"Leftist group the Socialist Alternative (SA), which was deregistered at Monash University for discriminating against Jewish students, has had its ban upheld at a recent meeting of the Monash Clubs & Societies Council (MCSC). The group appealed the ban, handed down last month, but was comprehensively defeated, with 90 members against the motion, 5 for and 10 abstaining. Every club and society at Monash is a member of the MCSC, and each gets a single vote." (Appeal against Socialist Alternative ban defeated, The Australian Jewish News, 3/10/14)
This bizarre 5/100 vote, if correctly reported, reflects poorly on today's university students.
Could an explanation be sought in the fact that most of these clubs and societies are sport/activity-related, led essentially by bat-n-ball-obsessed jocks and jockettes?
Could it be seen as a reflection of students' lack of interest in political issues in general, and their limited/distorted understanding of the history and dynamics of the Middle East conflict in particular?
Googling around, however, I happened upon the blog of one, Terence Huynh, software engineering student at Monash and self-confessed technogeek.
On the 4th of last month, Huynh posted a piece titled The Socialist Alternative got deregistered at Monash University. What happens now?
Reading through it I came to a comment which (if I can get away with extrapolating from the views of just this one Monash student) might go some way towards explaining the above vote.
Here is Huynh's comment:
"I want to make this point as well, the debate over Israel-Palestine is too toxic [H's italics]. You are not anti-Semitic to question the actions of Israel, nor a supporter of Hamas or terrorism if you support the right for Palestine to exist. We need to reboot the conversation, and the hardline views from both sides are not helping [H's bold] anyone."
Now, in the spectrum of Monash student views on this issue, Terence Huynh's might well be one of the more enlightened.
Having said that, however, the statement hardly does the gravity of the issue justice, something which Socialist Alliance, to their immense credit, are trying to remedy.
Terence, if you'd put down your dumbphone long enough to take in some of the recent news footage from Israel's latest wilding in Gaza, you would have seen that thousands of people, with nowhere to run or hide, were being mercilessly slaughtered, day after day after day. Do you seriously think there's anything to debate here?
Well yes, those who unleashed the recent 2000+ slaughter in Gaza are about as toxic a bunch as you're ever likely to encounter. Their toxicity arises from the very nature of their fanatical, apartheid project, based as it is on erasing Palestine and its people. And it's that toxicity which motivates the delusional defenders of such a project who cheer it on from these shores.
Hardline views not helping?
FFS, Terence, BEFORE you make such a pathetic comment ever again, switch your bloody gizmo off and read a decent BOOK on the history of the issue, OK?