NEW HAVEN — Palestinian human rights advocate Omar Barghouti and consumer rights crusader Ralph Nader each received the award at Yale’s Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall. Several hundred people attended, giving standing ovations to the recipients.
See reporting and pictures and video on the Promoting Enduring Peace website.
Barghouti is the more controversial of the two. Some Jewish groups oppose his work for BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions), whose prime goal stated in its literature is “ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands.” His Jewish opponents fear this movement is working against the right of Israel to exist as a nation.
Moreover, Yale University officials issued an unusual statement distancing the university from endorsing the Gandhi event despite the fact it took place in a Yale building.
“A student organization reserved space for the awarding of the Gandhi prize, which is given by an organization not affiliated with Yale,” the statement began. “Yale honors requests by our community to invite speakers and groups to campus in accordance with our academic mission of fostering the free exchange of ideas. Views expressed at these events are those of the individuals involved and do not represent the views of the university as a whole.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven office could not be reached at the office Sunday evening but did have an opinion piece in the Register this morning written by several of the organization’s members.