The top French university lost funding due to the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel protests

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The Paris region authority sparked controversy Tuesday by temporarily suspending funding for Sciences Po, one of the country’s most prestigious universities, after it was rocked by tense pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel demonstrations.
“I have decided to suspend all regional funding for Sciences Po until calm and security have been restored at the school,” Valerie Pecresse, the right-wing head of the greater Paris Ile-de-France region, said on social media on Monday.
Regional support for the Paris-based university includes 1 million euros ($1.07 million) earmarked for 2024, a member of Pecresse’s team told AFP.
“The Ile-de-France region is an essential partner of Sciences Po, and I wish to maintain dialogue on the position expressed by Mrs. Pecresse,” he told French daily Le Monde in an interview.
On Monday, police broke up a student protest demanding an end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza at Sorbonne, another top French university.
French Higher Education Minister Sylvie Retailleau said on Tuesday the French government had no plans to suspend funding for Sciences Po.
Speaking to broadcaster France 2, she estimated the state’s funding for the university at 75 million euros ($80 million).
Both Basseres and Retailleau also said there were no plans to suspend Sciences Po’s collaboration with universities in Israel.

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One of the nation’s most prominent universities, Sciences Po, was rocked by tense pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel protests on Tuesday, and the Paris region authority caused controversy by temporarily suspending funding for the university.

The right-wing leader of the greater Paris Ile-de-France region, Valerie Pecresse, declared on social media on Monday, “I have decided to suspend all regional funding for Sciences Po until calm and security have been restored at the school.”.

She accused hard-left politicians of trying to capitalize on the tensions by pointing the finger at “a minority of radicalized people calling for antisemitic hatred.”.

One member of Pecresse’s team told AFP that 1 million euros ($1.07 million) in regional support is set aside for the Paris-based university by 2024.

Jean Basseres, the acting administrator of the university, expressed his regret for the choice on Tuesday.

In an interview, he said to the French daily Le Monde, “The Ile-de-France region is an essential partner of Sciences Po, and I wish to maintain dialogue on the position expressed by Mrs. Dot Pecresse.”.

Students at Sciences Po have organized several protests in response to the tense demonstrations that have shook many prestigious American universities. Some students are incensed over the Israel-Hamas conflict and the resulting humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

After Israel and the US, France is home to the largest Jewish population in the world and the largest Muslim community in Europe.

Last week, university authorities requested the presence of police to quell a protest. Meanwhile, at Sorbonne, another prestigious French university, police broke up a student demonstration on Monday calling for an end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

The French government does not intend to stop funding Sciences Po, according to a statement made on Tuesday by Sylvie Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education in France.

The state funds the university by 75 million euros ($80 million), according to her estimate in an interview with broadcaster France 2. According to her, there had been “no antisemitic remarks” and no acts of violence during the protests.

There are no intentions to halt Sciences Po’s partnerships with Israeli universities, according to both Basseres and Retailleau.

“Means of counterterrorism.”.

The announcement made by Pecresse was criticized by leftist critics.

The leader of the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI) deputies in parliament, Mathilde Panot, described the situation as “shameful and an absolute scandal,” noting that the students’ actions were “a credit to the world and a credit to our country.”. “.

Panot and Franco-Palestinian activist Rima Hassan, who is running on the LFI list for the European elections, were questioned on Tuesday as part of an inquiry into remarks they made regarding the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, which may have justified “terrorism.”.

On Tuesday morning, a gathering of several hundred individuals demonstrated their support for the two women.

“In what kind of democracy are counterterrorism tactics employed against trade unionists, political activists, and community activists?” Panot, 35, questioned her supporters as they waved Palestinian flags and chanted “Resistance.”.

Adds the 32-year-old Hassan, “I want to let the pro-Israeli lobby organizations behind these complaints know that they will not silence us.”.

Following Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel, which saw the terrorist group kill about 1,200 people—mostly civilians—and kidnap 253 others, the war was declared.

It is believed that Israel killed over 34,000 people during the war, including both civilians and Hamas terrorists, some of whom perished as a result of the terror group’s own rocket misfires. The claim is made by the Gaza health ministry, which is run by Hamas. However, the number cannot be independently verified.

In addition to the approximately 1,000 terrorists that were slain inside Israel on October 7 and the days that followed, the Israel Defense Forces claims to have killed over 13,000 terrorists in Gaza.

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