Exeter and the Jewish Leadership Council to co-host a debate on the representation of Israel in UK academic discourse

The University of Exeter and the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) will co-host a special event to debate how Israel is represented in academic discussions across the UK.

The event, will take place at the University’s St Luke’s Campus on February 1, 2016. Entitled ‘The treatment of Israel in academic discourse at UK Universities’, the debate will feature academics, students from the University, and representatives from the Jewish community deliberating both sides of the major topic.

The event has been organised to debate issues pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, upholding the principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Working with the JLC in the lead-up to the recent academic conference on ‘Settler Colonialism in Palestine & Workshop on the Naqab Bedouin’, the University announced it would hold a supplementary event to provide an opportunity for further debate.

The event will be chaired by Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, and hosted by Professor Janice Kay, Exeter Provost.

Professor Sir Steve Smith said: “I am delighted that the University of Exeter will host this distinctive and positive debate.

“It is imperative that universities provide an encouraging space for academic discourse, no matter how challenging the subject, and I am confident that this debate will be one of mutual respect, but also one of robust deliberations and discussions.”

Professor Janice Kay added: “This is an exciting opportunity to debate an important topic involving representatives from the Jewish community, together with academics and students from the University.

“Universities should not shy away from debating challenging issues, and this approach promotes an arena for positive discussions in a safe and open environment. I am confident it will be an engaging, and thought-provoking event for everyone involved.”

Simon Johnson CEO of the JLC said: “We thank the Vice Chancellor and the Provost for agreeing to host this debate and for structuring it so that there is a fair and safe opportunity for academics and students to discuss this emotive issue from all perspectives. This is a welcome approach to the discussion of challenging issues on university campuses.”

The event will take place on the evening of February 1, 2016. Further details regarding timings and registration will be placed on the University of Exeter website in due course.