Aletho News


This Does Not Represent the Views of the University

By Maximilian Forte | Zero Anthropology | January 20, 2018

I know that I am not the first person to ask this, but when did universities start having “views”? When some professors indulge their rights to free speech or put academic freedom into practice, they can sometimes express views that some members of the public find controversial, distasteful, or reprehensible. In such cases, one frequently reads their university administrations publishing memos to the effect that, “Professor X’s views on Subject Y do not represent the views of the university”. What does that mean? Has “the university” studied the subject to the same degree as the professor, thus allowing it to conclude its views are the correct ones? Was the professor supposed to be instructed on the correct views to represent, since the job of professor apparently means not having an independent mind? Does it mean that Professor X does not represent the views of all professors and students at the university? How could anyone ever assume that one professor spoke for all others? Does it instead mean that the professor does not represent the views of those in the administration? The support staff? If so, who cares? And where exactly did the university administration publish its “party line”? When I was twice hired for tenure-track positions, the one thing I recall no Dean ever telling me was: “Here is a list of the views of the university. Only if you uphold these views can you consider working here. Should you ever express any differing views, you may be subjected to disciplinary action”. Nonetheless, the attitude of some university administrations in North America is that they have a right to publicly castigate faculty for not toeing the line. It is as if “the university” has been reduced to working as a mere cell of a ruling political party.

One could ask similar questions as above, only in reverse. What entitles administrators to speak for the university as a whole? How do they know that Professor X’s statements really do not reflect the views of the university? Did they ever consult faculty and students? Where is all the survey data that reveal the views of faculty on any subject? How is “the university” defined? Is it just the board of governors? Whose views does the university represent? Since I work in a public university—Canada only has public universities, with maybe one or two little exceptions—can we then assume that the “views of the university” neatly align with the broad majority of the public that we presumably are meant to serve? Is it the job of professors to simply reflect the views of others? Since when did it fall to professors to “represent” their universities—and will they get paid extra for doing PR work?

Three transformations have happened more or less simultaneously, and relatively recently, which may explain these bizarre communiqués from university administrators. One has to do with the politicization of university directorates, especially as even public universities have turned to support from private donors, most of whom have big axes to grind. Private donors are keen to buy support, and silence. Few are the donors who give generously just because they are thrilled by learning—that would be too countercultural in the North American context in which we lionize our meat packers and vilify intellectuals. From this first point, where private donors act as lobbyists for special interests, almost all else follows. To assure donors that universities are being run in a “smart” fashion, administrators have multiplied administrative positions and stacked them with persons from the private sector, who draft “strategic plans” and design what are essentially corporate business models. In other words, politicization stems from privatization and corporatization—this is the neoliberal transformation of the public university. To be clear, this transformation has its origins neither in university administrations nor the private sector, both of which lack the political power and authority necessary to effect such a transformation. Instead, governments are the ones that actively took the decision to cut back on funding for public universities, which is their responsibility, even as taxation levels either remained the same or continued to rise. They chose to redirect public funding away from universities, just as they did with education as a whole, as well as healthcare, social welfare, and so on. Governments pressed universities to raise funds from private sources, just as they pressed them to expand their governance by including more individuals from the private sector.

The second change has to do with universities seeking to raise their public profile, to gain visibility, and advance in the rankings through enhanced public recognition. To gain recognition, university websites have shed their traditional dull and dour functionality, and have become replicas of CNN. Even the university shields have been tossed, in favour of some terrible, and terribly expensive, brand logos produced by private consultants and graphic designers. Universities now also have “media relations” units, with expert staff that spend their days in Twitter and Facebook, and writing up newsy articles about what select faculty members and students are achieving (more on the political functions of “media relations” units, below). These same media units then do the rounds of the departments, advising faculty on how best to interact with journalists. To the laughter of everyone in my Department, one team showed us a video that advised us to dumb down our research so that “even your grandmother could understand it”. I still have no idea why they focused on grandmothers, not grandfathers, and why they assume that all grandmothers are ignorant rubes—perhaps theirs are? In addition, the media units encourage us to list ourselves as experts, for any journalists perusing the university website, by listing the presumably edgy and sexy topics we have mastered with our unrivalled expertise. Not enough, they then invite professors to do professional photo shoots in which they pose playfully for the camera, with a single short sentence in huge print next to them which somehow encapsulates their decades of research: “Do humans really like food?”

