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University of Adelaide’s On Dit student magazine article calls for ‘death of Israel’ as students say anti-semitism rising on campus

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Jewish students studying at Adelaide University are being left increasingly scared on campus amid claims of rising anti-semitic behaviour, community leaders allege.

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students has also accused the university’s student newspaper On Dit of racism and inciting “hatred” after calling for the “death to Israel” in the final line of an article.

An Adelaide University spokeswoman said it “deplores religious and racial discrimination including anti-semitism” and it distanced itself from On Dit’s editorial decisions.

But the union, and Jewish students, have revealed their wider safety concerns on campus.

Second year law and arts undergraduate student Jonathan Iadarola, 21, of Athelstone, said he had witnessed more anti-semitic behaviour.

“I do not feel safe or welcomed on my campus as a Jew, knowing that these anti-semitic views are shared by many students,” he said.

“I am terrified knowing that many students on my campus are calling for the annihilation of the only Jewish state and proudly calling for the incitement of violence against Jews.”

PhD history student Jasmine Munn-Mconnell, 30, said she first noticed anti-semitic views during her international studies undergraduate course.

“Since coming back to the university this year, the situation seems to be even worse,” she said.

Their concerns emerged after the On Dit article, titled “for Palestine, there is no ceasefire” about Palestinian anger at the Gaza Strip conflict.

“The solution to achieving peace and bringing forth justice for Palestine is to demand the abolition of Israel,” the author concluded. “Free Palestine and Death to Israel.”

A screengrab of the On Dit article calling for "death to Israel".

The newspaper did not respond to inquiries.

An “appalled” Jewish student union condemned the newspaper for publishing an article, which it argued was “filled with hatred and incitement”.

Its vice president, Alissa Foster, called on university management and the student union to condemn “this hateful language and hold those who perpetuate it to account”.

She said such rhetoric “openly incites hate against Jewish and Israeli students”.

“We are deeply concerned for the wellbeing of our students there who are fearful that someone in their class shares the same views as On Dit,” she said.

Jewish Community Council of South Australia president, Annetay Henderson-Sapir, said it went beyond ordinary political discourse and that all students should feel safe.

She said they would be pleased to work with the university and On Dit “to make the university a more inclusive place for all students”.

Mike Khizam, an Australian Friends of Palestine Association executive, said while the wider criticisms of Israel in the article were accurate, the organisation did not support the country’s “death”.

“That sentiment is an emotional response by someone, who is obviously deeply affected by the death of 43 people, including children, in an unprovoked attack,” he said, in reference to an Israeli incident in the Gaza Strip earlier this month.

An Adelaide University spokeswoman said On Dit had elected student media editors who “carry independent editorial responsibility for content”.

University of Adelaide’s, like other higher education institutions, support of academic freedom and freedom of speech is reflected in its freedom of speech policy,” she said.

“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.”

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Article source: Herald Sun
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2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000