European mental health group rethinks nixing Israel meeting after backlash
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European mental health group rethinks nixing Israel meeting after backlash

Enmesh scrapped gathering out of concern of pushback from pro-BDS groups; instead it led to vocal protests from academics worldwide

Illustrative: Demonstrators hold placards outside the Spanish Government Delegation in Barcelona on October 20, 2015 during a protest demanding an end to the collaboration between Spanish and Israeli institutions and Israeli violations in the West Bank and Jerusalem. (Photo by Albert Llop/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images via JTA)
Illustrative: Demonstrators hold placards outside the Spanish Government Delegation in Barcelona on October 20, 2015 during a protest demanding an end to the collaboration between Spanish and Israeli institutions and Israeli violations in the West Bank and Jerusalem. (Photo by Albert Llop/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images via JTA)

JTA — A European mental health association said it will rethink a decision to cancel a planned conference in Israel following widespread objections by academics worldwide.

The European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation, or Enmesh, had decided to scrap the gathering out of concern that it would cause pushback from pro-BDS groups. Instead it led to vocal protests from academics in the United States, Canada and Europe, Haaretz reported Wednesday.

“The deliberations around whether the ENMESH conference should or should not be held in Israel were never intended as an academic boycott of any kind, nor should they be perceived as such,” the group said in a statement.

“ENMESH has been sincere throughout in expressing its wish to host a conference in Israel. We were only ever concerned by practical considerations, given the very limited ability of an unfunded and informal academic network to manage the potential campaigning that such an event might attract.”

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