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Middle East

  • Why is a Montréal school pushing students to join the Israeli military?

    Canadian law makes it illegal to recruit soldiers within the country for a foreign state, but the line between enticing impressionable young people to consider joining the IDF and formal recruitment is blurred. Legal questions aside, should a Montréal school funnel youngsters into a foreign military engaged in a brutal 50-year occupation? And should taxpayers foot the bill?

  • Jewish faculty in Canada against the adoption of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism

    We write as Jewish faculty from across Canadian universities and colleges with deep concern regarding recent interventions on our campuses relating to Israel and Palestine. We add our voices to a growing international movement of Jewish scholars to insist that university policies to combat anti-Semitism are not used to stifle legitimate criticisms of the Israeli state, or the right to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

  • Why the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is a clear and present danger to academic freedom

    The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism misconstrues the term to include a broad range of criticism of the State of Israel, targeting decolonial and anti-racist critiques of the policies and practices of the Israeli state. Such targeted attacks, which primarily impact racialized faculty and students, will have a negative effect on the academic freedom of faculty in the classroom, in their research, and in campus politics more broadly.

  • Canada’s aid to Yemen is just a humanitarian band-aid

    Beyond specific campaigns, we need social movements and political parties to challenge Canada’s destructive arms economy and the upward flow of wealth spurred by intellectual property rights accords and other forms of exploitation. We need urgently to build a peaceful, fair world where aid is given—not to maintain existing conditions, but to upend them completely.

  • How the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is shielding Israel from criticism

    The Ontario government first adopted the IHRA definition by introducing Bill 168, and then through an order in council on October 26. Though the rise of hate crimes against Jewish people have led many to call for such legislation, the main issue critics raise with the IHRA’s 38-word definition of anti-Semitism is that it shuts down criticism of Israel while undermining anti-racism and decolonization initiatives.

  • The duty to end Israeli apartheid

    When the occupation becomes apartheid and defines the identity of the state, international action is required—yes, just as happened with South Africa. What worked there could work here too. Let’s see what happens when Israelis start to pay for the sins of their state. A true patriot should yearn for that day. Which is why the discussion of Israel as an apartheid state is so important.

  • Yes, the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is intended to censor political expression

    Pro-Israel groups have long tried to shut down Palestine activism in the name of false anti-Semitism charges, but they hope that by implementing the IHRA working definition, institutions will be obliged to comply with their demands. If the IHRA definition is indeed enforced in a way that silences critics of Israel, it will be the definition’s intended outcome—the very thing it was built to do.

  • A reply to B’nai Brith, and Canada’s UN vote

    B’nai Brith Canada claims to represent the vast majority of Canada’s approximately 330,000 Jews. I don’t think they do—and I can’t believe it’s so. On matters related to Israel-Palestine, their positions and pronouncements strike me as morally shrivelled and mean-spirited, and liable to cast Jews, Jewishness and the Jewish people, of whom I am one, into disrepute.

  • Don’t be fooled by Canada’s recent pro-Palestine UN vote

    If Canada is serious about holding Israel to account, it must do more than put forward symbolic votes at the UN. Only when the Trudeau government begins to listen to Palestinian voices and rejects the leading proponents of the “new anti-Semitism” thesis which seeks to label criticism of Israel as a form of anti-Jewish discrimination, will we be capable of moving forward together.

  • Gone viral: Moral panic over Palestinian content in Ontario schools

    By posting the student video in a host of online venues, pro-Israel apologists ensured that their outrage would go viral, that it would criminalize an innocent young student, and stoke anti-Arab sentiments among their adherents. But the irony in this propaganda effort is this: as with COVID, the viral spread of digital matter does not discriminate politically. It can both serve and destroy its users.

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