June 9, 2021
Dr. Peter Stoicheff,
President of University of Saskatchewan
Re: antisemitic lies published in The Sheaf
Dear Dr Stoicheff,
It has come to our attention that the student paper at the University of Saskatchewan is publishing antisemitic lies which may potentially lead to incitement, and definitely encourage bigotry against Jews. This is a pattern oft repeated at universities across North America, and if not confronted now, will in short order lead to on campus bullying, discrimination and injustice to Jewish students. Take heed now!
It is inflammatory to state lies about Israel and the Jewish people and is to be condemned; it is an example of antisemitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which should be adopted and implemented immediately at the University of Saskatchewan.
It is perfectly fine to offer criticism of Israeli policy, as it is to criticize the policies of any other country, but it is NOT okay to deny Israel’s right to exist, to lie about her history, to make up stories about Zionism which is the belief in the national home of the Jewish people in Israel and is repeatedly spoken of in the Torah and in texts for hundreds of years. That it became a political movement is not a settler colonial project but the embodiment of Jewish historical rights to the land that has never been any country other than Israel. It is absurd that students at your university don’t know history nor care to research facts. Publishing inciting material is not only degrading to the academic environment but inflammatory, and harkens back to the 1930s when Jews were vilified by German academics and student bodies. Substitute Israel for Jew and we see the repetition and we see the impact as campuses are becoming unsafe for Jews. You have the authority to stop this now!
There is almost no truths in the article that was published. CAEF does not deny that Gazans were hurt or killed, but the context is crucial. FACTS MATTER. Hamas, a terrorist organization, is responsible for yet another war against Israel. Hamas militants shelter in residential areas, hospitals and schools and build only terror tunnels, not bomb shelters, or community centers. Some of the people killed were victims of the rockets from Hamas that fell in Gaza; some were militants, some were children intentionally put in harms way by Hamas, an Islamist supremacist organization which loves death not life. The Hamas Charter is key to understanding that this Jew hating inhumane organization has one goal—the extermination of Israel and thus mass murder of Jews. Actually, they are fine about killing Muslims and Christians too if they live in Israel. And, oh yes, their charter includes a commitment to killing Jews around the world.
Any supplies that are not allowed in to Gaza are restricted only if they can be used to build arms factories and terror tunnels, yet thousands of pounds of humanitarian supplies travel from Israel into Gaza daily. The border that is most often kept closed is between Gaza and Egypt not Israel. If there are buildings blown up or children murdered this serves Hamas well in their global propaganda war in which your students are now complicit—demonize Israel and isolate it, lie about the only democracy in the Middle East and the only place where LGBTQ folks of all faiths are free to live.
The maps portrayed in the article are false. There was Never a country called Palestine but there was a land mass under British control called the Mandate for Palestine that was initiated in 1920 post WWI and the people were all called Palestinians--Jews and Muslims. As the coin in the photo shows, it was Hebrew not Arabic that was used, as also the Jewish star was on the stamps in the 1920s. There has never been an Arab state in that area, even when parts were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949-1967. In the 1920 division of the mandate, the Jews were to receive a much larger land mass, and be assisted by Britain to reconstitute their nation, while the Arabs were given land to create Transjordan, one of 22 Arab states. There is only 1 Jewish state and it is on land where Jews have always lived, and have now rebuilt the country of Israel. It is NOT on Arab land, and do note that Arabs arrived in Israel largely after the Jews started to return in the 1800s to build. After WWI, the victors took the land from the Ottomans not the Arabs.
to facts, see maps of truth and history not conjecture and lies. Require the student press activists to get informed, to denounce antisemitism, to refuse to publish lies and articles intended to promote hatred. The rise in antisemitism in Canada can be shown to be a direct result of the disinformation and inflammatory campaigns started by young adults who are ignorant of history and roused by zealots who would destroy the country of Israel. How is this different from the Nazi desire to destroy all Jews?
Speak up, be accountable, challenge the lies and demand moral integrity. Students are not excused for spreading hatred. Faculty are not excused for ignoring it. Administration is not excused for allowing it.