Uni of Melbourne falsely defames anti-racist Jews, non-Jews critical of apartheid Israel

June 28, 2022
Rallying for justice for Palestine in May. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

The University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) passed a motion in May that condemned Israeli apartheid and urged Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the “settler colonial apartheid state”.

The University of Melbourne (UM) falsely condemned the motion as “antisemitic” and, under threat of pro-Zionist legal action, the UMSU rescinded its motion.

Free speech faltered and falsehood triumphed at the UM and, potentially, at all universities across Australia.

The core academic ethos of good universities is reasoned opposition to falsehood and respect for truth and free speech. In this matter, the UM has violated and betrayed these fundamental academic imperatives by falsely defaming all anti-racist Jews, and all anti-racists who are critical of the crimes of Apartheid Israel.

This implicit false defamation of anti-racist Jews is anti-Jewish antisemitic and this implicit false defamation of anti-racist Indigenous Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims is anti-Arab antisemitic.

This false defamation, anti-Jewish antisemitism and anti-Arab antisemitism soils the UM and damages all universities.

The World University Rankings 2022 ranked the UM 33rd, but this is inconsistent with a university that falsely defames and intimidates its students.

This scandal has serious financial implications for Australian universities and the economy. In the pre-COVID-19 year of 2019, the education industry serving students from overseas was worth $37.6 billion, more than the annual defence budget.

All nations need to have a complement of scholars and scientists for a variety of economic, health, national security and prestige reasons. But why do impoverished, circa 20-year-old undergraduate students have to pay for this?

During the pandemic, the Coalition government and university bosses sacked 40,000 university staff, badly treated overseas students and we saw how half a million university students were being ripped off.

On-line lecture-based courses, such as Massive Open Online Courses from top United States’ universities, can be delivered and learning examined for 1% of the cost of on-campus courses. Yet, during the pandemic, Australian and overseas students were forced to study online, while being charged at the on-campus rate.

The UM’s false defamation, censorship, intimidation, bullying, anti-Jewish antisemitism, anti-Arab antisemitism and egregious deception and betrayal of its students, staff and the public is the tip of an iceberg and requires a Senate inquiry or a Royal Commission into university practices.

Presently spearheading the Zionist subversion is the false definition of anti-Semitism purveyed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) of which Australia is a member.

The IHRA members are all European, most support nuclear terrorism, some have been involved in colonial and imperial war atrocities and some were involved in World War II Nazi atrocities.

The IHRA is anti-Arab and antisemitic as it falsely defames Palestinian, Arab and Muslim critics of Apartheid Israel’s crimes. It is anti-Jewish anti-Semitic by falsely defaming anti-racist Jewish critics of Apartheid Israeli crimes. And it is holocaust-denying by ignoring all World War II holocausts other than the World War II Jewish Holocaust in which 5-6 million Jews were killed by violence and deprivation.

They include deaths from violence and imposed deprivation from the World War II European Holocaust in which 30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies were killed; the World War II Bengali Holocaust in which 6-7 million Indians were deliberately starved to death for strategic reasons by the British with Australian complicity in 1942–1945; the World War II Chinese Holocaust in which 35–40 million Chinese were killed under the Japanese, 1937–1945.

More than 40 anti-racist Jewish groups worldwide reject the IHRA definition of antisemitism and oppose the false equating of anti-semitism with criticism of Israel.

The anti-racist UMSU motion is accurate, dignified and humanitarian and serves the interests of students, the university, the alumni, and all universities.

The false defamation by the UM of the UMSU motion as “antisemitic” requires retraction and an apology because it implicitly falsely defames all anti-racist critics of Apartheid Israel as racist and as “antisemitic” in particular.

[Abridged with the author’s permission from Countercurrents on June 26.]

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