I've just been reading the report Investigation into potential breaches of University Codes of Conduct, posted on Sydney University's website, sydney.edu.au/news. I find it a disturbing document with grave implications for universities once renowned as havens for free speech and dissent.
In it we learn that Sydney University is threatening "disciplinary action" against a group of pro-Palestine student protesters, who disrupted a lecture last month by visiting British apologist for Israeli war crimes Colonel Richard Kemp, and pro-Palestine academic Jake Lynch, who sought to challenge the aggressive actions of security staff towards the students whilst fending off the unwanted attentions of a "semi-retired English literature lecturer and sometime stand-up comedienne Diane Barkas, 73," to quote the Australian's description of this enraged, water-hurling, camera-grabbing harpy. (See Woman denies kicking BDS guru in groin, Ean Higgins, 15/4/15).
The threat comes in response to complaints over the incident(s) submitted to the university's vice-chancellor Michael Spence by 386 individuals - only 34 of whom had actually been present at the lecture - as part of an "investigation" into the matter. (See my 18/3/15 post Anatomy of a Beat-Up.)
While we are not party to the names of the 352 "other staff, students and members of the public" who lodged those complaints, or to their content, it is safe to assume that the vast majority are the result of yet another (*sigh*) Israel lobby campaign of confected outrage targeting supporters of Palestine on campus, and, in particular, Professor Lynch, a prominent advocate of boycotting institutional ties between Sydney University and Israeli universities, a brave and principled stance that saw him hauled up before Sydney's Federal Court by the Mossad-connected, Israeli lawfare outfit Shurat HaDin last year.
It'd be most interesting to know whether some of these 'complaints' contained threats of some kind, along the lines of those described in my 26/8/14 post How Zionists Enforce the Party Line on Israel.
Central to the "investigation" are "potential breaches of University's Codes of Conduct," which "require all staff, students and affiliates to be tolerant, honest, respectful and ethical at all times."
Even to the likes of Kemp, it seems, who must be enjoying the progress of the witch-hunt, sorry investigation, immensely, seeing that "the university will send correspondence to Dr Kemp and other initial complainants present at the lecture providing them with an update."
Far from retiring (after also helping out with NSW's United Israel Appeal) to lick wounds supposedly inflicted by an intolerant, dishonest, disrespectful and unethical "BDS guru" and his student minions, Kemp will be appearing at a Shurat HaDin talkfest in Israel in May, Towards a New Law of War Conference.
Apparently, the glorious Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are finding that the Hague and Geneva Conventions, as presently constituted, are cramping their style and hence in dire need of a makeover.
It seems (I'm quoting the conference blurbs here) that "democratic armies" are pretty pissed that "large portions of the Western public and world media have come to assume that any civilian casualties are unacceptable and unlawful," and that the "Rules of Engagement in conflicts such as Afghanistan, Syria, South Lebanon and Gaza are too restrictive and irrelevant to safeguard military forces pursuing legitimate objectives in a terrorist war." (israellawcenter.org)
My fave sentence from these blurbs is this from Panel 5: "[Targeted killings] is an issue that demonstrates the influence of the Israel Defense Forces' position in shaping international law."
The influence of the Israel Defense Forces' position in shaping international law???!!!
That, my dears, is the nightmare vision to which Kemp would be a party. I wonder what Sydney University's Codes of Conduct, with their call for tolerance, honesty, respect and ethics, have to say about such matters.