AIJAC objects to conference

September 13, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) have written to the Vice-Chancellor and President of the Australian National University Professor Ian Young AO, to raise concerns regarding the one-sided nature of the “Human Rights in Palestine Conference” that ran in Canberra this week.

Dr Colin Rubenstein

Dr Colin Rubenstein

Mark Leibler

Mark Leibler

The letter ,signed by AIJAC Chairman Mark Leibler AC and Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM, stated:

“It is evident from the conference website that the conference’s principal aim is to engage in unadulterated vilification of Israel and to support the Palestinian ‘cause’ – not to engage in serious academic debate or inquiry about the current state and future status of the West Bank and Gaza.

Looking at the conference program, there appears to be no attempt to have a balanced speakers’ list or offer a variety of views. This calls into question how this can be a genuine academic conference with a free exchange of opinions and a balanced range of invited participants and thus entitled to university funding. It is contrary to the ANU’s fine tradition of dispassionate academic integrity and educational excellence to host such a conference.

Many of the keynote speakers are well known for long-standing hostility to Israel. The most notorious example is Richard Falk, who is heavily promoted as a conference drawcard. In recent months, Falk has been widely condemned by such dignitaries as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and by the US, UK and Canadian Governments, for blaming the Boston terrorist attack on the alleged ‘American global domination project’ and ‘Tel Aviv.’…

There appears to have been no attempt whatsoever to invite scholars with a different perspective – such as the dozens of notable experts in international human rights law from Israeli universities.”

The letter included a request for the ANU to explain how the conference and the invitation to Mr. Falk came to be endorsed and funded by the ANU.



14 Responses to “AIJAC objects to conference”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Ben E,
    At what point in your life did the word ‘Zionist’ become the dirty word you always portray it as? Its fundamental and original meaning was simply ‘a homeland for the Jewish people’, that homeland obviously and most appropriately being Judea and Samaria/Palestina. Pretty simple, really. It’s possible your knowledge and sense of history doesn’t go back much further than 1947, I think.

  2. Fredrick says:

    Wherever and whenever open debate is shut down because factual truths disturb a conventional narrative of events that someone then finds offensive, or legal force is used without an operational overarching truth-telling concept, then indeed we have moral and intellectual bankruptcy hastening our cultural decline.

    The whole Middle East tragedy is a result of action resting on false premises, and unfortunately the logic driving such systems into decline will run their course with tragic consequences.

    In anticipation I await the armchair critics’ 20/20 hindsight musings who will develop a world view out of such inevitable human catastrophes, i.e. if they are lucky enough to get at the documentary evidence sealed in archives before they themselves pass on into the other life.

    • David says:

      @Fredrick are you seriously suggesting that events such as this one at ANU were encouraging open debate? Hardly, they adopt a fundamental set of false premises from their outset so the outcome is essentially a foregone conclusion.

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        listing several terms of ethical currency and associating them with a narrative of ideological/political tendentiousness, such as the farcical palestinian propaganda hogwash one you so “skilfully” avoid in naming, is not going to render it accpetable at all.
        For decades now we have been offered a plethora of mangled rhetorical offensives aiming at viciating a world which is striving to rid itself of hatred and all the conflicts deriving thereof. The palestininas you are representing here with the confidence of the butcher mastering his cleaver and calling it an “art”, have carved (!) a reputation for themselves readily found alongside analogies such as : TERROR,GLORIFYING MURDER, CHILDREN USED AS LIVE AMMUNITION, BLUDGING ON THE WORLD AS PERENNIAL VICTIMS/REFUGEES, PROSTITUTING TRUTH, PRIMITIVE THUGS etc.
        So,let’s just say it the way it is i.e. your pretence of select vernacular is beyond the ridiculous, although I will grant you that, coming right here, a well versed Jewish site, deserves the qulification of “enjoyably ridiculous”, as we love seeing how you kid yourself in believing that your substandard musings may have an effect on us.

  3. Larry Stillman says:

    Were Messrs Leibler, Rubenstein or Steinberg at the conference. No. They lauched a pre-emptive, ad hominem strike before the conference.

    Now, neither was I there, but at least I have asked a number of people for summaries of what they heard. From all accounts, it was very academic, not really touching on BDS or the usual bugbears.

    Rather, there was a lot of discussion about economic development, political and human and medical rights and water rights in the face of adverse circumstances. These seem to be reasonable issues for a developing economy. From what I understand, there was no “unadulterated vilification of Israel”. In fact, Israel was not the focus of discussion.

    I’d like to quote from one speaker, an Israel active on human and health rights “During her work in PHR [ Physicians for Human Rights-Israel] Israel, Ms Litvin grew to realize how distractive (sic) are Israel’s different mechanisms of occupation, of which arrest and imprisonment are one component. She is a firm believer that respect based on mutual recognition of human rights and social justice is the appropriate foundation for a better future to the people of the region. ”

