A letter to Dr Spence

June 1, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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Diane Barkas, the red-headed 74-yr-old who responded to the disruption of the lecture being delivered by British military officer Colonel Richard Kemp at the University of Sydney has written to the vice-chancellor following the investigation into the incident.

Colonel Kemp was well into his lecture when a group entered the room chanting “Richard Kemp you can’t hide – you support genocide” amongst others. The university has completed an investigation into the incident but its precise findings are being kept in-house.

Barkas, a Wollongong-based academic wrote to the University of Sydney’s Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence in the wake of the investigation.

The following is an  extract from her letter. Diane Barkas has told J-Wire she has not yet received a response but the receipt of the letter has been acknowledged.

The content published has not been edited.

“Dear Dr Spence

If Lynch felt a kick to the groin it must have been from the foot of G-d, because it was not me.

Scene of the disruption

Scene of the disruption

This letter is a response to your list of accusations in your letter to me which I received yesterday 28 May. Your letter to me is for the most part accusations and you say nothing of the physical injury I endured at the hands of you Professor in your travesty of a Peace and Reconciliation. Or my doctor’s letter and ex rays that indicate my inability to hold anyone down. My Doctor’s words were “absolutely could not.” By the way, you did not tell me why the photo you claim to be evidence has a very large arm in it a bit smaller arm and me crouching on top of a woman who I did not know and who was not sitting there either before or after the picture. The picture if you look again seem to be imposed on another one. I am in the crawling position that I was in when I had to crawl along the bench to get to my bag because some woman would not let me past her. I repeat I did not hold anyone down I do not have the strength for that. Dr Spence, this is shameful!

In these last two months I have been called by a supporter of Lynch and the BDS a “Yid shit’, a whore, an escapee from the gas ovens, and a Jew-bitch, but to name a few. One of them ended up by asking everyone to toast Hitler. Such blogs were written in support of Lynch and the other vile messages and false accusations are written by people in support of him and your Peace and Reconciliation the BDS who nest in it. The green left have rallied round Lynch with their idiotic abuses. I also noted Lynch’s Union with 600 lefties who have not changed their sad song since they first brought their PLO scarves when they were at university.   I was also a subject of abuse by some of their members. This of course, is all in the name of free speech and a lack of bollocks on the part of those who could change things. Yourself being one. All this is nothing to the insulting and patronising way in which you have tried to get me to accept the accusations made against which are, for the most, part lies.

In my letter I said that I was extremely nervous when the activists came in, I was scared and I reacted the way I did to protect myself. You have completely ignored my reason for trying to grab Lynch’s mobile – I did not want my picture going out to all those supporters, the vile name callers, who could have very well hassled me when I walked out. I find you and other cowardly Vice Principals of Universities globally, some of whom receive enormous sums of money from oil rich Arab States, to be unworthy of respect.

It is from your university and Peace and Conciliation Department, that Lynch, organised his ‘Apartheid Meeting’ (on both pictures and videos).  Lynch is clearly seen with a screaming mob of BDS supporters, some of whom are holding up posters with swastikas on them while others are wearing Hisbolah and other terrorist badges and are shouting out, ‘From the river to the sea’ and death to Jews. You allow this man to get away with bruising me (as witnessed by a doctor and the report sent to you).  You send me a picture which I believe to be made up, in it I am seen to be crouching over someone on a bench. This did not happen. You allow other members of the BDS who are staff at your university to prod and push me without redress.

It is you and all those other heads of universities of whom, some of them, also do not like anything to upset their budget that facilitate the likes of the BDS and lest bad things happen to Jewish students or anyone else who does not swallow their lies. By accepting Lynch and the BDS’s detritus it allows Jewish students and others globally to be gagged. The BDS spread its cancer even as far as a Young Catholic shopkeeper in Brighton UK, who set up a ‘Wrappings Free shop in the Western Road. In all ignorance, he displayed products that had a connection with Israel. He was harassed boycotted by the same kind of people that attended Lynch’s Apartheid meeting outside Sydney Town Hall. He received phone calls threatening his wife and small children until in the end to shut his shop in despair. It goes from this to ice-cream made in India with Hitler on the package – look it up it’s happening today

