MEDIA RELEASES

University Apologises for Offensive Antisemitic Comments by Lecturer

Dec 11, 2015

Media Release

 

The Vice-Chancellor of Notre Dame University in Fremantle has dissociated her institution from overt anti-Jewish comments made in a blog posting by academic Dr Sandra Nasr.

Responding to a letter co-signed by Dr Colin Rubenstein and Jeremy Jones, respectively Executive Director and Director of International and of Community Affairs of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, Professor Celia Hammond said that Nasr’s comments do not represent “in any way” the opinions of the university and were not “endorsed or sanctioned” by it.

Given that the comments were not only contentious but caused offence, she wrote the University was disappointed and that the institution apologised for them. She concluded that “the University is addressing this issue with due seriousness in accordance with its relevant processes.”

In their letter, Rubenstein and Jones wrote that the posting by Dr Nasr, which appeared on, then was removed from, the website of the London School of Economics, contained a number of vicious slurs which amounted to racial and religious vilification.

They noted, “Anti-Jewish tropes relating to alleged, false, Jewish belief of superiority, depiction of adherents of Judaism as religiously-directed ‘ethnic cleansers’ and of Jews as ‘baying for blood’ have a long, undistinguished history, but in contemporary Australia are correctly identified with extreme right-wing bigots. The article contained all these deplorable stereotypes – but went even further, by providing a link to the writings of a Holocaust Denier who has been convicted for his anti-Jewish activities by a French Court. The post brought enormous discredit to the University of Notre Dame. This was not ‘merely’ an example of questionable scholarship but an example of racism and bigotry.”

Jeremy Jones, one of Australia’s most respected authorities on racism and a Co-Chair of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, said that Nasr’s post was little more than a pot pouri of prejudice, which would not have been out of place in any far-right wing propaganda leaflet. “I feel sorry for her students if this is an example of her ‘scholarship’,” he added.

Colin Rubenstein said the blog posting was embarrassing for the University, but “It is very heartening that Professor Hammond has treated this matter with the seriousness it deserves. Racism is no more tolerable in an academic guise than in any other forum, and brings discredit to the name of any academic institution with which it is associated. It is pleasing that Professor Hammond has implicitly acknowledged this with her speedy and proper response” he concluded.

 

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


The International Criminal Court entrance at The Hague, Netherlands (Image: Shutterstock)

AIJAC strongly condemns International Criminal Court arrest warrant requests for Israeli leaders

May 21, 2024 | Featured, Media Releases
UN General Assembly chamber (Photo: Steve Estvanik, Shutterstock)

AIJAC condemns Australia’s UN vote on ‘Palestine’ as “profoundly disappointing”

May 11, 2024 | Featured, Media Releases
Image: Shutterstock

AIJAC calls on Government to join coordinated international efforts against Iran in wake of attacks on Israel

Apr 15, 2024 | Featured, Media Releases
Ma60tyfA

AIJAC “profoundly disagrees” with FM Penny Wong’s comments on recognising Palestinian statehood

Apr 10, 2024 | Featured, Media Releases
Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom (image: LinkedIn)

AIJAC mourns the tragic death of Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom

Apr 3, 2024 | Featured, Media Releases
Image: Shutterstock

AIJAC “gravely disappointed” by Australian Government’s decision to resume UNRWA funding

Mar 15, 2024 | Featured, Media Releases

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Malaysian PM Anwar with the late Iranian President Raisi in Kuala Lumpur, November 2023 (Image: Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim)

Malaysia’s role in supporting Iran’s terrorism

Image: Facebook

Australia’s failing campus report card

Screenshot 2024 01 27 At 3.16.11 pm

Claiming the International Court of Justice found accusations of genocide against Israel were “plausible” is just false

The International Criminal Court entrance at The Hague, Netherlands (Image: Shutterstock)

AIJAC strongly condemns International Criminal Court arrest warrant requests for Israeli leaders

Image: Shutterstock

The UN’s slippery slope is now a chasm

Malaysian PM Anwar with the late Iranian President Raisi in Kuala Lumpur, November 2023 (Image: Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim)

Malaysia’s role in supporting Iran’s terrorism

Image: Facebook

Australia’s failing campus report card

Screenshot 2024 01 27 At 3.16.11 pm

Claiming the International Court of Justice found accusations of genocide against Israel were “plausible” is just false

The International Criminal Court entrance at The Hague, Netherlands (Image: Shutterstock)

AIJAC strongly condemns International Criminal Court arrest warrant requests for Israeli leaders

Image: Shutterstock

The UN’s slippery slope is now a chasm

SORT BY TOPICS