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Australian campaign: BDS is neither `racist` nor `antisemitic`
DEFEND ACADEMIC FREEDOM!

SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO TAKE NON-VIOLENT POLITICAL ACTION!

Dear Friends,
Earlier this year, Australians for Boycotts Divestments and Sanctions was formed
in response to the threats of litigation by the Israeli law centre, Shurat HaDin
against Professor Jake Lynch and Dr Stuart Rees for their support for boycotts,
divestment and sanctions against Israel until it abides by international law and
human rights.

In August, we invited people to show their support by signing a letter endorsing
the non-violent tactic of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel and
committing to join with Jake and Stuart as co-defendants in any case brought
against them. This has now been signed by nearly 4,000 people.
https://www.change.org/petitions/defend-free-speech-and-human-rights-and-
support-the-bds

The Shurat HaDin now has taken its case, against Professor Jake Lynch only, to
the Federal Court of Australia. We are seeking additional support for a stand on
the broader issue of academic freedom and the right to take peaceful, legal
political action.

We urge academics in particular to sign the following letter with a view to
publication. Please send your responses to australians4bds@gmail.com


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SUPPORT LETTER FOR PROFESSOR JAKE LYNCH AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM

We the undersigned consider academic freedom to be a fundamental value in all
our educational institutions.
We understand that Professor Jake Lynch from the Centre for Peace and Conflict
Studies, at the University of Sydney, refused to sign his name as a reference
for Dan Avnon`s application for a Hebrew University University of Sydney
Fellowship. In other words, Prof. Lynch refused to support an institutional
relationship with an Israeli university that is deeply complicit in violations
of human rights and international law.

The Hebrew University has part of its campus built on illegally confiscated
Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem; it has close links with the Israel
military and arms manufacturer Elbit, and is complicit in several other ways in
maintaining the Israeli regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid.

Prof. Lynch refused to support Dan Avnons application on the basis that Dan
Avnon was acting as an official representative of the Hebrew University in
seeking to take advantage of the official institutional relationship between the
Hebrew University and the University of Sydney. Jake Lynch did not target Dan
Avnon as an individual academic, nor did he reject collaboration with Avnon
because of Avnons religion, ethnicity, affiliation or origin. We do not endorse
boycotting individual academics based on their ethnicity, religion, political
principles or affiliation. We note also that Dan Avnon is not an applicant in
the legal action against Jake Lynch.

We uphold Prof. Lynchs freedom of speech, academic freedom, and right to
exercise his conscience in refusing to deal with an academic institution that
violates international law. Many academics similarly refused to engage with
South African universities during apartheid. A unanimous ruling in 2004 of the
worlds highest authority on international law, the International Court of
Justice, established the illegality of Israel`s occupation of Palestinian
territory. This illegality is confirmed by a range of acknowledged experts. The
International Court of Justice ruling also established that other states are
obligated not to recognise nor support Israels breaches of international law.

We also condemn the actions of the foreign agency, Shurat HaDin, whose director
admits to taking direction from the Israeli government on who to prosecute in
their cases and which has deep connections with Israeli intelligence services.
We condemn this law firms attempts to silence Professor Lynch in the Australian
Human Rights Commission and in the Australian Federal Court by claiming that his
actions contravene the Racial Discrimination Act.

We abhor foreign political interference in the democratic right of an Australian
academic to hold opinions that are critical of the State of Israel.

We consent to having our name/s published in support of Professor Jake Lynch.

Name:
Position:
Institution:
Date:

PLEASE EMAIL YOUR SUPPORT LETTER TO: australians4bds@gmail.com


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To those who have already signed the original letter committing to be a co-
defendant, we express our deepest thanks. We ask you to sign this letter also.

For those who did not sign the earlier letter, we hope you can sign this one for
academic freedom. If you can now consider committing to be a co-defendant as
well, so much the better. Go to https://www.change.org/petitions/defend-free-
speech-and-human-rights-and-support-the-bds

Please send your support for academic freedom to australians4bds@gmail.com

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY TO YOUR NETWORKS ESPECIALLY TO ACADEMICS

With thanks,

Dr Stuart Rees
Dr Peter Slezak
Paul Duffill
for
Australians for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions
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