THE YORK UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON INCLUSIONThink I should hit 'em up to sponsor me for this year's Walk With Israel?
Five of 15 members nominated this week have publicly expressed these sentiments about Israel:
1. JOHN GREYSON, Graduate program director, Dept. of Cinema and Media Arts
- A founding member of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and supporter of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement
- Withdrew his film from TIFF in 2009 in protest of festival’s spotlight on Tel Aviv
- Was enroute to Gaza in summer of 2013 when imprisoned in Egypt
2. FAISAL BHABHA, Associate prof, Osgoode Hall Law school
- Spoke at Israel Apartheid Week event at Ryerson in 2012 and wrote article in Star entitled “Boycott of Israeli settlement products is both legally and morally just.”
3. SAEED RAHNEMA, (retired), public policy and administration and equity studies
- Supports BDS
- Told CTV News in 2010 that Israel showed excessive force when it raided a flotilla and that the country should negotiate with Hamas
4. NARDA RAZACK, Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
- First joined anti-Israel boycott campaign in 2002
- Visited Al-Quds university in 2012
5. ROXANNE MYKITIUK, Associate Prof, Osgoode Hall Law School
- Signed an open letter to the three federal leaders in 2014 accusing Israel of “potential grave violations of international law” in a manner that "could amount to war crimes."
Meanwhile, in a bid to counter Jewish negativity aimed at York U., some Jewish profs have penned an open letter that appears in this week's Canadian Jewish News. The profs are hoping we'll put the recent unpleasantness behind us and see no evil, so to speak:
...The painting affair and the armament divestment motion alike reveal both how high and how low the stakes are on matters of student and campus politics. The stakes are low because the vast majority of the York community is not especially invested in debating the politics of the Middle East. Much of our student body and faculty tune out the political noise surrounding them. Beyond our own local communities, motions and paintings like these have negligible impact.
Yet the stakes are high because the contours of this debate shape our campus community, its culture, and the personal relationships among students, faculty members, and administrators. These matters have sown unwelcome divisiveness. The stakes are also high because the opinions that students form, the relationships they build, and the knowledge they gain during their undergraduate studies form the foundations of the rest of their political lives. We take these high stakes very seriously; they speak precisely to why the presence of Jews, Jewish life and Jewish Studies on campus are so important.
The solution is not to give up, divest from, abandon, or add fuel to the fire at York. It is to invest positively in Jewish students, Jewish life, and Jewish Studies. We invite everyone to our campus events, lectures and to audit our classes. Come and engage the richness of Jewish life and learning at York University.The solution is not to "sha shtil" (which is what the call to not "add fuel to the fire" amounts to). The solution is to acknowledge that Israel-haters have made university campuses Ground Zero in their ongoing eliminationist efforts, which have been particularly successful at York U., and which have been tolerated to an unconscionable degree by campus authorities. Until that occurs--and for now, there's no reason to think it will--it's going to be awfully hard to see the forest of "rich" Jewish life and learning for the trees--the weeds, really--of endemic Zionhass.
Update: It's more than a little ironic that John Greyson would be tapped for a "committee on inclusion" given that he made of point of excluding his film from TIFF a few years ago, a protest for the festival having the effrontery to include a raft of Tel Aviv-themed films.
Including John Greyson on an anti-anti-Semitism "inclusion" committee is akin to "including" Barack H. Obama to deliver the keynote address at a testimonial dinner for Bibi Netanyahu.