the University of Lille bans the event

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The conference, organized by a pro-Palestinian student association, was to welcome the leader of La France Insoumise and the controversial Franco-Palestinian activist Rima Hassan on Thursday.

The Palestine conference will not take place. Not in the premises of the University of Lille, in any case, which announced this Wednesday that the event, organized by the pro-Palestinian student association “Free Palestine”, who was to welcome Jean-Luc Mélenchon on Thursday and the controversial Franco-Palestinian activist Rima Hassan on Thursday, was not “no longer allowed”. The management invokes in a press release “a worrying rise in international tensions in recent days”in reference to Iranian fire on Israel, which “reverberates nationally and locally, just as it does at the university”.

Those around Jean-Luc Mélenchon are assured that the conference will be held in another location, without further details immediately. Faced with threats of cancellation hanging over the event, Rima Hassan showed great determination. “Whatever happens, we’ll go meet the students. We will hold the conference in the street if necessary”she declared to our colleagues at Opinion.

The war in Gaza, the focus of LFI’s European campaign

LFI has made the denunciation of Israeli operations in Gaza one of the main axes of its campaign for the European elections of June 9, defended through meetings and conferences by Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “We denounce the exploitation of this conference by supporters of unconditional support for the Netanyahu government”added the radical left movement.

“It will have been enough for PS Jérôme Guedj to denounce the logo of the student association and for a Macronist MP (Violette Spillebout, editor’s note) to call for disorder to destroy academic freedom”, lashed out at X, the founder of the movement. Since the start of the week, several elected officials, including the president (LR) of Hauts-de-France, Xavier Bertrand, have called for the event to be banned. “This political meeting, disguised as a conference with anti-Zionist overtones, had no place in a French university”, he reacted on Wednesday. The boss of LR Éric Ciotti denounced a “provocation” Who “stirs up a conflict and imports it onto national territory” and welcomed a cancellation that had become “essential” to his eyes. The logo of the student association was in question, in particular. “Free Palestine” at the initiative of the conference. This logo shows a territory encompassing Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A way of “deny the existence of the State of Israel” for some, including the head of the socialist list in the European elections, Raphaël Glucksmann.

Conferences already canceled

In a press release sent to AFP by LFI, the Libre Palestine association, created in November 2023 in the wake of the October 7 attacks, ensures that its logo “does not in any way deny the existence of Israel”. “We have simply mobilized a map which represents a region of the world crossed by an undeniable process of colonization and whose definition of borders is an issue of unstabilized struggles”specifies the association, adding that it does not have “never promoted hatred or uttered anti-Semitic remarks”. “This conference was, however, supported by an association registered with the prefecture and approved by the University and organized in strict compliance with the rules established by French universities”specify the Insoumis in their press release.

Last Wednesday, a conference by Mélenchon at the University of Rennes was canceled for security reasons, after a threatening email. Another was canceled in Bordeaux in October. The founder of LFI is due to speak on Wednesday evening at a campaign meeting in Roubaix, with the Northern MP David Guiraud and Rima Hassan. The controversial Franco-Palestinian activist, seventh on the list of European rebels, has in the past said she defends the solution of a “Binational state” while LFI is in favor of the two-state solution like the vast majority of the political class. “A cry from the heart” And “a militant word”defended the one who describes Israel as“fascist colonial entity”saying now register, as “political leader”, “in the framework of two States side by side”.

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