The Academic Friends of Israel
Statement from the Academic Friends of Israel regarding the conference at Southampton University
The Academic Friends of Israel are very pleased that Southampton University has withdrawn its permission for the International Law and the State of Israel Conference to take place on its campus.
Their decision was the result of the University coming under increasing pressure over the last month from politicians, the leaders of the Jewish community, grass roots activists, funders and the general public, all of whom were seeking to have this conference either moved or cancelled.
This event was promoted by an anti-Zionist, Israeli Jew whose aim is the elimination of the State of Israel. He intended it to be a three day conference of like minded anti-Israel activists with only a token pro-Israel representation, masquerading as a serious academic conference. The reality was that it was nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to give academic approval to the Palestinian narrative that the Jewish people have never had a connection with the land of Israel.
In deference to the principle of freedom of speech, we did not call for the cancellation of the conference nor for a more balanced program. All we asked for was that the University of Southampton have the conference relocated from its premises so that the University and the Parkes Institute can regain their credibility and reputation and not appear to give their approval to Antisemitism.
This win was achieved not only because of the fantastic support received both from the UK and abroad but also because the Jewish community worked together in this campaign. In particular we would like to give a big thank you to the 4000+ supporters who signed our petition.
This is a victory for common sense.