Why it’s not cool to attend a psychedelic conference in Tel Aviv right now

I’ve spent years investigating the issue of drugs and psychedelics. My 2019 book, Pills, Powder and Smoke, was a global investigation.

This story caught my attention:

At a psychedelics conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, this July, attendees are due to hear talks on topics including “Psychedelics, War and Conflict.” Guests at Psychedelic Medicine Israel are invited to “join us in expanding consciousness in the Middle East.”

The journalist Mattha Busby asked me to comment in the US-based Filter magazine:

Australian-German journalist Antony Loewenstein, author of books including The Palestine Laboratory and Pills, Powder and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs, highlights that some backers of the Tel Aviv conference, like Israeli universities, have received Israeli government funding.

“This is a direct breach of the BDS movement, which aims to economically target Israel,” he told Filter of the event. “While it’s undeniably true that Israelis are traumatized after the horrific events of October 7 and the aftermath, it’s hard to imagine [an international psychedelics conference] in apartheid South Africa when the regime was brutally repressing the Black population.”

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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