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Sydney University 'peace centre' rebuffs Israeli teacher

THE Sydney University's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, which has thrown its support behind controversial Palestinian leaders, has cited its boycott of Israel for refusing to help an Israeli civics teacher who has designed programs for both Jewish and Arab children.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem academic Dan Avnon is credited with developing and implementing the only state program in civics written for joint Jewish-Arab high schools.

lynch
He approached the head of the Sydney University centre, Jake Lynch, for assistance with studying civics education in Australia under a fellowship agreement between the two institutions.

But Associate Professor Lynch rebuffed the request, citing the centre's support for the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The centre helped establish the Sydney Peace Foundation, which awards the Sydney Peace Prize. Past recipients include the controversial 
student
Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi.

The centre's website says it "promotes interdisciplinary research and teaching on the causes of conflict and the conditions that affect conflict resolution and peace".
 
Professor Avnon contacted Associate Professor Lynch, expressing interest in spending time at the centre and meeting him.

Associate Professor Lynch emailed in reply: "Your research sounds interesting and worthwhile. However, we are supporters of the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, and that includes the call for an academic boycott of Israeli universities."

The BDS movement explicitly equates the Jewish state with apartheid-era South Africa. The campaign was started in 2005 by 171 Palestinian non-governmental organisations as a form of "non-violent punitive measures" against Israel until it "complies with the precepts of international law".

The BDS campaign has included protests outside the Max Brenner chain of coffee shops, which are Israeli-owned. The boycott was led in Australia by Greens council members in Sydney's inner-west, including former Marrickville mayor Fiona Byrne, whose council voted to support the boycott in 2010.
Danby-Brenner
It was dropped after widespread criticism from the federal and state governments, business leaders and the Jewish community.

In 2003 the awarding of the Sydney Peace Prize to Dr Ashrawi provoked fierce debate and protests, arising from her role as a Palestinian spokesperson in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli hard-liners loathe Dr Ashrawi, branding her a propagandist and an apologist for terrorism.

Professor Avnon - who has written on moving beyond the Jewish-Palestinian divide to develop a new sense of citizenship in Israel - said of the centre's decision: "I find it ironic that you promote a policy of boycott that does not distinguish one individual from another. It is ironic because, like myself, many (probably most) intellectuals and scholars in relevant fields are doing our best to effect change in Israeli political culture. We pay prices for going against the institutional grain. And then we turn around and meet such a 'blind to the person' policy."

Professor Avnon continued: "One common tendency that must be changed if we ever want to live sane lives is to debunk categorical and stereotypical thinking when dealing with human beings." He received no response from Associate Professor Lynch.

University of Sydney vice-chancellor Michael Spence rejected a call from Associate Professor Lynch in 2009 to cut links with the Hebrew University and a second Israeli institution, the Technion, in the city of Haifa. "I do not consider it appropriate for the university to boycott academic institutions in a country with which Australia has diplomatic relations," he wrote in response at the time. A spokesman for Dr Spence said his position had not changed.

The spokesman said Associate Professor Lynch was "entitled to express a public opinion where it falls under his area of expertise", but added, "on this particular matter he does not speak for the school, the faculty or for the university".

The Australian was unable to contact Associate Professor Lynch yesterday.

Professor Avnon said he had received "heart-warming, collegial and positive responses" from other staff at Sydney University. "I look forward to associating with them and learning from and through them about Australia's policies in civic education and other issues," he said.

# reads: 2085

Original piece is http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/sydney-university-peace-centre-rebuffs-israeli-civics-teacher/story-e6frgcjx-1226530838896


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The article to which you refer is one of John Lyons' better articles. Oslo is not in "death throes". It is not mostly dead but “slightly alive”. It was blown into smithereens by Arafat's suicide bombers i 13 years ago. The only thing that is its death throes is US diplomatic denial about the unworkable two state solution. Now that plan is as realistic as a Salvador Dali painting. All of Obama’s horses and men will not be able to put Humpty together again. This is the conclusion that the Arab Winter/Hamas are leading Foggy Bottom. The Australian is being quite open minded and professional recently. Save your outrage for Chateau Fairfax and THEIR ABC which is paid for with your taxes. The Lynch Avnon affair gets no mention there.

