What Future for UWA?

It is a fine line between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism.  The former is opposition to a nationalist ideology.  The latter is racism.  In today’s halls of academia the former is all too often used to disguise the latter. 

As was the case on Monday 8 October at the University of Western Australia where Dr Ghada Karmi, under the co-sponsored auspices of The Centre for Muslim States and Societies, School of Social and Cultural Studies at The University of WA, and Australian Friends of Palestine (WA), presented a lecture called “What Future for Israel/Palestine? Future Scenarios and Solutions”.

This posting won’t go into specifics, but the entire tone of the presentation, including its introduction, the selective use of history, and the conclusion that the Palestinian advocates cannot accomodate an entity that happens to be a Jewish State on the holy soil of Zion, is indicative of the fine line that UWA has allowed to be crossed.  For some analysis of the presentation itself Steve Lieblich of the JCCWA has written a synopsis of the talk on Jewish Issues Watch.

Jewgle Perth upholds the virtues of free speech, and acknowledges that a University is a marketplace of ideas, inclusive of open forums for free debate.  However in this case UWA is culpable of providing a forum for offensive ideas that breach the bounds of free speech by allowing a presentation of this nature to be hosted in its halls of study.  Free speech has its limits when the ideas expressed are offensive and harmful, especially when they are not balanced out by an opposing viewpoint.  Even in the worst cases of expressing absurd ideas about Israel on campus, context is provided that provides a sense of perspective (amidst the challenging of expressions that are plainly absurd).  However this lecture at UWA was simply about Israel-bashing.  The only “solution” offered was the dissolution of Israel as the world’s only Jewish State. 

Beyond this, Monday’s lecture included clear expressions of ideas that are revisionist in nature, and evidened by history as being FALSE.  If UWA can tolerate dubious presentations that lack historic credibility on its premisis, then it effectively supports the notion of manipulating and rewriting history to support a political narrative.  Such dishonesty is tantamount to academic theft and ironically undermines the very freedoms that the University seeks to uphold.

Shame on UWA for being culpable in the crime of spreading this anti-Israel nonsense, which, in the opinion of this blog, verged over the fine line of rationalism to fit the definition of anti-Semitism.   

The world needs a State of Israel to flourish as a beacon of societal morality, a home of contemporary science, and ultimately a symbol of religious freedom.  The Jewish people need their homeland as a biblically mandated place of solace and spiritual connection.  The very suggestion that there is no place in world geography for Israel, the Jewish homeland, is an intolerable and illegitimate expression that should not be promulgated on the premises of a free thinking academic insitution.