Friday, June 6, 2014

Jake Lynch Update 10

"Sydney University academics have narrowly voted against supporting or even discussing boycotts of Israel, after the head of their union staged an unusual intervention which left the faculty deeply divided. A general meeting on Wednesday saw a motion to continue a discussion of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign defeated by 68 votes in favour to 56 against, after a vigorous debate. A second motion put by the general secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union, Grahame McCulloch, to not endorse BDS or devote union resources to debate it, was passed by a similar margin... Mr McCulloch is understood to have told the closed-door meeting that launching a debate about the BDS campaign would prove divisive at a time when the union needed unity to fight immediate issues like federal budget cuts..." (Unionists at Sydney side-step debate on Israel boycott, Ean Higgins, The Australian, 6/6/14)

OK, so that's the official line, is it? The NTEU must stick to "immediate issues like federal budget cuts"?

Another iteration of same came from Sydney University Professor Dianna Kenny:

"I believe that the proper agenda of the NTEU is the survival of higher education - particularly in light of the... budget." (Academics at war over Israel boycott, Ean Higgins, The Australian, 4/6/14)

If the NTEU general secretary or the 68 Sydney University staff who voted to gag discussion on this issue as a distraction from "the proper agenda of the NTEU," defined as "budget cuts," maybe the National President of the NTEU, Jeannie Rea*, should be censured for devoting union time and resources to her recent (2/6) condemnation of the military coup in Thailand, which can be read at the NTEU's website under the heading: Condemnation of the coup in Thailand.

But is the old core business furphy really just a cover for someone with a soft spot for Israel? The following sentence from Higgin's 6/6 report suggests so:

"[McCulloch] suggested supporters of BDS were really pushing a radical 'one state' outcome in the Middle East."

[*"NTEU president Jeannie Rea said Sydney University had a 'good record' on supporting freedom of intellectual inquiry." (Dalai Lama's office 'suggested' venue change, John Ross, The Australian, 19/4/13) Not any more!]


Peter Hindrup said...

This decision from the so called educated elite?

The bought and paid for would be a better description!

George Bush, idiot that he is,claimed that he could walk and chew gum, seems this is a feat beyond approximately half of the the Academics at Sydney University!

MERC said...

I couldn't agree more. Here it is, 2014, and over half (?) the staff of Australia's oldest university don't get the Palestine problem? What an indictment of academe.