161014 AJN Uni hosting Israel basher Prof John Dugard



JEWISH leaders have voiced concern over the University of Adelaide’s plans to co-host anti-Israel activist Professor John Dugard, speaking on “Palestine: Is Israel Above the Law?” when he delivers the Edward Said Memorial Lecture this Saturday.

The annual lecture will be jointly presented by the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFPA) and the university’s School of Social Sciences.

Dugard, a South African lawyer and a former Special Rapporteur to the UN Commission on Human Rights, has consistently compared Israel to apartheid-era South Africa.

Criticising the lecture and the role of Adelaide University’s School of Social Sciences in promoting it, B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dvir Abramovich said by co-sponsoring it with AFPA, which supports BDS, “the publicly funded School of Social Sciences creates the impression that they support the campaign against Israel”.

He also condemned Dugard “justifying and absolving Palestinian terrorists of responsibility by comparing their actions to the Europeans who resisted the Nazi occupation”.

Dugard “has accused the IDF of intentionally targeting civilians and has peddled the falsehood that Israel has committed worse crimes than the racist apartheid South African regime”, said Abramovich.

“We urge Adelaide University to avoid lending its good name and offering its seal of approval to such a one-sided event and to a divisive organisation by rescinding its partnership with the lecture and from the effort to delegitimise Israel promoted by AFPA,” he said.

Stating the university’s invitation “reflects very poorly on his hosts”, Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, said Dugard’s “contribution to the delegitimisation of Israel has earned him a seat at the top table of Israel bashers”.

“His brand of anti-Israel international law advocacy might give him notoriety, but not respect from all those who are working for Israeli-Palestinian peace and reconciliation through dialogue and compromise,” he added.

Noting that Dugard “has been actively involved in human rights law for four decades and is renowned for his work as Special Rapporteur to the United Nations”, a university spokesperson told The AJN, “The university of Adelaide is a neutral platform for the debate of many different views, all of which we would like heard with tolerance.”

Read more: https://www.jewishnews.net.au/uni-hosting-israel-basher/56101