Bullying of Palestinian Solidarity on Canadian University Campuses

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Bullying of Palestinian Solidarity on Canadian University Campuses

UBC student union freezes $700 donation to Gaza flotilla from student club

Quote:
A $700 donation to an aid flotilla to Gaza by the Social Justice Centre (SJC) has been suspended by Alma Mater Society (AMS) executives after receiving complaints from students.

Last week, the SJC, an AMS resource group, approved the grant to the University of British Columbia (UBC) club Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) to help fund the Canadian humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza, which will sail in spring 2011. However, after student complaints made to the AMS executive, the money transfer from the SJC to SPHR was frozen, with intention of bringing the issue in front of AMS council for review on Dec. 1.

AMS President Bijan Ahmadian said that the initial complaint came from VP Finance Elin Tayyar, who felt uncomfortable signing off on the transaction without it being brought to council.

Executives also began receiving student inquiries and complaints about the SJC's funding, as well as petitions from UBC's Israeli Awareness Club (IAC). Ahmadian said that complaints were being made both in opposition to the resource group's support of Gaza and Palestine, as well as against AMS funds leaving student hands to be shipped overseas.

"A number of students said, ‘I don't like my student money being shipped out of the country like this.'"

However, SJC treasurer Arielle Friedman said that the $700 grant transfer to SPHR comes from $2,250 set for grants, from their overall budget of nearly $10,000.

Join the facebook event.

Noam Chomsky has also endorsed the SJC in this struggle.

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I am happy to endorse the Social Justice Centre (SJC) and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR). They are integral parts of the UBC and Vancouver communities, and important voices in the struggle for justice. I oppose any efforts to defame or destroy these groups, and would urge the AMS council to ensure their voices are prot...ected. I support the autonomy of the SJC, and defend the right of the SJC and other Resource Groups to fulfill their political mandates without interference.

Noam Chomsky
MIT

 

Bullying Palestinian students at Canadian universities should stop

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Finally, what was extremely alarming is the presence of the Alma Mater Society (UBC’s student union) president Bijan Ahmadian.

It was insulting to the SJC as a club that appreciates its autonomy and was insulting to SPHR-UBC because this presence demonstrates bias against SPHR-UBC and his complicity in stifling free speech on UBC.

In fact, Mr. Ahmadian is notorious for his efforts to silence any sort of dissent on campus and prior to Israel Apartheid Week he attempted (and ultimately failed) to prevent SPHR-UBC from using the word Apartheid.

In fact, he also indicated that he wants to censor SPHR’s materials (which were nothing more than the Goldstone report and reports from Human Rights Watch).

It is worth noting the Mr. Ahmadian was endorsed by the Israel Awareness Club during his election campaign, and was labelled as a "friend of Israel." He actively participates in IAC events, and attended (shamelessly) the Dershowitz talk in Vancouver.

Following the AGM I invited the IAC to a public debate where their ‘concerns’ (as baseless as they may be) can be discussed in public.

If the IAC is truly concerned about George Galloway then they should not shy away from addressing these concern in pubic, and allow SPHR-UBC to respond to their false allegations instead of resorting to twisted and unethical methods to stifle free speech.

 

Issues Pages: 
Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Quote:
Turtle Island Humanitarian Aid

C.P. 92087, Portobello, Brossard, Québec J4W 3K8

Social Justice Centre
University of British Columbia
November 29, 2010

Dear friends,

It has come to our attention that a number of false and misleading allegations have been made regarding your generous donation to the Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign. I would like to take this opportunity to clear up some potentially harmful misconceptions.

Funds for the Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign are being collected through a registered
non-governmental organization, Alternatives, which has been working in the area of
international development and solidarity for more than 15 years. Although Alternatives (full name: Alternatives, réseau d’action et de communication pour le développement international) is a registered Canadian charity, the purchase of a boat is not eligible for charitable tax receipts.

All the funds collected for the Canadian Boat to Gaza are subject to all the normal requirements of Canadian laws governing public organizations, and are subject to annual independent audits reporting to both the government and Alternatives’ members.

When sufficient funds have been gathered for the purchase of a vessel and related costs
(crew, berthing charges, registration, fuel, etc.), Alternatives will transfer the required amounts to Turtle Island Humanitarian Aid, a registered Canadian non-for-profit organization which will purchase the vessel and register it under Canadian law.

