The Universities

Anti-Semitism’s Signature Moment

Australian pro-Hamas petitions are swelling to a torrent. For example, “Historians for Palestine” signed by 120 academics, on top of one from 720 academics nationally. That loopy one begins:

As scholars, academics and students in Australia, a settler colony built on the dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, we stand in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for liberation and against Israeli settler colonialism.

There’s old petitions like the journos’ multiple efforts since 2021, the most recent garnering 320 names and continuing to amass new activist signatures. Then there’s is the arty crowd of nearly 4,000 arts “creatives” signing their own effusion.

There is even a ceasefire petition under way from “Current and Former Elected Representatives” at local, state and federal level. It says, “We stand with Palestine, the Palestinian people, including Palestinian Australians and for truth and justice.” This petition blasts Israel for rights “violations” dating to 1948 and “occupation” of Gaza since 1967 via blockades. It has just one weak phrase aboutthe acts of Hamas on 7 October 2023″ requiring investigation. For the real thing on October 7, see here (warning – extremely graphic).

Most sinister of all is the pro-Palestine open letter from 700 Victorian school teachers and staff, as reported today (December 18) in The Australian. The letter says that it is within teachers’ “professional and ethical duty to model an anti-violence position”. They are pressuring federal and state education ministers to advise principals that Palestinian advocacy is in line with the public sector code of conduct. (It isn’t). They claim this is required to “protect children’s and young people’s wellbeing” in regards to Palestine:

Our own students are also witnessing the catastrophic devastation unfold, which will have short and long-term effects on their social, emotional and cultural wellbeing, impeding their capacity to live and learn well,” it says. “In response to the indefensible actions causing catastrophic harm, it is essential for people and governments to take an ethical stand, including those who remain accountable to the responsibility of caring for children and young people.

The Australian quoted Teachers Professional Association of Australia secretary Edward Schuller that the group “vehemently oppose any attempt to push political agendas onto children”.

But the daddy of all rows is convulsing Australia’s top-rated Melbourne University, with 2,050 pro-Hamas staff, students and alumni slugging it out with embattled Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell. His offence was to issue a statement on October 25 correctly blaming the war on the Hamas terrorism of October 7. He called for civilised behaviour at the university “as a diverse, multi-cultural and multi-faith community”. He urged for no anti-Semitism, no Islamophobia and no racism.[1]

The irate petitioners comprise approximately 350 staff, 600 alumni and 1100 students. Staff include five professors and 11 associate professors, along with two alumni professors and one associate professor. Their demand says,

We implore The University of Melbourne to stand on the right side of history by condemning Israel’s genocidal attack against the people of Palestine … From the Holocaust to Rwanda, we often reflect with shock and horror on the genocides of the 20th century and wonder with bewilderment at how the public would accept or even stay silent in the face of such mass atrocities.

We are in this moment again. It is clear that silence and inaction is how attempted genocide was enabled then, and how it is being accepted now. The historical record will show that the students, staff and alumni of The University of Melbourne refused to look away and instead condemned the genocide we are currently witnessing.

They demand Maskell condemn alleged Israeli genocide and cease cooperation with Lockhead (sic) Martin and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They want him to re-write the university’s allegedly pro-Israel definition of anti-Semitism. They want each of the 2050 petition signers to include on their email sign-offs a diatribe against Israel.[2]  Maskell’s letter, by contrast, reads,

I must underscore that, even – and especially – in these awful circumstances, there is no tolerance for inappropriate or threatening behaviour of any kind. Any such instances should be reported immediately to our Safer Community Program where confidential support and advice is available.

One of the values binding our university community is respect for each other as human beings. I appeal to everyone not to add to the distress and anguish of this terrible situation. I ask that we all continue to treat each other with care, compassion and respect.

For the feral academics, Maskell’s civilised stand was anathema because he failed to condemn Israel’s alleged genocide. Within a week they had their counter-message up,. saying Maskell’s piece

…categorically misrepresents the atrocities being committed by the Israeli settler-colonial state against Palestinians in Gaza. Further, it functions to uphold dehumanising and racist discourses about Palestinian People, which furthers Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism and erasure… Maintaining relationships with companies complicit in the ethnic cleansing of the Indigenous people of Palestine cannot co-exist with The University of Melbourne’s stated commitment (as set out in Murmuk Djerring: The University of Melbourne’s Indigenous Strategy) to “confront its colonial past and work towards a future where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, and knowledges are acknowledged and celebrated.

I never like Hitler comparisons, but I wonder if the atmosphere here is now like 1930s Germany, with Jews fearful of going about in public and citizen pitted against citizen. We haven’t had our Kristallnacht yet, just some hostile stickers on Jewish businesses (latter-day versions of “Juden Unerwunscht” or “Jews out!”), mobs doing the genocide chant of “from the river to the sea”, and politicised police standing around with folded arms.

