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Apr 04, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Board orders civics teacher at centre of Mideast dust-up out of the class

By GLENN WHEELER
NOW magazine
March 29-April 4, 2007

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation has recently launched a grievance at the Toronto District School Board on behalf of teacher and Middle East activist Jason Kunin, NOW has learned.

A civics and English teacher at Vaughan Road Academy, Kunin was asked to leave the classroom for 17 days in January while the board investigated an undisclosed complaint.

Kunin was sent home the very Thursday, January 18, that he and other teachers at a District 12 council meeting sought support for a resolution urging a boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel because of its occupation of Palestinian land. The motion failed.

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Blood and Champagne
EVERY PEOPLE elevate the profession in which they excel.

If a person in the street were asked to name the area of enterprise in which we Israelis excel, his answer would probably be: Hi-Tech. And indeed, in this area we have recorded some impressive achievements. It seems as if hardly a day passes without an Israeli start-up company that was born in a garage being sold for hundreds of millions. Little Israel is one of the major hi-tech powers in the world.

But the profession in which Israel is not only one of the biggest, but the unchallenged Numero Uno is: liquidations.

This week this was proven once again. The Hebrew verb "lekhassel" - liquidate - in all its grammatical forms, currently dominates our public discourse. Respected professors debate with academic solemnity when to "liquidate" and whom. Used generals discuss with professional zeal the technicalities of "liquidation", its rules and methods. Shrewd politicians compete with each other about the number and status of the candidates for "liquidation".

INDEED, FOR a long time now there has not been such an orgy of jubilation and self-congratulation in the Israeli media as there was this week. Every reporter, every commentator, every political hack, every transient celeb interviewed on TV, on the radio and in the newspapers, was radiant with pride. We have done it! We have succeeded! We have "liquidated" Imad Mughniyeh!

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