We will then arrange for a cargo of humanitarian aid as well as passengers for the trip to Gaza under a Canadian flag. Our cargo will be subject to independent verification at its port of departure.

Our campaign is a civil society initiative which deals with civil society partners in Gaza,
including the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network, which is partner with a number of international aid organizations. We do not seek nor will we accept sponsorship from any government.

I hope this information is enough to help counter the unprincipled and dishonest smear
campaign which has been directed at your organization. Please let me know if there is further information which I can provide about these matters. Thank you very much for standing on the side of justice, with the Palestinians of Gaza and against the inhuman and illegal siege.

It may not be an easy position to take at times, but history will show that it is the principled humanitarian course of action in the present circumstances.

In solidarity for peace with justice,
David Heap, Ph.D.
President, Turtle Island Humanitarian Aid
Coordinator, Legal-Financial Committee, Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign

Click!

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

The gaza flotilla donation is fair

Quote:
The AMS, your student government, recently froze a $700 donation from the Social Justice Centre (SJC) to an aid flotilla to Gaza. It looks like the donation will require a passing vote during the next AMS Council to pass.

The story, from the AMS executive’s point of view, is that this money was being spirited off to a controversial cause that students did not necessarily support, so it makes sense for council to decide. The SJC’s side, on the other hand, is that they were fully within their rights to donate money from their grant fund to a cause of their choice, and that the AMS—especially AMS President Bijan Ahmadian—are meddling.

So, who’s right? The SJC. The decision to freeze their account was motivated first and foremost by political concern. But it was well within the SJC’s rights to put forward money from their grant fund to a cause of their choice. The only reason a stink is being raised about this donation is because of the level of tension between Israel and Palestine-supporting students on campus.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

$700 Gaza donation approved

Quote:
The University of British Columbia's (UBC) Alma Mater Society (AMS) Council passed a motion Wednesday night approving a $700 transfer from the Social Justice Centre (SJC) to Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) that would fund a humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza. The decision was made after three hours of heated debate. Approximately 200 students were in attendance in the Norm Theatre.

The motion brought an end to nearly two weeks of fighting between the Israeli Awareness Club (IAC), the SJC and SPHR over the autonomy of AMS resource groups, the legitimacy of the SJC executive and whether the flotilla would be funding terrorism.

"We're ecstatic . . . They've decided in favour of both resource group's autonomy and the fact that the SJC can stand for controversial critical causes as outlined in it's constitution," said Gordon Katic, member of the SJC and Allies at UBC. "This isn't just a win for the people of Gaza. This is a win for all six of the resource groups."

Earlier this month, students affiliated with the IAC complained that the $700 transaction from the SJC to SPHR was not valid, as their executive failed to hold a proper annual general meeting.

"We have been responding to these attacks for two weeks," said Katic. "It has been a tremendous personal stress [and] it has been a tremendous stress on the resource groups."

Unionist

Great! Thanks for this, Catchfire.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

UBC's AMS Executive Committee Accused of Defamation

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Following UBC's AMS Council meeting on December 1, in which the Social Justice Centre's indirect donation to the the Canadian Boat to Gaza was discussed and voted on at great length [1], the AMS Executive Committee passed a separate motion [2] resolving that "the VP Finance investigate any links to terrorism connected to the transfer, inviting submissions from the SJC, the SPHR, and the Israeli Awareness Club and also pursuing an independent investigation." Moreover, the AMS President, Bijan Ahmadian, went on the record to say that AMS "might call CSIS [Canadian Security Intelligence Service] or someone, and see what their impression is" [3].

Following these events, the organizers of the Canadian Boat to Gaza issued a letter to the AMS Executive Committee demanding a public statement "clearly retracting the accusations and implications that the CBG [Canadian Boat to Gaza] is or may be linked to and/or financing terrorism" and that they "cease the 'investigation' referred to in the AMS motion of December 2." [4]

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

 

Motion to hold referendum to impeach Queen's rector passes

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Nick Day’s job may be on the line after an article he wrote supporting Israeli Apartheid Week was published yesterday on Rabble.ca.

At a March 10 meeting of Queen’s University’s students’ society, a unanimous vote was passed to hold a referendum that will ask students to decide whether Day will continue to hold his position as rector.

