Southampton University has announced that its controversial conference on Israel has been cancelled. This follows weeks of campaigning against the event, which was set to feature academics and activists arguing that Israel’s very creation and continued existence were illegal under international law.
By presenting Israel’s creation and continued existence as both illegal and the sole source of the “suffering and injustice in Palestine,” the event would have primarily attracted extreme anti-Israel activists, rather than a broad range of academics. The inclusion of Richard Falk, a former UN advisor who has been repeatedly condemned by several governments, including our own, for promoting anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, was indicative of this. Another attendee was to have been Gilad Atzmon, described by many on his own side as an antisemite.
There was an excellent campaign run by a variety of organisations to achieve this result.
However, there are suggestions that the conference’s organisers are to take legal action to counter the university’s decision. So there is a chance that this racist conference could still go ahead.