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AIJAC commends Julian Leeser’s bill to establish an “Inquiry into Antisemitism at Australian Universities”

Jun 4, 2024 | AIJAC staff

Protesters face-off at Melbourne University (Screenshot)
Protesters face-off at Melbourne University (Screenshot)

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today commended Liberal MP Julian Leeser’s private member’s bill proposing the establishment of an “Inquiry into Antisemitism at Australian Universities”, introduced to Federal Parliament yesterday. AIJAC also called on political leaders on both sides of the aisle to support it.

AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said, “Given the explosion of antisemitism, in Australia and around the world, since October 7 of last year, and the way extremist protestors have made most Australian university campuses inhospitable to Jewish students in recent months, Julian Leeser’s bill calling for an inquiry into the phenomenon is more than timely – it is essential.

“The Government has previously appeared to acknowledge the need for something along the lines of what Mr Leeser is proposing, raising the idea of such an inquiry into antisemitism on campus earlier this year. Unfortunately, what resulted from this government initiative was not fit for purpose – a Human Rights Commission inquiry into all forms of racism on campus that the Commission says will primarily focus on the plight of Indigenous Australians, and will take at least two years.”

“Mr Leeser is to be commended for putting forward a proposal for an inquiry that actually does meet the urgent needs of Jewish students and will help protect the integrity of higher education – one focussed on antisemitism specifically, headed by a judge with all the powers of a royal commission, and with a much shorter time-frame for reporting. Given the horror stories we constantly hear about the harassment of Jewish students at universities, and given that the Prime Minister himself has acknowledged that antisemitism is today being expressed more openly than at any other point in his lifetime, AIJAC calls on all sides of parliament to support the timely and highly necessary bill Mr Leeser put forward yesterday,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.

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