EVERYONE KNOWS THE VAST MAJORITY ARE MUSLIMS. BUT NO ONE WILL SAY IT. AND JEWISH STUDENTS ARE LEFT TO FEAR THESE UNCIVILIZED MOBS.
Ottawa slams Israeli Apartheid Week
J.P. Moczulski for National Post
Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses an event of the Canadian Jewish Politcal Affairs Committee in Toronto, March 10, 2011
Sarah Boesveld, National Post, with files from Tamsin McMahon · Mar. 11, 2011 | Last Updated: Mar. 11, 2011 9:02 PM ET
There is a growing Canadian backlash against Israeli Apartheid Week, the on-campus campaign to delegitimize Israel.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney issued a strongly worded statement Friday, asking students to think twice before joining activities tied to the week, taking place across Canada and internationally this month.
The events, which seek to promote Palestinian human rights, are frequently “accompanied by anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and bullying,” Mr. Kenney said, and are at times planned and promoted with disregard for the safety of Jewish students, professors and others on campus.
“These activities can cultivate an atmosphere exactly the opposite of one that is open to the free exchange of ideas and the development of the mind with the aid of facts and logic,” he said. Repeatedly singling out and condemning Israel year after year creates a “hateful environment” that “offends not only our sense of fairness, but also our core Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”
“Such scapegoating becomes yet another symptom of a worrying new acceptance of the vilification of Israel and of Jews around the world.”
At a Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Community fundraiser Thursday evening, Prime Minister Stephen Harper slammed anti-Semitism on Canadian campuses, saying the organized Israeli Apartheid Weeks had become increasingly sophisticated and “intellectually acceptable.”
“At one time, friends, we could’ve expected threatening behaviour toward Jewish students to be rejected in any form at institutions of higher learning,” he told a crowd gathered at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. “Unfortunately, it is now often the behaviour of the anti-Israeli mob that is allowed to prevail.”
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, who also spoke at the event, said it’s time activists stop comparing Israel to South Africa, where apartheid was in place for approximately 45 years and finally abolished in 1993. He, too, released an official statement Monday condemning the week as a “dangerous cocktail of ignorance and intolerance” that threatens “the mutual respect” of Canadian society.
The Ignatieff statement led to controversy at Queen’s University in Kingston after a student-elected education advocate published a politically charged response and signed it with his official title. Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf distanced the university from Nick Day’s letter, which was posted on left-wing news site rabble.ca on Wednesday. At a meeting Thursday night, the student government voted to hold a referendum Mar. 22 and 23 in which students will decide whether they want him removed from the position.
Mr. Day told the Queen’s Journal he regretted signing the letter as Queen’s rector, but doesn’t regret writing it.
“I made a public statement based on principles and ideas that I think are extremely important, speaking as myself and not claiming to speak for every student,” he told the student paper. “It’s the principal’s right to clarify that the university doesn’t share my opinion.”
National Post, with files
from Tamsin McMahon
Israeli Apartheid Week events, which started about seven years ago on college and university campuses, wrapped up in Toronto Friday night. Events will continue to take place on campuses across Canada in the next two weeks as well.
Israeli Apartheid Week is taking place in over 90 cities around the world this year, organizers say.
With files from Tamsin McMahon