Approximately 350 people were in attendance at the meeting, including Craig Draeger of Queen's Campus Conservatives, who presented a petition with 2,200 signatures calling for Day’s impeachment.

According to the Queen’s Journal, the question at the special winter referendum will read: “Shall it be recommended to the university council that Queen's rector Nick Day be removed from the office of rector? Yes or no?”

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Catchfire Catchfire's picture

And for background, here is the blogpost by intrepid rabble-watch cavalier, Jonathan Kay, which got everyone riled up.

 

6079_Smith_W

I think at the very least Day has a duty to defend the principle of academic freedom, so his speaking up against Ignatieff's criticism was probably in order.

Whether that duty extends to accusing Ignatieff of being complicit in genocide (and statements Day reportedly  made earlier this year regarding Remembrance Day) will be up to the students to answer.

Certainly that job description is not the only reason, but according to the CUP news story it is enough to make the difference for some students who otherwide support himl.

I am sure those who want to unseat him  want this referendum to be just about alleged breach of position, not about the issue of criticizing Israel which is certainly in part behind the campaign.

Though no attack like this is ever welcome, it does present an opportunity and a challenge to make sure that the principle of academic freedom and political awareness remains part of the question. It will also be put to students in a way they cannot ignore as easily as  not attending IAW events.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

rabble.ca responds: Queen's U rector threatened with impeachment for letter in rabble.ca on Ignatieff's IAW statement

Quote:

rabble.ca are appalled by the neo-McCarthyist response to a letter published on this site last week. Nick Day, the rector of Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., is threatened with impeachment for an open letter he wrote to Michael Ignatieff about the Liberal Party leader's statement on Israeli Apartheid Week. The letter was published on rabble.ca last Wednesday.

You can read Jonathan Kay's apoplectic response to Nick Day's open letter in the National Post and the comments underneath. It gives you a flavour of the hatred and fear of such debate.

The success of Israeli Apartheid Week as a week of discussion and boycott, which has seen it grow in seven years from an event taking place at a single a Canadian university to an international solidarity movement, also enrages supporters of Israeli government policies taken against Palestinians.

The tone of this debate resembles that of 30 years ago, when on Canadian campuses socially conscious university students and many others protested the business being done by Canadian mining and other businesses with the Pretoria government. They were denigrated, too, from top to bottom. Around this time, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher referred to the still incarcerated Nelson Mandela as a terrorist.

milo204

The funny thing is it is the israel supporters that are claiming to feel bullied and harassed, yet it is the organizers of IAW and supporters of palestinian rights who are targeted, harassed (on campus and in parliament)...

Sort of like in the OT, it is the israelis/settlers are portrayed as the victims living in fear of attack, when it's the palestinians who are really in that situation!

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Israeli dissident Michel Warshawski wrote about this phenomenon some time ago.

Warshawski wrote:
There was a time when the Zionist left was accused of "shooting and then crying." Today we can say that it bombs and then whimpers in self-pity. Far from fighting for the society that it dreamed of not all that long ago, it is turning inward. It is accusing the whole world, the Palestinians first and foremost, of being responsible for its sorry fate...

Warshawski was very pessimistic in this article. (See Monthly Review Dec 2004, "The New Israel")

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

On Twitter: 72% students @queensu vote to remove Rector Nick Day due to support of Israeli Apartheid Week on @rabbleca.

But no one knows what to do next...

Quote:

Despite a referendum recommending the impeachment of Queen’s rector Nick Day, no one at the university appears to have clue what to do next. Following a senate meeting on Wednesday, Queen’s president Daniel Woolf said “The University Council has no power to remove the rector.” University Council includes representation from both the Board of Trustees and the Senate.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, undergraduate students voted 72 per cent to recommend the Council remove Day from office, largely in response to an open letter he wrote, and signed with his official title, criticizing Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s denunciation of Israeli Apartheid Week, and alleging that a “genocide” was occurring against Palestinians.

However, while University Council by-laws outline the procedure for installing a rector after a student vote, the Queen’s Journal reports that there is no policy for removing a rector. “There’s absolutely no statement or guidance at all about what the University Council could or couldn’t do,” University Secretariat Georgina Moore told the student paper.

