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Jewish students’ roundtable calls for urgent action to combat antisemitism

Jewish university students and staff have confirmed the need for urgent action to combat rising antisemitism at a roundtable in Melbourne.

Shadow Minister for Education, Sarah Henderson, today met with Jewish university students, academics and community leaders, who expressed their ongoing safety fears amid the rising anti-Israel hatred across campuses.

“The Albanese Government’s failure to take any action against antisemitism at Australian universities not only betrays the Jewish community but fuels division across our nation,” Senator Henderson said.

“Today’s forum confirms that universities must properly enforce their policies and codes of conduct against harassment, intimidation, racial vilification and threats of violence.”

Senator Henderson said the group discussed the urgent need for universities to sanction hate speech such as chants of “intifada”.

“There must also be the most serious consequences for students who endorse terrorist groups such as Hamas, including possible expulsion, as occurred this week at Australian National University,” Senator Henderson said.

Today, ANU advised students that:

“If any speech or actions discriminate or violate our Code of Conduct or Australian laws, we will take disciplinary action. You may be aware of comments made in the media these last few days. Appropriate action has been taken by the University. We do not comment on the details of individual matters.”

“Like all universities, ANU must be transparent about what actions it is taking to combat antisemitism including against students who endorse a listed terrorist organisation,” Senator Henderson said.

“While free speech and the right to protest is fundamental, this must not come at the cost of trampling on the lawful rights of others.

“I call on Australian universities to implement `time and place’ protest rules which govern the permitted times and locations of campus protest activity, such as occurs at Princeton University in the United States.”

Senator Henderson said it is unacceptable that vice-chancellors are opening the floodgates to 24-7 protests such as the encampments which must be dismantled.

Senator Henderson will convene a second roundtable of Jewish students, academics and community leaders in Sydney on Monday.

“In contrast to the Albanese Government, the Coalition is determined to do everything to combat this ugly tide of hate at Australian universities,” Senator Henderson said.

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