Lynch is smiling and smug now. After an earlier case against him was thrown out on technical points, he said, in the press that he was ‘Happy and excited’ because he felt it gave him the confidence to develop his BDS aspirations. After his miner warning, he says he is ‘happy and relieved’ . But is the gagging of a 74year old lady, with spindly legs and an arthritic body, and the shutting down of a lecture one of those developments? Is he being given the freedom to harass any Jew who opposes BDS and to smother their opinions, or to take photos of them and to encourage other students to come along and disrupt any free lecture that is not singing anthems written by the BDS. By not disagreeing with Lynch, you Vice Principal, allow him to give your students a franchise in self-righteousness. Tell me Dr Spence, what exactly has Lynch, his department and the BDS done for the suffering kids in Palestine.

Lastly Vice-Principal, when you phoned me and invited me to come to an Investigation meeting at your university and I wrote and said I would send you a letter, I asked your lawyer if I could be sued by the university as well as Lynch. She said ‘Yes, you could be’. Well bring it on, go ahead and sue me because I have no money, I am an old lady and Lynch screamed at me the sum of 20 thousand dollars – whatever it would be, I don’t have any money anyway, to pay for Lynches imaginary dousing with water and pain in his bollocks which, if he felt a kick, was surely from the foot of G-d. Whatever, Dr Spence, I only came in with one small bottle of water and I do not do miracles.

In your last letter you have reduced my banning from the campus by six months this seems to be a spark of light at the end of a very long sewer.

Diane Barkas”



28 Responses to “A letter to Dr Spence”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Diane Barkas, as reader of your words, I feel humbled by the warmth and dignity of your June 3 response to Michelle Berkon. To respond to her malice, and her denunciation of you, in such a way shows true strength of soul and spirit. It is not that you show warmth toward her – you have no reason to do that – you show a humane warmth that goes far beyond political and ideological posturing. If she could stand back from her ‘stance’ and learn this from you, she would find another plane from which to consider and comprehend. All the best to you, and I hope you are feeling all right. Don’t let the weak and cowardly words of Dr. Spence’s communication with you have any effect. Distance yourself from them, as they deserve.

  2. Leon Poddebsky says:

    The FIFA officials who are currently under investigation by authorities, as well as recently “retired” FIFA president, Blatter, would be ideal candidates for jobs with Associate-Professor Lynch’s “Peace” centre and its associated Sydney Peace Foundation.
    Few people would be more qualified.

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    It is a complete waste of energy and time to offer facts, historical and contemporary, to the likes of Michelle Berkon and Sam T. Rarely have I read a piece where such underlying malice is so obvious as MB’s, and Sam T. is interested in nothing but his own prejudice. It is a good thing that our J-Wire editor allows them exposure, as it’s an important palpable reminder of the hate out there and the lengths people will go to foster that.

    As to the University of Sydney and Dr. Spence, what a weak, cowardly effort of intimidation – possibly fraudulent too, if the photo referred to was doctored.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Liat, absolutely right!
      The presence of such elements in our midst and globally reaffirms the absolute axiomatically compelling validity of the Zionist response, and is all the more reason for decent people like Colonel Kemp, to support Zionism, The State of Israel and the Jewish People generally.

  4. Michelle Berkon says:

    Diane Barkas is not half as frail as she’d like you to believe. Kick or no kick, she threw water from a plastic bottle at someone whose opinion she disagrees with. She didn’t need to leave her seat, but couldn’t resist a stoush and scuffled with the best of them. She, along with the Jewish establishment, has no qualms about exploiting sympathy for Jewish suffering to deflect legitimate criticism of Israel, an increasingly renegade state that has ridden high on the back of holocaust sympathy, and consistently rides roughshod over international and humanitarian law. Diane Barkas and her sycophantic sympathisers are incapable of writing even a coherent letter it seems. They would do well to join the forces of darkness (just a nod to the hysterical flavour of Diane and others’ rhetoric) threatening our existence…. No, not Iran or Palestine… the rabidly right-wing Knesset, the IDF, and the mobs of violent racist thugs swarming through the streets of Tel Aviv. To my profound sadness, the outstanding philosophical and ethical legacy of diaspora Jewry is being betrayed by its own heirs.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Michelle, your supercharged bile is extremely unconvincing.

      That there are people who think like you (or maybe pretend to) is all the more reason for decent people to support Zionism, the State of Israel and the Jewish People generally.

