Holocaust denial leaflets reappear at Melbourne universities

April 18, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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Jewish students, many of whom are descendants of Holocaust survivors, are deeply disturbed to once again discover Holocaust denial leaflets on campus.

Flyer under car wiperblade at Monash

Last weekend, many leaflets were placed under windscreen wipers on car parks on the grounds of Monash University.

Jewish students, many of whom are descendants of Holocaust survivors, are deeply disturbed to once again discover Holocaust denial leaflets on campus.

“The Australian” has reported that leaflets have also been distributed at the University of Melbourne University.

Last year, thousands of similar leaflets were left on campuses at Monash University, The University of Melbourne, the Australian National University, and the University of NSW. There were also unconfirmed reports that the leaflets were circulated at the University of Sydney.

The leaflets urge readers that the ‘official version’ of the Holocaust is ‘demonstrably false’ referring to the current film chronicling the bitter battle between Deborah Lipstadt and Holocaust-denier David Irving.

The National Chairperson  of  The Australasian Union of Jewish Students Isabella Polger said: “These leaflets are the result of a nationally organised campaign to spread poisonous antisemitic conspiracies at our nation’s top universities. They represent an atrocious assault on the dignity of Jewish students.

Universities have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their students, and protect those vulnerable to racial discrimination.”

Last week, AUJS was boycotted by the radical left, with the NSW Young Greens refusing to participate in a non-partisan cocktails function. This week, it is neo-Nazis calling for the students of Australian universities to question the veracity of the Holocaust, the systematic murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany. AUJS is profoundly concerned by what appears to be the increasing normalisation of antisemitism on Australian campuses with growing reports of Jewish students facing abuse simply because of their identity. We call on our universities to do more to combat antisemitism.”

In a letter to Vice Chancellors of Victorian Universities AUJS wrote: “We are writing to notify you of a series of disturbing anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred since the commencement of semester across Victorian university campuses. These instances seem to fall into the broader and recent trend of Jewish students feeling isolated and unwelcome on Victorian campuses. The Union is seeking your assistance to work together to prevent further instances of ethnic discrimination and vilification on campus.
For context, the Australasian Union of Jewish Students is the peak representative body for thousands of Jewish students across more than 25 university campuses in Australia and New Zealand.
The reported incidents are as follows:

  1. At a series of events hosted under the auspices of Monash University, students publicly exclaimed “Hitler did nothing wrong.” Indeed, some students went as far as to say that when they grow up, they want to be Hitler.
  2. On February 29, leaflets were distributed in both the Monash Clayton Campus and Melbourne University Parkville campus car parks, which expressly denied the existence of the Holocaust, describing it as “the greatest swindle of all time” and the “Holohoax”.
  3. At Monash University Clayton, on March 7, while the unaffiliated Socialist Alternative group distributed flyers purporting to support a planned political protest at the recent visit of retired IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, the words that were used insidiously invoke classic antisemitic tropes. The references to “blood lust” and “being born of deceit” have their origins in the medieval-era stereotypes of the bloodthirsty and greedy Jew.

These statements and actions are unacceptable from any student or group. They represent more than simply a callous disregard for the collective memory and trauma of the Jewish community. Additionally, the statements cross the line of legitimate criticism of the Israeli government in to the demonisation and vilification of Jews.

The perspectives of students are often formed and concretised on campus for life. If these attitudes were to prevail, it would signify our profound joint-failure to protect Jews and minorities on campus, and a failure on the University in its mission to educate and enlighten.

Everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome on campus. If we are to project that our university campuses are inclusive communities, then we must together act promptly and resolve the underlying problems of ethnic discrimination on campus.
We call on all Victorian Universities to proactively ensure that this alarming trend does not further permeate the campus environment. It is paramount that offending students and individuals are held accountable. We must leverage this as an opportunity for education and awareness.

We look forward to continuing this conversation with you, and working towards making Melbourne’s universities safe and accepting environments for all students to learn and thrive in.”

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the ADC stated: “This is virulent anti-Semitism, pure and simple, and I am shocked and disgusted that such revolting brochures have once again invaded university space, not only belittling the horrific murder of six millions Jews, but exploiting vulnerable students who may have limited knowledge about the Holocaust and sowing a message of hate and intolerance in the hearts of young people. This is part of a hate blitz that we have seen proliferating globally following the release of the film Denial, and which must be vigorously fought.

Universities are positive enclaves for critical thought and free expression, and the reprehensible attempt to deliberately deny the historical facts of the Holocaust must never find a fertile and welcoming haven. We must all stand as one against racist demagogues and white-Supremacists that share a loathing for the Jewish people as well as for the values of diversity and multiculturalism, and who are trying to expand their base and appeal by using the tools of prejudice. It is imperative that Jewish students on campus, who may have relatives who survived the Holocaust, are made to feel comfortable and that blatant anti-Semitism, harassment and hostile incitement are never tolerated.”

AUJS will meet with Monash University on Friday. The university’s own security department is currently investigating the incident.

 

Comments

One Response to “Holocaust denial leaflets reappear at Melbourne universities”
  1. Gillian Miller says:

    People believe what they want to believe. The evidence is there for the Holocaust including the actual camps. But, when it comes to Jews and Jewish prejudice, some people really do excel themselves with hatred and nothing you can say will change their little minds.

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