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Censorship of pro-Palestinian conference denounced

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We write to urge you not to cancel a joint conference by Comité d’action pour la lutte étudiante boulonnaise (CALEB) and Tadamon! April 21 on Israel and Palestine. Behind this censorship attempt appears to be a false belief that critics of Israel are anti-Semitic, or anti-Jewish to be precise. The Jewish people in Quebec and Canada are divided on the issues of Israel and Palestine. There are many Jewish people like us who support open discussion and activities for Palestinian human rights, and oppose the Israeli occupation and suppression of the Palestinian people.

 

We have heard that there is pressure from a few Jewish students to cancel this event. We have heard the the Israeli consulate told the Cegep administration that Tadamon! is sponsored by foreign powers. This is reminiscent of McCarthyism ‘Red Baiting’ during the Cold War - silencing domestic critics, unionists, social justice militants and organizations by associating them with the Soviet Union. We note that another stated objection is that the workshop happens during the Jewish holiday of Passover, but yet there are no restrictions on other Cegep classes and exams. If the conference is closed down, it reinforces anti-Jewish sentiment by suggesting the belief that Jews are against free speech, repress critics, and control our public institutions.

We strongly urge you to let the event on April 21 proceed as planned. As an educational institution, your Cegep should be encouraging open discussion of all issues and supporting freedom of speech - not closing down critical voices. As concerned Jews, we particularly urge you to uphold democratic traditions that we share - free speech and the right to organize. It is imperative that CEGEP Bois-de-Bologne permit the CALEB-Tadamon! conference proceed unhindered.

Abby Lipman, PhD Professor, McGill University (for identification purposes only) member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Cy Gonic, Sid Shniad, Andy Lehrer, Mia Amir, Mark Etkin (M.D. FRCPC) members Administrative Council, Association of Concerned Jewish Canadians

Greg Robinson Professeur UQAM

Eric Shragge, Associate Professor and Principal, School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University

Bruce Katz, professeur d’anglais member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Scott Weinstein member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Mira Khazzam member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Freda Gutman Tadamon! Montréal

Robert Silverman member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Ben Saifer Not In Our Name - Jewish Voices Against Israel’s Wars - Ottawa

Judith Deutsch, M.S.W., R.S.W., Toronto

Devora Neumark Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Darrel Legge Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Martin Lukacs McGill University member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

Judith Weisman Not in Our Name: Jewish Voices Against Israel’s Wars

Aaron Lakoff

Lynda Lemberg Educators for Peace and Justice

Nchamah Miller & Elizabeth Block Not In Our Name (NION) Toronto

Smadar Carmon NION Toronto

Judith Weisman Not in Our Name: Jewish Voices Against Israel’s Wars

Richard Marcuse, M.A., Cand. Phil. Member, Jews for a Just Peace Vancouver

Helga Mankovitz Kingston

Mordecai Briemberg (Vancouver)

Shulamit Lechtman Montreal

Natalie Polonsky LaRoche ACJC

Ellen Shifrin

Dr. Sam Noumoff Retired McGill University

Karin Friedemann Editor, World View News Service

Fabienne Presentey member Independent Jewish Voices Montreal

David Mandelzys Member of NION,Concerned Jew, and Concerned Canadian Citizen

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