While engaged in a two-day strike over wages at Sydney University, Australia’s NTEU, the 27,000-member strong National Tertiary Education Union for all higher education and university employees––the only trade union working exclusively in the Australian university sector––on Thursday passed two fundamentally anti-Israel resolutions:
1. It rejected the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism as drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis; denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor; accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust; and applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
2. It called on its members to boycott visits to Israel hosted by “pro-Israel organizations.”
The NTEU will:
Seek to strengthen ties with Palestinian unions, including the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees.
Prohibit elected officials or staff of the NTEU from accepting expenses-paid tours to Israel that are sponsored by the Israeli state or pro-Israel lobby organizations
Oppose the adoption of policies that prohibit criticism of Israel by any Australian academic institution, including the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
Support the right of NTEU members to engage in boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) actions that seek to end the occupation of Palestine
Contribute $2,000 to the organization of the next Black-Palestinian Solidarity Conference, to be held in late 2023.
Call upon members to participate in active solidarity with Palestinians.
According to the Australian Jewish News, the motion was proposed last week at the NTEU national council by Fahad Ali, a boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) advocate.
Meanwhile, the NTEU has also declared a strike, leading the University of Sydney to advise staff to work online during the strike days, October 13 and 14. The University “recommends that staff who can work from home do so, including switching to remote teaching.” Significant disruption to the university’s operations is expected, as union members picket the campus entrances to prevent students from getting in.
Fahad Ali tweeted: “Solidarity with all my comrades on the picket lines today at the @NTEUNSW @USYDEBA2021 strikes: our fifth day of industrial action this year. I’m not able to be there in person today, but huge love and respect to all my colleagues who won’t stop fighting until we win!”