In my 10/9/14 post AUJS Plays the Anti-Semitism Card, I reproduced a report from the Socialist Alternative paper Red Flag on the current campaign by the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) to sabotage Palestine solidarity activism on our campuses by making "unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism and 'targeting Jewish students'."
One of AUJS's ideological 'pillars' is Zionism: "AUJS subscribes to the Zionist ideals espoused in the World Zionist Organisation's Jerusalem Program. We seek to promote a positive image of Israel on campus... and to educate the wider student population about Judaism and Israel." (Our pillars, aujs.com)
Just so we're in no doubt what AUJS is all about here, here's the preamble to the WZO's Jerusalem Program: "Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, brought about the establishment of the State of Israel, and views a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure State of Israel to be the expression of the common responsibility of the Jewish people..."
It goes without saying that, as a Zionist organisation, AUJS conflates Judaism and Zionism, a practice which allows it to play the anti-Semitism card whenever Israel or its behaviour is called into question.
AUJS also has friends in high places.
You'll remember Education Minister Christopher Pyne's tender concern for its operatives in Murdoch's Australian on August 29. (See my 6/9/14 post Pyne Whine Deconstructed.)
Then there's AUJS's recent (31/8-2/9) "political training seminar" at Parliament House in Canberra:
"The delegation of 40 students was addressed by some of the biggest names in Australian politics and beyond. The participating students are pictured with Josh Frydenberg [Liberal] MP." (The moment, The Australian Jewish News, 12/9/14)
And what a lovely pic it is too. Why, there's the beaming young Matthew Lesh, AUJS's political affairs director, seated right in front of Frydenberg, wanting only the great man's guiding hand on his shoulder.
According to one of Matthew's AUJS retweets (1/9), Frydenberg told the delegation: "You're at the front line, and what you do matters."
The front line? An interesting choice of words, to say the least. Right after Operation Protective Edge (8/7-26/8) too.
The front line of what exactly? Presumably, AUJS's campaign to divert attention from Israel's genocide in Gaza by attacking activists who dare to raise the issue on campus.
It's not only Lib who's stiffening the spines of AUJS's shock troops. It's also Lab. Just listen to Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, in another Lesh retweet:
"I would encourage Labor clubs to work closely with AUJS." (2/9)
Incredibly, even The Greens are in on the act, as yet another Lesh retweet indicates:
"Hearing from political staffers across Liberal, Labor and Greens." (1/9)
And we're expected to believe that AUJS are merely reacting to an upsurge of anti-Semitism on campus.