Richard Kemp attempts to communicate with Sydney Uni pro-Palestinian protestors

May 22, 2024 by J-Wire News Service
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A strong supporter of Israel, Colonel Richard Kemp joined StandWithUs’ Michael Gencher and faculty and students at the University of Sydney in an effort to engage with and understand the motivations and goals of the pro-Palestinian encampment protesters on campus.

Michael Gencher and Richard Kemp

The intent was to initiate dialogue and challenge the protesters’ narrative to understand better their knowledge and perspectives regarding the conflict in Gaza.

The encampment at the University of Sydney, as reported, is part of a broader initiative by the Students for Palestine organisation, which has collaborated with various groups to call for the university to sever ties with arms manufacturers like Thales and Raytheon and educational institutions, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Michael Gencher told J-Wire: “Unfortunately, we found it difficult to engage in meaningful dialogue. We encountered a general reluctance from the protesters to respond to questions, and there was no clear communication from the protesters about their objectives or the reasons behind their presence. The encampment consisted largely of empty tents, used primarily for storing pamphlets and other materials, indicating a possibly lower active participation than suggested.
Complicating matters, the response from the university security and the administration was notably different towards Jewish faculty and students, who were asked to leave the area, raising concerns about potential unequal treatment compared to the pro-Palestinian protesters.
This situation highlights a significant challenge in addressing such deeply divisive issues on university campuses, where the aim of academic freedom and safe discourse often clashes with the realities of the agenda of the administration and misguided political activism. The university has declared its stance, which seems to support the encampment, further intensifying the situation – and increasing the concerns of Jewish students and faculty.”

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