According to a statement released by organisers on 31 March, the University of Southampton is withdrawing its consent to host the forthcoming conference on Israel and international law in the name of “health and safety.”
We, the undersigned, urge the university to allow the conference to proceed as planned. There is ample time for any concerns regarding the safety and security of university staff, students, and conference participants to be met. The university must fulfill its legal obligation to protect free speech and academic discussion.
To cancel the conference on such grounds shows weakness in the face of external pressure and bullying, and calls into question the University of Southampton’s commitment not only to academia and the professional activities of its own scholars, but also to the precious tradition of free speech itself.