Australian university magazine editor fired for writing 'death to Israel'

Habibah Jaghoori concluded an article on Aug 4 with the phrase "Death to Israel."

 An Australian flag is seen hung in a tree burnt by bushfire on the property of farmer Jeff McCole in Buchan, Victoria, Australia (photo credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY)
An Australian flag is seen hung in a tree burnt by bushfire on the property of farmer Jeff McCole in Buchan, Victoria, Australia
(photo credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY)

The student union at the University of Adelaide fired an editor of its campus student magazine after she called for “death to Israel” in an article last month.

In a statement on Tuesday, the board of YouX, the university’s student body, said that Habibah Jaghoori’s “recent public conduct would reasonably be perceived by any fair-minded person to be threatening the welfare of students at our University.”

"Calling for violence and death rather than peace, dialogue and constructive criticism of Israel, rightly has no place on university campus."

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students

Jaghoori, an editor of On Dit, the campus student magazine, concluded an article on Aug. 4 with the phrase “Death to Israel.” The article was prompted by the three-day conflict last month between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. The conflict killed close to 50 Palestinian civilians.

 ISLAMIC JIHAD members take part in an anti-Israel rally in Rafah, Gaza Strip, after Operation Breaking Dawn. (credit: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS) ISLAMIC JIHAD members take part in an anti-Israel rally in Rafah, Gaza Strip, after Operation Breaking Dawn. (credit: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS)

The YouX statement said it was not the article that prompted the firing of Jaghoori. Her removal was “specifically related to her conduct and behaviour since the article’s publication,” it said.

“Despite numerous opportunities to clarify her position and dispel any misinterpretation, she has continued to use language in public forums that can be clearly construed to support actions that could threaten the welfare of students,” the student board said.

It was not clear what public forums YouX was referring to, but the pro-Israel blogger Israelly Cool posted a video of a student union meeting at which Jaghoori repeatedly said “death to Israel” and giggled while saying it when challenged by Jewish students who said they found it threatening.

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students praised the decision. “Calling for violence and death rather than peace, dialogue and constructive criticism of Israel, rightly has no place on university campus,” it said.