No money for academic anti-Semitism

May 24, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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A Liberal-led government may withdraw funds to an academic institution it believed was using taxpayer money for anti-Semitic campaigns, according to Julie Bishop.

Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop

The Opposition’s deputy leader was quoted in The Australian on Wednesday in regards to Jake Lynch and his controversial Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, which supports an academic boycott of Israel: “Mr Lynch is free to raise funds from non-government sources if he requires money to fund his campaign against the state of Israel and Jewish people. A Coalition government would seek to withdraw funding to any academic institution that used taxpayer funds for an anti-Semitic campaign.”

Jake Lynch, who has been an ardent critic of Israel, retorted that Bishop’s threats were “a violation of intellectual freedom”.

The University of Sydney has been vocal in rejecting Professor Lynch’s boycott, even though the Student Representative Council passed a motion last month supporting the boycott of the Technion in Haifa.

Bishop has previously argued that Australian institutions that support BDS should not receive federal research grants.
Lynch’s comments come after his colleague Stuart Rees argued, also in The Australian, that supporting BDS and the London Declaration into Combatting Anti-Semitism isn’t mutually exclusive.

“You can support both the London Declaration and the BDS campaign,” he wrote. “However, that distinction is easily lost when individuals are demonised and Israel’s constant flouting of international law is deliberately diverted by discussion of other countries’ human rights abuses.”

As for Peter Slipper, the former speaker of the House of Representatives who called for Rees to be sacked last week, the controversial academic retorted that he had worked for the last 13 years as a volunteer.

“I have not been paid any salary, nor claimed any expenses,” he wrote. “I have worked in diverse campaigns, often in dangerous places, and have been committed to raising funds for students from the poorest countries.”

Comments

5 Responses to “No money for academic anti-Semitism”
  1. Norma says:

    Well said! It’s a very bad news for the BDS Movement! Please keep it up, Julie. The world needs more voices like yours.

  2. Ben Eleijah says:

    great idea! Unfortunately, the “anti-Semitic” smear has long become debased currency. Any opposition to Israel’s colonization is by definition anti-Semitic, though jewish individuals and groups all over the world support the campaign against the dispossession of Palestinians.
    They should The Age report about the EU findings on the West Bank.

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    Rex, you “sound” very ethical – key word -. The sad reality is that universities have been for quite some time – particularly since the first half of the 19th Century, see the “Hip Hip” movements – hot beds of anti Semitism. Germany, France, Austro-Hungary, Eastern Europe ( with the extraordinary merrit of the Bulgarian academics !!) have “educated” generations of anti Semites, some into quite violent manifestations. Stuart Rees is no surprise and he has been tollerated as an over anti Semite by his former employer for decades. The ridiculous pretence of academic “privileges” has only currency for those enjoying the exploits of denying Jews the same rights as the “host” nation. To these people Israel was just a “wellcome addition” to their passion for attacking ANYTHING Jewish.

  4. Fiona says:

    Encouraging to see some political backbone to deal with the so-called Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and its outrageous proposal to ban Israeli academics. Presumably academics from Iran are welcome. We need to find out what Labor’s stance is.

  5. Rex says:

    If it sounds like it’s anti-emetic, it probably is.
    Given the covert nature of anti-Semetic pursuits in academic forums and learning institutions, like universities, the only safe pathway for the government is to not be involved in any support.
    University boards have no right to encourage, for any reason, the inclusion of anyone or group who pursue this activity, in any form.
    It is an activity that breaches compliance with the national constitution and several conventions this nation has committed to adhering to.
    No government, or institution, educational or not, have the right to allow it.

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