Hamas out of bounds at Sydney University

October 27, 2023 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Mark Scott, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney has told students and staff that in the current conflict and at all other times, the university supports the rights of students and staff to engage in political discourse, including by making pro-Israel and pro-Palestine statements. But Hamas is off-limits.

The University of Sydney Photo: Paul Miller/AAP

He said: “We will not tolerate any pro-terrorist statements or commentary, including support for Hamas’s recent terrorist attacks.

Like you, I continue to be shocked and appalled by recent events in the Middle East. The University abhors terrorism, violence and all breaches of human rights and humanitarian law, and as I have previously stated we do not tolerate any form of racism, threats to safety, hate speech, intimidation, threatening speech, bullying or unlawful harassment, including anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim language or behaviour.

Addressing the university’s staff, Mark Scott added: “Colleagues should be aware that the University will not hesitate to take firm and decisive disciplinary action where appropriate if a student or staff member is found to have breached

the Student Charter or Code of Conduct. In addition, if a student makes a comment or engages in action that might involve injury, risk to safety, serious property damage or serious disruption, the Registrar may issue a suspension notice under clause 6 of the Discipline Rule.

Staff members may also require a student to leave a class, activity, building or area to protect safety and prevent serious property damage or disruption.”

He pointed out that staff members who engage in conduct that is viewed as serious misconduct will also be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Peter Wertheim, the co-CEO of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry told J-Wire: “A series of anti-Israel actions has been instigated on University campuses across Australia in the name of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).  These actions include a petition and highly propagandistic literature blaming the current conflict on Israel and omitting any mention of the Hamas terrorist group or the massacres and other atrocities it carried out against Israelis on October 7 or the taking of 220 Israeli hostages.  Jewish faculty members and students have reported that these actions have created a tense and at times hostile environment against them on campus, giving rise to concerns about their safety and their fair treatment.

Within that context, Professor Mark Scott, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Sydney, today issued today’s communication to all staff at the university.  We are calling on all other universities to do likewise.”

The Jewish Chaplain at Sydney University Rabbi Eli Feldman said: “I am very heartened by the statement put out by Sydney University. It lays out very clearly the distinction between freedom of speech and support for terrorism, which the University will not tolerate.
This principled leadership from the University management is greatly appreciated by Jewish students and staff and enhances our feeling of safety and well-being at the University”



One Response to “Hamas out of bounds at Sydney University”
  1. Victor Berger says:

    I congratulate all who had a role in this outcome
    I suggest it should be broadcast as widely as possible
    Particularly to all schools, universities, colleges and other
    post secondary education organisations

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