An example of double standards?

Brendan O’Malley's report (Vice-chancellors oppose academic boycott of Israel) on 6 June fails to make clear that the increasing academic boycott of Israel requested by the Palestinians targets academic institutions that practise educational discrimination against Arabs and not individual academics. Freedom of speech and discussion is not affected.

This is unlike the recent decision of the University of Southampton backed by Universities UK, a government minister and others to cancel a conference about Israel this April. This banning prevented freedom of speech and discussion.

Universities UK is reported as saying that "all universities must uphold, in the interests of free expression of ideas, the fundamental right of academics to question national and international policies".

This is a clear and disgraceful example of double standards.

Universities UK and Southampton University should accept this charge and withdraw their ban or refute it.

Dr CJ Burns-Cox MD FRCP
United Kingdom
Email: chris.burns-cox@virgin.net