Universidade de Pernambuco, a public university in Northeast Brazil, decided to cancel the lecture titled “Dilemmas in the Peace Process between Israelis and Palestinians”, after threats.
The national press covered the cancellation due to pro-Palestinian groups pressure and published a quote by a professor from Universidade de Pernambuco:
“I had to cancel the event for security reasons. Since 8 a.m. the Pro Palestine Muslim Association of Recife called me and threatened myself, the speaker and the university in a tough and harsh way,” said a statement addressed to university staff from Karl Schurster, the event moderator. The speaker is the political scientist Andre Lajst, executive director of StandWithUs Brazil.
On the evening of the lecture, Palestinian groups claimed for a boycott on social networks. In response, StandWithUs Brazil invited those groups to a debate, at the end of the lecture. "We offered to make my speech shorter in order to have a democratic debate with them, but neither them nor the university accepted our offer", explains Lajst.
On the record, the university claims force majeure to have canceled the academic event. However, censorship is the real reason. André Lajst added: "I am an academic specialist on the Israeli Palestinian conflict and, unfortunately, this is not the first time 'force majeure' calls off my lectures".
StandWithUs Brazil publicly urged the Universidade of Pernambuco to reschedule the lecture.