Left-leaning Jewish institutions here — as Vice-Chancellor Maskell might attest — are discovering their “friends” in the green-left-Aboriginal sectors are scorpions. Jewish patrons of Sydney Theatre Company got the message fast. Mark Leibler, of law firm Arnold Bloch Leibler (ABL), has dissociated the firm “in great despair” from the arty-trendy Collingwood Yards precinct — after giving it a million dollars’ of free legal work and substantial cash. The Yards clients were discovered making banners labelling Israelis “dumb white dogs” and worse.

In the rest of this piece I’ll largely pick up on academics morphing from their standard denigration of the Australian success story to outright support for Israel’s extinction. It’s apparent from the petitions that Hamas advocacy goes hand in hand with cloisters peddling historical “truth-telling”, Aboriginal/colonial studies, arts and climate activism and gender-diversity.

I’ve mentioned the academic petition signed by 720 academics of all stripes. Front-runners for signatures are Sydney University, 66 signers; Melbourne, 57; UNSW 55; ANU 51; Western Sydney 34; Queensland 32; Macquarie 29 and Monash 27. This 720-name petition accuses Israel of “crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution and thunders “silence is not an option”:

We call on the Australian government to condemn the state of Israel and its actions, and re-evaluate its current and proposed trade agreements. We also call on the Australian government to suspend its defence cooperation with Israel and halt acquisitions of Israeli military equipment. As scholars, academics and students committed to decolonising knowledge, it is our responsibility to speak up and stand with Palestinians against the forces of colonialism, injustice and inequality and for an immediate cessation of Israeli violence in all its forms.

Another petition, Historians for Palestine, dated December 12, gives 120 names and ranks but their university is not named. Only 14 fail to flash a PhD. The list includes 15 professors and 12 associate professors. Knowing the god-status of professors in departments, promotion-hungry juniors there would best mind their p’s and q’s on Gaza.

My googling of signatories shows no significant history department without its cadre of Israel-haters and indoctrinators of students. To help history lovers avoid them, my tally includes Sydney University historians, 15 names; Melbourne 14; ANU 13; Australian Catholic University a surprising nine; UNSW, Macquarie, Flinders and UTS, six each; and Monash, five. Prominent names I notice are Sydney University’s Hon. Professor John Docker and Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick (I enjoyed her memoir of working in Stalinist archives) and Hon. Professor Ann Curthoys (ditto her writings like “What did you do in the Cold War, Daddy?”). The petition says,

As historians who study – amongst other things – settler-colonialism, genocide, apartheid, gendered and sexed violence, Jewish history, Palestinian history, Israeli history, and more, we say that this breathtaking and heartbreaking violence is unacceptable and must be opposed entirely. We know that the violence did not begin on October 7th, and is a result of long transnational histories of imperialism, colonialism, state violence, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian racism…

We call for the end of the occupation and apartheid, and for lasting and justice-filled freedom for all people living on the land from the river to the sea.

Additionally, our universities in Australia must be places where we have the courage to take up our responsibilities as ethical researchers and teachers: our classrooms must be spaces of historical truth-telling that seek to explain why and how this is happening and support students to express their truths, including through student activism

Our colleagues in Palestine [including Hamas?] have called on us again and again to take action, and so we must. Telling the truth in history – as we know from our experiences in this settler-colony of Australia – is an important act of resistance, and we commit to undertaking this task.(My emphases).

 The historians’ arguments include laughable attempts at evidencing. For example, one para reads:

Life for Palestinians living inside Israel is not easy, as people are arrested for actions as basic as liking a social media post, people are physically injured – with a pregnant woman being murdered – and Palestinian hostages held in Israeli prisons are tortured.

The first link above (“is not easy”) goes to a long December 1 feature from Associated Press[3]. The article is headed, “Wartime Israel shows little tolerance for Palestinian dissent.” It leads with a mistaken arrest of an Arab-Israeli woman whose Instagram post a day after October 7’s massacre included a food picture, the Palestinian flag and “victory” — but she says it was just an ill-timed joke. We are told that police released her without indictment but she lost her jobs. The reporter gives similar sympathy to an arrested Arab-Israeli woman who on massacre day October 7 itself had posted “No victor but God” with an emoji of the Palestinian flag — she claims it was just a peace-loving religious prayer.

♦ The article tallied 270-plus Arab-Israeli citizens arrested for suspected or actual pro-Hamas social postings — a crackdown “on free speech” hardly surprising during an existential war following years of incoming rockets from Gaza. Low in the story is that only about 50 were indicted, while eight Jews were arrested for anti-Arab violence. One Jewish teacher was also arrested and fired for an anti-war Facebook post, the reporter added.