    • Diane Barkas says:

      Michelle I know that a so called ‘dignified’ old lady would not grace your comment with a response. I am not a person like that. I am frail in all but my soul. I don’t know who you are but it is possible that you are one of those who have fallen for the BDS lies. It is also possible that might you might have picked up such nonsense about ‘thugs in the street’ from them. If you went to Israel, you would see that it is possible to stand in the main square of Tel Aviv and shout out loudly that Israel should not exist and you would not get arrested – you might get some old guy who lost a son in one of the wars spit or waive his fist at you. There are no IDF or thugs roaming the streets. Why don’t you ask someone who has been there. In Jerusalem yes, there are IDF and they are there to stop those people who hate other people, as you do, from killing each other. If you were to go to the train station you could see what the youngsters do before (or after) they finish University. Some of them are patrolling the streets and guarding the borders. They go to train stations and bus terminals not to go for a “schoolies week’ in Surfers, but to get transport to a training base as they have to do their military service. This is because Israel does not have a big enough full-time army. Most of them don’t want to; they want to go out and have fun like the school leavers in this country. Yet they go because they know they have to protect the country for their mothers, sisters and grandparents. They can’t stop the rockets that Hamas send over though. This must be done by the IDNS. It is done so that the thousands of rockets that do come over are stopped at source or before they hit. In these areas young kids spend much of their school-time in air-raid shelters. The UN has recently admitted that Hamas keeps many of the rockets under schools and hospitals. Hamas does not let the people who are in the schools stay away from the schools. I do know that there is very little hope that you will find any of these things out for yourself. I can tell you that in Israel, of the nearly seven-million people (of multi-cultural background, colour and faiths) all are treated equally all have the same rights. Many are young people. I have talked to some of them and they are heart-broken that the world see them as it does. They have no passport to any other country, indeed of the seven million Israeli citizens almost none of them do. Where do you suggest they go? How do you think they should stop the rockets? You, like many other, do not bother to find out the other side of the story. The fact is most people do not care about it. They just believe everything the Television tells them – The SBS and the ABC seem to only report badly about Israel; it never reports the good Israel does such as the IDNS Medical people who treat everyone that comes over the border, including its enemies; or of the 115 man team Israel sent to Nepal to set up a hospital there for injured. The IDF would even treat the likes of Lynch, even though he has shown himself to be a hot head that screams with rage and will not desist from prating seemingly anti-semetic tropes at an old lady, even when told by security and others to stop. Is this your hero Michelle – an almost 6’ man who anyone (especially a frail old lady who is only 4’ 10 inches) would find hard to douse? You ask why I got out of my seat in the lecture theatre. I did so to ask the security guard if they were going to get the mob who halted out. If not I was going to leave the lecture room.
      Lastly what would you do if you the Israeli Government and twenty seven Arab countries as well as most of Europe and G-d knows who else, wanted you to stop protecting your country, would you just let the rockets rain down on your people? The Palestinian people who want peace and to live side by side with Israel also need protecting from Hamas and Hisbolah. They are not helped at all by hatred.

  5. graham wines says:

    In a letter to me Dr Spence has made the point that the actions of Lynch and his cronies were an expression of their right of ‘free speech’. So, marching into a room en-mass and closing down an address by a spokesman who refuses to criticise those who you hate is apparently an acceptable way of expressing free speech. Following that somewhat peculiar logic, marching into a theatre and shutting down a Parcifal concert because it is alleged that it expresses Wagner’s anti-Semitic views is an acceptable form of freedom of speech. An interesting point and something worth considering if you subscribe the the ‘Spence’ view of fee speech..
    Well Spence needs to further struggle with his mind. He needs to grasp the fact that shutting down free speech by someone claiming to express free speech is a nonsense. Pursuing that view will lead to the evil conclusion that shear numbers should distinguish right from wrong, good from bad and ethical from unethical.
    On Sydney University’s campuses the number of Jews is small and the number of Israeli’s non- existent. So by the Spence yardstick, they have no right to speak or be heard. This is surely as immoral as any community can get and as low as humanity can go.
    The university is a place for debate. Bring it on. Openly criticise and be criticised. Use fact and logic to draw your conclusions but do not behave like those participants of kristallnacht, smashing their way into the lives of others because you just hate them so much.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Graham, the Sydney University administration’s priorities in the Lynch-Riemer-Hamasjugend scandal are different from yours and mine and like-minded people who genuinely believe in genuine freedom of expression.
      The administrators’ priorities are, in order of importance:
      1. to keep their jobs.
      2. to maintain peace and quiet on campus (only for the Lynch and Riemer et al crowd, not for Colonel Kemp or his audience.)
      3. to keep at bay the aggressive antisemitic elements within the tertiary teachers union, who support Lynch, Riemer and others of similar quality.
      4. in a conflict situation, to favour at all costs, the side that has leverage / power to disrupt the tranquil existence of the administrators.

