CAEF Statement of Support to UofT Faculty of Law

CAEF COMMENDS THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO FACULTY OF LAW FOR RECINDING HIRE OFFER TO ANTIZIONIST ACADEMIC—IHRA MUST BE ADOPTED AT ALL UNIVERSITIES TO FIGHT ANTISEMITIC LIES


We have been watching an event unfold in Toronto that is becoming a typical university travesty: recruitment of antisemites to key posts and increased antisemitism/antiZionism on campus. Recently there has been controversy at the University of Toronto Law Faculty regarding the position of Director of International Human Rights Program (IHRP) and Dr. Valentina Azarova, an avowed antiZionist whose work showers venom and lies about Israel. That Dr. Azarova would be the top candidate is very disturbing. Due to some suggested intervention, the Dean did not follow through with an offer. We believe that all people of good conscience should be concerned about this matter. It is time to be loud and proud and stand up for Israel, against antiZionism and against Jew-hatred.

We are issuing the attached rebuttal to be posted on our website and sent to mainstream media and others, along with the link to the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel statement that prompted this response. The intent of the pro-Palestinian statement is to have the university offer the appointment to Dr. Azarova. We are concerned that the Dean or others might come under fire for negating a committee decision, if such an offer has indeed been rescinded. We think it is time the University of Toronto and all its departments and divisions adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and implement it.

THE CANADIAN ANTISEMITISM EDUCATION FOUNDATION


Supports the University of Toronto’s Decision to Not Appoint an AntiZionist to the Faculty of Law and Urges Adoption of the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism


It is deeply troubling that any academic institution in Canada would intentionally support the appointment of any scholar or educator, especially for a Faculty of Law at a Canadian university department, who does not recognize truth and uphold justice as the sine qua non of good practice and ethical teaching. The fact that an offer of employment was ever considered for Dr. Valentina Azarova by the University of Toronto was a serious error, and suggests as well a serious bias and lack of good judgment by the Hiring Committee for the position of Director of the International Human Rights Program (IHRP).


Until the recent decision to cancel or not act on a U of T hiring committee’s decision to offer an employment contract (CAEF has not confirmed the offer was formally made or just recommended), the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law might have been run by Dr. Valentina Azarova. Dr. Azarov might have been found guilty of antisemitism using several of the criteria determined by the working definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) of which Canada is a signatory, and this would have hurt the Jewish students, faculty, administration and our community, as well as misinformed and potentially alienated hundreds of students from a positive informed view of Israel and Jews.

Since the cancellation of this offer (CAEF has not confirmed that the offer was officially made or just recommended), a petition has been circulating complaining about the suppression of free speech at the U of T and across Canada. The author of this petition, Azeezah Kanji, writes very misleading statements, distorts or ignores history and truth, and repeats false claims about the IHRA. The fact is well-documented that across North American campuses, including those in Canada, a leftist bias has all but eliminated the truth about relations between Israeli Jews and Arabs, and those Arabs living under the domination of two terror regimes -- Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria (referred to as the ‘West Bank’ by those who seek to wipe out Jewish history). There is no country called Palestine and never has been, so the very title of the “Statement on Palestine Speech Suppression..” circulated by Azeezah Kanji and supported by her preferred candidate, Valentina Azarova, and the many signatories to her petition, indicates clearly the political bias and anti-Israel bigotry inherent in the entire commotion she is creating.


That lies have no bounds and are enhanced with every telling, or to quote the old adage, lies travel faster than truths is very concerning in this era of rapid communication and increasing antisemitism.


CAEF is concerned with the misstatements published by Ms. Kanji (See below) and which are refuted below (in blue italics) by CAEF.


“… pervasive repression of speech and scholarship on Palestine.”


THERE IS NO REPRESSION OF SPEECH, NOR IS THERE VALID SCHOLARSHIP RELATED TO A PLACE THAT SOME CALL PALESTINE. HOW CAN THERE BE SOMETHING AKIN TO SCHOLARSHIP WHEN IT IS BASED ON FABRICATIONS—A FABRICATED HISTORY, A FABRICATED COUNTRY, A FABRICATED PEOPLE?


“Lawyers, academics, journalists, teachers, artists, students, activists and trade unions in Canada have been subjected to smear campaigns, event cancellations, physical violence, professional disciplinary measures and condemnation… for opposing Israel’s gross violations of international law and expressing solidarity with Palestinians.”


