Seems the University of Sydney has their own little BDS club, which appears to have done precious little since its inception just under a year ago.
They say they aim to:
(1) Exert pressure on the University of Sydney to withdraw all institutional and financial support from Israeli academic and research institutions by implementing a boycott and divestment campaign similar to the one applied to South Africa in the apartheid era;
(2) Show solidarity with Palestinian university communities by responding to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel;
(3) Support the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement more generally.
Following the fracas on campus during the talk given by Retired Colonel Kemp of the British Army, a message from the Vice-Chancellor: ‘Concerns about anti-Semitism on campus’ was posted on line. Please read the link.
19 March 2015.
You may be aware of a protest during a lecture last week that has given rise to the expression of concerns about anti-Semitism on our campus.
The University is investigating the various allegations and counter-allegations that have been made in relation to this event, and is treating them with the utmost seriousness.
The expectations for our staff, students and affiliates in respect of their professional and personal conduct are clearly set out in the relevant codes of conduct. I wanted to take this opportunity to assure you that the University does not tolerate any type of harassment or discrimination, including on the grounds of religion and religious belief.
Such views or behaviour have no place in our community, and we all have a role to play in standing firm against them. If you want to raise concerns, I encourage you to reply to this email. We must all share a commitment to ensuring that our campuses are safe for everyone and that even the most contentious topics can be debated in a way that shows tolerance and respect.
Dr Michael Spence.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal.
Now this little group has written an Open Letter to the University and signed by some of the biggest Israel haters on this planet. I will post parts of it and some of the ignorant comments, the rest you can read for yourself. Clearly those who have signed have no idea what actually occurred.
Dr Spence, reject calls to punish Palestine-justice supporters.
Dear Dr Spence,
We are compelled to write to you to register our serious concern about the concerted campaign being conducted against Palestine activists at the University of Sydney.
We are appalled at the virulence and insistence with which prominent supporters of Israel have been publicly calling on you to “take action” in response to events at Richard Kemp’s March 11 talk, by sanctioning both the students who conducted a small protest there, and those members of staff, present in the audience, who subsequently defended their right to do so. These calls appear to be principally focussed on having Associate Professor Jake Lynch and Dr Nick Riemer dismissed from the university. In Lynch’s case, this is the demand explicitly being made by the Australasian Union of Jewish Students via their online petition, which we note has now been closed.
Such demands for the dismissal of staff members or the disciplining of students are entirely unwarranted and unjustifiable. Dismissal of academics is the most serious action that can be taken against them, and is traditionally only done under the gravest circumstances of misconduct or moral turpitude. Whatever our various opinions on the legitimacy of the students’ protest, we call on you to firmly reject the suggestion that any action should be taken against anyone present at the lecture. Associate Professor Lynch is one of Australia’s most prominent human-rights campaigners and anti-racists. His unshaking commitment to the cause of Palestine justice has earned him formidable enemies. The racial discrimination lawsuit brought against him by the Israel Law Centre, Shurat HaDin, which he defeated in 2014, is the clearest example. Claims that Lynch’s response to the physical assault launched against him by a member of the audience at Kemp’s talk constitutes evidence of his anti-Semitism demonstrably have no basis in fact and are obviously politically motivated. Dr Riemer, for his part, is an active participant in a number of anti-racist and human-rights campaigns.
There are no possible grounds on which either Lynch or Riemer could reasonably be disciplined. They asserted a right for students to protest at a campus political meeting. They supported justice for Palestine. They objected when students were in danger of serious injury through being violently ejected by the university’s security staff, for whom you are ultimately responsible. By any reasonable measure, none of these actions constitutes any justifiable grounds for dismissal.
Lynch and Riemer uphold the right to peaceful protest as a core civil liberty. For the University of Sydney under your leadership to take action against anyone, whether students or staff, for their actions on March 11 would seriously discredit your own commitment to the fight against racial prejudice, and the commitment of your institution. Continue here to read more:
I’ve added a few comments but I get the feeling they won’t be published