OF ISRAELI RESEARCH TEAM FROM SOLAR COMPETITION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY URGED TO INTERVENE
New York, NY, September 25, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has contacted the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the government of Spain in an effort to have the disqualification of Israeli researchers from an international competition in Madrid overturned.
Although the team of researchers from Ariel University Center of Samaria was announced as a finalist in the Solar Decathlon Europe, the Spanish government has disqualified the team from competing, apparently because the institution is located in the West Bank.
“The decision by the Spanish government to disqualify the Israeli researchers is unwarranted, biased and clearly discriminatory,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “This unacceptable action introduces politics into an important scientific competition where politics has no place.”
Established through a joint agreement between the DOE and Spain’s Ministry of Housing, the competition has teams from around the world contending to build a solar-powered house. The prototypes will be assembled in Madrid and judged in June 2010.
In a letter to Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, ADL said his government’s claim that participation by the Israeli team would violate European Union policy relating to the West Bank was “spurious.”
“We are unaware of any E.U. policy that would support this action,” the League wrote to Mr. Moratinos. “Respectfully, we urge Spain to reverse this outrageous decision.”
ADL also called on the DOE to reconsider its sponsorship of the competition should Spain refuse to reverse its decision. “We hope that the Department of Energy will make clear to its Spanish partners its strong disagreement with this decision,” the League said in a letter to Dr. Steven Chu, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, “… and if Spain does not permit the Israeli team to participate, consider withdrawing its sponsorship from the competition.”
The Anti-Defamation League