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.”