The third major change has to do with how university administrations understand academic freedom, and separately, freedom of speech. One might say they understand these concepts very poorly, or not at all, but I think that misses the above points. The desire by administrators to chill speech, to counter the embarrassingly contrary statements made by publicly outspoken professors, has to do with assuaging private donors as the public university is realigned with the political interests of the so-called top 1%. The immense irony of this is that it is university administrations themselves that actively pushed faculty into the public limelight in the first place, under the strategic rubrics of “knowledge mobilization” and “community outreach”. My university has posted banners around campus that urge us to “mix it up,” “get your hands dirty,” and “embrace the city, embrace the world”—vapid commercialist fluff. Even Hollywood took notice. Bleak Ben Stiller bleakly walked past some of these same bleak posters in his recent bleak film, “Brad’s Status,” which apparently was partly shot on the campus of Concordia University (not that the university is listed in the credits of the film—in fact, the movie credits claim the film was shot either in Hawaii or Boston, Montreal itself is not even mentioned):

Having urged us to “get out there,” university administrators then later express regret when they feel compelled to counter a given professor’s statements with press releases affirming that “this does not represent the views of the university”. This is an “own goal” on the part of university administrators. They have worked assiduously to make the university into a media organization, to turn professors into celebrity advocacy-journalists, and to make the institution responsive to market audiences to such an extent that the autonomy of the university becomes untenable.

Firings of tenured professors by university administrations, over a difference of opinion, are still relatively rare in Canada, when compared with the US or the UK. In fact, it is not an easy option: tenured professors have not only the protection of their tenure, but of their union, and a legally binding contract negotiated with the union on behalf of faculty which ensures academic freedom and due process. Faculty unions in turn belong to a national umbrella organization, CAUT, which boasts a multi-million dollar academic freedom fund and gets actively involved in supporting faculty. Canadian universities are also deeply fearful of lawsuits which could easily demolish their already frail budgets, most of which are running deficits already. Poor financial management and the backlash of legal damage often results in the top administrators being toppled. Rather than go the messy route which, heaven forbid, could also give rise to “bad press”—good lord, not “bad press,” that’s the other court which administrations fear—administrators have had to develop quieter, more insidious and subtle forms of suppression. The way to send “the right message” to the outside world, to properly convey the unspoken “views of the university,” is to publicly promote and praise certain select professors, the ones whose views and whose work best align with those of private individual and corporate donors, or with the ruling party, or the military. To take a recent example: as Donald Trump neared electoral victory, articles were published on the university website, in its magazine and elsewhere, that featured the expert analysis of select faculty—strangely enough, all of whom were clearly pro-Hillary Clinton, anti-Trump, a number of them American expatriates, and who evinced a certain Liberal Party affinity. Unlike in a real university, there was no debate among this small cluster of people bewailing the dawn of the “post-truth” world.

The paradox is that neoliberal university administrators have adopted a policy of containment, at the same time as they seek to publicly advertise themselves. Not wanting “the wrong views” to get notice, they engage in restricting speech by selecting that speech which suits their purposes. Speech is thus not just restricted, it is regulated, by promoting only those persons whose views are safe and deemed worthy of recognition. Speech is thus effectively restricted to those academics that the administrators judge to be “qualified” to speak, thereby limiting not only what is said, but who can say it. Media relations departments have the primary responsibility of inventing online rituals around speech, practicing containment through promotion. In some cases such departments actively tutor budding young “public intellectuals” through seminars and by shadowing them online, always ready for the opportune time for that strategic “retweet”. As weak, vain, and ineffective as these policies are, they serve as a useful reminder of how liberal authoritarianism works. In this case, liberal authoritarianism produces fictional representations of “the views of the university,” by thinning out the work actually done by faculty, spreading out the words of a few to represent the words of all.

