University of Adelaide and Antisemitic Student Paper Editor Respond to Complaints About ‘Death to Israel’ Article

Following the brouhaha over student newspaper On Dit editor Habibah Jaghoori’s vile article calling for ‘Death to Israel’, the University of Adelaide’s Vice Chancellor office sent the following to those of us who expressed concern:

Thank you for your email to the Vice-Chancellor.

On Dit is a student publication and elected student media editors, rather than University management, carry independent editorial responsibility for its content. 

Like other higher education institutions, the University of Adelaide’s support of academic freedom and freedom of speech is reflected in its Freedom of Speech Policy. However, the University recognises that there are legal restraints on freedom of speech, including restraints on inciting violence and vilification on the ground of race.  The University deplores religious and racial discrimination including antisemitism.

The University remains committed to a safe and inclusive campus on which all, irrespective of race or religion, are treated with respect.

I have asked for clarification as to what the University remaining “committed to a safe and inclusive campus on which all, irrespective of race or religion, are treated with respect” actually means in terms of definitive action.

Meanwhile, Jaghoori herself has responded by digger herself a bigger hole while showing just how vile she truly is:

The editor of South Australian student magazine On Dit has clarified to The AJN that “Death to Israel” means “death to the state, to the war criminal IDF, to the occupations and to Zionism”, in an email she also signed off with “Death to Israel”.

The AJN had reached out to the editors of the student publication for comment about the recent article titled For Palestine, There is No Ceasefire.

In her response, On Dit editor and author Habibah Jaghoori emphasised that in her view “Judaism and Zionism are completely separate”.

“The revolutionary slogan of ‘Death to Israel’ is not antisemitic,” she said, adding, “Palestinians themselves are Semites.”

She also said, “Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine is hardly a conflict,” adding, “Israel is a sponsored terrorist state, has violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, broken laws of war and occupation in the Fourth Geneva Convention and so much more.”

In a statement shared to Facebook, the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) said it was “horrified” by the University of Adelaide student newspaper article.

“The explicit call for ‘death to Israel’ does nothing to advance the peace process, and further targets Jewish students for whom Zionism is a legitimate expression of identity,” the statement said.

AUJS also refers to the article as containing “hateful and divisive speech”, which “sends a dangerous message to Jewish students”.

In the wake of several controversial motions passed by university unions in Australia, AUJS said, “The demonisation of Zionism has resulted in Jewish students feeling scared and uncomfortable in spaces on campus as they are barred [from] conversations pertinent to their Jewish identity.”

When asked how articles such as these might affect Jewish students on campus, Jaghoori said, “Jewish students on campus and other marginalised groups face threats when fascism, something Israel proudly commits against Palestinians Syrians and other Arabs, is left unchallenged on campus.”

At the same time, she has responded to a tweet of mine drawing attention to a worrying tweet of hers – with defiance:

Here’s hoping she is anything but “thriving” real soon.

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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