University action and solidarity with Gaza: Supporting human rights and academic freedom

10 May 2024

This motion should be read in conjunction with the “NTEU Statement on Israel and Palestine” issued 20 October 2023.

NTEU endorses:

  • and reaffirms the Union’s longstanding view that the right to peaceful protest, freedom of expression, and academic freedom are fundamental to the character of universities.

NTEU joins with many others in Palestine, Israel, Australia and internationally to reiterate demands for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, and the lifting of the siege of Gaza.

NTEU condemns the horrific impact of the war on the higher education community in Gaza, and recognises the responsibility that Australian universities have to a global higher education community that champions human rights, peace, and democratic debate.

We therefore, call on Australian universities to:

  1. Explore and implement practical support measures for affected Palestinian educational institutions, their faculties and students, such as the provision of resources, partnerships and institutional scholarships.
  2. Critically review, disclose and divest from research and commercial partnerships with firms and entities directly involved in military support for the war on Gaza.
  3. Ensure that Enterprise Agreements and policies protecting academic and intellectual freedom are clearly communicated and vigorously enforced.
  4. Critically review any university’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s definition of antisemitism, which itself constitutes a challenge to academic freedom

This constitutes the NTEU’s position and remains in place until amended, withdrawn or replaced by the National Executive or a future National Council.

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