6079_Smith_W

I suppose they should have done a bit of homework before rushing into a referendum.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

They had no choice but to have the referendum once they were presented with over 2,200 signatures on a petition from the campus Conservatives. The AMS was constitutionally obliged to hold a vote, even though a majority yes vote among the undergraduates could not unseat the Rector. The Rector is elected by the entire student body, including the graduate and professional students, who were not part of this referendum, and whose student government supported the Rector.

The intent was simply to silence, bully, and embarrass.

The Rector's term of office expires in May anyway. 

Dodger718

Meanwhile...

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/955253--threatening-tweets-sh...

MONTREAL—A McGill University student is under investigation by police after he allegedly made death threats using his Twitter account.

I’ve infiltrated a Zionist meeting. I feel like I’m at a Satanist ritual,” he allegedly wrote at the March 8th screening.

“I want to shoot everyone in this room,” another tweet said. “Never been this angry.”

The tweets call the documentary a “Zionist/Conservative propaganda film” and the gathering, which attracted about 20 students, “a secret Zionist convention.”

Then: “I should have brought an M16.”

Meterissian said Khan continued tweeting the following day, writing: “The jihad begins today.”

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hi Dodger, that link is off-topic and deliberately incendiary (thus trolling). Don't do it again.

6079_Smith_W

I thought (from gleaning through coverage) that he had another year to go.

If not, that is just silly and pointless on a number of fronts.

Has anyone who is there heard any reports about how much of this debate was about IAW, and how much of it was regarding his job description (realizing that there is a lot of grey area, of course)?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

[url=http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2011/03/29/17798921.html]Protesters swarm Ottawa University[/url]

 

Quote:

OTTAWA - About 200 protesters staged a raucous demonstration inside Carleton University's administration building Tuesday demanding the school divest from four companies they say contribute to war crimes in Palestine.

The group, led by Students Against Israeli Apartheid, charge administration is silencing student voices by "locking them out" of Tuesday's scheduled board of governors meeting.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

As WilderMore helpfully pointed out in this thread, Mario Silva's pet project, the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) has "found" that "new anti-Semitism" is on the rise on Canadian University Campuses:

Quote:
In a news release issued Thursday before the official presentation of its report – a release that comes more than a year later than the committee planned – the coalition calls on the government to “combat the wave of anti-Semitism we are witnessing in our nation.”

Mario Silva, the former Liberal MP who was a co-chairman of the committee, said the report could not be timelier, “when Canada is witnessing an unprecedented increase in anti-Semitic incidents and hateful discourse.”

The committee recommends that police forces across Canada be better trained to deal with anti-Semitism; that universities host conferences to counter events such as “Israeli Apartheid Week”; and that there should be a clear definition of what anti-Semitism entails.

Sineed

I imagine they've already approached Giorgio Mammolliti, noble foot soldier in the war against rising anti-semetism, who shot that incendiary footage of bare-breasted women chanting, "End Israel apartheid now!" during Toronto's recent Dyke March.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

A friend of mine remarked that Mammolliti, a snickering councilman spending hours videotaping a parade in the hopes of dismantling it, is basically a Revenge of the Nerds villain.

Lachine Scot

Haha! Your friend is clever, Catchfire.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Yes, and as I remember, the Nerds win rather handily.

milo204

the really (not so) funny thing is if you extend the conclusions of the coalition to their logical end, you could make a pretty good case that radical israeli supporters are engaging "anti semitism" or it's equivalent here in canada against palestinians and their supporters.

*harassed, discriminated and bullied, made to feel unsafe on campus (not just by pro israel students, but also the university admins)

*under surveillance by federal authorities, harassed by police

*condemned by the federal government at the highest levels

*subject to threats and intimidation and physical violence

*subject to boycott and divestment campaigns (but in this case not by individuals, but by states)

etc, etc, etc... 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

On its list of allegedly anti-semitic "incidents" on Canadian campuses, [url=http://www.cpcca.ca/CPCCA_Final_Report_English.pdf]the report[/url] includes the following:

Quote:
In January 2009, university and college professors and employees in Quebec called for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. This petition was signed by professors from Concordia University, McGill, Université de Quebec À Montreal, Université de Montreal, and numerous other postsecondary institutions in Quebec.

