Anti-Israel conference advertising features official university logo


Promotional material for an anti-Israel conference features the official logo of a university which said it would not be supporting the event.

A mass email circulated to university academics across the UK inviting them to buy tickets for the three-day event in  Ireland, is branded with the official logo of University College Cork.

The conference, which takes place at the end of the month, features a line-up of openly anti-Zionist academics – and will include debates questioning Israel’s right to exist, as well as claims the Jewish state has engaged in ethnic cleansing.

The event, called “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility”, was cancelled by the University of Southampton in 2015, and suffered a further setback earlier this year when UCC apparently refused to allow it to take place on their campus over the three days.

Earlier this month it was announced that the conference would go ahead – but with two of its days being held at Cork City Hall, and the third in a rented space on the UCC campus – but without the support of the university.

But the emergence this week of the promotional email once again raises concerns about the link between the event and UCC.

Five of the organising committee also work as professors at UCC – with lecturer James Bowen also a senior figure in the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The promotional email, which claims  “tickets are selling fast” states: “We are just two weeks away from witnessing a ground-breaking academic conference taking place in Cork.

“We take this opportunity to thank all of those who have stood by us and given their support to academic freedom and an open debate of this timely and increasingly pressing issue.”

It ends with a large UCC logo – but then has a disclaimer written in small print which states the institution “in the spirit of academic freedom is facilitating this event on its campus but is neither sponsor nor promoter”.

But as one UK academic who received the email told the JC:”Why do organisers feel the need to use the UCC logo at all?  It is clearly to give the event a much needed boost from a respected academic institution.”

The conference has already been roundly condemned, with former Justice Secretary Michael Gove branding it an anti-Israel “hate-fest.”

The JC has contacted UCC and the event’s organising committee for comment.




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