Dutton Lashes University Leaders’ Response to Protests

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton says university chancellors and vice-chancellors need to “look in the mirror” over their weak response to anti-Semitism and pro-Palestinian protests on campus. He slammed the protests as “racist” and “anti-Semitic”, calling for the Prime Minister to “stand up and show some backbone” to see an end to “these nonsense protests”. His comments came ahead of a planned Jewish student protest at Melbourne University, and controversy over protests at University of Sydney and Melbourne University where young children were coached to lead anti-Israel chants. “I can’t believe that we’re seeing, effectively, a repeat of history that we thought would never be repeated,” Mr Dutton said on Sydney radio. “October 7 – the attack on Israelis – that was the biggest attack on the Jewish community since the Holocaust, where six million people were gassed. “How do we accept in our society that the Jewish community at the moment is being ostracised and vilified?

“We wouldn’t tolerate it if it was a campus protest against people of Indigenous heritage or people of the Islamic community or people of tall stature or if they were Catholic, or Chinese or Indian or whatever it would be. “The governments, and even the response of the police, has been weak as well. “As for the universities and chancellors and vice-chancellors, they’ve got to look in the mirror as well because we can’t be tolerating the vilification of any part of our community – not the Jewish community, not anyone else.” He also said author and academic Randa Abdel-Fattah – who controversially led children in pro-Palestinian chants at a protest – should be stripped of her grant from Macquarie University, despite that same grant funding the PhD scholarships of two young Muslim women. Dr Abdel-Fattah’s students are completing their PhDs in topics such as the use of poetry as artistic activism among the Arab diaspora community in Sydney.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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