When the Notion of “Israel’s Right to Exist” is Used to Target Palestinian Rights Advocates with Unfounded Allegations: Expert Reports 

UK-based organisation CAGE published two expert reports signed by leading scholars, Professor John Dugard SC and Professor Avi Shlaim on the notion of “Israel’s right to exist”. As observed in several cases of suppression of Palestinian rights advocacy, this concept is often very broadly interpreted by pro-Israel actors and raised to purport allegations of antisemitism. It has been used, to list a few examples, to repress:
    • Palestinian rights advocates carrying banners in protests showing the map of historic Palestine, a very common display in Palestinian culture and solidarity movement;
    • Individuals and organisations expressing about the historical turning point that constituted the Nakba;
    • Individuals and organisations expressing on the concept of settler colonialism in relation to Israel.
These two reports challenging the prevailing narrative on the notion of “Israel’s right to exist” and replacing it in a legal context can be useful tools to rebut common unfounded claims made against Palestinian rights advocates. Read the report by Professor Avi Shlaim Read the report by Professor John Dugard The reports are part of CAGE’s legal action against UK’s former Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, who sent a very controversial guidance to schools in May 2021, when Palestinian civilians were facing violent military attacks by the Israeli army. After forcing British Higher Education Institutions to adopt the biased IHRA definition of antisemitism, Williamson also urged schools not to work with organisations that “reject Israel’s right to exist”, without explaining the meaning of it. Read more. Image from Unsplash courtesy of Yousef Salhamoud
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