Another method of indirect silencing is for the university to “celebrate” the media “accomplishments” of select faculty only, by listing stories of faculty who have appeared in the media… only in select media, depending on the “prestige” of the outlet. This is a way to ensure that professors whose views are worthy of being courted by the corporate, neoliberal imperialist media are the only ones featured. In other words, a professor mentioned in a story on CNN is deemed to be worthy of note; a professor who appears on RT, is ignored, as if the event never happened. Selective pride is a way of signalling selective shame. It has the effect of rendering silent the actual media accomplishments of faculty, in order to produce a false picture of where faculty stand, thus assuring the egos of financial donors and politicians. The policy is implemented with the naïve hope that misaligned professors will quietly yearn for that elusive little place on the university website, a place that amounts to nothing more than a few ephemeral pixels seen by few and forgotten by all.

On a range of other issues, near and dear to regime changers, liberal imperialists, and the pro-Israel lobby, one sees the pattern being reproduced, as I can affirm after close scrutiny that has endured for over a decade. If the topics are Iran, Libya, Syria, refugees, wars, nationalism, and so on, one sees the selectivity being actively enforced, even if it means publishing, praising and promoting the same two or three professors time after time. Rather than a university of hundreds of professors, added to tens of thousands students, we become a university of three individuals. Rarely, probably never, do we see university articles dealing with the working class, with poverty and inequality, critical of neoliberalism, globalization and imperialism. Thus the university presents its “views,” of such a one-sided nature and so bereft of any healthy dissent and disagreement as one would find on no university campus that ever took itself seriously.

Viewed from afar, there might even be something comical about a university administration busying itself with inventing a secret university, one that covertly lurks beneath the chosen public representation of the university. That is the point of creating “signature areas” that determine “strategic hiring”: lifting hiring decisions from the hands of Departments, now it is university executives who impose the parameters on what constitutes a desirable candidate, and decide which areas need to be filled. Slowly they thus invent for themselves the university they desire, as opposed to the real one that actually exists. Finally, they will have something they can sell with confidence. One has to almost feel sympathy for the administrators, who feel the keen pressure of public politics and special interest lobbies, into whose arms they have been driven by governments that renege on their obligation to support public universities.

The “views” of the university are a mercantile fiction, a falsehood designed to mislead the public and to caress donors and politicians, the kinds of individuals who are apparently empty and infantile enough to believe that the winning arguments are those that are advanced in the absence of criticism. What if we taught our students that the best way to learn is to ignore whatever they do not like to hear? That is indeed what is being pushed, ironically under the signs of “tolerance” and “inclusion,” the usual neoliberal claptrap. Thus we witness the university turned into a mere echo chamber for the comfortable, a safe space for moneyed elites to flatter themselves, creating a virtual world of unrivalled ideological purity, contrived harmony, and eternal hegemony.

Finally, messages from university administrators along the lines of “this does not represent the views of the university,” might serve an additional function, but I am just speculating. This might be a polite way of telling rabid members of the public to lay off. We heard you, yes it’s all quite disconcerting, and here is our little statement, now move along. Had universities with their bloated administrations and overt political leanings not wished to enhance their public profiles and represent themselves as quasi-media outlets, they would spare themselves such unnecessary exercises. In the end, pronouncements about “the views of the university” end up multiplying the damage to the university, both as a self-inflicted wounds within the university, and as a sign of intellectual cowardice in the face of bullies. A university administration that engages in such conduct has failed its first and most basic function: to administer university resources in order to facilitate teaching and learning.

January 20, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Holocaust Industry in Canada

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | January 2, 2017

Is a school lesson plan widely used across Canada aimed at fighting racism like its promoters say or is it also a clever cover for defending Jewish/white supremacy in the Middle East?

A recent 12-page Canadian Jewish News insert about Elizabeth and Tony Comper raises the issue. According to the supplement, in 2005 the Bank of Montreal head and his wife Elizabeth started Fighting Anti-Semitism Together (FAST), a coalition of non-Jewish business leaders and prominent individuals. FAST sponsored a lesson plan for Grades 6 to 8 called “Choose Your Voice: Antisemitism in Canada”. Over 2.4 million students in 19,000 schools have been through the FAST program. A year ago FAST added Voices into Action, an anti-racism lesson for Canadian high schoolers that devotes a third of its plan to the Nazi Holocaust in Europe.

Unfortunately, FAST does not appear to be an example of business leaders struggling for social justice. Rather, it’s part of what Norman Finkelstein dubbed the “Holocaust Industry”, which exploits historical Jewish suffering to deflect criticism of Israeli expansionism.

