14th April 2015

Dear Friends,

A hearing was held in the High Court today on our application for an injunction to compel Southampton University to host our conference. Unfortunately, the court sided with the university, despite the strengths of our case. We will continue pursuing justice for both Palestine and for freedom of speech. We are now contemplating the best way of pursuing an appeal against this decision.

Our painstaking efforts to locate a private venue have also not borne fruit. We have exhausted all possible venues in Southampton from private to community owned spaces. Several venues confirmed our booking initially as an alternative, and then cancelled. In this light, we cannot risk receiving you here only to have an alternative venue cancel precipitously.

It is with great regret, therefore, that we must postpone the conference International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism. We have an amazing programme and we will immediately start planning for its execution. Please cancel your travel arrangements as soon as possible.

It has been a very difficult few weeks. We have had to manage both the internal process in the university, launch a legal suit, handle finances and budgets, manage public collective statements, and re-book speaker accommodations, cancelled by the university without any notice.

We would like to thank Keren Ben-Dor who has stepped in and done tremendous work in organising accommodations and communicating with everybody. We also thank our amazing legal team: Mark McDonald, Shivani Jegarajah, Mohamed Elmaazi and Paul Heron, for their strenuous work and fabulous argument.

Last but not least we would like to thank you all for supporting this conference, and for bearing with us through a period of great uncertainty.

We will meet in the conference very soon. The pursuit of justice and peace in Palestine continues, and we must keep solidarity in the face of this disgraceful failure on the part of Southampton University. We must continue to protest publicly against the university decision, and use the moral strength of our cause to ensure freedom of speech and academic debate – for our own sakes as well as for others. We are confident that in time, we will, indeed, prevail.

Oren, George, Suleiman, Juman and Keren.