The European Union (QNN)- A European association of mental health researchers has canceled plans to hold its next conference in 2021, which was supposed to be held in occupied Jerusalem.
The European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation (ENMESH), which has 400 members, had decided at its last biennial conference that its next gathering would take place in Jerusalem. The official announcement was made on the closing day of the three-day conference, before news about a change in the location of the conference surface.
University of Nottingham spokesman Tim Watkinson explained to QNN that the decision made by ENMESH is a “pragmatic decision” not political.
“It is simply a case of a small and unfunded research network not having the resources to handle the type of campaign to which some conferences held in Israel can be subject to”, he added.
The cancellation has sparked outrage among pro-Israel organizations and figures.
Israeli daily Haaretz claimed that the decision was made by one man: the organization’s executive director, Mike Slade, while other members of the executive committee submitted their resignations in protest of the decision.
Pro-Israel Republican nominee for US congress, whose Twitter account is full with Islamophobic and anti Palestine tweets, rushed to describe ENMESH and Slade of being “cowards to give in to BDS”.
A letter of protest was sent from the Israel Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, which has many members active in ENMESH. In the letter, Sylvia Tessler-Lozowick, chair of the Jerusalem-based organisation, referred to the cancellation as “startling” and charged that it was motivated by considerations she termed ”irrelevant and dishonourable for a professional organisation.
‘Israel’ has declared occupied Jerusalem as its capital. A move which was blessed by Donald Trump, when he recognized the holy disputed city as Israel’s capital.
Palestinian mothers of imprisoned children have sent written and vocal messages to ENMESH before, explaining that it should cancel the conference in ‘Israel’, the country which doesn’t respect Palestinians’ human rights and mental health.