The University of Sydney has confirmed an event calling for a “global intifada” will not go ahead, with vice-chancellor Mark Scott telling Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Peter Wertheim, “the posters are being removed, and the event will not proceed in the university lecture theatre as promoted.”
The decision is in line with a letter Scott sent to staff and students last week making it clear that any pro-Hamas comments will not be tolerated, with other universities urged to do the same.
“The university authorities are to be commended for recognising this event for what it was: advocacy in support of genocide and terrorism against Jews,” Wertheim said.
“We have seen all this before and know where it leads. The university was right to stop its facilities from being abused in this way. Enough is enough. There is no room for violent hate-mongering anywhere in our society, and especially not in our universities, which are supposed to be beacons of enlightenment against prejudice and intolerance, not their incubators.”
Wertheim added that by calling for a ‘global intifada’ only a few weeks after Hamas carried out an orgy of mass murder, rape and kidnapping inside Israel, “the far left has revealed the depth of the moral rot that now pervades its worldview”.
“The website of the group that was to host the event glorifies Hamas as ‘a major part of the Palestinian resistance’.”
In last week’s letter Scott said the right to free speech and academic freedom will be supported, but any form of “racism, threats to safety, hate speech, intimidation, threatening speech, bullying or unlawful harassment, including antisemitic or anti-Muslim language or behaviour”, will not be tolerated.
“This means that during the current conflict and at all other times, we support the rights of students and staff to engage in political discourse, including by making pro-Israel and pro-Palestine statements or commentary, but we will not tolerate any pro-terrorist statements or commentary, including support for Hamas’s recent terrorist attacks,” Scott said. Rabbi Eli Feldman, who serves as the Jewish chaplain at Sydney University, said he is “heartened” by the university’s statement.
“It lays out very clearly the distinction between freedom of speech and support for terrorism, which the university will not tolerate,” he said.
“This principled leadership from the university management is greatly appreciated by Jewish students and staff and enhances our feeling of safety and wellbeing at the university.”