      • SamT says:

        At this stage, it may do well to reflect on how your “scandal” began:

        Dr. Lynch was asked to endorse a Israeli post-grad student from the Hebrew University. That university is built on the West (captured 1967) Bank and is reported to be a training site for the Israeli police force. He refused to do so.

        And from there mob rule has taken over. Civility has lost out in this determined push to have Dr. Lynch fired from the University of Sydney.

        Do you disagree with this summary Mr.Poddebsky?

        • Leon Poddebsky says:

          Wll, Mr SamT, who was the legal sovereign in Judea / Samaria between 1948 and June 1967? Which countries recognised the occupation by Jordan of that Jewish territory?
          Who was the legal sovereign in ancient Jerusalem in that period?
          What did the 1920 San Remo Declaration, the provisions of which were subsequently embodied in the 1922 Mandate for Palestine, say about Jewish territorial entitlements in The Land of Israel ?
          What concessions did Israel make in the Barak and Olmert capitulations?
          Why did the “Palestinian” ‘parliament’ about two weeks ago declare that Israel has no right to exist within any boundaries?

          Do you think that Israel will allow itself to be destroyed at no cost to any one else?

        • Leon Poddebsky says:

          Lynch’s centre is an engine of antisemitism.
          He has the power at that university, but it is bringing the university into disrepute.
          Maybe it can afford to allow that, but that is its own business.

        • Leon Poddebsky says:

          Sam, how civil were the Hamas/Hitlerjugend who stopped the Kemp lecture?
          What is your definition of civility?

          What makes you and the people whom you defend think that you are “the good guys?”

        • Jan Poddebsky says:

          The specific credentials of the post grad student rejected by Lynch were irrelevant. The only relevant credential for Lynch was that the student was an Israeli from an Israeli university. The same reasoning is used by Hamas when it argues that because Israelis have national service there are no Israeli civilians and therefore all Israelis are legitimate targets for murder. For Hamas all Palestinians should be a jihadi, or else. Even second class citizens of Gaza viz. women are permitted one space of equality-to become a jihadi. By this reasoning Hamas declares that there are no civilians in Gaza. And of course it uses the benighted citizens who elected it to power, as human shields. Lynch may think there are civilians in Gaza. The U.N. may think there are civilians in Gaza. Hamas does not. Except for propaganda purposes.

      • SamT says:

        Mr. Poddebsky you may be interested in this extract from to-day’s (Wednesday) Haaretz news, with regard to Dr.Lynch’s supposed scandal:

        Israeli university leaders say they are concerned about growing signs of an unofficial boycott of the country’s academics by their peers abroad.

        These signs include turning down invitations to attend conferences held in Israel, ignoring requests to write recommendation letters for Israeli scholars seeking promotions, and rejecting submissions from Israeli scholars in peer-reviewed journals. Hostility toward Israel is not typically cited as the reason, but Israeli university leaders say the growing incidence of such cases has them worried.


        • Leon Poddebsky says:

          SamT, what you call “the West Bank” is an integral part of the internationally recognised and guaranteed Jewish National Home. See the Mandate of 1922.
          Arabs in 1948 ethnically cleansed all the Jews out of it (including the ancient part of Jerusalem, where they destroyed all the synagogues and used Jewish headstones as latrine lids.)
          Between 1948 and 1967, it was illegally occupied by the artificial, imperialist creation known as The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
          In 1967 their King Hussein,decided to shell Western Jerusalem and the Israeli coast.
          Israel responded and liberated Judea / Samaria and the ancient part of Jerusalem.

