August 27, 2021
Dr. Kevin Hall
University of Victoria
Dear President Hall;
As tensions along the Gaza border with Israel again ramp up due to Hamas again launching attacks against Israel, our concern heightens in regards to your acceptance of Dr. Shamma Boyarin to teach a course on antisemitism.
The famous author Robert Wistrich who wrote The Longest Hatred stated that “for antisemitism to disappear or even be diminished, it must first be understood.” The level of understanding of this 2000-year-old recurring phenomenon needs to be studied in all its varied in-depth aspects. Such far- reaching context has implications for all racist issues and for our society itself, as well as for Canada’s democratic future.
Antisemitism is the canary in the mine, warning us that the society is in danger because wherever this hatred has risen, many have suffered and died, while the true roots of unrest have been camouflaged with an easily-identified scapegoat—the Jew.
It was only in the last one hundred years that scholars living in free societies have approached antisemitism as a topic for research; searching well beyond what Jews do or don’t do, into the paradigms of societies and prominent ideologies that provide fertile soil for Jew-hatred. Repetitious examples of myths and lies allow antisemites to blame the Jews for doing exactly what they themselves are actually promoting. Hitler claimed the Jews were the enemy of the nation with plans to take over the world as was written in the fakery document, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Who was really taking over the world? It was Hitler who was recorded as saying that he studied and used the strategies in The Protocols.
Dr. Shamma Boyarin thinks Israel is promoting genocide and yet the number of Palestinian Arabs has grown immensely while pro-Palestinian groups scream, “Free Palestine from the river to the sea,” promoting genocide against Jews and the destruction of Israel. Genocide of all Jews was the plan that Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, had planned. Al-Husseini was encouraged by Hitler to eliminate all Jews living in Palestine during WWII and his commitment continued even after that war, with the invasion of 5 Arab armies the day after Israel declared independence. Hamas continues to promote this goal as can be read in its Charter!
What does Dr. Shamma Boyarin know about the Mufti of Jerusalem’s close association with Hitler and his propaganda broadcasts from Berlin during WWII, propaganda sent to all Arabs in the countries that idolized him as their leader? What does he know about the Jewish refugees who were driven out of Arab lands with no aid or assets? How would he teach the necessary religious and political ideologies, key elements to deciphering the entanglement of economic and cultural divides that fuel the Israel-Hamas/PA Wars? Antisemitism in the Middle East is unlike that of Christian Europe, but just as irrational and dangerous. That several Arab and Muslim countries have now adopted the IHRA definition of Antisemitism that Canada also adopted, suggests that antisemitism spurred on by Hamas and its commitment to the destruction of Israel, is no longer mainstream, and normalization is possible. Does Dr. Boyarin agree?
We urge you to reconsider this faulty teaching selection. We urge that you appoint an expert, a historian who will research the topic, provide evidentiary information, show balance in rigorously choosing appropriate material. We would be to suggest appropriate readings, and provide links to valuable recorded lectures, and presentation, such as this comprehensive overview of The History of Antisemitism by Steve Goldberg.
Anyone who supports the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is not fit to teach a course on Israel, on antisemitism, or on any aspect of Jewish Studies for that movement calls for the annihilation of Jews. Surrounding Israel are terrorist states and non-state actors, and there is plenty of Arab money funding the hateful BDS campaigns, and other antisemitic disinformation programs. We call on you to stand up for truth and ensure a safe, hate-free environment for students and an inclusive tolerant democratic nation.
Israel is a beacon of justice, peace, democracy, inclusion, in the tumultuous region in which she lives. Israel has given so much to our world—technological innovations and medical discoveries, health and welfare developments, agricultural and hydroponic advances, and more. Israel is continuously in a war inflicted on her by war mongering Jew haters, and she still stands tall with the most moral army in the world.
Dr. Hall, there is no middle ground. There is no way that an individual who holds antisemitic beliefs can teach a course on antisemitism nor should he be privileged with such a task.
Take a stand on the right side of justice, and the proper perspective for educating our future leaders in Canada.
Chair, Education Committee, End Jew Hatred Canada