In its “What We Stand For” FAST calls on Canadians “to speak out against all forms of bigotry, racism and hatred”, yet the Compers’ were honoured guests at a 2009 Jewish National Fund fundraiser in Toronto. Owner of 13 per cent of Israel’s land, the JNF discriminates against Palestinian–Arab citizens who make up a fifth of Israel’s population. (What would we think of anti-racist activists who attend KKK meetings?)

In a 2006 article titled “BMO head slams one-sided Israel critics the Canadian Jewish News reported on FAST’s Quebec launch: “Singling out Israel for blame in the Middle East conflict, even by those of good faith, is fanning anti-Semitism, Bank of Montreal president Tony Comper says. It may not be the intent, but the effect of condemning Israel alone is providing justification for hatred of Jews in Canada and internationally, Comper warned more than 400 business executives. … In underscoring the serious threat of anti-Semitism worldwide, Comper suggested that ‘a second Holocaust’ is possible if Iran acquires nuclear arms and attacks Israel.” In his speech Comper cited CUPE Ontario and the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada’s support for boycotting Israel as spurring anti-Semitism.

FAST supporters include a who’s who of the corporate elite: President TD Bank, Ed Clark; CEO of CN, Hunter Harrison; CEO of Manulife Financial, Dominic D’Allessandro; CEO of Bombardier, Laurent Beaudoin; president of Power Corporation, André Desmarais; President RBC Financial, Gordon M. Nixon and many others.

According to the Canadian Jewish News supplement, the Toronto couple also sponsored the Elizabeth and Tony Comper Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Antisemitism and Racism at the University of Haifa in Israel. The Center operates an online Ambassadors Program, which reports the paper, “gives students intellectual material and technical skills to combat online the global boycott, divestment and sanctions anti-Israel movement.”

The supplement was partly sponsored by Larry and Judy Tanenbaum. Larry was one of a half-dozen rich right-wing donors that scrapped the hundred-year-old Canadian Jewish Congress in 2011 and replaced it with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. As the name change suggests, this move represented a shift towards ever greater lobbying in favour of Israeli nationalism.

The Compers provided over $500 000 to the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Established in 2008, Larry and Ken Tanenbaum gave the U of T five million dollars and helped raise more than ten million more for the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies.

Andrea and Charles Bronfman gave over $500 000 to the Anne Tanenbaum Centre, which has close ties with the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Chair in Israeli Studies. In 1997 the Bronfman family provided $1.5 million to create an Andrea and Charles Bronfman Chair in Israeli Studies at the U of T. “Fifty years after its rebirth, the miracle of modern Israel is of broad interest,” said Charles Bronfman at the launch.

The long-standing Zionist family put up $1 million to establish a Jewish Studies program at Concordia two years later. An orchestrator of opposition to Palestinian solidarity activism at the Montreal university through the 2000s, Concordia Jewish studies professor Norma Joseph was also “instrumental” in setting up the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies. In 2011 multi billionaire David Azrieli gave Concordia $5 million to establish the first minor in Israel Studies at a Canadian university. After attending an Association for Israel Studies’ conference organized by the Azrieli Institute, prominent anti-Palestinian activist Gerald Steinberg described the Institute as part of a “counterattack” against pro-Palestinian activism at Concordia.

The Israeli nationalist tilt of McGill’s Jewish studies is actually inscribed in a major funding agreement. In 2012 the estate of Simon and Ethel Flegg contributed $1 million to McGill’s Jewish Studies department partly for an “education initiative in conjunction with McGill Hillel.” But, Hillel refuses to associate with Jews (or others) who “delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel; support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the state of Israel.”

The individuals driving Jewish studies and anti-Semitism lessons in Canada overwhelmingly back Jewish/white supremacy in the Middle East and encourage the most aggressive ongoing European settler colonialism.

Unfortunately, support for anti-Palestinian racism, along with colonialism and western imperialism, makes one question their “anti-racism” credentials.

Yves Engler is the author of Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.

January 3, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Anti Semitism”: The Most Abused Word in Canada

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | April 15, 2016

“Anti-Semitism” may be the most abused term in Canada today. Almost entirely divorced from its dictionary definition – “discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews” – it is now primarily invoked to uphold Jewish/white privilege.

