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University event questioning Israel’s right to exist is cancelled

March 31st, 2015
“A conference at the University of Southampton discussing the right of Israel to exist has been cancelled, say the organisers, who have accused the institution of bowing to pressure at the expense of free speech.

The conference, due to take place next month, described itself as “unique because it concerns the legitimacy in international law of the Jewish state of Israel”, but critics denounced it as one-sided.

Among those who condemned the conference were the Jewish Board of Deputies, and MPs including Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, and Caroline Noakes, MP for Romsey and Southampton.

The Zionist Federation UK arranged a petition opposing its staging that attracted more than 6,400 signatures. A counter-petition signed by more than 800 academics, including from Oxbridge, Russell Group and US Ivy League universities, urged Southampton to resist the pressure.”

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