Anti-Israel conference faces delay

An anti-Israel conference advertised as taking place on an Irish campus will now not go ahead in March.


University College Cork officials this week expressed “disappointment and concern” over the planned three-day event, called International Law and the State Of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism.

A management team meeting held on Monday concluded that the conference could only go ahead if it fulfilled certain conditions, including a guarantee that organisers would cover the costs of additional security.

Officials also insisted that without an “event management plan” covering “all aspects of the conference organisation”, the event could not go ahead.

Organisers, who include anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe and Professor Oren Ben-Dor from the University of Southampton, have also been told to find a new date for the event, which will include discussions on the legitimacy of Israel’s right to exist.

They have been told that the new conference dates will have to be outside academic term time, and that the sessions must not clash with university examinations.

The ruling will come as a major blow to organisers who had already advertised tickets for the event on their website, stating it would take place from March 31 until April 2.

It a statement on the UCC website, the management team also noted how the “proposed conference has previously been the subject of cancellation at the University of Southampton and of judicial review proceedings in the English High Court”.

UCC added: “The proposed event is not a university-sponsored or promoted event but has been invited to the university by a number of academic staff.”

There had been widespread criticism of UCC’s plan to host the conference from within the Jewish community.

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said: “The decision of the University College Cork to postpone the conference is one which we welcome.

"The organisers appear to have arranged and even publicised the event without the courtesy of telling the university and questions remain as to the guise under which the organisers managed to book the university space. None of this surprises us given that the event lacks any semblance of academic credibility.

"The university will no doubt continue to weigh carefully whether to host such a propaganda gathering given its organisers' record to date.”


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