Campinas, SP – The “Fair of Israeli Universities” at Unicamp (State University of Campinas), in Campinas (SP), was suspended after an act by groups opposed to the event.
The facade of the building of the Permanent Commission for Vestibulars (Comvest), where the fair would be held – was graffitied by protesters with the phrase “Free Palestine” and “Unicamp, territory free from apartheid”. The demonstration was led by the Arab Palestinian Federation of Brazil (Federação Árabe Palestina do Brasil – Fepal) and by the Palestinian Youth (Juventude Palestina – Sanaud).
The event has become a reason for deadlock since last week, when it was announced by email to students.
The rector Antonio José de Almeida Meirelles announced that the fair was held in session by the University Council, the body that makes the main deliberations of the institution.
In a note, Unicamp’s rectory confirmed that the event had to be canceled “due to demonstrations against its occurrence”. “Unicamp points out that the right to free demonstration will be guaranteed as long as these are carried out peacefully and as long as there is no impediment to academic activities duly authorized by the decision-making bodies of the University”, said the university.
The Jewish Federation of the State of São Paulo (Federação Israelita do Estado de São Paulo – Fisesp) released a note of rejection and stated that there was violence during the protests against the fair.
“The Jewish Federation of the State of São Paulo repudiates the marginal action of the demonstrators and affirms that Unicamp is a democratic space that even maintains six agreements with Israeli universities, always working towards mutual cooperation between the two countries. Violence is the main feature of some of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations around the world, here in Brazil we cannot allow that to happen”, quoted Fisesp in an excerpt from the note.