♦ The second link is about a heavily pregnant Arab-Israeli woman being “murdered” by stabbing. The context strongly implies that Israelis did the stabbing. Check the link and learn that the killing led to the domestic-violence arrest of the woman’s Bedouin father and brother.

♦ The third link is about Palestinian “hostages” aka “freedom fighters” being tortured in Israeli jails. (Note that the historians’ petition wants “all hostages and political prisoners” released, a triumph for Hamas). The link goes to a long complaint by an Arab prisoner of miscellaneous bad treatment, with torture deaths alleged concerning six named “martyrs”. For perspective, his complaints include

A policy of rationing has been adopted in providing the prisoners’ needs, including basic hygiene materials such as toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, shampoo, etc. Very limited amounts of these materials are provided from the closed canteen, at the expense of the prisoners. Moreover, prisoners are forbidden from keeping basic cleaning tools, such as brooms and floor squeegees in the cells!

Since October 7, prisoners’ organizational structures inside prisons have also been specifically targeted. Most notably, the prisoners’ struggle committees, national committees, canteen committees, and the representation of political factions and prison wards, have all been dismantled …

Furthermore, the attack against prisoners includes the suspension of family visits in all prisons and the confiscation of televisions, radios, books, pens, notebooks, and all possessions, such as family photos, footwear, clothes — prisoners can keep one change of clothes — in addition to removing access to mirrors, outdoor games, cold water fridges etc.

The historian’s petition preamble begins,

Since early October, we have watched Israel perpetrate attacks of an unprecedented scale on Gaza. Israel has destroyed universities and schoolscultural institutionslibraries, and archives. As historians we know this as an attack on a people’s past, present and future. 

“Since early October” is a bizarre euphemism for the October 7 massacres (Warning, graphic!) Even university historians should know by now that Hamas hides fighters and weapons in normally sacrosanct places and then exploits any civilian casualties for propaganda.

The historians cite Israel’s “murder of over 20,000 people, including more than 6,150 children”. The “murders” tally must necessarily be sourced from Hamas, but the ersatz historians side-step this by referencing the professional-looking site of the Geneva/Gaza/Beirut-based “Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor”. So who are the Euro-Meds? Well, they’re kids! They call themseves a crowd-funded “youth-ledindependent, nonprofit organization” (their emphasis) with 80 per cent of staff being “young people”. Its presumably now inoperative Gazan office is significant as some of the groups’ web-pages are obvious Hamas output. For example, the historians’ 20,000 Israeli “murders” number derives from a Euro-Meds infographic headed “The Israeli Genocide 7 October to 24 November.”

Another Infographic purports to explain the cruelty of the Israeli “blockade” of Gaza since 2006 — coyly ignoring Israel’s voluntary departure from the strip in 2005, and reciting every Israeli military strike and (alleged) civilian-casualty numbers since then. There is no mention that the IDF was responding to thousands of Hamas rockets, plus incursions, kidnaps and other aggressions.[4] I have to wonder if the 15 history professors fact-checked anything at all before signing.

The historians’ message was diabolical, saying

our classrooms must be spaces of historical truth-telling that seek to explain why and how this is happening and support students to express their truths, including through student activism

Recall that last September five Jewish ex-students of Brighton Secondary College won $435,000 damages from the Education Department for years of anti-Semitic taunts and bullying in violation of the Racial Discrimination Act. How much liability will education departments and universities incur in coming years to their Jewish students, now that antisemitism has gone mainstream among student societies, teachers and lecturers?

Meanwhile, the carry-on by the arts community dwarfs even that of the unhinged academics. The Creatives for Palestine ceasefire petition of December 10 has snowballed to nearly 4000 names. It actually starts and ends with the call for genocide of Israel: From the River to the Sea # Always Was Always Will Be.” The arty petitioners call themselves “First Nations and settler migrants of all generations and ancestries and identities”, demand a Hamas-favorable immediate and permanent Gaza ceasefire, and boast that “Our resistance will not be overwritten, censored or ignored.”

We’re here, unified in ‘Australia’, a colonised country built on the genocide and dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation from colonialism, apartheid & ethnic cleansing

Shame on institutions that make moral compromises in preference for coddling their donors and subscribers. We refuse to be ushered into silent complicity.

Whether graceful, justifiably angry, digital or live— it is increasingly clear that to stand for the right for Palestinians to live liberated and safe, is not only punishable but must be apologised for. The show mustn’t go on as usual when people are being massacred. From The River To The Sea. Always Was Always Will Be.

