On December 14, 2018, the USA-Palestine Mental Health Network and several other organizations signed a petition in support of Palestine issued by activists at the University of Rennes, France, which demanded that the University cease its relationship with the mental health organization COPELFI and called for a “don’t go” response to invitations from Israel.
The petition in French is here.
The petition in English is here.
COPELFI had been established in 1996 as a joint French-Israeli organization to strengthen the relationship between mental health professionals in both countries. However, as the petition clearly documents, COPELFI also makes explicit that its function is to counteract criticism of Israel in the media.
The activists at the University of Rennes peacefully protested the COPELFI conference held on December 14, 2018 at the University of Rennes. The conference took as its subject the impact of terrorism on children and adolescents and approached the subject through the lens of Israeli experience as victims of terror. The activists deplored the choice of Israeli “experts” on terrorism and questioned why the conference fails to address the far more pervasive state-sanctioned terror inflicted by Israel on the people of Palestine.
International support for the protest at Rennes is an encouraging indication of the growing networking of mental health clinicians worldwide in solidarity with the people of Palestine.