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Labor Kicks Out Extreme Activist

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Extreme left activist Jay Tharappel, who once wore a jacket bearing slogans that declared “Curse on the Jews” and “Death to Israel”, has been thrown out of the Labor Party after The Australian revealed that the former Sydney University academic was granted party membership this year.

Revealing the expulsion, NSW Labor leader Chris Minns said: “There is no place for anti-Semitism in NSW Labor and the party has taken swift action in dealing with this matter.”

It remains unclear why the party accepted the application of Mr Tharappel, an ardent supporter of both Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Iran’s despotic religious regime.

Official Labor Party policy strongly supports Israel’s right to exist and condemns Assad “who routinely bombs, chemically gasses and murders his own people”.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Darren Bark said: “We welcome the strong and swift action taken by NSW Labor in expelling this individual.

“Mr Tharappel’s views are repugnant, divisive and have no place in our peaceful, multicultural society.

“He did not deserve membership of the NSW Labor Party and removing him was the right ­decision.”

On Sunday Mr Tharappel declined a request for comment or to explain why he had sought membership of the party, responding: “Not interested.”

Mr Tharappel is a protege of far-left “anti-imperialist” academic Tim Anderson, who last week was found by a court to have been unlawfully sacked by Sydney University following a series of misconduct findings that included superimposing a Nazi swastika on an Israeli flag.

On Friday, Justice Thomas Thawley found Sydney University had acted unlawfully when it fired Dr Anderson in 2019, ruling that the controversial academic was exercising his intellectual freedom when he displayed a swastika graphic in a lecture.

Dr Anderson had also shared a photograph of Mr Tharappel – then one of his PhD students – wearing the “Curse on the Jews” and “Death to Israel” slogans.

Justice Thawley – who upheld the university’s decision to dismiss the academic two years ago – said he now accepted Dr Anderson’s argument that he created the swastika graphic for academic purposes, to stimulate critical analysis and comparisons between “fascist systems”.

Dr Anderson – who was convicted in 1990 over the 1978 Hilton hotel bombing in Sydney but acquitted the following year – leads the Centre for Counter ­Hegemonic Studies, a network of pro-Assad and pro-Tehran ­academics, of which Mr Tharappel is described as an associate board member.

The court ruling was met with dismay by Jewish and other community groups.

“It is incomprehensible how a graphic comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany, utilising a con­temporary anti-Jewish trope, can be characterised as an exercise of intellectual freedom,” said ­Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-chief executive Peter Wertheim.

“The fact that this content was disseminated as part of the teaching materials for an accredited university course made it all the more disturbing.

“No freedom is absolute. The conduct which was the subject of this case was an abuse, not an exercise, of intellectual freedom.”

Article link: https://todayspaper.theaustralian.com.au/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=b5ba37d5-6f68-4c51-885a-1193df22ae21
Article source: The Australian | Stephen Rice | 1.11.22

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000

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