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PARIS: 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 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.

She took aim at “a minority of radicalised people calling for anti-Semitic hatred” and accused hard-left politicians of seeking to exploit the tensions.

Regional support for the Paris-based university includes 1 million euros earmarked for 2024, a member of Pecresse’s team told AFP.

On Tuesday, the university’s acting administrator, Jean Basseres, said he regretted the decision.

“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 published Tuesday.

In an echo of tense demonstrations rocking many top US universities, students at Sciences Po have staged a number of protests, with some students furious over the Israel-Hamas war and ensuing humanitarian crisis in the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza.

France is home to the world’s largest Jewish population after Israel and the United States, as well as Europe’s biggest Muslim community.

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Arsalan May 01, 2024 06:36am
Identifying the wrongs of only jews is anti Semitism. What about the wrongs of others. aren't they also anti then? Y all rules are made to protect the zionists, even sane jews oppose the zionists.
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