Dear Presidents of Toronto-based universities;
Your silence in the face of student antisemitsm is disturbing. As you cannot be ignorant of the fact that the” academy” across North America has become increasingly hostile and harassing to Jewish students, your lack of intervention is endangering Jewish lives, denying Jews the opportunity for a safe and welcoming environment that you swear is sacred at our universities. Your silence is allowing hate to fester; it is allowing lies to be perpetuated and truth to be squandered. How is this serving the “Higher Education” of Canadian young people?
That this is on your watch is your responsibility!
Here is what is being spewed like a black cloud across the country by student associations/federations and Jew hating student bodies and the charade is that this is acceptable criticism of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.
An excerpt from the “Statement of Solidarity with Palestine” (see full document: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/534d4d15e4b0458a1fec3b4e/t/60a5712aa7a01358d9e729f0/1621455146455/2021.05.19-Palestine+Statement+of+Solidarity-FINAL.pdf. )
“As of May 15th, it has been 73 years of ongoing Nakba - Palestinian people have been subject to apartheid, ethnic cleansing, land theft, and a violation of their basic human rights by the Israeli state. As every second passes, the violent Zionist colonial occupation continues commiting said crimes against the Palestinian people. The silence of western media and the involvement of colonial states further contributes to the violent motives of the apartheid state. The silence of western media and the involvement of colonial states further contributes to the violent motives of the apartheid state. The people of Palestine and the diaspora alike continue to resist the state-sanctioned violence and genocide that has been forced upon them for decades.”
There are so many lies in this paragraph that one could write a thesis on Jew hatred based on these words alone. The Nabka is reference to the legal establishment of Jewish State of Israel and the war that 5 Arab armies initiated almost immediately. The tragedy is that the Arabs have continued this war for 73 years, but it began even earlier.
Do you teach history at your universities? Do you teach critical analysis of facts and investigative journalism? Do you teach that there are truths not just narratives that help one to understand the world, the current context and how we got to current situations, or are you only teaching the lies and biases of critical race theory, dividing the world into racial groups and assuming that truth is subjective and if it isn’t in line with one’s political opinion, you can deny it? How far would Western countries have come if we allowed that garbage to be how people viewed Nazism, and the racist hatred it spewed? How is it different with the lies of the Islamists who have successfully taken a foothold at your respective institutions? Are you so focused on your own careers that you have abandoned truth for opinion?
Arab murder of Jews proceeded long before 1948 when the state of Israel was formed. The Arab Muslim Mufti of Jerusalem was an ally of Hitler’s and had free reign to kill Jews, and even urged that Germany let him finish off the Jews when they immigrated to the Mandate of Palestine.
Arabs received special concession from Britain which held the Mandate for Palestine while Britain was actually charged with reconstituting the Jewish homeland. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AN ARAB COUNTRY CALLED PALESTINE OR ANY OTHER ARAB COUNTRY ON THE LAND OF ISRAEL AND IT WAS LAND CAPTURED BY THE VICTORS OF WWI FROM THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.
Jews have lived in Israel for over 3500 years and were always a presence there. The Arabs came from Arabia, much later. Jews were expelled several times, but not every Jew left and Jews always returned.
The Jews were promised a much greater piece of the Mandate but the majority of the land went to create Transjordan, which is Jordan today, and home to mostly people who consider themselves Palestinians. The Jordanian government illegally occupied the areas of Judea and Samaria and part of Jerusalem for 19 years, granted citizenship to the Arabs there; then they cancelled Jordanian citizenship when Israel liberated the area in 1967. It is convenient that Jordan, an Arab country, along with Lebanon, Syria and other countries manufactured the idea of permanent refugee status for Arabs who chose to leave Israeli lands.
There has NEVER been ethnic cleansing of Arabs by Jews, but was massive ethnic cleansing by the Arabs in every Arab country from 1947-67 and that included forcibly evicting all Jews from their ancient homes in Judea, Samaria and the Old City of Jerusalem when they captured the area in 1949; some of whose families had been there for hundreds of years. Where is this in the campaigns about colonization and apartheid?
There is no apartheid in Israel and never has been; over 50% of Jews are from countries other than Europe. Israel is the only country that rescued an entire Black population from Africa and gave them full citizenship and all rights on arrival. Arabs still have a few countries where they practice slavery. Many Muslim countries allow child marriage, forced female circumcision, multiple wives per man, and control the free movement of women, and outlaw LGBTQ people, even murdering them.
There has NEVER been a genocide—that explains why the population of Muslim Arabs continues to grow year over year and comprises almost 20% of the Israeli population with members sitting in the Knesset and holding positions in every sector of life in Israel.
Jews are not colonialists. Jews were always there, Jews bought land from the absentee Ottoman landlords, Jews returned after WWII when other countries did not want them and they were survivors of the world’s worst humanitarian tragedy, and still such lies are being shared by so called students of a Canadian education. Jews did not colonize Arabs, but have attempted to live side by side; hence so many Arabs are doing well in Israel, have more freedom, longer lifespan and better opportunities than in any Arab country.
People, these are but a few facts to counter the lies and if you are not willing to stand up and state facts, and be an ally with the Jews who are being persecuted by the named student bodies, then on what basis do you hold a position of knowledge and authority?
If you will not call out the lies and demand accountability by student bodies, defund them for promoting hatred and violence, challenge their hypocrisy, and even suspend the leadership, then how are we to defend freedom in this country? How declare that we are inclusive? Inclusive of what—of lies, stupidity, disinformation, prejudice and Jew hatred?
You have a job to do Presidents—and in the words of humanitarian and Holocaust survivor, Eli Weisel it is this:
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.”
If you are siding with the antisemites, you are an antisemite, then heaven help Canada!
Andria Spindel, Executive Director
Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation