In 1988, Carleton University divested from apartheid. Sadly, in 2011, Carleton University is fundraising for apartheid. According to the Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNFC), Carleton President Roseann Runte will be an "honorary co-chair" of their annual Negev Gala. Further, Carleton is listed as a "proud supporter" of the evening. When SAIA-Carleton learned of this, we were quite surprised. Considering we have spent the past two years highlighting our institution's complicity in the Israeli occupation -- through our divestment campaign -- we never thought our president would brazenly associate herself with an organization like the JNFC.
For us, this is just another example of the glaring double standard on our campus. Can you imagine our president fundraising for a Palestinian organization? What about a Palestinian human rights organization? Actually, they officially distanced themselves from one of those in 2008. In an email to the entire university, the Provost wanted to be sure Carleton University was not associated with an event featuring Al Haq. One year later they banned the internationally used Israeli Apartheid Week poster and sent security to confiscate them from students. However, other students were once able to erect a 15-foot tall display, titled "Terror Built this Fence," adorned with images of shrapnel wounds. Last year, two members of our group were assaulted on campus (myself included). Although University Safety sent out a campus-wide email about a stolen laptop days later, they didn't even bother to ask us for our video footage of the assailant (he ended up being a Carleton student). I suppose I should also mention that our president accepted a paid trip to Israel while working at another school in the United States. The list goes on and on...
We cannot let this stand. We already knew our university wasn't neutral but this is absolutely ridiculous. So far, we've collected over 500 personal letters from Carleton students that are outraged and want Runte and the Carleton administration to retract their support of the event. We'll be continuing to build opposition in the coming weeks and we need your help!
This Monday, Nov. 7, SAIA will be holding a public rally at Carleton University to challenge the administration's support of the JNF's fundraising gala. We will be planting trees in recognition of the the Palestinian village ruins that lay under Canada Park.
However, if you can't make it to the rally, please send President Runte and the Carleton administration a message by clicking HERE.
To read SAIA's full statement regarding the JNF fundraising gala, click HERE.
For some excellent background info on the JNF from Faculty for Palestine (Ottawa), click HERE.
SAIA at Carleton is an autonomous chapter of the broader, non-hierarchical SAIA collective. For more information on SAIA at Carleton please refer to Carleton University Students taking sides on Israeli Apartheid.
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