Melbourne University Student Union passes BDS resolution

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council expressed its disgust at an extreme anti-Israel and antisemitic motion passed by the Council of the University of Melbourne Student Union.

 Melbourne University  (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Melbourne University
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Melbourne University Student Union passed a resolution 10 votes to six on Friday that accused Israel of ongoing ethnic cleansing, apartheid, attacks on innocent worshipers and described Zionism as a “racist, colonial ideology.”

Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler said, “the student union has shamed itself with this motion. Zionism is Jewish self-determination and it is a central component of modern Jewish identity. This motion denies to Jews – and only to Jews – the right to self-determination. It is intrinsically antisemitic.

"The motion is also replete with easily disproven lies, and goes out of its way to avoid mentioning the decades of Palestinian violence and terrorism, which are the primary reasons Palestinians remain stateless.”

Leibler continued, “It is difficult to imagine the impact that this antisemitic resolution will have on the wellbeing and safety of Jewish students on campus at Melbourne University. It seems that the student union has great regard for all minorities on campus other than the Jewish students. I commend the Australian Union of Jewish Students for their advocacy in relation to this issue.”

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council expressed its disgust at an extreme anti-Israel and antisemitic motion passed by the Council of the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU).

Melbourne, Australia (credit: PIXABAY)Melbourne, Australia (credit: PIXABAY)
AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein stated, “this deplorable motion uses language we would have expected to have come from Hamas or Hezbollah, as terrorist groups committed to the destruction of Israel, not from the student union of an esteemed centre of learning here in Australia.
“Those behind the motion have created a fictitious, one-sided narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which Palestinians are natives and any Jewish connection to the land is denied. Based upon that falsehood, as constructed, the motion is antithetical to all that institutions of higher learning are meant to stand for, and will do untold harm to the credibility of both UMSU and the University of Melbourne.
“Moreover, in deeming Zionism as a ‘racist, colonial ideology’ and Israel as a ‘settler-colonial apartheid state,’ and a ‘colonial project’, yet demanding self-determination for Palestinians, this motion has clear antisemitic overtones. It denies to Jews the right to self-determination in the Jewish homeland, where Jews have lived for thousands of years, yet demands that same right for others. The lip service in the motion to condemning antisemitism does nothing to change that reality. It is in fact ironic, given that antisemitism is inherent to the motion itself.
“The motion’s narrative claims Israel ‘continuously denies the native Palestinians of their right to self-determination, freedom, dignity and equality,’ ignoring the numerous offers of statehood Israel has made to the Palestinian Authority that the PA has spurned and that furthermore, all of Israel’s citizens, including Arabs, have equal, democratic rights.
“It states Israel carried out a police raid at the Al Aqsa Mosque on Palestinians who were ‘simply congregating and praying’ - ignoring ample and widespread video evidence that demonstrates Palestinians were stockpiling rocks and fireworks in the mosque, and violently attacking Jewish worshippers nearby.”