You may recall how a few weeks ago, the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) passed an antisemitic, pro-terrorism motion. Then a non-Jewish student by the name of Justin Riazaty engaged pro bono lawyers and sent a letter of demand to the University of Melbourne Student Union, demanding they rescind the motion or face legal action.
The University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) has rescinded a motion that was labelled “blatantly antisemitic” when it passed in late April.
The motion, titled “UMSU stands with Palestine – BDS and Solidarity Policy”, called Israel a “settler colonial apartheid state”, accused it of “massacres, forced expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians”, called Zionism “a racist, colonial ideology” and tacitly endorsed terrorism in supporting the right of Palestinians “to engage in self defence against their occupiers”.
It also stated that “Judaism or Zionism are not to be conflated”.
The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) said on Thursday that UMSU decided to rescind it “after countless meetings between AUJS and UMSU and after the legal action taken by Melbourne University student Justin Riazaty against UMSU for racial discrimination”.
“AUJS and Melbourne University Jewish Students Society (MUJSS) welcomes today’s decision by the UMSU University of Melbourne Student Union to rescind the resolution,” AUJS said in a statement.
The wording of their rescindment indicates it was Justin and his lawyers that sealed the deal:
Council notes the letter from Justin Riazaty’s lawyers in relation to the Motion dated 29th of April Council is committed to a voice on the Palestinian cause. However, due to the desire for UMSU’s funds to not be unnecessarily spent on defending legal proceedings and to ensure that motions are robust, passed with due diligence and with regard to the interests of members, Council proposes to rescind and amend the motion.
That Students’ Council rescind the motion, draft a bridging motion to explain the reasonings for recission, and UMSU undertakes a consultation process and established a working group, to develop and subsequently move a new motion based on that consultation.
That the CEO is directed to instruct Moores to attempt to settle the current claim on the above basis, that Mr Riazaty’s lawyers be advised that the motion has been withdrawn, and avoid court proceedings
Well done Justin, who seems to have done more than the Jewish and Zionist organizations in fighting back.
Like a boss.