(JNS.org) Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the anti-Israel BDS movement, received the Gandhi Peace Award from the Connecticut-based organization Promoting Enduring Peace at Yale University Sunday.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace, presented Barghouti with the peace prize. Barghouti accepted the award in the presence of several hundred people and received a standing ovation.
The event was co-sponsored by the Yale chapter of the anti-Israel student group Students for Justice in Palestine. Yale University officials, meanwhile, attempted to distance the school from the award ceremony.
“A student organization reserved space for the awarding of the Gandhi prize, which is given by an organization not affiliated with Yale,” the university said in a statement. “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.”
Barghouti, who resides in the Israeli city of Acre, was able to attend the ceremony after an Israeli court temporarily lifted a travel ban imposed on him. Israel issued the travel ban and placed Barghouti under house arrest in March after he was suspected of evading taxes on $700,000 of his income.