Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Southampton University's disgraceful statement on cancelling anti-Israel hatefest



Southampton University statement in summary:  
"We are sorry but we have had to cancel this excellent unbiased event due to threats from the Zionists"

Southampton University has cancelled the planned anti-Israel hatefest. That ought to be a cause for a small celebration. However, the statement the University has issued is a disgrace, and probably far more damaging than the planned conference itself would have been. It does not mention any of the multiple arguments explaining why the University should never have supported the event in the first place, but instead justifies the cancellation on the grounds of public safety, implying that the planned protest by those opposed to the event (i.e. 'Zionists') posed too great a risk to University personnel and visitors.

The University is effectively promoting the idea (already prominent in the main stream media and not just among Israel haters)  that threats from 'Zionists/Jews' have put a stop to free speech. But it is even worse. Instead of criticising the blatant bias and antisemitism of the organisers of the conference (almost every single one of the scheduled speakers was an advocate of boycotting Israel) , the statement goes out of its way to actually praise them and invert reality:
"The University ... has been impressed by the commitment of the organisers to include a broad spectrum of views, and indicated to the organisers that it will work with them to find a venue suitable for a conference of this nature at a later date."
The University's statement is a disgrace which compounds the original error of supporting such an event. It was issued on 1 April but sadly it was not a joke. It is now time to challenge the statement as hard as we challenged the conference.

1 comment:

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