Southampton-style pseudo-academic anti-Israel conference to take place at Exeter

Nearly four months after a Southampton University conference questioning Israel’s right to exist was cancelled on public order grounds, the University of Exeter is organizing a “Conference on Settler Colonialism in Palestine & Workshop on the Naqab Bedouin“.

Here’s a blurb from the conference website:

The study of settler colonialism as an historical, geographical and political formation is attracting the attention of more and more scholars around the globe. Our effort will be oriented towards the examination of the settler colonial paradigm’s validity in the context of Palestine. The organisers encourage interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to the study of settler colonialism in Palestine, so as to build bridges between settler colonial studies and other disciplines, as well as to challenge Israel’s alleged exceptionality.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof. Nur Masalha, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, UK.
  • Prof. Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Dr. Marcelo Svirsky, University of Wollogong, Australia.
  • Prof. Lorenzo Veracini, Swinburne University

In addition to the inclusion of the radical “historian” Ilan Pappe, it’s quite telling that the conference also includes Dr. Marcelo Svirsky, whose book ‘After Israel appears to call for an end to the ‘Zionist project’ in Palestine.

Here are the topics to be discussed at the conference:

  • What is the nature of Israel’s colonisation of Palestine? How does it manifest itself in different political, economic, social, as well as material and ideational arenas?
  • How do settler colonial structures affect different forms of resistance?
  • How are settler colonial narratives articulated (and disarticulated)?
  • How has Israel’s settler colonial project impacted upon Palestine’s social, demographic, political and economic landscapes?
  • How does settler colonialism intersect with global processes such as neo-liberalism, imperialism and war?
  • How does Israeli settler-colonialism relate to the Israeli nation-state building project?
  • How does resistance against the settler colonial regime by the indigenous Palestinian population relate to and articulate itself within/vis-à-vis the Palestinian national struggle?

Most troubling is the fact that the conference, scheduled for early October, is being financed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), a public body – incorporated by Royal Charter – sponsored by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


We’ll update you as we learn more about the Exeter conference.


17 replies »

  1. Well of course Exeter Uni would be an excellent choice of venue wouldn’t it. It is substantially funded by the Saudis these days. This fact needs to be publicized just to show how Saudi money controls so much of what goes on here in Britain!

  2. “Israel’s alleged exceptionality” ….. This is deeply antisemitic. The innuendo is “Because of Holocaust guilt Israel is treated exceptionally, being allowed to break laws with impunity”.

    • Unlike Islamists in the UK of course, who are let off scot-free from threatening an Israeli government minister (at Manchester, which is also in receipt of Arab money) to the extent that she was not allowed a platform.

    • One can only assume that the powers that be, in government and elsewhere (and also the Ministry for Education)* agree with what these wretches have to say.

      *For example, one assumes that the Ministry of Education in the UK, which is supposed to oversee school curricula, knew full well what the PSC-affliated NUT was planning with Edukid as regards the latter’s teaching packs about “poor Palestinian children.” These had to be withdrawn after protests against their PSC-like anti-Israel propaganda, although the Chair of the NUT insists that he intends to reintroduce them.

      I doubt that the NUT funded the packs themselves either. Doubtless they had “encouragement” from the PSC, see

  3. Some o0f our Pro-Israel friends should file a petition demanding the de-legitimization of Jordan, Saudi Arabia , et al

  4. I will be putting together a request under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) concerning its use of public money to finance this blatantly one-sided, anti-Israel conference.

    • See my post above. Perhaps you could add to it a request for information as to how the NUT/PSC and Edukid’s collaboration has been funded?

      • Thanks Babs, I’ll going to look into the Edukid/NUT/PSC collaboration. Especially from the aspect of Edukid being a UK registered charity.
        Moves are afoot to challenge the lawfulness of both the conference at Exeter and it’s funding by AHRC.

        • The chief executive of AHRC was Professor Rick Rylance, formerly of Exeter University, recently appointed to the Institute of English Studies in London. Is it possible that applications for funding projects from Exeter would have been given favourable consideration, no matter the aim of the projects?

          Like others, I, too, take exception to the phrase “settler-colonist” especially when applied to the Negev, an intrinsic part of the State of Israel. “Israeli control” is quite simply the exercise of Israeli sovereignty over its own territory. Some Negev Bedouin families own land in the Negev, but a significant number were wanderers who ranged back and forth over what is now Jordan, southern Israel and Sinai. The security situation in all three countries has severely limited this traditional way of life and permanent settlement is now the norm.

  5. Just take a look at the state of Great Britain right now. An Israeli professor of history at Exeter University lectures that Israel must be dismantled and destroyed; the Labour Party is about to elect its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who has ‘friends’ in Hamas and Hezbollah and is the Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Committee.

    If these two individuals embedded in these two oh-so-British establishments can go about their antisemitic business without so much as a blink of the eye, just about ANYTHING can and will happen to the Jews of this country.

  6. “The collected data will be analysed through the theoretical lens of settler colonialism. Israeli control relies on the continuous elimination/resettlement of the indigenous population, and re-inhabitation of the land with Israeli settlers”

    £200,441 of public money from the Arts and Humanities Research Council …. an antisemitic disgrace … Jews have lived in the Jerusalem area for thousands of years, “settler-colonialism” is simply a lie

  7. Masalha, Pappe, Svirsky, Veracini are confirmed speakers. Three of them were down to speak at Southampton. This event is little more than a rerun of the Southampton hatefest, which questioned Israel’s right to exist.

  8. What ”Palestine” is Israel occupying? This was a Mandate given to the British by the League of Nations for the express purpose of recreating the ancient Jewish Homeland which was destroyed by the Roman in AD 90 and again in AD 135. The Jewish claim of being the indigenous people of this land precedes any subsequent Muslim or Christian occupation.

    The attempt to create a ”Palestine” as being a country that always was there is precisely what these so called experts call a ”colonial occupation”. This is an attempted Arab colonial occupation of the Jewish Homeland. It is an attempt to rewrite history by telling lies and distorted facts.

  9. I get the strong feeling from reading the agenda that the organizers were trying to mention the phrase “settler colonialism” as many times as they could, simply in order to implant the phrase in people’s minds. Otherwise the agenda reads like a pile of meaningless pseudo-babble.