Jewish, Zionist Groups to Cancel a Conference on Israel and International Law

11-05-12 olive trees chopped in Humra _7_

Pressure is being exerted on the University of Southampton to cancel or ‘reconstruct’ a conference on Israel and international law scheduled for 17-19 April. Groups such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews and UK Zionist Federation have urged the university to cancel the event, and there has also been an intervention from Communities minister and Conservative MP Eric Pickles.

This conference will be the first of its kind and constitutes a ground-breaking historical event on the road towards justice and enduring peace in historic Palestine. It is unique because it concerns the legitimacy in International Law of the Jewish state of Israel. Rather than focusing on Israeli actions in the 1967 Occupied Territories, the conference will focus on exploring themes of Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism; all of which are posed by Israel’s very nature. (pic. Credit: cpt).

It will engage controversial questions concerning the manner of Israel’s foundation and its nature, including ongoing forced displacements of Palestinians and associated injustices and it will examine how international law could be deployed, expanded, even re-imagined, in order to achieve regional peace and reconciliation based on justice.

The conference also is intended to broaden debates and legal arguments concerning historic Palestine and the nature, role, and potentialities of international law itself.

kurtak_1Participants will be a part of a multidisciplinary debate reflecting diverse perspectives, and thus genuine disagreements, on the central themes of the conference. Diligent efforts, including face-to-face meetings with leading intellectuals in Israel, were made to ensure the widest range of opinions possible. Those who chose to abstain, however, cannot derail the legitimate, if challenging, academic discussion the conference will inspire.

The conference organizers thanked the University of Southampton for ensuring academic freedom within the law and for taking steps to secure freedom of speech within the law. They accept that the granting of permission for this event does not imply support or endorsement by the University of any of the opinions to be expressed at the conference. (Pic. Credit: cpt)

A total of 859 academics have signed a petition in support of freedom of speech and the university’s decision to hold the event. “We, the undersigned academics, express principled and full support for the University of Southampton’s commitment to freedom of speech and scholarly debate.”

Statement in support of the University of Southampton

We, the undersigned academics, express principled and full support for the University of Southampton’s commitment to freedom of speech and scholarly debate.

We commend the University of Southampton administration, including Vice-Chancellor Don Nutbeam, for its resolute defense of academic freedom.

It is standing principle and recognised practice that academic conference organisers have the right to choose those speakers and topics they feel would best address the purposes of the conference, without these being dictated to them by outside parties. To the best of our knowledge, the conference invitations in this case are based on qualification to speak on the topic rather than on political positions held.

We affirm, as academics from various disciplines and institutions of higher education, that the themes of the conference, such as the relationship of international law to the historic and ongoing political violence in Palestine/Israel, and critical reflections on nationality and self-determination, are entirely legitimate subjects for debate and inquiry.

We are very concerned that partisan attempts are being made to silence dissenting analyses of the topic in question. For external pressure and interference, especially from political lobby groups and a government minister, to censor lawful academic discussion would set a worrying precedent.

We trust that the programme of ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism’ will go ahead as planned, to the credit of the University of Southampton and all those involved.

To add your name, email: freespeechsouthampton [at] gmail [dot] com

 

Comments are closed.

Austrian Flag
Bild aus dem Parlament
000_5151A
000_2207A

Advertising? Werbung? Click on the picture below. Klicken Sie auf das Bild unten. kawther [dot] salam [at] gmail [dot] com

000_8696b_edited-1

Advertising? Werbung? Click on the picture below. Klicken Sie auf das Bild unten. kawther [dot] salam [at] gmail [dot] com

Related Books


Support this site by buying these books at Amazon. Thank you!

000_4195A
000_4229A
000_1418A
Der Stephansplatz

Der Stephansplatz

Johann Strauß

Johann Strauß

000_8728

Volksgarten

Nikon (57)

Kurpark Oberlaa

000_2638A

Verbrechen in Israel

Add to Netvibes Creative Commons License