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Thursday, May 19, 2016

The University of Turin is holding a conference about the Middle East called "From Caliphate to Caliphate: The Middle East from the Sykes-Picot Treaty to violent jihadism."

The third session of the conference was dedicated to Palestinian issues, and the only people who presented were known anti-Israel activists.

Diana Carminati, former professor of European Studies at the University of Turin, spoke on "The Contemporary Israeli project of settler-colonialism and the destruction of the Palestinian economy." She mentioned the tunnels being used to smuggle goods, but not a word about weapons.

Enrico Bartolomei of the University of Macerata spoke. He is also a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and has written of "Israeli apartheid" and is against any peace process, saying, "Any political solution must aim at decolonization of historic Palestine, rather than a supposed (peace process) or the construction of statehood or national authorities."

Two other known anti-Israel, pro-BDS professors speaking were Marzia Casolari and Michelguglielmo Towers, who has said that Hamas has a "high degree of pragmatism."

Literature at the conference included materials calling Gaza an "open air prison" and describing Operation Protective Edge as a" macabre spectacle of death and destruction on a large scale." Very scientific.

Conference organizer Marzia Casolari, Professor of History at the university, emphasized that the rabid pro-Palestinian positions of the speakers would not affect the "scientific rigor" of the seminar. Rector Gianmaria Ajani defended the conference and said any criticism was "specious", say that a conference is "not a talk show where they offer a seat to any political position."

I am told by someone who attended that there were also accusations of Jews raping Arabs in 1948 mentioned at the conference.

The good news is that only 25 people - including media.

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