Lobby group hit out at Cork City Hall Israel conference

Lobby group hit out at Cork City Hall Israel conference
Attending the International Law & the State of Israel conference at City Hall, Cork, were Dr. John Reynolds, National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Dr. Salman Abu-Sitta, Land Society Palestine; Prof. Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University; and Prof. Oren Ben-Dor, University of Southampton.  Picture: Denis Minihane.

A HIGH-security conference on Israel passed off without major incident at the weekend but Cork City Council and UCC have been condemned for providing venues for the event.

The pro-Israel lobby group Irish4Israel hit out at the decision by UCC and Cork City Council to provide venues to the conference, titled 'International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility.'

The controversial conference ran over the weekend, with venues including Millenium Hall and UCC's Western Gateway Building.

Among those set to speak at the event is Professor Richard Falk, the author of a controversial UN report which accused Israel of operating an apartheid-like regime towards Palestinians.

At the International Law & the State of Israel conference at City Hall, were Clare Short, former UK Cabinet Minister; Jeff Halper, former head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, speaker, and Dr. Ghada Karmi, University of Exeter, speaker. Picture: Denis Minihane.
At the International Law & the State of Israel conference at City Hall, were Clare Short, former UK Cabinet Minister; Jeff Halper, former head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, speaker, and Dr. Ghada Karmi, University of Exeter, speaker. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Prof Falk, emeritus professor of International Law at Princeton University, co-authored the report, which was later disowned by the UN.

Irish4Israel, a Dublin-based pro-Israel group, criticised the lack of balance in the programme for the conference.

"Had conference organisers facilitated greater academic discussion rather than put on an expensive anti-Israel festival, this conference could have been a success. Instead, people were being asked to pay €110 to spend a weekend listening to an echo chamber of self-congratulating academics," said a statement issued by the group.

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