Following its SRC’s recent motion against Israel, the NSWJBD held a warm and constructive meeting with University of Sydney vice-chancellor Mark Scott. We also thanked the community for its vigilance after noticing several vehemently anti-Israel comments on Nine News’ Facebook pages.
The Australian Jewish News
August 11, 2022
THE NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) has thanked the community for its vigilance after noticing several vehemently anti-Israel comments on Nine News’ Facebook pages, which resulted in the broadcaster removing the posts following a complaint by the JBD.
Late last month, Nine News posted a story about a man dying after being sucked into a sinkhole in a swimming pool in Israel.
Comments on Nine’s Facebook pages included “If only it swallowed all Zionists”, “Upsetting that it was only one man” and “Karma for being racist, land thieving dogs”.
“Hopefully it sinks the rest of them,” another wrote.
After being alerted to the comments by members of the Jewish community, the JBD contacted Nine, who also publish The Sydney Morning Herald, to remove the offending remarks.
“We would like to thank the members of the community who reach out to the JBD on a weekly basis with incidents of antisemitism and other displays of racist and offensive behaviour,” JBD CEO Darren Bark told The AJN.
“Fighting hate is not just the effort of one organisation, it is a collective effort by our entire community. We remind the community to remain vigilant against all forms of discrimination and racism, and to report incidents to us as soon as they see one.”
Meanwhile, the JBD – together with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) – held a warm and constructive meeting with University of Sydney vice-chancellor Mark Scott and key members of his leadership team late last month.
In attendance at the meeting were JBD CEO Darren Bark, ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim, AUJS president Natalie Gunn and vice-president Alissa Foster. Also present were chief of staff to the vice-chancellor Darren Goodsir and vice-principal of external relations, Kirsten Andrews.
During the meeting AUJS outlined the current concerns on campus and the JBD reiterated the community’s appreciation in receiving a letter from Scott calling out antisemitism, the BDS movement and the SRC’s recent motion against Israel.
“We discussed the IHRA definition of antisemitism and explored working with the university administration in calling out racism and hate more broadly,” Bark said.
“We have agreed to regular meetings with the university and look forward to ongoing engagement with its leadership.
“The JBD thanks the University of Sydney for its reassurance that Jewish students rightly have a place on campus, and that antisemitism does not belong anywhere in the community, let alone at the University of Sydney. We will continue to fight that scourge whenever and wherever it occurs.”