Well over a hundred prominent academics from the Europe and the United
States—including Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Catherine Malabou,
Jacques Rancière, Judith Butler, Angela Davis, Richard Falk,
and Gayatri Spivak–have sent an open  letter
to Mériam Korichi, Curator and Stage Director of A Night
of Philosophy
. The letter calls attention to the tremendous
irony of having as one of the keynote speakers Monique Canto-Sperber. For
a major event on philosophy, a field that is predicated on free inquiry
and intellectual exploration, to give a forum on free speech to someone
who, as the head of one of the major prestigious schools in France,
was responsible for two of the most egregious acts of censorship of
Palestinians and of critics of Israeli state policies, is beyond being
a stark contradiction—it is appalling.

While the signatories recognize and respect Canto-Sperber’s
right to speak at the event, they find it incumbent upon themselves
to register their profound disappointment and to protest in the strongest
terms possible that one of the key people you have selected to promote
free speech at your Night of Philosophy has been an open practitioner
of denying the same to Palestinians and their supporters.