Ex­eter ex­plained

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY NAOMI FIRSHT

A PRO-IS­RAEL pro­fes­sor has said tak­ing part in a univer­sity con­fer­ence on “set­tler colo­nial­ism in Palestine” was the right thing to do.

Pro­fes­sor Gabriel Brahm spoke at the con­fer­ence at Ex­eter Univer­sity last week­end.

His par­tic­i­pa­tion, along with Pro­fes­sor Alan John­son, se­nior re­search fel­low at Bi­com, was ar­ranged af­ter con­cerns that the con­fer­ence would be anti-Is­rael led to a deal be­tween the univer­sity and the Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil.

Prof Brahm, a re­search fel­low in Is­rael stud­ies at Bran­deis Univer­sity, said: “We took just the right course. We didn’t try to shut the con­fer­ence down. We got in there and rep­re­sented our views.

“It was very sat­is­fy­ing to no­tice when we raised good ques­tions it made them stop and think,” he said.

He had de­cided to at­tend be­cause “I didn’t want to see anti-Zion­ism go un­op­posed for the umpteenth time in academia”.

The par­tic­i­pa­tion by Is­rael sup­port­ers, which some mem­bers of the Jewish com­mu­nity had crit­i­cised, was “part of a larger on­go­ing strat­egy” to counter anti-Is­rael views, he said. “We want to be set­ting a prece­dent that Zion­ism is a nor­mal part of the dis­cus­sion.”

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