Spain boycotts Ariel college for being on occupied territory

Spanish government, sponsor of Solar Decathalon, disqualifies architecture department of Ariel University Center of Samaria from finals. ‘10,000 students hurt by fight that is against international law,’ claims college

Yaheli Moran Zelikovich. Ynet news.

The Spanish Housing Ministry disqualified Ariel University Center of Samaria from competing in the finals of the international competition between university architecture departments to design and build a self-sufficient house using solar power.

Sergio Vega, project manager of the Solar Decathlon, wrote in a communiqué to the college, “The decision was made by the Spanish government based on the fact that the university is located in occupied territory in the West Bank. The Spanish government is committed to uphold the international agreement under the framework of the European Union and the United Nations regarding this geographical area.”

The Solar Decathlon was first held as a European initiative and run by the Spanish Housing Ministry.

The Ariel University Center reached the finals together with 20 other universities from around the world after two years of collaboration with the competition’s management and the Spanish government.

In this framework, the college was even awarded a 100,000 Euro grant by the competition’s organizers to build a model house for the final competition slated to be held in Madrid in June 2010.

The cancellation of the Israeli team’s participation in the competition was urged by an initiative put out by the group, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine as a continuation of the academic boycott against Israel being led for quite some time by BNC – The Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Campaign National Committee.

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