Education Minister Christopher Pyne has called on Bill Shorten to disassociate himself from Labor MP Melissa Parke, who has further aligned herself to the boycott campaign against Israel by supporting pro-Palestinian students and academics in a row over an ugly disruption at Sydney University.Mr Pyne told The Australian the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign against Israel “has given anti-Semitism a fashionability among the far Left” which “has no place in Australia”.
Ms Parke and Greens senator Lee Rhiannon this week signed an open letter promoted by a pro-Palestinian group on campus...for BDS.
The open letter, with more than 600 signatures, supports students who disrupted a talk last month by former British colonel Richard Kemp, and backs pro-BDS academic Jake Lynch, who remonstrated with security guards when they tried to remove the students.
Colonel Kemp, who led British troops in Afghanistan, was speaking on the ethics of tactics in counter-insurgency operations when the students stormed the venue shouting pro-Palestinian slogans.
With a petition running for Professor Lynch and another pro-BDS academic at the event, Nick Riemer, to be sacked, and Professor Lynch calling for the security guards to be disciplined, vice-chancellor Michael Spence commissioned an investigation, which a spokeswoman said would be completed “shortly”.
“Free speech in Australia does not extend to threats, intimidation and physical harassment and it is inappropriate for anyone to pre-empt the findings of Professor Spence’s inquiry into this incident,” Mr Pyne said.
Senator Rhiannon said ...“I wanted to add my voice to the hundreds of people who have also rejected this course of action and to speak up for academic freedom.” ...Apparently, to Parke, Rhiannon and the Lynch mob, "academic freedom" means freedom to violently silence anyone who disagrees with them.