Posted by Ymr on 2012-12-09 06:33:54 GMT


http://socialistdystopia.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/they-are-same-decadent-atavistic-fading.html Regards Geoff S

Posted by Geoff Seidner on 2012-12-09 05:48:37 GMT


Avnon whines like a rejected lover. He is hurt because he is rejected by those with whom he identifies. That rejection is something that ought to make him rethink his allegiences. The racist attitude to a Jew, for no other reason than that he is a Jew, is something that everyone should think about, especially the university administration. Neither factor should be ignored. And, yes, the Uni of Syd has a position regarding the boycott; it rejected the notion when it was put. It now needs to put down the boycott putter.

Posted by paul2 on 2012-12-07 10:14:37 GMT


Has Sydney University taken an official position in terms of the boycott of Israeli academia?

Posted by Brian on 2012-12-07 08:53:53 GMT


According to website, Sydney University pays Lynch's salary

Posted by Ymr on 2012-12-07 08:30:13 GMT


Jake Lynch does not address the specifics of Mr. Avnon's published positions. Nor is Mr. Avnon's actual political leaning the issue here or even been exposed. Avnon has been rejected on the basis of being a professor of Hebrew University, and thus an target for Mr. Lynch's blatant discrimination, while Lynch has a mandate as associate professor of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, and represents Sydney Univ. That is the issue we are addressing and the issue that Sydney Univ should be addressing.

Posted by Brian on 2012-12-07 08:28:56 GMT


Instead of decrying Lynch's lynching of Avnon, we should thank him for the lesson he has given him and us; in the end, however progressive you are, if you do not unreservedly join the haters, then you become part of the hated and you can become that anyway when the haters win. This was a teachable moment for Avnon and it might help him to grow up and appraise the side with which he allies himself in a mature manner. Lynch the hater has no place in any establishment devoted to expanding the intellect in the spirit of the enlightenment. He has taken over a faculty devoted to indoctrination, the very antithesis of developing young minds. His gang if Galtung groupies is obviouly antisemitic; he refuses to have an academic sympathetic to his stance for no reason other than that that person is polluted by his Jewishness and therefore his hate must be suspect. He runs a gang previously headed by Rees whose contribution to peace was his line of peace with justice, a sure recipe for conflict, after all even Hitler felt his actions were justified.The interesting points are why the university tolerates a mob like the war is peace group within its wall, especially when its actions run counter university policy and the university's spirit of learning. The second point of interest is why the Jewish leadership is so open minded in standing up for academic freedom when it is used to indoctrinate hate against us. Being so open minded that one's brains have fallen out is not a good road to survival.

Posted by paul2 on 2012-12-07 07:27:08 GMT


Sydney Uni is badly (probably terminally)infected by the Palestinian Lobby. I approached the "Sydney Peace Foundation" (via the internet)and asked them why they continually gave their "Sydney Peace Prize" to high profile haters of Israel, thus giving a lie to the term "peace". They refused to acknowledge my comments at all. I suppose the truth hurts. It's amazing how all this rabid ultra left wing nonsense so easily finds favour with these academics. Having a brain doesn't mean humans can't be astonishingly stupid and arrogant at the same time.

Posted by Rick Veneer on 2012-12-07 04:36:29 GMT


Dear YMR Sorry if I mildly upset you: my capitalization seems to denote shouting - whereas it was in my modus, simply intended to stand out. and the ###### signs? This is done to separate paragraphs - keeping in mind the limitations of this wonderful blog #################################################### We indeed see Avnon the same way - and indeed it makes Lynch's outrage even worse. ################################################## However I have a mind to take Avnon to task as to whether he still holds the same idyllic views of those who are plainly our mortal enemies - and supporters of same - as he had before this fracas! And - whether he realizes how pathetic he may appear to those who are not of the soft - left. Something gentle: he may be amenable to change! ######################################################## This blog is inimical to prolix discussions. You are welcome to contact me on geoffseidner@gmail.com and I may be able to send you matters of material import. I wish you well. Geoff

Posted by Geoff Seidner on 2012-12-07 02:51:56 GMT


Geoff, you don't need to shout with CAPITAL letters or long lines with # symbols. I read the Kerr article to the end that I concluded that Dan Avnon is secular, non nationalistic etc etc. So what? Lynch rejects Dan Avnon because of his association with Hebrew U despite calling the work "interesting and worthwhile" . I prefer to apply Jewish achut (unity) in this case to rebuff Lynch's misuse of public funds for raw bigotry. I see the blame the victim ploy as unproductive and actually stemming from internalised appeasement.