Many of the petitions make reference to the war’s deaths of journos and media workers, now totalling 64. Nearly all were either targeted or collateral victims of Israeli strikes. The fatalities data is from tracker Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which noted the IDF refuses to guarantee journalists’ safety in Gaza. CPJ classifies all the journalists as civilians. Whether Hamas-affiliated journalists are civilians or part of terrorist infrastructure is a moot point — Hamas’ key weapon is its propaganda feed to gullible Western media such as the ABC. It would be surprising if the IDF views Hamas media staff as civilians rather than targets. To give you the idea, the CPJ list cites a couple of dozen such people, including

♦ Mohamed Nabil Al-Zaq, “a social media manager for the Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV

♦ Abdelhalim Awad, “A Palestinian media worker and driver for the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV

♦ Yahya Abu Manih, “A journalist with Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa radio channel

♦ Duaa Sharaf, “Palestinian journalist, host for the Hamas-affiliated Radio Al-Aqsa

♦ Jamal Al-Faqaawi, “a Palestinian journalist for the Islamic Jihad-affiliated Mithaq Media Foundation” and

♦ Several journalists affiliated with Hezbollah.

However the Gaza war proceeds, the civil unrest in Australia is of a dimension not seen since the (failed) 1951 Communist dissolution referendum and the Vietnam uproar. Never in our history have so many Australians sided with such a death cult as Hamas and its overwhelming majority of Palestinian supporters. Heaven help us.

Tony Thomas’s new book from Connor Court is Anthem of the Unwoke – Yep! The other lot’s gone bonkers. $34.95 from Connor Court here

[1] Dr Maskell’s stand is so admirable that I now apologise for sending him up as “Dr Masculine” in a piece about adopting road-kill mains for Melbourne University banquets.

[2] A change from Melbourne University emails’ current sign-off about

traditional Owners of the unceded land on which we work, learn and live: the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong peoples, the Yorta Yorta Nation and the Dja Dja Wurrung people (etc).

[3] The same once-respected news agency that grabbed a $US8 million payola last year from leftist billionnaires to boost its climate coverage

[4] For example: 10 May 2021  Israel launches an 11-day attack on Gaza, killing 254 Palestinians [how many were fighters?], including 66 children, and injuring 1,948 others. 9 May 2023 – Israel launches a 5-day military campaign on Gaza, leaving 33 Palestinians killed, including 6 children and 3 women.


45 thoughts on “Anti-Semitism’s Signature Moment

  • DougD says:

    “Life for Palestinians living inside Israel is not easy, as people are arrested for actions as basic as liking a social media post, people are physically injured – with a pregnant woman being murdered “, say the Australian university historians. The pregnant Zoe Buhler wasn’t murdered. Just arrested, handcuffed in front of her children and carted off to Ballarat watch house by a mob of Victoria Police. The police then continued their intimidation of Buhler for a year or so before dropping the incitement charge. Not a murmur from the Australian university historians.

  • Blair says:

    “…a settler colony built on the dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ”
    No Torres Strait Islanders were dispossessed (or had their children “stolen”).

  • lbloveday says:

    If you are paywalled at The Australian (They claim this is required to “protect children’s and young people’s wellbeing” in regards to Palestine:), try this link:

  • Tony Thomas says:

    While I expected Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to show anti-Israel credentials, I am wrong. I just got a marketing email from managing director Dr Sophie Malaise which included,
    Concert For Humanity 2024

    With a dedicated concert in the first part of 2024, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and its audience will call for the release of all Israeli hostages, and for the protection of the Palestinian and Israeli civilian population.

    The human suffering in the Middle East continues relentlessly. In the wake of the murderous attack by Hamas on Israel on 7 October 2023, and amidst a humanitarian crisis of devastating proportions in Gaza, more than a hundred hostages kidnapped from Israel are still held captive. Their lives, as well as those of civilians in Gaza and in Israel, are in danger.

    With this dedicated concert, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will seek to set an example by calling for the release of all hostages and for the protection of all civilians. #

  • Ceres says:

    The raw footage 43 mins from Hamas terrorists’ body cams (and there’s a lot more) needs to be shown on mainstream TV with warning. The whole world needs to see it.
    Chris Cuomo an avowed US leftie journalist tv anchor saw this 43 mins raw footage and was shocked at the pure evil of what Hamas did. Israelis were burnt alive, women raped and murdered with their legs distorted, and their bodies then mutilated as they celebrated doing it. Cuomo had a road to Damascus moment.
    There’s no shared middle ground in Australia. You’re either good or bad. Left hates right and obsesses over extreme societal change. The mindless media, academics and celebs are captured. Now they’re. working on indoctrinating the mindless plebs.

  • cbattle1 says:

    Tony: You have translated “Jews Out!” as “Juden Unerwunscht”, but wouldn’t it have been more likely that “Juden Raus!” was the phrase shouted?
    The problem with these historian academics is that they don’t study history impartially, in order to learn, rather, they approach history with a pre-conceived Leftist ideology, and therefore interpret history so as to support their ideology.
    The main difference between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Israel, is that the latter was created specifically for Jews, as the majority, and is intended to be the homeland of all Jews in the world. With the C of A, no race, religion or ethnicity was stated as to constitute the national population or identity. Asian migration was restricted, and that was to protect the wages and conditions of the working class, which were among the highest in the world.

