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January 5, 2017 2:18 pm

Israeli Embassy in Ireland Slams Upcoming Conference Exploring Elimination of Jewish State as ‘Incompatible With Democratic Values, Academic Discussion’

avatar by Lea Speyer

Flag of Ireland. Photo: John Hoey/ Wikimedia Commons.

Flag of Ireland. Photo: John Hoey/ Wikimedia Commons.

A representative from the Israeli Embassy in Ireland responded harshly on Wednesday to news of a planned university conference exploring the elimination of the Jewish state.

Referring to “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility” — hosted by University College Cork (UCC) — the representative said it was “incompatible with the values of democracy and goes against the essence of academic discussion.” 

Furthermore, the Embassy slammed the organizers of the conference for “promoting an unbalanced agenda within academic institutions that seeks to demonize and delegitimize Israel.”

“The prejudiced approach of such activists serves only to propagate hatred of the state and its people,” the spokesperson told The Algemeiner.

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The conference has also aroused the ire of various Jewish and pro-Israel groups across Ireland, who sharply criticized UCC’s decision to host the event. 

A spokesman from the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland called the event “an anti-Israel hate-fest,” adding, “Experience has shown that where a narrative aimed at the destruction of the Jewish state is allowed to flourish, antisemitism follows.”

A member of the Irish4Israel advocacy organization said that while his group is not pushing for the cancellation of the event, it “hope[s] that UCC will ensure balance and fairness and allow both sides to be heard, which could result in a far more successful conference, rather than creating an anti-Israel echo chamber.”

Dr. Denis MacEoin, chairman of North-East Friends of Israel in England and a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute — who has been closely monitoring the activities of the conference organizers since the agenda was first introduced in 2015 — warned that “people around the world won’t spot [its] inherent bias…and will think it is presenting perfect academic evidence for the evils of Israel, leading to support for calls for it to be wiped out.”

According to conference organizers, the aim of the event, in part, is to “generate a debate on legitimacy, exceptionalism and responsibility under international law as provoked by the nature of the Israeli state.”

Themes include examining how the “Jewish nature of the state has profoundly affected the economic, constitutional, political and social life of…non-Jewish Arabs” and how “Jewish’ nationality bestows some vital privileges.” Speakers slated to attend and present at the conference include a “Who’s Who” of radical anti-Israel activists and academics.

The conference was originally scheduled to take place last year at the University of Southampton in Britain, but was met with heavy objections. When Southampton rescinded its invitation, conference organizers blamed Jewish and pro-Israel groups, saying the incident amounted to a “chilling repression of academic freedom,” and unsuccessfully filed two separate lawsuits against the university.

“International Law and the State of Israel” is scheduled to take place between March 31 and April 2, 2017.

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