Multiple Tunisian participants in the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s GAV Youth Academie program said they would not take part in the program due to the institution remaining tight-lipped on Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, reports The New Arab and agencies, November 2.
The German institution offers multiple scholarships in Tunisian capital Tunis and is facing backlash from a strong Palestine-supporting community.
A statement published on October 31 and signed by 15 people who withdrew their participation read, “We inform public opinion that this decision (withdrawing from the program) was the expected result of the failure of the dialogue with Friedrich Ebert’s office in Tunisia,”.
The institution’s office in Tunis shared a post emphasising their support to the Palestinian cause and then deleted it shortly after following what is believed to be a restriction from the headquarters in Berlin.
Many took to the streets in the Tunisian capital last month after a hospital blast in Gaza which killed 500 people according to the Hamas-controlled health ministry.
The angry demonstrators gathered outside the French Embassy in Tunisia where they criticised the West’s, particularly France, support for Israel despite a continuing mistreatment of Palestinians by the state.
Qatar-funded news outlet Al Jazeera noted that since October 7, 9,370 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza as of November 3.
The recently published statement added, “Considering the Zionist entity is an occupation entity that violates international law under the protection of several powers, being neutral vis-a-vis the crimes committed in Gaza is a crime itself,”.
Those in question also vowed to commit to a boycott of all the institution’s future activities.
The New Arab/ Al Jazeera