It is with excitement that we are announcing the launch of the conference “International Law & the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism” that will be held between the 31stof March and the 2nd of April 2017 at University College Cork, a constituent university of the National University of Ireland.
This conference will be the first of its kind and constitutes a ground-breaking historical event on the road towards justice and enduring peace in historic Palestine. It is unique because, while most attention today is directed at Israel’s actions in the 1967 Occupied Territories, the conference seeks to expand the debate surrounding the nature of the State of Israel and the legal and political reality within it.
The conference will raise questions that link the suffering in historic Palestine to the manner of Israel’s foundation and its nature. It aims to generate a debate on legitimacy, responsibility and exceptionalism under international law as provoked by the nature of the Israeli state. It will also examine how international law could be deployed, expanded, and even re-imagined, in order to achieve peace and reconciliation based on justice.
The conference is interdisciplinary; its examination of the themes of legitimacy, responsibility and exceptionalism will link issues pertinent to a wide range of academic fields. Speakers include leading scholars from Law, Politics, Philosophy, Theology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, History and other disciplines.
Keynote addresses and panel sessions will provide a much-needed platform for scholarly debate and disagreement. Speakers and participants will come from widely differing backgrounds, having different, and indeed opposing, perspectives on the central questions addressed by this conference.
Recent developments in some countries – particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom – have evidenced a chilling repression of academic freedom when it comes to critique of Israeli state policy. This renders it all the more crucial to provide forums for such debate. The history of this conference reflects these developments. Originally, it was planned to hold the conference at the University of Southampton, but growing pressure on academic freedom in the United Kingdom forced a decision to move the conference to Ireland. We look forward to productive and constructive academic engagement in Cork with the vital themes and questions raised by the conference.
Ms. Juman Asmail, Independent Researcher.
Professor Oren Ben-Dor, University of Southampton.
Professor George Bisharat, University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Professor James Bowen, University College Cork.
Mr. Mike FitzGibbon, University College Cork.
Dr. Kathy Glavanis-Grantham, University College Cork.
Dr. Piaras MacEinri, University College Cork.
Dr. Jacqui O’Riordan, University College Cork.
Dr. John Reynolds, Maynooth University.
Professor Suleiman Sharkh, University of Southampton.