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September 19, 2022 12:37 pm
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Suspension of ‘Antisemitic’ College Paper Editor Denounced By Student Groups

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Habibah Jaghoori was dismissed as editor of the University of Adelaide student newspaper over an article that advocated Israel’s destruction. Photo: Screenshot

Students at University of Adelaide in Australia have issued a statement denouncing the suspension of a school magazine editor over accusations that she harassed Jewish students.

On Tuesday, the university’s student union, YouX, announced its decision to dismiss Habibah Jaghoori from On Dit, explaining that her “conduct and behavior” after publishing an article calling for the destruction of Israel “would be perceived by any fair-minded person to be threatening the welfare of students at our university.”

On Monday, students representing several university clubs — including Student Representative Council, Socialist Alternative, Uni Students for Climate Justice, and Students for Palestine — charged that Jaghoori’s suspension has brought the campus  community into “shame and disrepute.”

“We view this as exceptionally malicious given that circumstance of the editor, a Muslim woman, having to justify herself in the face of defenses of a genocidal and apartheid state that regularly uses racism and Islamophobia as a justification for a justification for its ethnic cleansing and violence,” their statement said.

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On Dit also criticized YouX’s suspension of Jaghoori and vowed to continue recognizing her as an editor.

“She has an unwavering drive to stand against injustice, even at a personal cost,” the paper said on Facebook. “Habibah…ensures On Dit is not a white space, but a space for the stories and realities of People of Colour.”

YouX’s decision came after Jaghoori wrote an article titled “For Palestine, there is No Ceasefire,” in which she described Israel as “genocidal” and argued that “the solution to achieving peace and bringing forth justice for Palestine is to demand the abolition of Israel.”

The student union explained that the sanction was triggered not by the essay’s content but Jaghoori’s “conduct and behavior since the article’s publication.” According to the Australian Jewish News, she is alleged to have shouted “Death to Israel” during a Student Representative Council meeting in which a motion to denounce it was proposed by a coalition of Jewish and non-Jewish students.

“The decision of the Board is final and concludes all actions and investigations on this matter,” YouX said.

Australasian Union of Jewish Student (AUJS), an advocacy group, said Jewish students at the university are “relieved” that Jaghoori was disciplined.

“Jewish students can find comfort that their university’s student board stands up to racist and bigoted language,” AUJS Vice President Alissa Foster said.

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