Tzedek Collective stands in solidarity with Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah, Families for Palestine, and the student encampment at University of Sydney, who have come under attack by Zionist groups and mainstream media. 

On Friday, Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah and Families for Palestine made an excursion to the University of Sydney students for Palestine encampment. Children were encouraged to engage voluntarily with Palestinian issues, with chants and slogans led by both children and adults. The children called for a ‘Free Palestine’ and for an ‘intifada’, the Arabic word for uprising.

Instead of writing about the (at least) 40,000 Palestinians massacred by Israel in Gaza, and condemning Israel’s control of goods and deliberate starvation of 1.2 million displaced Palestinians in Gaza, Australian media, at the behest of Zionist groups, went into a frenzy surrounding Abdel-Fattah’s appearance at the encampment and created a manufactured scandal. Instead of condemning Israel’s genocidal actions in Gaza and its cynical use of Judaism as a shield against critique, Zionist groups have called for the firing of a Palestinian academic in the midst of a genocide of her people. This is reprehensible. 

According to the official death toll in Gaza, which is likely to be a vast underestimate, over 14,000 children have been murdered by the Israeli state and 17,000 children have been orphaned. In the midst of this war waged against Palestinian children, it is only right that Palestinian-Australian, and other, children are provided a safe space in which they can express themselves and mourn. 

Tzedek Collective commends the encampment at University of Sydney for providing this space. We endorse all demands of the encampment. These demands include that the University of Sydney discloses all standing partnerships with Israeli institutions and weapons manufacturers, that the University of Sydney cuts these ties, and that they divest from any partnerships in the future. 

We condemn the conflation of anti-zionism and criticism of Israel as antisemitism. Our members are in regular attendance of the encampment to express their solidarity. As Jewish students, staff, and allies, we are made to feel welcome and safe.

We find these allegations that the encampment is antisemitic both disingenuous and harmful to the protection of students’ right to exist in a world without racism and hate. We condemn the manufactured claims of antisemitism being deployed across the West and in Australia to evict students from other Gaza solidarity encampments. We recognise the tireless work that Dr Abdel-Fattah and the members of Families for Palestine have dedicated to resisting oppression and genocide. We stand with Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah and all other Palestinian people in their struggle against oppression, occupation and genocide.