    • Citizen Kane says:

      Absolute Rubbish – Australia was commenced as a penal colony with all arrivals subjects of the British Crown, who in turn was the head of the Church of England. Swearing allegiance to one, was in effect swearing allegiance to both. Australia was less multicultural in 1850 than Israel is today, approximately 70 years after the commencement of both states. Australia, maintained a ‘white Australia’ policy well into the 20th century. Both a legitimate states, the only difference being that an Australian Aboriginal has a genuine historical claim to indigeneity to all of the Australian landmass that the Palestinian does not credibly have from the ‘river to the sea’.

      • cbattle1 says:

        The Commonwealth of Australia became a sovereign nation in 1901, and the State of Israel in 1948. There is nothing in the constitution of the former that declares it to be a nation of and for Anglo-Celtic people, whereas the latter specifies that it is to be a Jewish State, and a homeland for all Jews, therefore it is a nation based on race and religion.

        • Citizen Kane says:

          Passing strange then that there has been 100 Arab members of the Knesset since it’s inception in 1949 including arabs in that first parliament and 10 current Arab members of the Knesset along with Arabs and all racial creeds throughout the upper echelons of Israeli society. Your assessment is simply tainted by your inherent anti-semitism. The Commonwealth of Australia still swears allegiance to the British crown and the Church of England. Your moral relativism falls in a heap yet again.

          • cbattle1 says:

            So, you are right and anyone who doesn’t agree with you is wrong? It would be helpful to learn the source or genesis of your moral absolutism, which leads you to attack others for their “inherent anti-semitism”. Might not we assume, by the application of simple logic, that your moral absolutism stems from an inherent Judeophilia?

            • Citizen Kane says:

              Believe me, it doesn’t take genius to call out your glaring hypocrisy.

              • cbattle1 says:

                Believe you? On what basis should anyone believe what you say? On what factual basis or grounds do you call out my “glaring hypocrisy”? Who made you the judge of others? What makes you attack and vilify anyone who holds an opinion contrary to what you you believe? Perhaps that is the “virtue” of moral absolutism or is it the God-given gift of infallibility? Are these virtues and gifts not the qualities and distinctions of an authoritarian dictator? These of course are rhetorical questions.

              • pgang says:

                Socialist troll; disengage.

        • Paul W says:

          While it is true that the Constitution does not expressly state those things, it is the case that the Constitution itself is a constitution for a British-Australian and Christian community. The federating fathers knew nothing else. Israel has no constitution and in this way is no different – except that Israel is proud to be Jewish and Australia is ashamed to be Australian.

  • ianl says:

    ” … politicised police standing around with folded arms”
    Still happening, all round the country. The police will attack anyone they are told to, and “monitor” anyone else. Well armed to deal with old ladies on park benches they are.
    Old saying: Govts first take all the guns, then try to extract most of the money. Powerlust is the point.

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    Thank you again for your referenced research. If only others were as careful, we might not have this disgusting display of multicultural-induced hate by these academics in Australia.
    I am 5th generation Australian. I do not want the generations-old conflicts of other countries imported here. Back in 1964, I winced at this pertinent Tom Lehrer song:
    What we feared then has happened now. Yet we citizens have had no say in the immigration policies that are inflicting these hate cells upon us. In modern style, the officials pushing out-of-control hostility import do not stand up to be seen or to debate or to open the path for feedback.
    Please keep shining a bright light on ignorance. Geoff S

  • Paul W says:

    What is most important for Australians, which is only hinted at here, is that these academics are also responsible for Australian history and education.
    If they can be so wrong about Israel vs Hamas, which is a simple matter, then how much more must they be wrong about Australian history, which is far more complex.
    These idiots should never be trusted ever again about anything.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    Here is an excellent piece of satire from Israeli TV that tells the truth about Hamas.
    Share it widely.

  • Citizen Kane says:

    ‘As scholars, academics and students in Australia, a settler colony built on the dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, we stand in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for liberation and against Israeli settler colonialism.’
    Well then if the above signatories had any personal integrity whatsoever, they would pack up their belongings and catch the first plane out of Australia ensuring they gifted their freehold property to first person claiming Aboriginality that they could find.

  • Paul W says:

    Not to mention the fact that the Jewish people are indigenous not the Arabs.

    • cbattle1 says:

      Now that you’ve mentioned the fact, are you saying that Jews are indigenous to the subject land, in the same manner as Australian Aboriginals are indigenous to Australia; that Jews have lived there for 60,000+ years with an unchanged and continuous culture? Even the Torah contradicts that suggestion.

      • Paul W says:

        Your response does not make sense. Being indigenous does not mean being an Aboriginal and neither does it mean being like the Aborigines.
        Israel was a nation that emerged after the Bronze Age collapse. It does not appear to have an external origin or connection. It is therefore literally indigenous. Nothing to do with 60,000 years.

