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Academic anti-Semitism conference

by: Cara Wides - Last updated: 2006-01-25

Academics, human rights lawyers and anti-racism experts will meet in Amsterdam next month for the first ever international conference on academic anti-Semitism.

The two-day event is organised by the Magenta Foundation, a Dutch group which aims to combat racism, fascism and other forms of discrimination, with a special focus on prejudice spread through the internet.

The conference will look at issues like the exclusion of Israelis from exchange programmes, intimidating treatment of Jews on campus, and biased teaching about the Middle East.

Magenta Foundation General Director Ronald Eissens said: "There is a fine line between voicing legitimate criticism of Israel and endorsing anti-Semitic positions. We do not contend that all criticism of Israel leads to academic anti-Semitism. But today many scholars seem to have lost all sense of proportion concerning Israel."

He added: "At this conference we plan to bring together a group of interested individuals who will create a successful new network to study this important and timely issue."

After listening to talks and joining discussions, participants will contribute to a list of recommendations to combat the problem. Speakers include Mitch Simmons, former national executive committee member of the UK National Union of Students, Marilyn Mayo, Anti Defamation League, USA and Dr David Hirsch, Goldsmith College, University of London.

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Magenta Foundation