Belgian Student Body Votes To Boycott Israel at Universities

The Group Represents 100,000 Students at 25 Universities

By JTA

Published May 31, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Belgian student association passed a motion in favor of an academic boycott of Israel.

In a vote held last month, 85 percent of the voters at a general council of the Federation of French-speaking Students in Belgium, or FEF, supported a motion which called for “a freezing of relations with Israeli universities,” the Belgian newspaper Le Soir reported Wednesday.

The resolution is not binding for Belgian institutions of higher education.

FEF President David Medez Yepez told Le Soir in an interview published Friday that his organization – which represents some 100,000 students from 25 institutions – had kept the April 13 vote secret until now “to address people who would have been shocked or startled by our position.” Some 500 delegates voted, he said.

On Wednesday, the Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir reported that the move was initiated by the University of Louvain.

Citing “violations of various international law conventions committed by Israel,” the FEF motion states the “the time has come to sever ties with Israeli institutions of learning, be it through student exchanges or research.”

Maurice Sosnowski, president of the CCOJB umbrella organization representing French-speaking Jews in Belgium, slammed the vote.

“Isolating one party and preventing people from getting to know the other constitutes discrimination which runs contrary to the ethical, moral and educational role of the university,” he told the European Jewish Press.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.