Cambridge University threatens to cancel anti-Israel meeting

Cambridge University threatens to cancel anti-Israel meeting
Sun Nov 12, 2017 14:52:36

The University of Cambridge has been criticized for threatening to cancel and replacing the chair of a meeting about an anti-Israel movement.

The institution is now facing accusations of censorship following the Wednesday meeting which was related to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Ruba Salih from the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) was supposed to oversee the event featuring Palestinian BDS activist, Omar Barghouti, but organizers said they had been forced to cancel Salih’s participation hours before it was about to start.

They said the university officials had intervened by claiming they were worried about her neutrality.

Palestinian activists say the incident highlights the increasingly restrictive atmosphere for detractors of Israel on campuses across the UK.

"Removing a respected Palestinian academic as chair of a panel event based on an unsubstantiated assumption about her lack of 'neutrality', and in doing so bowing to external pressure from a pro-Israel lobby group, cannot be construed as anything other than a naked attack on free speech and, more particularly academic freedom," Ed McNally, the Cambridge student who organized the event, told Al Jazeera.

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