The right to criticize the policies of another country are at stake
Today an Israeli based law centre, Shurat HaDin, filed a case in the Federal Court of Australia, against Professor Jake Lynch from the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. They claim that he has supported policies which are racist and discriminatory by his specific endorsement of an academic boycott of Israeli institutions and individuals representing them. Jake Lynch has refused collaboration with Hebrew University because of its support of the illegal occupation of Palestine and close connections with the Israeli armament industry.
This lawfare attack against academic freedom and freedom of speech has been condemned by over 2000 Australian and international human rights advocates from some 60 countries, who have all signed a pledge supporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel because of its well documented and clear violations of international and humanitarian law, and offering to be co-defendants in any legal action taken against Lynch.
Shurat HaDin has taken many similar actions internationally against groups who support the BDS movement. Professor Stuart Rees comments, “It seems that this firm, Shurat HaDin works in the civil courts as a proxy for the Israeli government and security forces, seeking to shut down any criticism of the state of Israel and its ongoing human rights abuses and violations of international law.”
In August, Shurat HaDin lodged a complaint in the Human Rights Commission against Jake Lynch’s refusal to sponsor an Israeli academic from the Hebrew University, now they want to silence this highly regarded academic, by taking their complaint to the Federal Court. This challenges the right to take non violent action in support international human rights law and the rights of the dispossessed Palestinians. Australians for BDS condemns racism in all forms, and specifically anti-Semitism.
“Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing machinery continue unabated but the moral force that used to drive that process is fast eroding and, as out of touch as the Abbott government and anti-BDS activists in Australia may be, there is an undeniable shift in the balance of moral power. International civil society is holding Israel to account in a way no government has ever been able to do”.
Press release by Randa Abdel Fattah, Australian Palestinian lawyer and writer.
Press conference with Professor Stuart Rees and Professor Peter Slezak
Date: WED Oct 30th (today)
Location: Queen’s Square, Junction of King, Phillip and Macquarie Streets, Sydney (St James Station)
Professor Peter Slezak speaks at the press conference:
Academics to fight Federal Court action claiming support for BDS racist
Two Thousand Defendants For Human Rights
Israeli lawyers group Shurat HaDin unmasked as Mossad proxy
Defending The Right To Dissent
Defend free speech and human rights and support the BDS
The Israeli government’s official ‘lawfare’ contractor