Posted by Ymr on 2012-12-07 02:23:04 GMT


DEAR YMR ##################################################RE DAN AVNON: AS I WROTE HE IS NO FRIEND OF ISRAEL:: KINDLY NOTE REMARKS ATTRIBUTED TO AVNON IN THE ORIGINAL C KERR ARTICLE##################################################### ::Professor Avnon - who has written on moving beyond the Jewish-Palestinian divide to develop a new sense of citizenship in Israel - said of the centre's decision: "I find it ironic that you promote a policy of boycott that does not distinguish one individual from another. It is ironic because, like myself, many (probably most) intellectuals and scholars in relevant fields are doing our best to effect change in Israeli political culture. We pay prices for going against the institutional grain. And then we turn around and meet such a 'blind to the person' policy." Professor Avnon continued: "One common tendency that must be changed if we ever want to live sane lives is to debunk categorical and stereotypical thinking when dealing with human beings." He received no response from Associate Professor Lynch.################################################ Geoff Seidner

Posted by Geoff Seidner on 2012-12-07 01:59:32 GMT


Prof Dan Avnon is an Israeli academic. His proposal is reportedly on "civic society" which is often a left wing term. However, Avnon is not in the same league as Ilan Pappe who has been invited to present the Sydney "Peace" institute. Dan Avnon has been victim of Jake Lynch's raw prejudice. Most readers and commentators take the view that Dan Avnon does not need to be a "friend of Israel" because he was selekted to be the victim of bigotry.

Posted by Ymr on 2012-12-07 01:27:57 GMT


It is imperative that those who make comments here make themselves aware of the latest in The Oz today.###################################################### Then ensure that their comments make sense in context of what has been written by INFORMED people################################################## FURTHER UNDERSTAND THAT PROF DAN AVNON IS NO FRIED OF ISRAEL: PLAINLY HE [HE IS AN APPEASER - SEE BELOW} BELIEVES THAT THE CROCODILE WILL EAT HIM LAST!!!################################################# ALL CAN BE SEEN PER BELOW LINK! Shabbat Shalom Geofff Seidner http://socialistdystopia.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/quote-from-below-article-many-in.html

Posted by Geoff Seidner on 2012-12-07 00:58:02 GMT


I hope and pray the Australian Jews are not like ours in good old USA, good only for posing at pictures and showing their teeth as it would be a tooth paste commercial rather...

Posted by jacob mandelblum on 2012-12-06 19:40:57 GMT


Then associate professor lynch, like this in minuscules does not represent the university and rejected professor AVNON's request on his own... It is up to the university authorities to send him packing... But this crap of rewarding the evil ARA-RAT and ASHRAWI represent is not only the epitome of bias but also the fault of the Israeli PR establishment for failing to set the record straight kick away the stupid Political Correctness and call issue by their proper name and, if doing it entails stepping on too many toes, THEN SO BE IT... After all, was it long that their PM read the riot act to the Muslims in their midst ???

Posted by jacob mandelblum on 2012-12-06 19:35:59 GMT


If I may comment yet again: there seems to be a plethora of articles and criticism of Jake Lynch. Moreover, his blatant bias must be something the University should and would be concerned with if enough people voice their objections to that bias, especially within the framework of his mandate. Rather than coming up with good ideas and presenting them here, I can only encourage everyone to ACT! I've written to Vice Chancellor Spence and feel that others should do so as well. Various excellent ideas are being voiced here, i.e. asking Minister Carr to investigate. There is little question that an open anti-Semitic bias is very negative branding for the University and for Australia. If everyone wrote and called, representing their indignation of unacceptable behavior on the part of an academic who influences opinion, and seems to be abusing trust, then people will listen.

Posted by Brian on 2012-12-06 14:30:05 GMT


It is the height of absurdity that an academic, who one expects has been trained to think dispassionately and objectively, takes a totally one-sided view of a conflict. In doing so he demonstrates a level of unprofessionalism and bigotry that should bar him from him from his position at the university. As someone incapable of teaching on evidence-based foundations he undermines the very academic culture that he has been hired to propagate His continued presence at the college cannot but have a negative impact.

