CAEF Letter to McGill U president, March 13, 2023
Prof. Christopher Manfredi, Interim Principal & Vice Chancellor
Re: McGill’s ties with Iran and its Antisemitic atmosphere
Dear President Manfredi;
The article in the National Post of March 9th, 2023—(see link) raises deep and troubling concerns for the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation and no doubt for all Jews in Canada, as well as all democratic-loving Canadians, and also Iranian regime dissidents. While your interim appointment expires on April 1st with the arrival of Professor Saini, it is urgent that some expression of McGill’s plan to address this abhorrent situation be shared publicly. That the antisemitism and anti-democracy bias has gotten this far is totally unacceptable, though not surprising as the university has countless times failed to address the rising tide of antisemitism, often dismissing it as “free speech’ or the “independent” views of a student body, such as the student newspaper, the McGill Daily. All of this is irresponsible.
We doubt that the university would have tolerated explicit statements and campaigns against any other minority group. Lies about Muslims, LGBTQ+ people or Black Canadians would no doubt have resulted in a serious investigation, discipline, and where appropriate, the withholding of funds or other sanctions. Another common cop out of an irresponsible administration is to relegate the Jew hatred, which these days emanates from Anti-Zionism, ie denigrating the Jewish state of Israel, to the noxious claim that lies and bigotry about Israel are simply a matter of a difference of opinion about a geo-political issue. Utter nonsense and discrimination!
Any support for the terror regime of Iran, especially through ongoing partnerships, acts to legitimate the anti-humanity, anti-democracy, Islamist supremacist and Jew hating government. Canada has spoken out against Iran for its lack of freedoms, horrendous treatment of women and minorities, and yet your university offers a partnership with might be deemed immoral as well as irresponsible.
McGill University’s relationship with Tehran University discredits your entire university and jeopardizes the safety of Iranian and Jewish students.
The Nazis were excellent at establishing antisemitism as core to its educational system and many academic elite supported this. Jew hatred was profound at German universities before and during WWII and rates of antisemitism have been found to be highest among the most educated now as well. So what is McGill University going to do to address this? Will you start to evaluate course materials that deal with the Middle East, Islamic Studies and various social science courses, and evaluate the teachings of identified faculty whose teachings, social media, research and presentations spew forth Jew hatred, often masquerading as anti-Zionism?
Will McGill University’s administration take a firm stand to protect all students, eradicate bigotry and antisemitism, and speak out against genuine evil that is pervasive in the Iranian regime? We await your plan to End Jew Hatred.
Cc Prof. H. Deep Saini, Incoming Principal and Vice Chancellor
Ms. Maryse Bertrand, Chair of the Board of Governors