The Left

SOAS Student Union votes to ban Israel lectures, backed by SOAS UCU leaders

This is a guest post by Judy of the Adloyada blog

The Students’ Union of SOAS, London’s internationally renowned university research centre for Middle East studies voted in favour of banning a public lecture series on the centenary of Tel-Aviv, organized by Professor Colin Shindler, SOAS’ Professor of Israeli Studies.

The students did it in the name of seeking to boycott all Israeli academics in the light of the current Gaza conflict,unless they specifically oppose the Israeli action in Gaza, regardless of what their presentations and research are about.

It appears that some of the leaders of the SOAS UCU–the academics’ union have also pressured Professor Shindler to cancel the lecture series. He’s a long standing pro-peace activist, but he opposes the ban and the series has gone ahead.

What stand will SOAS UCU now take? Will it vote for or against academic free speech? And what will the Directorate of SOAS do?

Read the full story here.