ASSOCIATE Professor Jake Lynch will not be dismissed from his post at the University of Sydney following an investigation into possible breaches of its code of conduct, The AJN can reveal.
The university launched an investigation into incidents at an anti-Israel protest in March, which saw more than a dozen pro-Palestinian protesters storm a public talk by Colonel Richard Kemp.
Lynch, director of the university’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, and five students, two contractors and five members of the public, were under investigation by the university over their conduct during the protest on March 11.
On Tuesday, the university said a number of members of the university community and the public were found to have engaged in unsatisfactory conduct, as a result of which disciplinary action, including counselling, warning and suspension of access rights to the university grounds have been imposed.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry executive director Peter Wertheim said, “The university statement makes reference only to disciplinary action that includes ‘counselling, warning and suspension of access rights to the university grounds’. There is no mention of dismissals or reprimands.”
He added: “If the disciplinary action does not include the latter, it would be very disappointing, and would reflect poorly on the university in the enforcement of its own standards.”
But a source at the university told The AJN on Tuesday that Lynch would remain in his post.
University disciplinary processes are still underway in relation to five students, both protesters and members of the audience.
Lynch could not be reached for comment.
He did, however, release a statement last week addressing his behaviour during the melee.
During the protest, Lynch became involved in an altercation with 73-year-old Diane Barkas who, at one point, threw water over him. The argument continued with Lynch filming her on his phone. She tried to slap and kick him, prompting him to wave banknotes at her.
According to Lynch, “I and my wife were subjected to a series of physical attacks by a member of the audience, whom I ultimately felt it justified to threaten to sue for assault. At one point, I produced a banknote from my shirt pocket, to lend emphasis to my point.”
Barkas, however, has denied assaulting him.
On a number of occasions, goading Barkas, Lynch tells her to “keep going”, “get your money out” and “it’s going to cost you a lot of money”.
Lynch said, “I was horrified when it was put to me that … I had inadvertently featured in an image that others then used to invoke a vile stereotype, connected with the persecution of Jews in Europe.
“I can appreciate the hurtfulness, to members of the Jewish community, of having that stereotype re-activated in our modern society. However, I emphasise the word ‘inadvertently’.”
Jake Lynch (in the red shirt) during the protest on March 11.