In a recent Canadian Jewish News interview long time l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) professor Julien Bauer slurs Arabs and Muslims as he bemoans “anti-Semitism”. “In the corridors of UQAM, there are occasionally pro-Hamas demonstrations and anti-Semitic posters, but this is relatively rare,” Bauer wrote in French. “At Concordia University, it’s an anti-Semitic festival every day of the year! This is normal because there are many more Arab and Muslim students at Concordia than UQAM.”

The Jewish community’s leading media outlet, which recently called Jews the “Chosen People”, failed to question Bauer’s racism and Islamophobia. Instead, they put his picture on the front of the Québec edition.

Over the past several weeks Jewish leaders have labeled a student General Assembly at McGill University, art depicting Palestinian resistance at York, and an effort at that university to divest from arms makers as “anti-Semitic”. Head of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Avi Benlolo, described the arms divestment effort at York, since it includes Students Against Israeli Apartheid, as “a malicious campaign that targets and singles out the Jewish community as a collective, demonizes Israel and Israelis, applies unfair double standards to Israel at the exclusion of other nations in the Middle East and rejects the legitimacy of Israel as the only Jewish state in the world, thereby inciting an abhorrent resurgence of anti-Semitism.”

Rather than calming the tantrum, Canadian political leaders often contribute to the hysteria of certain Jewish groups. During the recent debate to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign MPs repeatedly accused a movement demanding Israel comply with international law of being “anti-Semitic”. The terms “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Semitism” were invoked over 80 times in a debate to justify Jewish/white supremacy in the Middle East.

According to Hansard, parliamentarians have uttered the words “anti-Semitism” and “anti-Semitic” more in the past decade than “racism” or “racist”. (And many of the “racist” references describe purported prejudice against Jews.) The term “anti-blackness” was not recorded in the House of Commons during this period.

Despite widespread discussion of “anti-Semitism”, there is little discussion of Canadian Jewry’s actual place in Canadian society. Among elite business, political and professional circles Jewish representation far surpasses their slim 1.3% of the Canadian population. Studies demonstrate that Canadian Jews are more likely than the general population to hold a bachelor’s degree, earn above $75,000 or be part of the billionaire class.

While Canadian Jews faced discriminatory property, university and immigration restrictions into the 1950s, even the history of structural anti-Jewish prejudice should be put into proper context. Blacks, Japanese and other People of Colour (not to mention indigenous peoples) have been subjected to far worse structural racism and abuse. Even compared to some other “white” groups Canadian Jews have fared well. During World War I, 8,500 individuals from countries part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (mostly Ukrainians) were interned while in the mid-1800s thousands of Irish died of typhus at an inspection and quarantine station on Grosse Ile in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. Canadian Jewry hasn’t faced any equivalent abuse.

While howls of “anti-Semitism” are usually an effort to deter Palestinian solidarity, the shrill claims may also represent what a Freudian psychologist would call a “projection”. Prejudice against Arabs and Muslims appears rampant in the Jewish community. Then there are the remarkable efforts to keep the Jewish community separate and apart from others. A Canadian Jewish News article about mixed race Jews’ inability to find a match on the Jewish Tinder, JSwipe, highlights the issue.

After Israel, no subject garners more attention in the Canadian Jewish News than the importance of cloistering children by ethnicity/religion. Half of Jewish children in Montréal attend Jewish schools, which is startling for a community that represented 7% of the city’s population a century ago. (In the 1920s Yiddish was Montréal’s third most spoken language.)

Montréal’s Jewish community has segregated itself geographically as well. Without retail shops in its boundaries, Hampstead is an affluent Montréal suburb that is three quarters Jewish. Four times larger than the adjacent Hampstead, Côte Saint-Luc is a 32,000-person municipality that is two thirds Jewish.

According to Federation CJA, only 15%-17% of Jewish Montrealers live in intermarried (or common-law) households. For those under-30 it’s still only a quarter. (In Toronto, where Canada’s largest Jewish community resides, the self-segregation is slightly less extreme.)

Inward looking and affluent, the Jewish community is quick to claim victimhood. But, like an out of control child, the major Jewish organizations need a time out. Without an intervention of some sort, the Jewish community risks having future dictionaries defining “anti-Semitism” as “a movement for justice and equality.”

