rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

A letter from Independent Jewish Voices about Nick Day

In the face of peaceful and increasingly effective Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) events on Canadian campuses, the pro-Israel lobby is pulling out the big guns to attack IAW organizers and defenders. Michael Ignatieff, Joe Volpe, John Baird and Jason Kenney have all issued libelous allegations against the 2011 IAW, claiming falsely that it promotes anti-Semitic harassment of Jewish students and faculty. In fact, Israeli Apartheid Week events have respectfully welcomed open discussion. In many cases, Jewish students and faculty take leading roles in organizing IAW events, because they are deeply troubled by the Israeli oppression of Palestinian people, which is done in the name of all Jews.

Independent Jewish Voices, a pan-Canadian Jewish human rights organization, endorses Israeli Apartheid Week because we believe Israeli policy fits the 1973 United Nations' International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid which defines the crime of apartheid as "inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial/ethnic group of persons over any other racial/ethnic group of persons and systematically oppressing them."

We are very concerned that intimidation and ideological interference on the issue of Israel and Palestine is being used to lower the protections of academic freedom.

We applaud Rector Nick Day's principled courage in challenging Michael Ignatieff's attack on IAW. And we condemn attempts by a small group of pro-Israel Queen's students to impeach him. We also repudiate Principal Woolf's interference and silencing of discussion around Mr. Day's letter and IAW. It is shocking that Principal Woolf has collaborated in a witch-hunt against a student Rector for challenging the position of a political party leader.

We urge Principal Woolfe to apologize to Mr. Day and to stand in support of free speech and respectful dialogue.

Sincerely,

Diana Ralph
For Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.