Allegra Spender calls for welcoming university campuses

April 30, 2024 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Federal Independent MP Allegra Spender has asked Education Minister Jason Clare to make it clear he does not support pro-Palestinian encampments in universities.

Allegra Spender

This follows the establishment of an encampment at Sydney University, where Macquarie University academic Randa Abdel-Fatah organised a “family” gathering at which young children chanted for intifada. One led a march chanting, “five, six, seven, eight, Israel is a terrorist state”.

Allegra Spender, whose electorate Wentworth is home to many Jewish families, has issued the following statement:

“We are all concerned about the Israel-Hamas war and the terrible impact it has on civilians. However, we must also care about Australia’s own social cohesion and how to best advocate for peace and safety without dividing our own community.

Since October 7, instances of antisemitism on university campuses have reached alarming levels.

I have spoken to many students who have been humiliated and frightened – excluded from university clubs, threatened online, had food thrown at them and confronted by terrible instances of

Many are no longer coming to university and are hiding their Jewish identity.

These encampments are only further escalating the sense of fear among Jewish students and are exacerbating an already tense atmosphere. Some of the speeches and social media posts are antisemitic or at least deliberately inflammatory. It is unconscionable that young children are being included in this as well. Many participants are not part of the university community but are
intimidating students who are.

I value the right to protest and the right to express diverse perspectives, but we also have the responsibility to make our campuses welcoming and inclusive for all faiths, cultures, genders and

I call on the Education Minister and the universities to make it clear that they do not support these encampments and that they will ensure that our universities are safe and inclusive for all students,
because that is not currently the case for Jewish students.”

President of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies David Ossip told J-Wire: “The exploitation of children into leading chants calling for an intifada – a term synonymous with terrorist acts such as suicide bombing – and the ethnic cleansing of Jews marks a new and profoundly disturbing low. Such activity constitutes an abuse on the minds of innocent children as young as 5, who are being indoctrinated to hate their fellow Australians and desensitised to the concept of politically motivated violence.

This is the latest instance of Abdel-Fatah’s appalling behaviour. She previously disseminated the private details of hundreds of Jewish artists, refused to accept that Hamas is a terrorist organisation and has proclaimed that “Zionists have no right to cultural safety”. The thought that she has received even a cent of taxpayer money is nauseating and the Government must immediately cancel the research grant it gave her.

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