Now Sydney University’s student council votes on anti-Israel issues

May 5, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Hot on the heels of the University of Melbourne’s Student Union pro-Palestinian motion, the Students Representative Council at Sydney University has voted on similar issues.

Darren Bark

The Council voted on the following platform::

  1. The USYD SRC condemns the Israeli police’s attacks on Al-Aqsa mosque and against Palestinians in the West Bank.
  2. The USYD SRC stands in solidarity with Palestinians, fighting back against daily repression and violence.
  3. The USYD SRC endorses Palestine Action Group’s Nakba solidarity demonstration on May 15.


  1. The USYD SRC will help build for the Nakba protest by sharing the Facebook event on its page, printing posters and leaflets and encouraging councillors and office-bearers to attend.
  2. The USYD SRC will publish the text of this motion on Facebook and will take a solidarity photo.

Three voted against the motion, three abstained and 16 voted for it.

The Council heard that “last year, the Israeli police raided Al Asqa mosque in Jerusalem, which prompted fierce resistance as Palestinians fought back, along with the movements against the Shiekh Jarrah evictions. This year is no different. In April, 158 Palestinians were injured when far-right settlers, backed up by police, raided Al Asqa mosque after Friday prayers. Palestinians fought back with sticks and stone and hastily-build barricades. This has been part of weeks of increasing attacks on the illegally occupied West Bank by Israeli forces, which has killed 25 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old and a 17-year- old.”

They also heard: “It is important to build a fighting, radical Palestine solidarity movement in Australia, as our government is complicit in Israel’s genocide against Palestine. Palestine Action Group have called a Nakba solidarity demonstration for Sunday, May 15, at 1 P.M in Town Hall. Student activists should come, as Palestinians defiantly resist against their oppression every day, so we must show solidarity with their struggle.

The CEO of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies Darren Bark said: “This divisive, hateful and one-sided rhetoric has no place in our tolerant and multicultural society.

The lack of balance in the motion and the slanted view of current events highlights the gross double standards of the university’s SRC. Such blanket statements do nothing to advance the cause of peace.

The motion is entirely outside the University of Sydney SRC’s responsibilities to advocate on behalf of all its students. Every student has the right to feel safe and included on campus, and we condemn the motion in the strongest possible terms.”

D Colin Rubenstein, executive director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council told J-Wire: “AIJAC strongly condemns the inflammatory, one-sided motion of the Students Representative Council at Sydney University to endorse and join in the student Palestine Action Group’s upcoming Nakba solidarity demonstration.

“The motion clearly undermines the declared mission of the Council, which claims to ‘exist to defend and advance the interests of USyd students.’ The SRC has violated its own ethos to fight discrimination, putting Jewish and Israeli students at risk of hate speech and worse, and unethically aligned the entire SRC with the extreme agenda of a single student group on a controversial issue.

“More than this, both the motion and the rhetoric which accompanied it were divisive, distorted and factually misinformed. The SRC condemnation of recent events in Jerusalem was based solely on Palestinian propaganda, painting a blatantly false picture of these events, and invoked gross double standards which can only damage the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace. We call on the Council to rescind this discriminatory and completely improper motion.”

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