli university in the amount of $107,000 in damages for its exclusion from a scientific competition for political reasons.

The central government transferred the money earlier this month as per a recent decision on the matter by the Spanish Council of State, according to a statement published Wednesday by ACOM, a pro-Israel organization based in Madrid.

The Council, Spain’s highest consulting body, made the decision following complaints of discrimination in the 2009 exclusion of Ariel University from an international competition among solar-energy innovators.

In its decision to exclude the university from participating in the Solar Decathlon Europe competition, the Spanish government that year cited the fact that Ariel University was located in a West Bank settlement.

But the Council found this to be a violation of article 14 of the Spanish constitution, which forbids forms of discrimination based on nationality of place of origin.

In its statement, ACOM called the decision a “Legal victory against BDS,” in reference to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

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