March 15, 2011

Support Israel Apartheid Week in Canada against McCarthyism

Canada loves Israel the way only white settlers can love. The Harper administration, eager to secure for Canada a front row at the upcoming 'clash of civilizations', has made determined support for Israel the cornerstone of its international posture (not to mention lucrative trade in arms). In 2009, for example, Canada was the only country on the UN Human Rights Council who voted against condemning Israel's punitive expedition in Gaza. Repressive domestic measure are everywhere the inevitable companion of such a wretched foreign policy, and Canada didn't disappoint. George Galloway was banned from entering Canada because of his alleged "support for Hamas," among many other sins. KAIROS, a Canadian faith based Christian organization, was defunded by the Canadian government for the crime of sharing a name with the pro-BDS document, Kairos, issued by Palestinian Christians.

Opposing antisemitism being the last refuge of the latter day scoundrel, the Canadian ruling class fully invested itself in the task of defending imaginary Jews from imaginary racism. Last year, the Ontario regional parliament took time from less pressing issues to condemn "Israel Apartheid Week," a series of events organized by students on a budget that wouldn't buy Canada a minute of repression in Afghanistan. In March 2009, the Canadian parliament created a Coalition to Combat antisemitism, a barely veiled attempt to rehabilitate Senator McCarthy's tactics and update them for the needs of the day. As its activities make clear, the CPCCA has one and only goal, to suppress public criticism of Israel in Canada.

Canadian universities have become prime targets of the new Canadian Mcchartyism. Student groups involved in BDS have been regularly harassed, banned, fined, their posters censored and their activists disciplined by university administrators, whereas local and national politicians sought to undo students elections, all for Israel. Israel's shills didn't stop with students, but also sought to derail conferences and attack professors and graduate students.

This year, the attack on Israel Apartheid Week reached the national parties. Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal Party, issued a statement condemning the IAW as antisemitic, intolerant and ignorant.

(BTW. You have to visit the website of that Liberal party. These days, the more one has the blood of brown people on one's hands, the more brown faces you can expect to see in their "image". If Goebbles had been as savvy as these people are he would have always appeared in public wrapped in a Jewish prayer shawl.)

One effect of this campaign of intimidation is that it works. Very few untenured professors dare speak critically about Israel. Another effect however is that it backfires. (Yeah, yeah, I know... some people would call this "dialectical." Deal with it!) Even academics who are unconnected to the issue of Palestinian rights care about politicians interfering in their classrooms. By attacking academic freedom, the McCarthyites are making it hard not to see how dependent Canadian foreign policy is on silence, ignorance and disiformation, and what price will all Canadian institutions, including universities, pay, unless they are defeated.

So the Rector of Queen's University, Nick Day, responded publicly to Ignatieff, explaining why including IAW on Canadian campuses was a matter of free speech. He was hang out to dry by the University administration and a referendum for his dismissal has been launched by the usual forces.

Please read and sign this petition defending the Rector and IAW on the campus of Queen's University:

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