Tuesday, 16 April 2013

16/4/13...Jewish students slam council over 'pet' BDS

Jewish students slam council over 'pet' BDS

A FIGHT over a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel escalated yesterday at the University of Sydney, with Jewish students attacking their representative council over its support for BDS.
Several academics and others are mounting a petition supporting BDS and a specific ban on co-operation with Israel's Technion university.
As reported by The Australian last week, on Wednesday the Students' Representative Council passed a motion calling for administrators to cut links with Technion, claiming it provided research used to make weapons deployed by Israel against Palestinians.
In a press release yesterday, the Australasian Union of Jewish Students said the SRC's move was "divisive and counterproductive". AUJS national chairman Andrew Goldberg said the resolution was "an attempt to force the extremist, anti-Israel BDS policy on to the entire student body".
"They have allowed a handful of unrepresentative ideologues to force one of their pet causes down the throats of students," he said.
The SRC resolution last week gave strong backing to the director of the university's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Jake Lynch. Professor Lynch supports BDS and refused a request for academic co-operation from Israeli academic Dan Avnon, who is credited with developing the country's only civics curriculum designed for both Jewish and Arab school students.
Sydney University director of corporate media relations Andrew Potter said the university's Office for Global Health had an exchange program for medical students with Technion, and had no intention of aborting it. "The vice-chancellor and the university welcome student debate and opinion but disagree with the SRC on this issue," Mr Potter said.
The SRC claims a petition being circulated supporting Professor Lynch and BDS is approaching its target of 500 signatures. One of the signatories, Stuart Rees, chairman of the Sydney Peace Foundation, said the BDS campaign was worldwide and not at all extremist.

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