The Zionist Federation of Australia is disappointed by the University of Adelaide’s rejection of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.
ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “The University of Adelaide’s decision is most unfortunate. And it’s reasoning shows an unwillingness to engage with what the IHRA definition is and isn’t. I would have thought that a university, of all places, would seek to properly engage with an issue before rejecting it out of hand.”
Mr Leibler continued, “The University’s stated reasons for rejecting the definition centred on the University’s commitment to freedom of speech. But the IHRA definition does not quell free speech; it enriches it.”
“Further,” Mr Leibler said, “fully two-thirds of the Adelaide University statement focused on speech the university ‘will not tolerate’. That is, the university itself restricts certain speech, such as bigotry and racial vilification. Unlike Adelaide University, the IHRA definition does not tell people what they cannot say. Unlike Adelaide University, the IHRA definition does not list punishments for those who transgress. The IHRA definition does not limit free speech. It merely defines what antisemitism is. And that definition is accepted by dozens of countries, organisations and universities around the world, as well as the South Australian Government.”
Mr Leibler concluded, “Given recent events, when Adelaide University took no action when a student put antisemitic rhetoric in the university newspaper, and where Jewish students have been reported as being too scared to attend campus, one would think the university would have wanted to better educate its student body as to how to avoid the bigotry the university says it detests. Instead, it has chosen to do nothing.”