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Smearing, Silencing and Antisemitism PDF Print E-mail
Jan 20, 2021 at 12:00 AM

On June 10, 2020, I participated in an online debate. It was organized by Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression (CFE) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA). The debate was entitled, “Fighting Anti-Semitism or Silencing Critics of Israel: What’s Behind the Push for Governments to Adopt the IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism?”.

The debate was purposefully produced in the spirit of free expression and open dialogue. Two panelists, myself included, argued that the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition does risk silencing critics of Israel. Two other panelists argued that it doesn’t. I was the only panelist who was not Jewish.

Two weeks later, based on comments I made on the panel, I became the target of a national petition calling on my employer, York University, to ban me from teaching human rights. The petition was part of a smear campaign initiated by B’nai Brith Canada, designed to falsely make me look like an antisemite.

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ISM’s response to the Rachel Corrie trial verdict
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is deeply concerned by the verdict of Judge Oded Gershon that absolved Israel’s military and state of the 2003 murder of American ISM activist Rachel Corrie. Rachel was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer while protesting the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the American administration stating that the Israeli military investigation had not been "thorough, credible and transparent" and the Israeli government withholding key video and audio evidence, Judge Gershon found no fault in the investigation or in the conclusion that the military and state were not responsible for Rachel’s death. Judge Gershon ruled  that Rachel was to blame for her own murder and classifies her non-violent attempt to prevent war crimes as proof that Rachel was not a “thinking person".

By disregarding international law and granting Israeli war criminals impunity Judge Gershon’s verdict exemplifies the fact that Israel’s legal system cannot be trusted to administer justice according to international standards.The ISM calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable by supporting the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and continuing to join the Palestinian struggle in the occupied Palestinian territories.
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