Jan 15, 2009

Ontario University Workers Call For Ban On Israeli Professors

By Chuck Missler

As Israel seeks to defend itself by destroying the ability of Hamas to shoot rockets at its towns, the world has come to the defense of the terrorists. Last week, a Canadian university workers union even proposed a boycott against Israeli academics as a way to protest Israel's bombings in the Gaza Strip.

Since May 2006, The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has had a policy of supporting "boycotts, divestment and sanctions aimed at bringing about the Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and a just peace in the region."

The recent university bombing in Gaza has led CUPE to boycott more than just Israeli-made items. Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario declared, "In response to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, we are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general."

Obtaining a "just peace" is Israel's key difficulty. Israel unilaterally pulled out of the Gaza Strip and immediately faced rocket fire from the region as a thank you note. While Hamas has done very little productive and a great deal destructive since taking control of the Gaza Strip, Ontario's largest university workers union wants Israel to just make nice.

Ryan and his colleagues rightly mourn the carnage in Gaza, but blame the wrong group.

The IDF does not hide its weapons in or around schools; Hamas does.

Israel doesn't target civilians; Hamas does.

Israel has not declared a desire to wipe out Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and has even brought wounded civilians into Israeli hospitals. Hamas has openly made known its desire to wipe Israel off the map, and many of those civilians who have been recently injured in Gaza were hit by Hamas - not Israeli - rockets.

Israel sends out warnings to civilians to leave targeted areas. Hamas has a habit of using civilians as both physical shields and as shields of propaganda.

Hamas should be held accountable for using the Islamic University as a weapons depot. Yet, organizations like CUPE seem to say, "Terrorists will be terrorists" while cobbling an attacked nation as it fights to get those terrorists under control.

The proposed boycott on Israeli professors may or may not be anti-Semitic, but it definitely is anti-Israel. Jonathan Kay comments in National Post, "Where, we ask, were the CUPE boycotts against academics from Russia, China, Sri Lanka, or any of the many other nations whose battles against terrorists have resulted in a far greater civilian toll? Nowhere. On this file, Mr. Ryan and his fellow CUPE leaders care about demonizing only one country: the Jewish state."

Hamas argues that its attacks on southern Israel are in response to the economic blockade that Israel imposed on Gaza after Hamas wrestled the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Security Force in June 2007. Yet, Egypt also has an economic blockade on Gaza, and doesn't seem to be facing constant rocket attacks.

What does CUPE suggest Israel do? Do they, like former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, suggest that Israel just give Gaza and the West Bank back to Egypt and Jordan respectively? (Egypt and Jordan don't seem too interested in this idea.) Does Sid Ryan believe Israel should just accept rocket attacks and suicide bombers as a way of life?

It is troubling when an organization supposedly interested in education purposely cuts off the voices on one entire side of a debate. Perhaps if Israeli academics were free to engage in open discussions on the issue, Canadian students might better understand the complications of the Israel question. But, then those Canadian students might support Israel's right to defend herself, and that's something CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan won't stand for.

Ryan's proposal will go to a vote at the committee's annual conference in February.

Related Links

CUPE Calls For Ban On Israeli Professors - National Post
Jonathan Kay On the Disgusting Anti-Israeli Bigtory of Sid Ryan and CUPE Ontario - National Post
12 Palestinians Hurt in Gaza Fighting Being Treated in Israeli Hospitals (Haaretz)
Blame Clearly Lies With Hamas for Gaza Mess - The London Free Press