    Try harder next time please to engage in real discussion, rather than amateur jousting.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Larry. how about you study seriously you brief postings above.
      Predicated on the assumption that we, the amateurs, have NO IDEA who the actual protagonists are at the ANU farce, not only you attribute “academic” qualities to known purveyors of fallacies , but in the extrapolated quote, deluded by your prejudices, offer us the perfect reasons to continue in believing that the rhetoric employed by those you admire so fervently is seriously infested by an agenda of destructive ideologies aimed at Israel. You must get used to the notion that, each time you and your cohorts use such God terms as “human rights” in relation to Israel ( you abhor ) and your beloved Palestinians , we read instinctively your purposeful vilification of the Jewish state. The mere statement that ” Israel was not the focus of discussion” dismisses the authority/veracity of your opinion. It is like saying that pregnancy concerns strictly the mother and has nothing to do with the fetus.
      The manner in which you address this issue exposes you to our ridicule, to be honest. Do you really enjoy this demeaning charade !!??
      Incidentally, tell us please what is the difference between addressing ideas purported by an individual and addressing the individual ( ad hominem ) responsible for uttering the said ideas !!!??? Could I not say that ” “X” is wrong ( or any other adjective ) in stating that…..” while still staying within the limits of common sense !!!

  4. David says:

    What is going on around here? Have all the Jews in Melbourne abandoned the stage to this numbskull BenE who must have missed the mainline articles in The Australian on Wednesday last week, one by NGO Gerald Steinberg followed by an opinion piece by Christian Kerr about how the staging of this so-called conference revealed the lack of academic credibility of the ANU as a university, by their sponsoring of a propaganda hatefest.
    So BenE are we going to meet up perhaps at the Richard Falk talk on Monday where you will be barracking for the charlatan Richard Falk. Two of our universities Swinburne and ANU in their glorious pursuit of propaganda freedom will be sponsoring this event.

  5. Otto Waldmann says:

    In academic terms, the mere composition of the pro Palestinian contingent of the ANU hosted farce is, indeed, at the rational level of the “ben E” delusional/retarded class.
    The entire world has become fully aware by now that advocates of the palestinian narrative are dealing in justifying an ideology proven at odds with the civilized norms of our current era.
    The entire “philosophy” of “liberation” of “struggles” against “oppression”, in essence the vilification of Israel, is predicated on the promotion of the MOST UNWANTED principles a civilized world would ORGANICALLY reject. It follows that, the purveyors of hate against Israel, whether we include the adjective anti Semitic or not, only delude themselves that, apart from their dedicated legions of one eyed brainless crusaders of destruction, any intelligent, decent individual could possibly fall for their venom filled idiotic fests. ANU has , in fact, nothing to do with the event as such. No doubt they are charging rent for the hiring of the venue and will duly reply that the University as such has nothing to do with these time wasting “ben E” type losers. NOTHING at all academic about a cacophony which reeks of middle ages calls to defend and expand the Caliphate. Primitive, visceral rhetoric, parades of non-entities, aparatchniks of a most corrupt system, are infesting the civilized environment of a country which has always publicly rejected these objectionable purveyors of hate, lies and a manner of manifestation, fair Australians have always repudiated. This is just one for their propaganda books, imagining that abusing a host country with their tripe, they have enlisted the whole place to their base cause. Madness, consistent only with their other named “qualities”.
    Hey, ben E, this has been a real “hasbara” ( explanation), something I can see right now flying over your head, considering that you have the abovementioned brains to “meivin” (understand) what I said.

  6. ben E says:

    One side vilification no serious debate. Sounds like Zionist hasbara. AIJAC could have asked to speak at the conference and expose the lies if any. The last time AIJAC tried an open debate with Ted Lapkin as their spokesperson, they fell flat and every piece of Lapkin’s hasbara was exposed as false by Michael Shaik in Canberra.

    • Paul Winter says:

      Ben E, Michael Shaik is no great shakes and neither are you. Had you bothered to read the article you might have noticed that Falk has been condemned by a number of people including the UN Secretary-General. He is a discredited conspiracy theorist. That you support Falk’s invitation to the ANU says as much about you as it does about Falk and the “academics” at the ANU.

      • ben eleijah says:

        Hello Mr Winter
        Michael Shaik or I may not be great shakes. But we speak the truth and lies have a habit of being dispelled by the truth. If AIJAC’s spokesperson could be exposed by a no great shake, one can only imagine what a “great shake” will do to Israeli hasbara. Incidnetally AIJAC has shut down discussion on its site after its lies were exposed several times.

        Thank you for the ad hominem abuse, a sure symptom of moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

        • David says:

          Ben E,
          From where do you get your special dispensation to be speaking the truth? Is it from Mohammed or the shameful anti-Semitic Left? Your rank dismissal of the case for Israel and the absolute justification for its continuing existence as a burgeoning Jewish state as hasbara is flagrantly reflective of your own intellectual dishonesty.

          • ben E says:

            Hello Mr David

            Thank you for the response. Your smear speaks more about the nature of Zionist hasbara than any statement here. Please state the historical, leagal and moral grounds for the expansion of settlements and the displacement of Palestinians ?

        • David says:

          Ben E,
          You can refer to this article to educate yourself on the Jewish connection to Judea and Samaria – read

          Judea and Samaria were part of the original Palestine mandate (refer designated to be a homeland for the Jewish people. Here you can see the map for The “Mandate for Palestine,” an historical League of Nations document, which laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law. The “Mandate for Palestine” was not a naive vision briefly embraced by the international community. Fifty-one member countries – the entire League of Nations – unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:

          “Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

          Ben E, you conveniently neglect and forgot history because it suits your political opportunism.

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