Posted by Benzion Milecki on 2012-12-06 13:31:28 GMT


Every legal avenue open to anyone should be pursued against Professor Lynch. As part of a a government funded institution, Lynch has no right to adopt such a discriminatory position against another academic. I for one hope that the Australian Jewish community will muster as much support as possible to have Lynch removed permanently

Posted on 2012-12-06 13:02:28 GMT


Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr should be asked to comment on this

Posted by Zelda Cawthorne on 2012-12-06 13:01:00 GMT


Well done to Christian Kerr and the Australian for writing and printing this article. You stand for truth and fairness against a centre of hypocrisy and bigotry which has taken up residence in an otherwise reputable university.

Posted by Ruth on 2012-12-06 10:16:31 GMT


I have emailed my disgust to USyd -- of which I am a graduate

Posted by John Ray on 2012-12-06 08:56:40 GMT


I would add that such comments to the Vice Chancellor, as Ronit suggests, should be sober, non-emotional and realistic so as to not bring discredit to the rash of comments he must already be receiving.

Posted by Brian on 2012-12-06 08:50:32 GMT


Hey, not to be unkind, but instead of rhetorical jibberish here, that ends up in my inbox of new comments, please write to Mr. Spence directly with your indignation(s), as I have. That may have some effect.

Posted by Brian on 2012-12-06 08:46:36 GMT


Associate Professor Lynch should be required to prepare a paper clearly justifying his reasons for a boycott of Israeli academics. This paper should be required to be done in a scholarly manner giving soundly argued reasons together with evidence. It should be then submitted to an expert academic panel for examination. If he cannot or will not do this, or if his arguments are not of sufficient standard the University should consider whether he is of value to them as an employee. Making academics justify their actions in a scholarly manner would be an effective way of weeding out the bad apples.

Posted by Peter COhen on 2012-12-06 07:15:41 GMT


Everyone can write to the Vice Chancellor of Sydney U at: vc.contact@sydney.edu.au and/or the Arts Dept at:arts.dean@sydney.edu.au

Posted by Ronit on 2012-12-06 06:25:57 GMT


How is it that imbeciles of this nature get into positions where decisions such as these - creating and upholding discriminatory 'boycotts' - can be theirs to make?

Posted by Brian on 2012-12-06 06:00:53 GMT


To my best knowledge-negative or positive result-is result? Psychology is science-it mean scientific result. If it truth-so truth is that person will protect own choice with any means, if, even, he or she recognize own mistake, pressure close circle or outsider ,social connection, publicity, money etc. He made choice-like Hanan Ashrawi , on a question: what she thinks ABOUT Palestinian destroyed Christian church?-her answer-He is provocateur, Israeli agent .PLO, which sell Own service for Higher bitter , not for Own people –remember billion dollars in Swiss bank on Arafat account? Why you surprise that person , who choose side behave differently: help build peace-normal relationship . Normal it means NO NEWS, no publicity, no originality. WAR, revolution, terror, blood-its another story …

Posted on 2012-12-06 05:48:23 GMT


I have now found out what 'peace centre' means. It means lets attack Israel and the Jewish people a piece at a time. Anti Semitism by any other name............

Posted by James Johnson on 2012-12-06 05:47:11 GMT


To all our readers - who also happen to be lawyers...is it in fact, legal for a publicly funded institution to be making politically motivated decisions with international implications when this must be in breach of university policy? And surely his behaviour goes to damage our international relationship with Israel and is at odds with Australian foreign policy which considers Israel a fellow democracy and a friend? Isn't it the case then, that this Lynch fellow can be compelled not only to account for his behaviour but to make a public non-ambiguous apology and sincere retraction for his illegal and insupportable position in this matter? Please let us know!

Posted by Ronit Fraid on 2012-12-06 04:54:38 GMT


The "peace" centre's web site lists Johan Galtung [see "Norwegian media slams anti-Semitic professor" tinyurl.com/cut8c8q] as one of its five "Off-site" lecturers. It would be a real shame if the people acquiescing in this scandalous conduct ended up being pilloried by Israel's friends alone.

