Overtly antisemitic comments on petition web site

March 23, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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An online petition has attracted a spate of posted comments, which a Jewish leader has described as “overtly antisemitic”.

Petition · Sydney University Venues Management: Sydney University: Let Ali Abunimah speak! · Change.org 2016-03-23 12-54-46The petition was on the change.org web site and called on Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Michael Spence, to allow Ali Abunimah, the controversial co-founder of the “Electronic Intifada” website who visited Australia next week, to speak at a scheduled event on campus on Monday.  The University initially cancelled the event, citing the fact that Abunimah had not been granted a visa to enter Australia but reinstated the meeting following confirmation of the issue of a visa.

In a public statement earlier last week, the President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), Robert Goot, described Abunimah as “a leader and founder of the loathsome BDS campaign”.

Criticising Abunimah’s views, Goot stated,“Abunimah does not merely engage in ordinary political criticism of Israeli government policies and actions but openly advocates Israel’s liquidation. By denying the identity and right of self-determination of the Jewish people he promotes anti-Jewish racism.   His views are repugnant to the inclusive and respectful values that underpin contemporary multicultural Australia, and an insult to fair-minded people everywhere.”

The online petition, which attracted approximately 750 signatures, also elicited a spate of comments attributing the University’s initial cancellation of Abunimah’s speaking event to “kow-towing to the Zionist lobby”.  Another comment called on the University to “stop being a puppet to the Zionist pigs”.  There were numerous other comments in similar vein.

The executive director of the ECAJ, Peter Wertheim, and the chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Vic Alhadeff, both emphatically denied that anyone from their organisations had had any contact whatsoever with the university about Mr Abunimah.

Mr Wertheim was scathing about the comments posted on “Change.org”, describing them as “overtly antisemitic”.

“As usual, they blame “the Zionists”, which is a code word for Jews, and conjure up a conspiracy without the slightest foundation.   This should give people a taste of what Abunimah is really about and the kind of egregious racism he evokes.  It has nothing to do with free speech at all.”

Mr Alhadeff added “Nothing Abunimah says or does advances peace … his presence is a negative and adds nothing to public debate.”

J-Wire spoke to a university spokesperson after the meeting and was told that the meeting was held before a capacity audience and that no incidents were reported.

Comments by those who signed the petition include:

Let him speak,stop being a puppet to the Zionist pigs

Kc Hussein, Melbourne, Australia

 Shocked by the cowardice (or is ti the collusion) of University of Sydney authorities caving in to what must be interpreted as local Zionist political and financial influence. Contradicts what Universities in the pursuit of knowledge and truth should be about.

keith atkinson, Brisbane, Australia

This cancellation reeks of political interference by the long arm of Israel to silence a Palestinian voice. Sydney University needs to do what a University is meant to do – educate, not silence.

Sonja Sedmak, Australia 

Ali Abunimah’s and the Palestinians’ voices need very seriously to be heard, especially in the halls of academe, and especially in Australia, where the pols and the press are beholden to the Zionist lobby

Tim Llewellyn, London, United Kingdom

Deir Yassin Remembered has also been the victim of Zionist censorship.

Daniel McGowan, Geneva, NY 

Shame on the University..becoming another lackey of Apartheid Zionist Isisrael!!

Charles Attard, Engadine, NSW

freedom of speech not to be manipulated by the zionist lobby

zeno Hamzi, Australia 

Sick and tired of zionist fascists interfering in freedom of speech.

Sebastiano Pupillo, Melbourne, VIC

Zionists will forever try to silence the voice of freedom, but the truth will prevail.

Omar Hassan, melbourne, Australia 

I am ashamed that my son’s alma mater is in the thrall of the Zionists.

Linda Spence, Cygnet, Australia

I am shocked that Sydney University, Australia’s most respected university has buckled under zionist pressure to cancel venue for a human rights speaker. Please reinstate the booking.

Dr Vacy Vlazna, Australia, NSW

What else the zionists are going to do to stop the truth to come out?

Raul Bassi, Sydney, NSW

What a joke. Shame on Sydney University! Restore the venue booking and stop bowing to Zionist pressure.

Rami Ruhayel, Australia

Universities are supposed to be spaces that foster debate. What a sad state of affairs when Sydney University cancels an event because it does not align with the Zionist ideological views of its managers.

Hayden Walsh, Australia


8 Responses to “Overtly antisemitic comments on petition web site”
  1. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    Peter Hindrup,
    A Zionist simply believes in the rights of Jews to their own homeland, which goes back ancestrally long before the word Palestine came into being. Palestine (Palestina) is merely a nomenclature imposed by the Romans after their invasion, and only a couple of thousand years old. Arab people were not particularly concerned about the title Palestinian until after 1967, did not relate to it. There has never been a country called Palestine. Read your history.

  2. Mary Kery says:

    So easy for some to make wild statements about Zionist lobby without any evidence. Do they ever think that if the lobby was that strong then no-one would have ever heard about BDS from the media.

  3. Peter Hindrup says:

    ‘By denying the identity and right of self-determination of the Jewish people he promotes anti-Jewish racism. His views are repugnant to the inclusive and respectful values that underpin contemporary multicultural Australia, and an insult to fair-minded people everywhere.”’

    If only such respect was granted to the Palestinians! Do as you would be done by, comes to mind.

    ‘“As usual, they blame “the Zionists”, which is a code word for Jews,’

    ‘Zionist’ is not a code word for anything. Simply a label for those who believe that Jews had a right to Palestinian land. Anyone of any persuasion, whether or not they believed in some mythical all powerful being.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      The myth of “Palestinian land” is propagated by those who hate Jews and want them to remain helpless minorities everywhere.
      It was none other than the doyen of Arab history, Professor Phillip Hitti, who stated, ” There is no such thing in Arab history as ‘Palestine; absolutely none.”
      Formerly it was ” You murdered Jesus;” ” you poisoned the wells;” You murdered Christians for their blood.”
      Today it’s ” You stole ‘palestinian’ land.”
      How appropriate that the anti-Jewish poster made the comment on Purim.

  4. David Sade says:

    I am shocked how Sydney Uni can allow these comments to appear… Those comments that are clearly anti-Semitic should be removed immediately, and furthermore, their authors should be named and prosecuted within the laws. In these dangerous times words can kill, and if we don’t stop them at their roots they can spread beyond our ability to stop it….

    • Leon Poddebsky says:


      You apparently are unaware of that university’s ethos if you are surprised.
      No money and no bequests should be given to such people.

  5. David Samson says:

    Shame on all the BDS bigots, including all the above.

    BDS=Bigotry Dishonesty and Shame

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