Quote:
In 2007, Jewish students reported to Queen's University Hillel that their sociology professor had accused Canadian Jewish Organizations (such as the Canadian Jewish Congress) of a conspiracy to manipulate Canadian foreign policy. The professor later apologized

Quote:
The visiting Israeli consul-general was prevented by protesters from speaking at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia in 2004.159

Quote:
In September 2002, violent protesters prevented former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from speaking at Concordia University in Montreal.

Shame on the NDP for participating in this right-wing witch hunt.

Caissa

People do the eradication of anti-semitism harm when they try to portray incidents which are not examples as anti-semitism as if they were.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Very reminiscent of Daniel Pipes and his CampusWatch organization.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thanks for those catches, M. Spector. Very telling.

milo204

and it's funny because similar incidents have been happening, just on the other side of the coin.  

galloway was prevented from speaking in canada, along with other people who talk about palestinian rights.  IAW is routinely seen as some illegitimate thing that should be shut down, but when it's an israeli ambassador or an israeli who has actually pulled the trigger we're supposed to just sit back and accept it.  

pro israel people complain when someone says israel/US (look at the outcry over richard falk posting a cartoon to his website)  is responsible for terrorism against palestinians, which is factually correct and verifiable and out in the open for all to see.  But it's no big deal to say that people who want to even just talk about palestinian rights are labeled terrorists, supporters of terrorism, jew haters, anti semetic, insane etc...

if these folks aren't the dictionary definition of "hypocrites" i don't know WHAT is!

milo204

although it shouldn't be surprising i guess that religious extremists are not fond of the concepts of logical thought.

2dawall

I have been told third hand that an individual known locally as 'crazy Rhonda' came to one of the IAW sessions at the U of M this last spring and staged a fit; is that correct? If so, did anyone record that on their cellphone video camera?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

milo204 wrote:

although it shouldn't be surprising i guess that religious extremists are not fond of the concepts of logical thought.

Are you saying the pro-Israel bunch are religious extremists?

milo204

funny because the people who formulate and push the policies are probably not all that religious.  it's more a good way to have people follow them (a la every US president since carter....)

but their supporters, like the settlers and the extremist christian folks in the states are very much radical religious extremists...

..although i detect a distinct hint of irony in your post!

genstrike

You know what I find curious?  The insistence by Zionist organizations that universities organize events to counter Israeli Apartheid Week.

Just think of any other event on campus organized by student groups - why would the university need to organize a "counter" event?  I remember the campus conservatives organized a few events a couple years ago, including a full "Campus Conservative Week".  Did anyone insist that the University organize a "Campus Liberal Week" and a "Campus NDP Week" to counter it and keep things fair and balanced?  No, that would be absurd - and if the anyone did ask for it, the response would be "do your own damn homework"

I mean, how hard can it be for Zionist organizations to simply organize their own damn events instead of whining that the university should do it for them?  The Palestinian solidarity movement does it with vastly fewer resources.  Are they just too damn lazy to fill out a room booking request form and put up posters?  Perhaps they should look into how much they're paying their full-time staffers if they are incapable of organizing events and need the university to do it for them?

Seriously, if any other organization insisted that the university organize events for them, they would be laughed out of the university.  I mean, what next - will the university be obligated to organize Backgammon tournaments to counter the programming of the Chess Club and ensure balance?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Zionism is already built into the official ideology of most, if not all, university administrations in Canada. The Zionists are just asking them to put their money where their mouth is.

For them, it's far more effective to be able to depict the struggle as Palestinian solidarity groups versus the University, rather than just a conflict between student organizations. Enlisting the active support of the academic establishment is a powerful strategy for marginalizing, if not outright suppressing, student criticism of Israel.

2dawall

I am going to take that as a 'no.' I think if you have a hardcore Zionist who has mid-level profile in the city, who has a tenuous uneasy alliance with other Zionist organizations, who has a website featuring ads from high profile politicians from every stripe, and who makes appearances at pro-Palestinian events to disrupt or even intimidate them, that those who have those stupid cellphone video devices use them to tape her. At the very least just to record the actual things done and said just for posterity if not to show the world how this Zionist actually operates (and to show at least what the forehead or chin of Zionism if not the entire face). Sometimes the hardcore supporters let loose and show themselves for the violent bullies that they are in rhetoric if not in action.