Posted by Arnold Roth on 2012-12-06 04:52:24 GMT


Perhaps my blog LINK as below will elicit an easier read than my earlier posting on this site? The psts are essentially identical. Regards Geoff Seidner http://socialistdystopia.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/never-mind-all-plain-waffle-of-pomoting.html

Posted by Geoff Seidner on 2012-12-06 04:45:25 GMT


It seems clear enough. Discriminating against somebody, not for what they have done, but for the group that they belong to, whether that group be Jews, people with dark skin, or Israelis, is the very hallmark of bigotry, a bigotry that now permeates the very institutions upon which we rely to stamp out bigotry by teaching rational thought proceeses. Political group think now permeates our society, where an Australian chocolate company is boycotted for having loose ties with Israel. How can academics not be ashamed of this level of bigotry and stupidity? If they were truly boycotting Israel there is a long list of products, medical and technological, that they should be avoiding, beginning with the Intel chip in their PC and secure internet banking and shopping. I'm sure the hypocrites won't give any of that very long list up ... especially the multitude of cures that could save their lives. Best pretend it wasn't made in Israel.

Posted by Morry on 2012-12-06 04:34:10 GMT


Every legal avenue open to anyone should be pursued against Professor Lynch. As part of a a government funded institution, Lynch has no right to adopt such a discriminatory position against another academic. I for one hope that the Australian Jewish community will muster as much suport as possible to have Lynch removed permanently.

Posted by Merv Adler on 2012-12-06 04:34:04 GMT


On Lynch, see my earlier article in Galus Australis: http://galusaustralis.com/2011/03/4254/advocating-peace-or-promoting-conflict-and-discrimination-the-strange-case-of-the-centre-for-peace-and-conflict-studies/

Posted by philip mendes on 2012-12-06 04:11:18 GMT


THURSDAY, 6 DECEMBER 2012 Of boycotts and hypocrites at Sydney University! Of boycotts and hypocrites at Sydney University! Never mind all the plain waffle of 'promoting interdisciplinary research... conflict resolution' et al. Sydney University peace centre rebuffs Israeli civics teacher BY CHRISTIAN KERR From:The Australian December 06, 2012 12:00AM These are the verbal playthings of Sydney University in justifying arguably illegal boycotts which the ACCC should have vitiated. The lamentable toothless ACCC wrote to me twice last year; they are a waste of time. As far as they are concerned primary boycotts against Israel are OK - but they have problems with so - called secondary boycotts. The unsubtle anti - Israel bias escapes anyone who contemplates boycotting primary or secondary Palestinian / Gaza goods! Primary or secondary boycotts of Saudi Arabian goods! Hezbullah goods? Guess how long it would be before harm was done to me in disparate ways! But I am so assured the ACCC would defend me by default - like they failed to defend Brenners last year in September. Another thing: the boycotee is plainly no friend of Israel: he has no problems with boycotts against his country Israel so long as boycotters ''...distinguish one individual from another.''! Furthermore the professor from Hebrew University Dan Avnon claims to be ''doing our best to effect change in Israeli political culture. We pay prices for going against the institutional grain'' I recall a classical commentary by the late anti - semitic cleric Sir Irving Benson who criticised the Nazis for '' lumping all Jews together and labelling them uniformly bad.... hunted Einstein and condemned him with the meanest Shylock who ever lived.'' The Age A Saturday Reflection 25 May 1985 By Sir Irving Benson, their religious writer! Shame. Geoff Seidner address withheld ''Professor Avnon - who has written on moving beyond the Jewish-Palestinian divide to develop a new sense of citizenship in Israel - said of the centre's decision: "I find it ironic that you promote a policy of boycott that does not distinguish one individual from another. It is ironic because, like myself, many (probably most) intellectuals and scholars in relevant fields are doing our best to effect change in Israeli political culture. We pay prices for going against the institutional grain. And then we turn around and meet such a 'blind to the person' policy." http://socialistdystopia.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/never-mind-all-plain-waffle-of-pomoting.html

Posted by Geoff Seidner on 2012-12-06 04:10:32 GMT


It is disgraceful that a University Peace Studies Centre would boycott contact with a visiting Israeli teacher who advances Jewish-Arab understanding in Israel (The Australian, 6/12/12). The BDS movement has long claimed that it only boycotts Israeli institutions and does not discriminate against individual Israelis. It is now evident that the BDS movement stands not for human rights, but rather for the ethnic stereotyping and demonization of all Israel Jews.

Posted by Phiilp Mendes on 2012-12-06 03:54:29 GMT