Skip to content

Jason Clare, enough is enough

The decision by the University of Melbourne to cancel a highly credentialled Israeli academic is very concerning and shows the university’s paltry and one-sided commitment to freedom of speech and academic freedom.

The silencing of Professor Tal Shima, an aerospace engineer due to address students and staff yesterday, is the result of a campaign of intimidation, threats and defamation against him by pro-Palestinian activists, on campus and on social media, including by activist university staff.

It is not credible for the university’s leadership to argue “we welcome debate and protest on campus, providing it does not extend to violence, threat or intimidation” when it takes no action against the activists who are responsible for those threats and intimidation.

I call on the University of Melbourne’s Vice-Chancellor, Duncan Maskell, to reverse the decision to cancel Professor Tal Shima.

The University of Melbourne is majority federally funded; yet, we have seen no action from Labor’s weak education minister, Jason Clare, against the terrible wave of antisemitism at some university campuses which has left many Jewish students and academics fearful for their safety.

Last month, two visiting Israeli academics were effectively hounded from the University of Sydney after being forced to remain in a room with pro-Palestinian protestors.

There have been no reported repercussions for this incident.

Jason Clare’s failure to act against the alarming level of antisemitism at some university campuses along with the boycotting of Israeli academics, blatant breaches of academic freedom, is completely unacceptable.

It is time Mr Clare stopped worrying about his own political fortunes, held the universities to account, and did his job.

Share this