MADRID (JTA) – After receiving criticism from several Holocaust scholars and Jewish organizations, a Spanish university canceled a course entitled "Auschwitz / Gaza: a testing ground for comparative literature," according to the European Jewish Congress.
The course at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia trivialized the Holocaust by comparing it to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish groups argued. The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the seminar in a letter sent Monday to the Minister of Universities of Spain, Manuel Castells Oliván.
"This very title and expected content is not a question of 'freedom of expression', but a trivialization of the Holocaust, which can incite hatred and violence against today's Jews," wrote Shimon Samuels, director of international relations for the center. .
The university has not commented, but the European Jewish Congress reported the cancellation on Wednesday. The course would be taught through the Faculty of Philology of the Department of Comparative Literature.
The Catalan journalist Pilar Rahola described it as an “anti-Semitic act” on Twitter.
Mario Sinay, a specialist in Holocaust education, told an Argentine Jewish radio station on Tuesday: “I am totally outraged by the trivialization of the Holocaust in its most complete form, disguised as intellectualism and presented as a rational discourse, within the framework of a Spanish public university ”.
The organization Asociación Gallega de Amistad con Israel, located in the autonomous region of northern Spain, had also issued a scathing statement on Facebook.
"There is a majority consensus in considering, as a clear form of contemporary anti-Semitism, the trivialization of the Holocaust and the comparison of the Jewish genocide with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," it said.