Skip to content

Bolt Report, Sky News, 6 May 2024

Topics: Failure of the education minister to act on hate speech, PM slap down of Jason Clare, Anti-Israel university encampments, Ged Kearney.

Andrew Bolt: Joining me is Liberal MP Sarah Henderson. She’s the Coalition’s education spokeswoman. Sarah, great to see you again. Has the Prime Minister slapped down his education minister there?

Senator Henderson: Andrew, good evening and terrific to join you. And yes, absolutely. He has made it very clear that he won’t accept the sort of ducking and weaving that we have seen from Education Minister Jason Clare. In fact, it’s so serious because Jason Clare has implicitly endorsed the use of anti-Jewish hate speech by saying this means different things to different people. No it doesn’t. That is dishonest. And this shows a weak and pathetic education minister who will not stand up to antisemitism on campuses and it’s particularly bad, Andrew, at the University of Sydney. Jason Clare has no courage. He, frankly, has let down all Australians. And if he cannot ban hate speech on university campuses, as I’ve said today, and I’ll say it again, he must resign. And if he doesn’t resign, the Prime Minister must sack him.

Andrew Bolt: But Sarah, here’s the thing. They will say, `Look, universities are temples of free speech’. I mean, that’s laughable given some of the things they’ve been up to. But temples of free speech you can’t ban, you know, one side putting their argument. What do you say to that?

Senator Henderson: This is not an issue of free speech. This is clear hate speech. This is bullying. This is a breach of many of their codes of conduct. So it breaches their bullying charter, their student charter, the code of discipline that applies to all students when they enrol They are required to comply with university policies. Some of the Vice Chancellors have not had the guts or the courage to enforce their own codes of conduct, which protect all students from discrimination, from harassment, from threats of violence and from intimidation. And this absolutely crosses the line. This is inciting violence, and the Vice Chancellors must step in. And as for Jason Clare, Andrew, I mean, for goodness sake, he should be throwing the book at universities which fail to keep students safe. And this is not just an issue for Jewish students and staff, but many non-Jewish students are saying, this is terrible, I can’t study, I can’t be on this campus with this level of violence and these threats and this intimidation. So, frankly, he has been weak. He has been gutless. It is disgraceful. And he must do something or get out of the portfolio

Andrew Bolt: Look, I’ll tell you what. There seems to be a wilful blindness or a dishonesty. I’ll be honest, I have to say pretty firmly here from Labor MPs all over the shop now, about that slogan, `From the River to the Sea – Palestine will be free’ … Which Hamas terrorists actually have said, I’ve got footage of a Hamas official saying, you know, this means wiping out Israel. Here is Ged Kearney, today, the assistant health minister pretending she’s not sure what that slogan really means, even claiming it could mean living in peace. Here she is:


Tom Connell: Do those words, in your view, constitute hate speech? Jewish groups in particular, `From the River to the Sea’ in their minds, means that a Jewish state doesn’t exist.

Ged Kearney: Well, you know, it’s all in the interpretation. I’m not really 100 per cent familiar with that term. It could mean that we live harmoniously.

Andrew Bolt: Sarah, I’m calling bull on Kearney claiming she didn’t know what that `River to the Sea’ slogan really means because three years ago, as you probably know, she was called out by other Labor MPs, including the late Kimberley Kitching, a friend of mine, for this post put up of her under that very slogan. The Sydney Morning Herald back then reported that a sheepish Kearney told colleagues she did not endorse the wording of the post `From the River to the Sea’. After a flurry of phone calls, it was removed and members of the group conceded to have been ignorant to the true meaning of the phrase. Is she really just ignorant now, three years on, or wilfully ignorant, should I say dishonest?

Senator Henderson: Well, I think the only conclusion that you can draw is that Ged Kearney is not being truthful, because I remember that very well. In fact, Alan Tudge called this out when the Melbourne University ALP Club was running some sort of rally. There was Ged Kearney. That post, decrying Israel and the right to exist, was actually pulled down. Ged Kearney was very well aware of what that phrase meant, that it meant the end of Israel. It is a cry to destroy Israel. So it is very hard to believe that she was telling the truth today when she said she had no idea, and in fact, it could even be something positive for the people of Israel. What a load of rubbish. I mean, the bottom line, Andrew, is that this government is not taking antisemitism seriously. It is betraying Jewish Australians. We saw the Chancellors the other day not taking a stand against these words, saying, `Oh, well, they’re not unlawful. So there’s nothing we can do’. Yes there is. There is lots that the universities can do. They can enforce their codes of conduct which prevent intimidation, bullying, harassment and hate speech and start protecting students on campus. It is beyond disgraceful, Andrew.

Andrew Bolt: Look I apologise for laughing back then when it is so serious. But Ged Kearney’s chutzpah. Are we still allowed to use Jewish words? Chutzpah in claiming `I don’t know what it could mean. Peace’. I mean, what does she think? She must think the Australians are fools to believe that kind of stuff. We know better than that. Sarah Henderson, thank you so much indeed for your time.

Share this