Originally published in The Telegraph
A leading British university is set to scrap plans to host an controversial conference questioning the right of Israel, to exist following a wave of international outrage and threats of protests from both sides.
The University of Southampton is understood to have withdrawn permission for the three-day conference to be held on its campus in the face of criticism from opponents who described it as “giving legitimacy to anti-Semitism”.
Critics said the conference – International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism – would be a ‘one-sided’ exercise in Israel-bashing and more than 6,000 people signed a petition calling on the university to cancel it.
Douglas Murray, associate director of the Henry Jackson Society, said: “The event at Southampton University was not an academic conference but a rally of bigots. The proposed line up consisted only of people dedicated to the delegitimising and destruction of the state of Israel.