Its amazing that we have seen setup ambushes of Helen Thomas and Libby Davies but we will not see our side defend themselves from their ambushes. If more people saw how utterly 'crazy' and racist 'crazy Rhonda' is, she might lose her advertising links and she might lose some of her tax-dodging friends from her Facebook page. Twenty years ago someone had a terrible phone call with her where she went off and said that 'all Arabs are bad at math and numbers' without any hint of irony or sarcasm. Nobody believed it that the time because she was then associated with Peace Now and so many Winnipeg Leftists then as now are thoroughly confused about the real politics of Peace Now.  Another example of the Winnipeg Left being the wilfull, complicit tackle dummies/punching bags for the Right.

2dawall wrote:

I have been told third hand that an individual known locally as 'crazy Rhonda' came to one of the IAW sessions at the U of M this last spring and staged a fit; is that correct? If so, did anyone record that on their cellphone video camera?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.freeexpressionpalestine.org/sites/freeexpressionpalestine.org... CPCCA’s Hidden Message
Silencing Criticism of Israeli Apartheid[/url]

"Faculty for Palestine" responds to the pseudo-parliamentary CPCCA report

Unionist

[url=http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/07/28/follow-the-money-2/]An MP inquiry into anti-Semitism vowed to be open and independent. Its shadowy funding says otherwise.[/url]

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Unionist wrote:

[url=http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/07/28/follow-the-money-2/]An MP inquiry into anti-Semitism vowed to be open and independent. Its shadowy funding says otherwise.[/url]

 

Macleans wrote:

The CPCCA’s broad membership largely insulated it from partisan scrutiny. Along with well-known Conservatives like Reid and Manitoba MP Candice Hoeppner, the MPs who joined included prominent Liberals such as interim party leader Bob Rae, and veteran New Democrats like Peter Stoffer and Pat Martin. That opposition support, and close compatibility with Kenney, made it unlikely the coalition’s financing, however unusual, would be criticized from within political circles. It seems any questions about this shadowy new model for MPs to tackle a policy issue will have to come from outside.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Not to mention Judy Wasylycia-Leis. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.cjpme.org/DisplayDocument.aspx?DocumentID=1883]Misrepresentation of Testimony and Selective Fact-finding
A Critique of the Report of the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism[/url] (.pdf, 49 pp.)

by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, September, 2011

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
M. Spector M. Spector's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Zionism is already built into the official ideology of most, if not all, university administrations in Canada. The Zionists are just asking them to put their money where their mouth is.

And the university-military-industrial-political complex is happy to do so.

[url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/campus-notes/2012/05/jnf-honours-undermi... honours undermine university support of diversity and tolerance[/url]- rabble.ca May 2, 2012, reprinted from March 2008:

Quote:
The University of Western Ontario announced that university president Paul Davenport would be the 2008 honouree at the Jewish National Fund's Negev dinner. This is not an isolated case. At least two other Canadian university presidents -- at McGill and McMaster -- have accepted similar "honours" from the JNF in recent years. But is the JNF an organization which universities should publicly endorse?...

Unfortunately, the discriminatory and exclusionary features of the JNF's practices and policies in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories are not well known in North America. And it is important to note that the JNF's discriminatory record stands in sharp contrast to that of other Israeli organizations that promote equality and nondiscrimination between Palestinians and Israeli Jews, such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah, Zochrot and B'Tselem.

When a university president chooses to accept an invitation to be a JNF honouree, this amounts to a statement endorsing its work and is thus contrary to the mission of a modern university in a diverse and tolerant society. Public endorsements are not given to other organizations which discriminate against indigenous, ethnic or racialized groups. They should not be given to the JNF....

. . .

Since this article was published in the March 2008 issue of the Bulletin of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the JNF has been active in "honouring" prominent Canadians, including Belinda Stronach (2009), former President and CEO of BMO Financial group Tony Comper (2009), Sandra Pupatello, former Ontario cabinet minister (2010), former Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader John Tory (2011), Manitoba cabinet minister Christine Melnick (2011), Stockwell Day (2011), former London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best (2011), and St. Clair College president John Strasser (2011). The 2012 JNF Canada dinners will "honour" among others Minister of Censorship and Deportation Jason Kenney on June 24 in London, Ontario.