THE TRUTH IS QUITE DIFFERENT AS THE MAJORITY OF EVENT CANCELLATIONS, VIOLATIONS, THREATS AND INTIMIDATIONS ON ALL COLLEGE AND UNIVESITY CAMPUSES IN CANADA, THE US AND EUROPE ARE AGAINST JEWS, CONSERVATIVE VOICES, AND AGAINST THOSE OPPOSED TO THE LIES AND BIGOTRIES OF THE “PRO-PALESTINIAN ANTI-ISRAEL CAMPAIGNERS.


THE BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS PROPONENTS CARE NOT AT ALL ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS OR JUSTICE OR THEY WOULD CAMPAIGN FOR HAMAS AND THE PA TO STOP JAILING AND KILLING ARABS WHO EXPRESS AN INTEREST IN PEACE.


“The clamp down threatens to be further exacerbated by the institutionalization of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.”


INDEED, AS WAS LEARNED FROM THE NAZIS, WHO WERE SUPPORTED ENTIRELY BY THE ARAB MUSLIM GRAND MUFTI OF JERUSALEM, THE FIRST LINE OF DESTRUCTION OF JEWS IS THROUGH LANGUAGE, LIES, DESPICABLE IMAGES AND FALSE CLAIMS, SO IN 2020 THE JEWS ARE NOT GOING TO STAND FOR IT.


JEWS AND THEIR ALLIES, PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL ON ALL SIDES OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM ARE DENYING THE BIGOTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEFAME THE JEWISH NATIONAL HOMELAND USING THE SAME LIES AND TROPES USED FOR CENTURIES AGAINST JEWS.


IT STOPS NOW WITH ADOPTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE INTERNATIOAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE ALLIANCE (IHRA) DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM, WITH COUNTERING THE HOSTILE, ANTIZIONIST PROPAGANDA, AND TEACHING TRUTH. ARABS WHO LIVE IN ISRAEL AND MAKE UP 20% OF THE POPULATION HAVE THE BEST LIFE OF ALL MUSLIMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST- FULL EQUALITY- THE ARAB POPULATION HAS GROWN SUBSTANTIALLY IN NUMBER PROVING THERE IS NO GENOCIDE.


THE LIES AGAINST THE JEWISH STATE ABOUND BUT WITH IHRA THIS MUST STOP!


“…the danger of legally conflating anti-Zionism with antisemitism.”


THE REAL DANGER IS IN IGNORING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANTI-ZIONISM AND ANTISEMITISM. WELL RESEARCHED STUDIES BY AMCHA INITIATIVE AND OTHERS HAVE SHOWN THAT AS ANTI-ISRAEL BDS CAMPAIGNS INCREASE ON CAMPUS SO DOES HATE AND THREATS TO THE SAFETY OF JEWISH STUDENTS.

THE DEPICTIONS OF ISRAEL ARE FAMILIAR FROM ANCIENT TO MODERN JEW HATRED. ZIONISM IS THE OLDEST CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND IS THE THIRD PILLAR OF JUDIASM-- THE BELIEF IN GOD, THE TORAH AND ISRAEL ARE KEY ELEMENTS OF THE FAITH.


DENYING ZIONISM OR PORTRAYING IT AS SOMETHING IT IS NOT, IS PART OF THE EVIL CABAL AGAINST JEWS.


WHERE IS THE ANTI-ARAB CAMPAIGN DEFENDING THE RIGHTS OF MINORITIES -- RIGHTS WHICH DO NOT EXIST IN MOST ARAB COUNTRIES? WHERE IS THE ANTI-CHINA CAMPAIGN FOR ITS TREATMENT OF TIBETANS, OF MUSLIMS AND OTHER MINORITIES? IT APPEARS TO BE ONLY ISRAEL THAT THE SO-CALLED SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS CHOOSE TO VILIFY. THAT PRETTY MUCH SUMS UP ANTISEMITISM.


“…The intensification of Palestinian oppression and dispossession, with Israel’s planned formal annexation of Palestinian territory—“


THE BASELESS CLAIMS BY VALENTINA AZAROVA AND AZEEZAH KANJI AND MANY OF THE ANTI-ISRAEL, JEW-HATING SIGNATORIES TO KANJI’S STATEMENT, ARE EVIDENCE to SUPPORT THE REASONING THAT LED TO THE WITHDRAWAL OF AN OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT TO A SO-CALLED ACADEMIC WHOSE WORK MASQUERADES AS ANTIZIONISM BUT IS TRULY ANTISEMITIC. CONSIDERING ANTI-ZIONISM IS HER DISCIPLINE, IT IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE U OF T TO IDENTIFY THE DANGER OF PUTTING AZAROVA IN FRONT OF A CLASSROOM.