Board & Mission Statement
Why IAM?
About Us
Articles by IAM Associates
Ben-Gurion University
Hebrew University
University of Haifa
Tel Aviv University
Other Institutions
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
Anti-Israel Petitions Supported by Israeli Academics
General Articles
Anti-Israel Conferences
Anti-Israel Academic Resolutions
Lectures Interrupted
Activists Profiles
Readers Forum
On the Brighter Side
How can I complain?
Contact Us / Subscribe
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Latent Boycott at the Louvre?


Editorial Note 

Sefy Henlder, a professor of art history from Tel Aviv University tried to book a visit for his students at the iconic Louvre museum in Paris.   He was told that on there was no availability on the day that he requested, but the alternative days he had proposed were also denied.  Professor Hendler had no luck in trying to book the Sainte Chapelle church, another site that the students planned to visit. 

Hendler then sent inquires in the name of factious acad

emic institutions in Abu-Dhabi and Italy and received a positive response.  

At this point, he alerted Francois Heilbronn, the head of the Friends of Tel Aviv University in France, who, in turn notified the administration of Louvre and Sainte Chapelle. Hendler is skeptical about the official explanation that his bookings were rejected because of a computer malfunctioning. Since boycotting Israel is illegal in France, the authorities have opened an investigation.

Should they prove that Louvre and Sainte Chapelle broke the law, it would be illustrative of a latent boycott.   As IAM noted, latent boycott is normally initiated by an individual or individuals who want to punish Israelis what they perceive to be a wrong policy of their government. 

In the Louver case, it would be relatively easy to prove latent boycott.  The case of Israeli academics whose papers were rejected or participation in a conference denied proving boycott intentions is virtually impossible.


June 15th 2015

Israeli art history prof turned down trying to book Louvre tour for students

However, when he tried to book tours for students from Italy, Abu Dhabi, he was told space was available

Attempts by Tel Aviv university art students to book a trip to the major cultural landmark of Paris met with failure, prompting suspicion that illegal anti-Semitic discrimination has taken place, the French Liberation daily reported Monday.

When Sefy Hendler, a specialist on the Italian Renaissance from the university's art history department, contacted the administration of the world-famous Louvre museum, he was told there's no room on the day he proposed. Suggestions for alternative dates met with the same response.

His attempt to book a tour of the Sainte-Chapelle chapel was equally without success.

However, when Hendler subsequently tried to book tours on the same dates for student groups from fictitious higher education institutions from Italy and the Gulf state of Abu Dhabi he was told he could do so.

"I was shocked, dismayed," Hendler told the French newspaper. "I was ready to cancel the trip."

He eventually decided to alert Francois Heilbronn, the head of the French Friends of the Tel Aviv University group, who in turn alerted a number of senior officials, including Louvre Director Jean-Luc Martinez, the chief of the Centre for National Monuments (which manages the Sainte-Chapelle) Philippe Bélaval and the French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin.

Apologizing for the "troubling" incident, the Louvre administration said it appeared to be a technical glitch, as the booking system is entirely automated. The in-demand museum "is the victim of its own success," they said, alluding to its extreme busyness.

Whereas the Sainte-Chapelle, where the booking is made by staffers, said the incident was one in a series of "recurrent malfunctions" rather than an act of racist discrimination.

Hendler told Haaretz he does not accept the explanation.

“It’s clear to me that when you say no to Israelis, it’s a discriminatory and racist act. They don’t care whether you’re left- or right-wing. They simple don’t want the Israeli in the narrow sense through which they view him. It’s an incident that I simply don’t understand.”


Louvre investigated for turning away Israeli students

After Tel Aviv U. prof. is told there is no room for his group, he pretends to represent European and Gulf schools — and is approved
BY TAMAR PILEGGI June 15, 2015, 8:35 pm 
Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

The governor of greater Paris has asked state prosecutors to investigate claims of anti-Israel discrimination after French media reported that two prominent cultural institutions, including the Louvre art museum, recently turned away a group of visiting Tel Aviv University students.

Last month, art history professor Sefy Hendler contacted the reservations departments at the world-famous museum and at Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral to book guided tours for a group of 12 students who are scheduled to visit Paris in late June. According to a report in Haaretz Monday, he was quickly turned away by both for lack of room, despite trying to make a booking on three separate dates.

“I was surprised to hear that a site that hosts over nine million visitors a year could not find a place for us — even though we offered to come mid-week,” Hendler told the paper.

After being turned away, the professor contacted the Louvre and Sainte-Chapelle again, and attempted to make reservations using false names of educational institutions from Italy and Abu Dhabi, on the same dates he had requested originally.

Shortly after, both institutions responded to Hendler that space was available on his requested dates.

Hendler, who said he considered canceling the trip altogether, ultimately transferred the correspondence to Francois Heilbronn, the president of the French Friends of TAU, who pursued the matter with both institutions, together with French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin.

The official statement released by the Louvre Monday called the incident “disturbing” and said that it would investigate the details — although its reservations system was entirely automated.

The communique wrote that an overflow of reservations on the system was responsible for initially turning down — and then ultimately approving — Hendler’s separate reservation requests.

“In a way, we are victims of our success. We receive on average 400 reservation requests per day and offer 15-minute-long visits. But demand is twice as large as supply,” the statement said.

The report explained that the computerized system didn’t create a “waiting line” for turned-down requests, and that Hendler’s test reservations were “lucky” to receive the free slots. “In any event, a second reservation — by the Hebrew University — was later accepted,” said the management of the Louvre.

At Sainte-Chapelle, where the reservation system is not automated, the president of National Monuments admitted to the French daily Liberation that an internal investigation found “repeated errors” in its reservations department and said that “disciplinary measures” would be taken.

Philippe Beleval emphasized that it wasn’t possible to ascertain if discrimination was a factor in the decision, but made assurances that the person responsible for turning down the reservation request “never expressed hostility towards Israel.”

Beleval expressed regret over “compromising the treatment of requests” and a lack of “rigor and professionalism.”

Heilbronn dismissed both responses as disingenuous.

Hendler also rejected the explanations, claiming that “it’s obvious that when they said no to the Israelis, it’s an act of discrimination and racism. They don’t care if you’re left-wing or right-wing — they just don’t want any Israelis, in the narrow meaning of the word.

“What’s the point? If we don’t see the Mona Lisa, is the occupation going to end? The minute you start deciding who you will let into your museums, the only visitors left will be Westerners who think exactly like you,” he added.

Jonathan Beck contributed to this report

Back to "Boycott Calls Against Israel"Send Response
Top Page
    Developed by Sitebank & Powered by Blueweb Internet Services
    Visitors: 247767573Send to FriendAdd To FavoritesMake It HomepagePrint version