Southampton University defends anti-Israel conference set for next month

By JERRY LEWIS
March 11, 2015 00:56

 
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LONDON – The University of Southampton, which has organized a three-day conference in mid-April expected to be vehemently critical of Israel, has been accused of hiding behind the cloak of academic freedom to justify ignoring all concerns about the contents of the event.

Jewish communal leaders are becoming increasingly angered by what say is a “head in the sand” approach since news of the conference emerged toward the end of last year to legitimate representations calling for it to be canceled.

The conference, “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism,” is, according to the university’s law school, “the first of its kind and constitutes a ground-breaking historical event on the road towards justice and enduring peace in historic Palestine.”

Claiming to be unique because it concerns the legitimacy in international law of the Jewish State of Israel, its organizers stated that rather than focusing on Israeli actions in the territories occupied in 1967, the conference will focus on exploring themes of “Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism;” all of which – they maintain – “are posed by Israel’s very nature.”

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