Sydney University deal removes encampment and riles the community

June 23, 2024 by Henry Benjamin
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Community response to a proposal accepted by Sydney University pro-Palestine students to remove encampments ahead of the upcoming semester has blasted the university’s administrators.

The University of Sydney Photo: Paul Miller/AAP

According to an email from the university, the proposal commits to:

  • disclosing our defence- and security-related research activities including research contracts and research grants, subject to contractual, legal and privacy obligations.
  • disclosing our investments in defence- and security-related industries. 
  • doubling our expenditure over the next three years to support academics and PhD students under the Scholars-at-Risk Program.
  • committing to fostering a greater understanding of racism and to building respect for ethnic and cultural difference in the wider community. 
  • We will convene a working group to undertake a review of the position of defence- and security-related industries in our Investment Policy and our Integrated ESG Framework. 

Co-CEO of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Alex Ryvchin said: “This dismal decision by the university shows that unlawful conduct, intimidation and extremism are effective tactics against weak leadership. Today, there will be celebrations among those who have turned one of our finest institutions into an eye-sore and created no-go areas on the campus. Meanwhile, Jewish students and staff will feel that once again their basic rights and equality mean less than the outrageous demands of anti-Israel fanatics.”

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies sent out a statement to its database stating that ‘University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Mark Scott, his offsider Darren Goodsir, Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson and the University of Sydney have hideously capitulated and done a deal with a group dominated by Hizb ut-Tahrir – an organisation proscribed as a terrorist organisation in much of the world including the UK’.

This is nothing short of a scandal. In a sign of how futile their appeasement is, Hizb ut-Tahrir has already announced that they are planning future activities next semester to put pressure on the University and have not ruled out a further encampment.

The University’s engagement with the Jewish community has been thoroughly deceptive and insulting.”

President David Ossip says that calls from The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies to Mark Scott remain unanswered,

A spokesman for the university said: “We abhor terrorism, violence and all breaches of human rights and humanitarian law, and continue in the collective hope for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the Middle East.

We welcome the statement from the remaining students that they are packing up the last of the encampment to enable us to continue to clear the lawns for Semester 2 and for our important Welcome Fest activities.

We have been working towards a peaceful resolution and are pleased our proposal has been accepted. Our position is unchanged and aligns with similar offers made at leading universities from around the world including Harvard University and the University of Melbourne.

We know these are very difficult times across our community, and urge anyone in our community who might need it to let us know so we can provide appropriate support.”

We will continue preparing for welcoming our new and current students onto campus for Semester 2 and working with our staff and students on safe, civil and respectful ways to engage and disagree.”

The university added: “We are not reconsidering any of our research partnerships, including those with our valued defence and security industry partners and we are not cutting ties with Israel, Israeli universities or Israeli companies.

We have been assured by police that we would be notified about any relevant information on the encampment that related to any extremist, violent or radicalised behaviour. No concerns have been raised with us by police or other government intelligence agencies at any time since the distressing events of 7 October.”


2 Responses to “Sydney University deal removes encampment and riles the community”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    On reading the proposal that Sydney University has accepted I found myself scarcely able to believe it.
    Radical, bigoted, violent protesters who don’t converse, only chant slogans that incite hatred, have achieved victory in their contest of will against the leaders of what was once an esteemed university. Who, now, will want their children to attend such an institution, except, of course, those of pro-Palestinian persuasion? Shame on these weak, immoral administrators.

  2. kosherkitchenbcbcbb241f says:

    Again, the cowardice of capitulation to a bully.
    Bobby Meyer

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