In 2008 Israeli Ariel University was selected among another 20 Universities to participate in a sustainable solar energy powered housing contest. However, BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) exercised its usual blackmail and pressure on the Spanish Housing Ministry at JLRodríguez Zapatero’s government and the Polytechnic University of Madrid. In 2009 Ariel was notified that they could not compete and Foreign Minister Moratinos endorsed the decision.
The explanation to the expulsion was based on the fact that Ariel has its headquarters in Samaria. The government alleged the location made any technological or academic cooperation with the center impossible according to European law. This of course, as evidenced by the facts, was a lie. Moreover, according to international law, this region does not belong to any state. Jordan renounced to it and its final status is still pending.
As a “compensation” the expelled Israeli team received from the Spanish government the money they had invested in the project which obviously did not repair the moral damage. Ariel is a prestigious university which has dozens of agreements with worldwide centers and it’s a member of the International Association of Universities. They decided to vindicate their rights and demonstrate their expulsion was illegal. Marc Zell, a lawyer who fights BDS from Jerusalem and the recognized firm Cremades & Calvo Sotelo in Spain continued the legal battle and proved BDS pressures on the Ministry of Housing and Polytechnic University of Madrid as well as the damages caused by the arbitrary measures used against Ariel University.
So, after a long legal journey on June 30, 2014 the State Council set an important precedent and determined that the Spanish Government had to compensate Ariel with 100,000 euros and made very clear there is no Spanish or European law to justify an expulsion that violates Article 14 of the Constitution and the right to equality.
The now made official recognition by the State Council of the expulsion of an Israeli University as a discriminatory act and the determination of the illegality of the arguments of the anti-Semitic movement BDS, should serve our institutions as a stern warning against the pressure of a group that has convincingly demonstrated the evil, ignoble sinister and disastrous nature of their aims.