This is the text of a petition to stop the University of Southampton UK hosting an upcoming anti-Israel conference – you can sign it here.
Southampton University Law School is scheduled to host an upcoming conference entitled “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism.”
This will not be just another examination of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. This “unique” conference will focus on the “legitimacy in International law of the Jewish state of Israel.” According to the organisers, the conference will explore the connection between the “suffering and injustice in Palestine to the foundation and protection” of Israel.
To schedule a conference on the legitimacy of a state that was established over 60 years ago would be strange enough. But by blaming the “suffering and injustice in Palestine” on Israel’s creation and continued presence, this goes beyond being an academic discussion.
Instead, it will legitimize the harmful message that Israel’s very existence is up for debate.
Enough. This has to stop.
It isn’t just that Israel is the only functioning democracy in a region devoid of freedom, human rights, and representative governments. It isn’t just that Israel is the expression of the inalienable right to self-determination of the Jewish people.
It’s that no other country in the world would be treated in this fashion.
This isn’t about academic freedom. We welcome genuine and open discussion about the issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But how can you discuss anything with people who don’t even recognise your right to have a voice?
At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise throughout Europe, it is a disgrace that a respectable university would provide a platform to legitimise the idea that the Jewish homeland – of all the countries in the world – is somehow abnormal.
Israel is presumed guilty of the crime of existing, while no other state is being put on trial in this way.
Southampton University – this isn’t a conference.
It’s a kangaroo court.
Don’t let it go ahead.
Please SIGN and SHARE the petition here.