An article declaring "death to Israel" published in the Adelaide University student magazine On Dit has become the focus of alarm for Australian Jewish students, with the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) calling for the university to take action on Monday.
"The solution to achieving peace and bringing forth justice for Palestine is to demand the abolition of Israel," wrote Habibah Jaghoori, an editor of the magazine. "Free Palestine and Death to Israel."
The article was pinned to the top of On Dit's Facebook page, commenting that "On Dit stands with Palestine through and through and so should you," and "glory to the Intifada. Glory to the resistance."
On Friday the article was made unavailable by article hosting platform Medium, as it was "under investigation or was found in violation," of its rules. According to the platform's rules, it does not " allow content or actions that threaten, encourage, or incite violence against anyone, directly or indirectly.
Reactions by Australian students
AUJS wrote that it was "horrified" by the article, which it said "actively calls for and encourages the destruction of the world's only Jewish state. The majority of Jewish students identify with Zionism. Rather than seeking to understand the religious and cultural connection Jewish students have to the Land of Israel and encouraging productive conversations, the divisive and hateful speech in the On Dit article sends a dangerous message to Jewish students."
Jasmine Munn-McDonnell, a Ph.D. student at the university, said that it was disappointing to see the university "so far fail to decisively address the hostile environment that exists for Jews on campus."
Jonathan Iadarola, a second-year law and arts undergraduate student, told The Advertiser "I do not feel safe or welcomed on my campus as a Jew, knowing that these antisemitic views are shared by many students.”
AUJS called on the university to ensure that Jewish students would feel safe on campus.
A University of Adelaide spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post on Friday that "On Dit is a student publication controlled by elected student editors who have independent editorial responsibility for its content. The views expressed in the article For Palestine there is no ceasefire are not the views of the University."
The University is committed to safety and inclusion for all members of our community. The University deplores religious and racial discrimination including anti-Semitism," The statement continued. "This article has led to some members of our community feeling vilified and unsafe. The University has reached out to students who have expressed concern and continues to offer support."
The spokesperson related that the university's leadership spoke with the president of the student union, who was reportedly supportive of concerns about the article and would raise them with the On Dit editorial team.
On Thursday, a student union motion to call on On Dit to remove the article and apologize was vote down, Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said.
"The university must not allow hateful and vicious language to dominate student spaces!" said AUJS.
Ongoing anti-Israel activity in Australia
This is not the first time that Jaghoori has courted controversy in the pages of On Dit.
In April, she wrote "glory to the Intifada. InshAllah it will be merciless."
"A genocidal colonial apartheid project will always be a genocidal colonial apartheid project unless we annihilate it." she wrote on Twitter Two days prior to the publication of the August article. "Death to Israel. Death to America."
Unless we annihilate it. Freedom for Palestinians is only guaranteed by their resistance and a global solidarity movement that is rock solid in revolution ideology and principle. Death to Israel. Death to America. (2)— Habibah Jaghoori (@HabibahJaghoori) August 6, 2022
On August 15, the University of Melbourne Student Union adopted a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution, "taking a firm, clear stance as a pro-Palestine union." The resolution supported the right of Palestinians to engage in "self-defense" and recognized Israel as an apartheid state. The union said that it would disengage from companies that "support and benefit from the Israeli occupation."