        • cbattle1 says:

          Paul W: Perhaps some clarification is needed to make my response more sensible: Firstly, the words “indigenous” and “aboriginal” essentially mean the same thing, as they both derive from the same Latin origin. The word “Aboriginal”, with a capital “A”, has come to be used as the name for the indigenous people of Australia, although we may expect that it could be replaced in the future by an indigenous word, as per the Aboriginalisation political process.
          I am fully alive to the fact that there were ancient cultures of Hebrew speaking peoples in the subject area, and at various times their distinct polities were in existence, such as Judea, Israel and Samaria. The Torah gives a mythical origin of the Israelites as stemming from a man called Abram and his wife Sarah, who came from “Ur of the Chaldees”, an ancient city that used to be a port on the Persian Gulf. The Torah also gives a genealogy of Abram, tracing his ancestry back to the Sixth Day of the Universe’s Creation!
          Returning now to reality, archaeological evidence strongly indicates that the Hebrew culture evolved in situ from the semitic people of Canaan, as the subject area was then known.
          The relevance of my response is the question as to whether the people of today’s world that identify as “Jews” living in the State of Israel can be described as being “indigenous” people. Certainly the majority of today’s Jewish Israeli citizens have either migrated there themselves, or are descendants of those who immigrated in the last 100 or so years. Arab predominance in the subject area dates back almost 1,400 years, to when the Byzantine Christians were overthrown, although control of the area shifted several times during the various Crusades.
          A curious question arises as to the Jews that were living in the subject area at the time of the Arab/Muslim conquest. Given that they were same “race” as the Arabs, they may well have greeted their Abrahamic “cousins” as liberators delivering them from the oppressive rule of the Christian Byzantine Empire, and allowing them once again to access the Temple Mount. Was Mohammed perceived as the long awaited Messiah? Given that there would have been no Jewish religious organisation or structure existing under Byzantine rule to enforce orthodoxy and maintain religious observance, it is highly probable that most of the Jews of Palestine readily became converts to Islam! If that be the case, then, paradoxically, today’s Palestinian Arabs have more of a claim to being indigenous than the people identifying as Israeli Jews!

          • Paul W says:

            Indigenous and aboriginal are not the same thing at all. Indigenous is when a people originate in a place; aboriginal is when a people have been there from before the time of written records or are the original inhabitants of a place.
            You accept that Ancient Israel was indigenous. So far so good.
            Modern Israeli Jews, being Jewish, are indigenous by definition. If you are asking about personal ancestry, then there is no particular reason to believe they are not the descendants of ancient Jews. The statement that they immigrated in the past 100 years or so is technically true but serves to obscure their unique historical connection. Furthermore, there were always Jews who remained in the Land; these are incontestably indigenous.
            Ancient Jews and Arabs were rivals, not cousins from the same race. Jews did not think Mohammed was a messiah: he was a Jew-hater. Even if the people converted willingly, which they didn’t, then they became part of a different people and lost their indigeneity, which is not a racial status and therefore doesn’t get passed on forever for no reason. Even if they somehow are still indigenous, they would have only got that status by virtue of their connection to Ancient Israel. So the comparison of Palestinian Arabs with Aborigines is still completely wrong and just Leftist ignorance.

            • cbattle1 says:

              Whew! A lot to unpack there! Arguing who is the more indigenous of peoples is not a helpful exercise, and it necessarily falls into the racist trope of “Blood and Soil” underpinned by “Divine Right”.
              You have written: “So the comparison of Palestinian Arabs with Aborigines is still completely wrong and just Leftist ignorance.” Presumably you have thought that I was saying that Palestinian Arabs were an analogy of Australian Aborigines in relation to indigeneity? If so, well, no I was not.
              You have asserted: “Ancient Jews and Arabs were rivals, not cousins from the same race. Jews did not think Mohammed was a messiah: he was a Jew-hater.” 
              According to the Biblical story, Abram’s first son was named Ishmael, and he became the progenitor of the Arabs. Abram’s (now called Abraham) second son was named Isaac, and he became the progenitor of the Jews. I think describing the two nations as “cousins” is reasonable, at least on that basis. As far as Ancient Jews and Arabs being rivals, that would apply to all nations within the “Fertile Crescent” of ancient times, at one time or another.
              Your statement: “Jews did not think Mohammed was a messiah: he was a Jew-hater.”, appears to belie a prejudice against Mohammed, and doesn’t really address the issues and points I raised. Is there any evidence that the Jews freed from the oppressive rule of the Byzantines, and now free to pray on the Temple Mount, would not have perceived their liberators as an answer to their long and fervent prayers, and the Prophet that inspired that liberation would not have been perceived as the Messiah? What evidence is there that the Jews were confronted by Arab hatred?
              The Koran does venerate the Jews as being the “People of the Book”, but the Koran also charges Jews with the killing of Allah’s/God’s Prophets, and of “arguing amongst themselves”. The Christian Bible also condemns the Jews (the Pharisees and teachers of Moses’s Law) for killing the Prophets in Matthew 23. Christians long held an enmity towards Jews for killing Jesus and the earlier Prophets of God, but I am unaware that such collective condemnation was held among the Muslims toward the Jews.
              Below I have set out some thoughts regarding the application of the name “indigenous” vs “aboriginal”, as it pertains to the subject land:

