by Tim Anderson, 1st March 2019
This afternoon, on my instructions, lawyers lodged an application in the Fair Work Commission, contesting my dismissal last month by the University of Sydney. We say university managers have made multiple breaches of the Fair Work Act and the university’s Enterprise Agreement, and seek my reinstatement plus penalty orders.
No criticism has been made of my 20 years of academic work at this university. Rather, Provost Stephen Garton seized on part of a background image in a social media post, claiming it was ‘offensive’, ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unnecessary’. His actions abused my rights and have sent a cold chill through the university. Others must wonder if they too might be sacked, simply for offending someone.
Much misinformed public comment has appeared on this case. I am not going to respond to any particular remarks, but I want to clarify some things. First, have a look at my much criticised graphic and judge for yourselves. Most critics have spoken without showing it.
I do indeed compare Israel with the Nazi regime. They are not the same, but there are important parallels. The terrible crimes committed against Jewish people in Europe should not blind us to the ongoing crimes of the Jewish-European colony against the people of Palestine.
In my graphic on how to read civilian casualties in the Gaza massacres, I used some imagery to reinforce evidence which exposes Israel’s tactics of ruthless, racialized massacres, akin to the anti-Slav and anti-Jewish pogroms of Nazi Germany.
The problem is not just fascist tactics. In my research article ‘The Future of Palestine’, I compare the racial ideologies of the Nazis and the Zionists, and their common creation of sub-human non-citizens, so as to justify practices of ethnic cleansing.
If we want to understand what is increasingly recognised as an ‘apartheid state’ we must look more closely at the character of this colony in Palestine. Trying to fob off such criticism as ‘anti-semitic’ is foolish, at best.
Our country has been involved in eight wars in the Middle East over the past two decades, each one has been based on lies and repeated misinformation. Our governments have lied to us about the ongoing wars against the peoples of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran and Yemen.
Not one of the Australian state and corporate media channels has made serious critical analysis of those wars; they simply support the Washington line. Our mass media has become a colonial media, doing for Venezuela and Iran what they did for Libya and Syria. That is particularly disturbing for someone like me, who grew up with the lies of the war in Vietnam.
I am now using my freedom of speech, and my writing, to help redress that imbalance. I am proud of my much-criticised Gaza casualties graphic, one of a series, as it helps people read the controversies of our times. They get no help in this regard from the colonial media.