Monday, 23 March 2015
Organiser of Southampton University's 'Antisemitic' Israel conference removed from Board of the Parkes Institute
Professor Oren Ben-Dor, the organiser of a conference to be held at Southampton University next month which questions Israel's right to exist has been removed from the Board of the Parkes Institute which is based at the University.
The Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish and non-Jewish Relations which is dedicated to the study of Jewish history and culture has the largest Holocaust library in Europe as well as thousands of archives documenting the history of Anglo-Jewry, including the period when the State of Israel was established.
The conference "International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism" is described by the organisers as “the first of its kind and constitutes a ground-breaking historical event ... it is unique because it concerns the legitimacy in international law of the Jewish State of Israel.”
The Parkes Institute, which originally raised their concerns about the aims of the conference last year with the Vice-Chancellor of the University, has made it clear to Professor Oren Ben-Dor that they would not have anything to do with his conference and it would appear that as a result of the conference going ahead they removed him from their Board.
The Institute has issued a statementsaying that “This event could potentially damage the spirit of dialogue and cooperation to which we are all committed. A conference that singles out Israel and invites the questioning of its very existence cannot be supported by a group of academics dedicated to the study of Jewish history and culture.”