              The problem comes down to the definition of those two words: indigenous and aboriginal. Without getting bogged down in semantic etymology, it would appear that neither word is relevant here, because putting a label on something or giving it a definition, does not determine what that something actually is! For example, a google search for the word “aboriginal” first returned a definition (Merriam-Webster), and also included synonyms, which included “indigenous”. Relevantly, I have reproduced those synonyms with their definitions below:
              ” Choose the Right Synonym for aboriginal
              NATIVE, INDIGENOUS, ENDEMIC, ABORIGINAL mean belonging to a locality.
              NATIVE implies birth or origin in a place or region and may suggest compatibility with it.
              (native tribal customs)
              INDIGENOUS applies to that which is not only native but which, as far as can be determined, has never been introduced or brought from elsewhere.
              (indigenous plants)
              ENDEMIC implies being peculiar to a region.
              (a disease endemic in Africa)
              ABORIGINAL implies having no known others preceding in occupancy of a particular region.
              (the aboriginal peoples of Australia)”
              As per the definitions above, within the history as set out by “The Book” (Torah), Jews could not be described as either indigenous or aboriginal.
              Archaeological evidence suggests that the Hebrew culture (not “race”) evolved from within the indigenous Semitic Canaanite people. So, as far as the facts will allow, we can agree that ancient Hebrew culture, is indigenous to the subject area, but that culture is not aboriginal, as it evolved from the pre-existing people, and the Hebrews were hard to distinguish, archeologically, from their Canaanite brothers and sisters, as dwellings excavated and identified as being Hebrew, also contained idols of Canaanite household gods.
              But what is of relevance is whether people who identify as Jews living today in the State of Israel can be described as being “indigenous”. Clearly, there is no empirical evidence to link any person of Jewish identity today with their supposed ancient ancestors in Biblical Palestine or earlier.
              You say: “Modern Israeli Jews, being Jewish, are indigenous by definition.” That is a novel supposition which finds little support in the real world. By your definition, If I was to convert to Judaism, and proceed to became a resident citizen of Israel, I would then be an indigenous person! I suppose by the same way Bruce Pascoe is defined as an indigenous person?
              According to the Apostle Paul, in Romans 2:29 and thereabouts, one can become a Jew, one of God’s people, by the “circumcision of the heart”, which occurs when one accepts Jesus Christ as their personal saviour. By this reckoning, a Christian is to be be counted as an indigenous person if living within the State of Israel?
              Clearly indigeneity is a rather rubbery concept, and can be stretched to fit any argument, and therefore is of no relevance to today’s political realities in the subject area, and certainly cannot be used to determine whether one group of people have a more legitimate title to a land than another group.

              • Paul W says:

                The Left are stupidly trying to claim that Israel is colonial and the Palestinian Arabs are like the Aborigines. Whatever else we can say, we should be able to agree that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about colonialism.

                I agree that the concept of indigeneity is slippery and not useful. But since it can be useful in certain circumstances, we should apply it correctly. The Nation of Israel as per your definition is an indigenous nation. It originated there without appearing to have an external origin.

                The evidence supporting Israeli Jews being indigenous is that they have spoken Hebrew continuously, they have practiced Judaism continuously, and they have read the Bible (Israel’s literature) continuously, all for 2-3000 years. They in general consider themselves to be continuing this ancient culture non-stop.

                The question about conversion to Judaism shows a misunderstanding about indigeneity that you have picked up from Australia. A group can be indigenous; a person can’t be indigenous except insofar as they are a member of the group. The Jewish people are indigenous and consequently if you converted you would be entitled to all the rights as every other Jew. Christianity is a religion not a people.

                Your comments about Islam appear like Islamic preaching. Jews don’t want to be ruled by either Christians or Muslim invaders. Muhammad hated Jews and didn’t like them. Muhammad killed many Jews and there are many Hadith that showed his prejudice. The Muslims might have been preferable to Byzantines but they themselves persecuted Jews. They would not have been considered liberators and their prophet was never considered a messiah to Jews. The Arabs and the Jews were considered not just to be rivals in the generic sense, but unusually hostile from the A to the J.
                “The Arabs and Syrians, serving in a war that was not the concern of their own nation, began by indulging their passions in an undisciplined fashion, and ended by letting Romans take the blame for their bloodthirsty butchery and their hatred for the Jews;”

  • Libertarian says:

    My goodness, the more you read about the corruption of the academy, the more you understand how close we came to the bullet of ‘The Voice’.

