A model solution

By Simon Johnson, September 16, 2015

So-called academic conferences on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have been a constant thorn in the side of our community.

They are not only an affront to us by questioning the legitimacy of Israel but they have also sought to undermine the position of our community by “weaponising” academic discourse to advance a political cause.


This is a way forward others can follow

By Sir Steve Smith, September 16, 2015

It is a primary duty of universities to uphold the fundamental principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law.


Exeter University agrees to compromise over Israeli settlements conference

By Naomi Firsht, September 16, 2015

The organisers of a conference on Israeli settlements “in Palestine” have agreed to let pro-Israel academics take part after fears from the community that it was biased.

Exeter University said it would invite two lecturers to present the Israeli position, and would also hold a second academic event later in the year co-hosted with the Jewish Leadership Council.


Reading students union halts boycott vote

By Naomi Firsht, May 21, 2015

A vote to boycott Israel was halted by Reading University Students’ Union over concerns it conflicted with the union’s charitable status.

Voting began last week for a Boycott Divestment and Sanctions policy against Israel, which if passed would have tied the union to the international political BDS campaign for the next two years.


Southampton University cancels anti-Israel conference over 'safety concerns'

By Naomi Firsht, April 2, 2015

Southampton University has confirmed it has cancelled a conference challenging Israel's right to exist, citing police concerns over safety.

A statement published on the university website officially withdrew permission for the conference to take place on the campus.


University's lesson in bigotry

By Geoffrey Alderman, March 26, 2015

What are we to make of recent events at the School of Oriental & African Studies, where a ballot of students and staff appears to have resulted in a 73 per cent majority in favour of "a full academic boycott of Israel?" The ballot was organised by the SOAS students' union, with the support of two campus trade-union branches known for their anti-Zionism, the University & College Union and Unison.


Thousands sign up to oppose anti-Israel event

By Naomi Firsht, March 26, 2015

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition protesting against the University of Southampton for planning to host a conference questioning Israel's legitimacy.

Advocacy group Academic Friends of Israel launched a petition this week urging the university to move the three-day event, due to take place next month, away from the campus.

The group also said it was backing plans by Sussex Friend


This house believes it's time to wake up!

By Alex Davis, March 19, 2015

Chants of "Free Palestine" echoed around the chamber of the world's oldest debating society, the Cambridge Union. The brightest students in the country had just passed the motion - "This House Believes Israel is a Rogue State" - and few in the audience seemed surprised. And if you're not worried about that, you should be.


Southampton conference - should Zionists take part?

March 19, 2015

YES - says Geoffrey Alderman


Israel activists plan protest at university

By Naomi Firsht, March 19, 2015

The University of Southampton is said to be reviewing its position over the conference it is due to host on the legitimacy of Israel.

Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman met the university's vice-chancellor, Professor Don Nutbeam, on Wednesday to discuss concerns that the three-day event would be a vehicle for anti-Zionists to challenge Israel's existence.