Yves Engler is the author of Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.

April 16, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Using the big lie to undermine Palestinian solidarity

By Yves Engler · December 23, 2015

The big lie is a propaganda technique generally employed when telling the truth would be unfavorable to your side. It goes like this: never admit doing any wrong and instead always insist on a story that portrays your side as the good guys. What really happened is irrelevant. The key is repetition. Do it often enough and loudly enough until most people believe you.

While the big lie is most often associated with authoritarian governments, its use is actually quite widespread. For example, the Montreal Gazette recently published a front page article claiming Jewish students at Concordia University were “feeling like the target of a hate campaign.” The reason cited, as far as this writer can tell, was simply that many students were standing in solidarity with Palestinians.

At the end of November, the student group Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights organized BDS Week. Without citing a single incident of actual racism, the Gazette painted a picture of the discussion series as hateful. Reporter Karen Seidman simply quoted an individual decrying “a hostile environment on campus” and another who denounced “speakers slandering Israeli tactics and spewing hate.”

In her article, Seidman also labeled a referendum held last year in which undergraduates voted to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel as “contentious” and downplayed its significance by saying only “a tiny fraction” of the overall student body participated.

So why is this a big lie?

First, the side favored is portrayed as a victim of “hate” with no evidence presented except criticism of the Israeli state causing hurt feelings. Second, and most important, the article blissfully ignores any historical background that would present Palestinian sympathizers in a positive light or even provide context for what they are doing.

It abjectly fails to even get any comment from any supporter of BDS. The reporter writes that she tried and failed to get a comment from the organizers, but it should surely not be beyond a reporter’s ability to get an alternative pro-BDS voice.

And while portraying a rather modest week of solidarity events as hateful, the reporter also ignores how a well-funded Concordia institute has engaged in an effort to erase Palestinians from historical memory.

In 2011, multibillionaire David Azrieli gave Concordia $5 million to set up the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies.

The institute established the first minor degree program in Israel studies at a Canadian university.

This wasn’t a disinterested, apolitical donation. Azrieli, an Israeli-Canadian real estate magnate who died last year, was a staunch defender of Israel. He did not hide his affiliation, happily asserting that “I am a Zionist and I love the country.”

During the Nakba, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine, he was an officer in a largely Anglo-Saxon brigade of the Haganah, a Zionist military force. Led by Major Ben Dunkelman, a Canadian veteran of the Second World War, the Seventh Brigade played a leading role in the infamous Operation Hiram.

Dozens of villages in the north of Palestine were depopulated and destroyed during that offensive.

The operation, initiated in October 1948, included several massacres of Palestinian villagers.

As many as 94 Palestinians were killed in the village of Saliha alone. A Jewish National Fund official, Yosef Nahmani, noted in his diary that between 50 and 60 peasants in Safsaf were killed and buried in a pit after the village’s inhabitants “had raised a white flag.”

In his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe notes that few brigade names appear in the oral testimonies that have been gathered about the Nakba: “However, Brigade Seven is mentioned again and again, together with such adjectives as ‘terrorists’ and ‘barbarous.’”

Since opening at Concordia, the Azrieli Institute has proven a potent advocate for Israel on campus.

In June, the institute hosted the Association for Israel Studies’ annual conference.

After attending the conference, the right-wing Israeli academic Gerald Steinberg described Azrieli’s $5 million donation as part of a “counterattack” against pro-Palestinian activism at Concordia.

The institute is largely designed to erase Palestinians from their historical connection to their homeland. Its website fails to even mention the word Palestine.

In a December 2014 letter to the Montreal Gazette, Nakina Stratos noted: “Browsing through the website of the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies, I was not able to find the words ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian people.’ How can an institute that teaches about the history of Israel not mention Palestine on its website? This, to me, intersects with the far-right Israeli narrative, which is a total confiscation of Palestinian history, and an attempt to erase the concept of Palestine from the dictionary of the Middle East.”

But rather than investigate how Palestinian students feel about a richly endowed university institute that erases their existence, the Gazette’s education reporter chose to focus on assertions of persecution by those who would do the erasing.

The perpetrators of oppression and their supporters instead become victims. Those who stand up for the oppressed are portrayed as bullies.

That is the big lie at work.

December 23, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment