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ADL asks Spain to reverse competition decision

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League is asking the Spanish government to reverse its decision to disqualify Israeli researchers from an international competition in Madrid.

A team of researchers from Ariel University Center of Samaria were announced as finalists in the Solar Decathlon Europe, but the government of Spain disqualified them because the university is in the West Bank. A Spanish official told the Guardian newspaper that the country was following the policy of the European Union, "which does not recognize the occupation of the West Bank."

In a letter to Spanish Foreign Minister Angel Moratinos, the ADL said the claim that the participation of the Israeli team would violate EU policy was "spurious."

The ADL in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu called on the department to reconsider its sponsorship of the competition if Spain does not allow the Israeli team to participate.

The Solar Decathlon Europe was established through a joint agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Spanish Ministry of Housing, and brings together teams competing to build a solar-powered house. The judging will occur in June.

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