    The worst part is the realisation that if the trade unions lose the next election, we’ll be getting Matt Kean, John Pesutto and Jeremy Rockliff.

    I’m sorry but the conservative vote needs to hold its nose and help the Libertarians to majority government, with numbers in the senate, they can always split after the first couple of terms.

  • call it out says:

    “the right side of history “…whenever I see this I instinctively recoil.
    In history, there is the continuing search for truth, and it is a long and never ending road. Though there is progress made, and there are definitely dead ends and wrong turns.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    One certainly has to admire Dr. Maskell, VC of the University of Melbourne, for trying to maintain an intellectual and civilised atmosphere on this issue at his university, and not incidentally, keep it as a safe place still for Jewish students and anyone who opposes the tyranny of tenured leftism on display in the various petitions that abound from senior staff and their acolytes. These petitions will stand in the future not as a testament to the humanity and rightness of the cause they espouse, as they tendentiously claim, but as the nadir of Australian intellectual dishonesty. Thank you Tony Thomas for forensically analysing some of the arrogant self-serving falsities and fabrications these works contain and alerting Australians beyond these miserable places of misinformation regarding the cruel deceptions and untruths our children are being served up as historical analysis. Poor fellow my country. We are being served up the 1930’s all over again, yet the merry dancers of the blinkered left have not even the wit to see it.


    It is a matter of grave concern that there are so many bent thinkers among us. If they percieve that you don’t hate the Jews as they do then they hate you as well. This is fast becoming the new 1930’s NAZI Germany. As a spiritual descendant of Abraham I’m not Jewish by birth but I am Jewish by stance.

  • wdr says:

    cbattle1 and others should be aware that in the Constitution of every Arab state, with the sole exception of Lebanon, Islam is the officially established religion of those states. Islam is also the officially established religion of the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. According to the PA’s Constitution the two other monotheistic religions are tolerated, but apparently non-monotheistic religions like Hinduism and Buddhism are not. William Rubinstein.

    • Mike says:

      “Christians are the worst of creatures, who will abide in the Fire of Hell”

      Quran 98:6

      • cbattle1 says:

        Indeed, in the link you provided, it identifies “the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)” as the ones to be thrown into the Fires of Hell, but it of course explains why that is. One would hope your comment was not intended to evoke Islamophobia. God forbid!

    • cbattle1 says:

      wdr: I am certainly well aware that most Arab nations declare that the established religion is Islam, and of course likewise is the case in Iran and Pakistan, and presumably other nations with Muslim majorities, and that is exactly why I have drawn attention to the religious and ethnic nature of the Israeli State, so that it can be understood what genre or classification of national state it belongs within. Until I saw your comment, I had presumed that readers understood the point I was making, but apparently that is not the case.

  • Lonsdale says:

    Tony, are any Australian companies refusing to hire anti-Semitic graduates?

  • en passant says:

    It is hard to come to a negotiated settlement when one side (Hamas) just wants the other side dead -period.

  • en passant says:

    A comment on cloistered academia in general:
    At University in 1973, I was using this knowledge to write an essay as part of an elective. Unfortunately, I found that free thought, independent research of texts not on the curriculum, private science projects and challenging the orthodoxy was not welcomed. To obtain a “C” pass I reluctantly followed the party line. Shamefully, my scepticism was dormant as I had also become persuaded that such knowledgeable people, who spent their lives studying such things and with so many degrees, titles and accolades to their names must know better, otherwise they would have been proven wrong by other equally brilliant minds. Right?
    Yes, we were taught that the consensus mandated with absolute certainty that the next Ice Age was due in twenty years and the world was doomed. After all it was a proven fact in tables, graphs, mathematical formulae and new-fangled computer models that the world would be uninhabitable by the Year 2000 (not ‘2012’ as the Mayans calculated in their apocalyptic calendar) as the North Atlantic would be frozen over for 3 – 4 months a year, Britain would resemble northern Russia and the English Channel would be issuing iceberg warnings. With so little time left it was hardly worth going on and finishing my degree, really … Maybe best to just party.’
    Attending University was an awful disillusionment, but I learned a lot; such as only an academic could believe really stupid ideas. They were generally ignorant about anything and everything outside the pinhead of their specialist knowledge and, the crème de la crème, they had less morality or ethical courage than the average person.

    • David Isaac says:

      Reading the article, it seems her comments were rather mild, although she did refer to ending the seventy-five year occupation of Palestine, which could be interpreted as a call to abolish the State of Israel. I think it was likely this which forced the ABC’s hand. In an ideal world she would be working for Al-Jazeera.

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