University of Melbourne Student Union Tables a Far Worse, Antisemitic, Pro-Terror Motion

Earlier this year, the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) passed an antisemitic, pro-terrorism motion, but rescinded it after being faced with the threat of legal action by non-Jewish student Justin Riazaty.

Alas, they were just gearing for round 2; they just tabled a new, antisemitic motion that is even worse than the original:

Among the malicious falsehoods propagated by this motion:

  • A complete revision of history and denial of the Jews’ historical and religious connection to the land of Israel
  • The allegations of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, neither of which have occurred
  • The claim we forced out 750,000 Arabs during the war of Independence when in fact most either fled, or were encouraged into leaving by the Arab leadership
  • The allegation we intend to expel or massacre any remaining palestinian Arabs
  • The claim Gaza is an “open-air prison”, which it clearly is not even close to being
  • The claim we conducted our operation in Gaza against Gazan civilians
  • That we were responsible for all the deaths in Gaza during the operation, which the evidence shows is not the case

Beyond all of these, the motion denies the existence and legitimacy of the entire state of Israel and supports terrorism.

And it looks like UMSU have been plotting this for some time, despite the denials of its president:

The University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU), and its predecessor organisations, has maintained a 130-year tradition of students standing up for human rights issues, including those relating to international affairs. This is consistent with the purpose, mission and values of UMSU. 

Council considers a range of motions on different topics. In recent times, this has included two motions in relation to events in Palestine.  

The most recent motion was proposed by a student. It will be considered on Monday following the same process as all valid student proposed motions. 

UMSU endeavours to ensure that motions are robust, passed with due diligence and supported by appropriate consultation.  

UMSU recently engaged an independent agency to facilitate a consultation process with relevant stakeholders, including relevant pro-Palestinian and Jewish bodies on campus.  

This consultation process was conducted to help inform Students’ Council about student perspectives on this topic. It was not conducted for the purpose of preparing a motion. The consultation process was completed on 1 August 2022. 

UMSU continues to encourage respectful debate of international affairs on campus and deplores and denounces bigotry and hate speech in all its forms. 

Our highest priority, as always, is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students

While all of this smells like a steaming pile of cow dung, that last sentence is the real kicker. Because the motion certainly alienates Jews on campus, and arguably endangers them. For instance, the aims of the Melbourne University Jewish Students’ Society (MUJSS) include a clear love and support of Israel:

We are also committed to improving the quality of student life on campus and thus also run events celebrating Jewish festivals, such as Pesach and Yom Haatsmaut.

Club Aims:

To provide active support for the continued survival and wellbeing of the State of Israel, through the promotion of Aliyah and educational tours to Israel, through resolute campaigns to explain Israel’s case to students of the University of Melbourne and the wider community, and through steadfast solidarity with the people of Israel.

To work for the strengthening of the Jewish State of Israel and to increase the ties between the Jewish communities in Israel and the Diaspora.

To adopt the Jerusalem Programme, which states the aims of Zionism:

The unity of the Jewish people and the centrality of Israel in Jewish life.

The ingathering of the Jewish people in its historic homeland, Eretz Yisrael, through Aliyah from all lands.

The strengthening of the State of Israel, founded on prophetic ideals of justice and peace.

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) have put out the following statement in response, which although hitting on some valid points, once again misses the critical points that the motion supports terrorism against Israeli civilians, and may not just lead to an increase in antisemitism on campus, but is antisemitic in its very nature:

Meanwhile, Justin Riazaty is again showing them how its done. His lawyers have sent UMSU another letter, demanding they do not put the new motion to a vote, saying it was “entirely disrespectful and indeed anti-Semitic” and “inconsistent with the purposes of the union”.

Update 15/8/22: The motion passed.

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media