          There was a time when the entire world believed that the Earth is flat; today many pretend to believe that Judea/Samaria and ancient Jerusalem are not legitimately part of the Jewish National Home.
          Many even say that Jews have no right to their own nation-state in any boundaries.
          The socialists and other virtuous egalitarians and pursuers of justice and equity say that Arabs should have 23 states, but Jews none.
          Socialists and other virtuous people say that they don’t believe in nation-states, but jealously grasp their own and advocate for the creation of a 23rd Arab state.
          Apart from this, the Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians” have a state in the Gaza Strip, autonomy in Judea/Samaria (most of it) and are the predominant demographic element in Jordan.
          I know, MR Sam T, that all of the above interests you as much as last year’s snowfall in the Australian Alps.
          Consider, however, what the cost would be not only to Israel, but to others as well, of a war to deprive the Jewish People of its rights. Consider what the attempts to achieve that have already cost.

          • SamT says:

            Thank you, Mr.Poddebsky on your short re-write of ME history, which is not really the issue. Just reading your(sic) PM’s recent statements (about blood and poisoning wells, for example) or the tweets of Ms. Ayelet Shaked, one realises how facts/statements can become twisted.

            The issue is the behaviour towards Dr. Lynch, which you side-step.

            • Jan Poddebsky says:

              Hi Sam T,
              Could you publish a selfie of yourself? You shouldn’t hide yourself under a bushel especially if your looks match your soul. I’d like to add your image to my growing collection.

            • Jan Poddebsky says:

              I believe Mr Poddebsky’s PM is Mr Abbott. I must have missed his recent lurch from discussing same sex marriage to poisoning of wells. As you say, facts/statements can become twisted.

            • Leon Poddebsky says:

              Thank you for your response, Mr Sam.
              With all due respect, you know what I think of Lynch, Riemer et al and their centre and their agenda and their conduct.

              You and I will never agree.

            • Leon Poddebsky says:

              I’ll give you this, Mr Sam, with all due respect: your posts are amusing.

              As I said, you and I will never agree.

  6. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Perhaps we, 100 or more, could BDS Lynch and his mob and disrupt all of his lectures in like manner at the UNI and see what happens! Just say the word.

  7. SamT says:

    Ms Diane Barkas,
    The picture shown above does not seem to be related in any way to the text of your letter. Would you be kind enough to print the correct picture you referred to..

  8. Leon Poddebsky says:

    The University of Sydney hosts a centre of hatred, a centre of propagation of antisemitism and lies, a centre that tolerates no dissent from its racist orthodoxies, a centre that violates academic norms.

    How can anyone with a clear conscience donate money to such a university or make bequests to it or have any respect for it?

  9. Sam T says:

    I am perplexed.
    The protesters undoubtedly entered the theatre shouting and making considerable noise, but none entered the area of the audience. So why does Ms.Diane Barkas write: “I was extremely nervous when the activists came in, I was scared and I reacted the way I did to protect myself.”?
    And then “You have completely ignored my reason for trying to grab Lynch’s mobile….” People tend to react violently if one grabs their mobile.
    And lastly, there is no mention of the carafe of water allegedly thrown at Mr. Lynch..

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Sam, you should have seen their faces, distorted with hatred and aggression, confronting the audience with racist taunts; they resembled the Hitler Youth in their maniacal fanaticism.
      Can you not imagine that a 74 year-old person might have been intimidated? Where is your Christian or socialist compassion and concern for the old, the frail, the victim of a monstrous assault on the psyche and auditory apparatus?

      Typically, The University of Sydney has chosen as a sacrifice someone whose ability to resist is limited by objective circumstances.
      The University of Sydney does not dare to challenge and punish the real, actual offenders.
      It went through the motions of window dressing an “investigation” the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, given the university administration’s timidity.
      The university’s “verdict” notwithstanding, people of integrity and common sense know that what has actually happened is a whitewash and a futile attempt to sweep
      dirt under the carpet.

    • Jan Poddebsky says:

      Hi Diane,
      I am concerned for your physical and emotional well being. The invasion and its aftermath are outrageous and taxing. Keep us posted about legal consequences. There seem to be plenty of videos, photos and witnesses to contextualise. The University may have sanitised Lynch and his mob but the Mackie building where they plot, stinks. The courts are a different ballgame.

    • Jan Poddebsky says:

      A carafe of water, Sam? What restaurant were you patronising?

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