[acc-cca-l] ACC-CCA Needs a Policy (No Anti-Palestinian Racism & No Antisemitism)

Greg Bird gbird at wlu.ca
Thu Sep 1 09:08:11 MDT 2022


Dear all,

I agree that the statements made by Marouf have crossed the line, but another line has been crossed in this discussion. Some members are engaging in Anti-Palestinian racism. Antisemitism and anti-Palestinian racism are both unacceptable. Period. We must find new ways to engage in this discussion.

Considering this exchange, I advise the Canadian Communication Association to adopt a clear policy on this issue. I suggest this society adopt a #NoIHRA motion developed by the Academic Alliance Against Antisemitism, Racism, Colonialism and Censorship in Canada (ARC). Language could be used from the Canadian Anthropology Society<https://cascacultureblog.wordpress.com/2022/04/05/resolution-concerning-the-ihra-guidelines-on-antisemitism-resolution-concernant-la-definition-de-lantisemitisme-de-laimh/?fbclid=IwAR3EnaQi-JnyhYDrPY2WZVUxkT6BUeO8T9ce5vV5eWr0vzwDk8gFfKzhwyc> #NoIHRA motion, or ARC could advise. It is time for us to say no more Anti-Palestinian Racism + no more Antisemitism.

Academic Alliance Against Antisemitism, Racism, Colonialism & Censorship in Canada (ARC)<https://www.noihra.ca/academic-campaign>

#NoIHRA Academic Campaign Highlights

  *   So far, 40 faculty associations and academic unions in Canada have passed motions against the IHRA definition.
  *   On November 26, 2021, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) national council voted unanimously<https://www.ijvcanada.org/canadian-association-of-university-teachers-says-no-to-academic-censorship-on-palestine/> to oppose the IHRA definition. “CAUT supports the academic freedom of its members and recognizes the need to safeguard the rights of scholars to critique all states, including the state of Israel, without fear of outside political influence, cuts to funding, censorship, harassment, threats, and intimidation.” CAUT is the national voice for academic staff representing 72,000 teachers, librarians, researchers, general staff and other academic professionals at some 125 universities and colleges across the country.
  *   On October 28, 2020, OCUFA’s Board of Directors, with representatives from over 30 Faculty Associations, unanimously voted against the IHRA definition<https://ocufa.on.ca/press-releases/ocufa-opposes-ontario-government-circumventing-democracy-and-public-debate-on-bill-168/>. “The working definition, with its list of illustrative examples, conflates legitimate criticism of the state of the State of Israel with antisemitism and may compromise academic freedom at Ontario’s universities by promoting censorship on campus and beyond” (OCUFA President Rahul Sapra). OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario.
  *   On June 4, 2021, around 300 delegates at La Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec’s annual convention unanimously adopted the ARC Motion. FNEEQ-CSN represents over 35,000 union members in 46 CEGEPs, 41 private institutions & 12 universities.
  *   122 leading Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists and intellectuals have criticized the IHRA definition<https://www.theguardian.com/news/2020/nov/29/palestinian-rights-and-the-ihra-definition-of-antisemitism>.
  *   170+ prominent Jewish scholars from across Canada have released a historic statement criticizing the IHRA definition: https://jewishfaculty.ca/.
  *   650+ Canadian academics<https://www.ijvcanada.org/open-letter-from-canadian-academics-opposing-the-ihra-definition-of-antisemitism/> have signed the Independent Jewish Voices Open Letter opposing the IHRA definition.
  *   The lead drafter of the IHRA definition has warned of the grave impacts<https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/13/antisemitism-executive-order-trump-chilling-effect> to academic freedom if universities adopt it.
  *   There is no consensus regarding this definition – an alternative definition of antisemitism written by 200 of the world’s preeminent Jewish and Holocaust studies scholars criticizes the IHRA definition (“Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism<https://jerusalemdeclaration.org/>”).
  *   There are now dozens of instances<https://www.ijvcanada.org/ihra-definition-at-work/> of the weaponization of the IHRA definition to censor speech on Israel-Palestine, all of which pertain to progressive, anti-racist speech on Israel-Palestine (despite the real threats of antisemitism from white supremacists).
  *   After the release of the University of Toronto Anti-Semitism Working Group Report (December 8, 2021), the university administration<https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-accepts-all-recommendations-anti-semitism-working-group> accepted the recommendation to reject the IHRA definition on the grounds of academic freedom.

National & Provincial Confederations Opposed to the IHRA Definition:

     *   Canadian Association of University Teachers<https://www.ijvcanada.org/canadian-association-of-university-teachers-says-no-to-academic-censorship-on-palestine/> (CAUT)
     *   Ontario Confederation of Faculty Associations<https://ocufa.on.ca/press-releases/ocufa-opposes-ontario-government-circumventing-democracy-and-public-debate-on-bill-168/> (OCUFA)
     *   Canadian Union of Public Employees of Ontario<https://cupe.on.ca/> (CUPE Ontario)
     *   La Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec<https://twitter.com/GregUccello/status/1402659625611186178> (FNEEQ-CSN)

40 faculty associations and academic unions across the country have passed motions against the IHRA Definition:

  1.  Association of Academic Staff University of Alberta<https://aasua.ca/Web/Resources/AASUA-Declaration--on-IHRA-Working-Definition-of-Antisemitism.aspx>
  2.  Athabasca University Faculty Association<https://aufa.ca/blog/2021/5/21/aufa-agm-results>
  3.  Atlantic School of Theology Faculty Association<https://www.astfa.ca/>
  4.  Brandon University Faculty Association<https://www.bufa.org/>
  5.  Brock University Faculty Association<https://www.bufa.ca/news/>
  6.  CUPE 4207 (Contract Academic Workers, Brock University)<https://4207.cupe.ca/>
  7.  CUPE 4600 (Contract Instructors, Teaching Assistants & Research Assistants, Carleton University)<https://cupe4600.ca/>
  8.  Concordia University Faculty Association<https://cufa.net/cufa-general-assembly-adopts-motion-on-ihras-definition-of-antisemitism/>
  9.  CUPE 1281 (Post-secondary Student, Staff, & Faculty Organizations Employees)
  10. University of King’s College Teacher Association
  11. CUPE 3906 (Contract Faculty, Teaching Assistants & Postdocs, McMaster University)<https://cupe3906.org/2020/11/15/cupe-3906-executive-committee-statement-on-doug-fords-anti-democratic-bill-168/>
  12. Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty Association<https://munfa.ca/>
  13. Syndicat général des professeurs et professeures de l’Université de Montréal<https://mailchi.mp/umontreal/sgpum-covid19-infonego-13367663?e=e11c0269ac>
  14. Mount Royal Faculty Association<https://mrfa.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Motion-in-Support-of-Academic-Freedom-Passed-May-18-2021.pdf>
  15. Mount Saint Vincent University Faculty Association<https://www.msvufa.ca/>
  16. Nipissing University Faculty Association<https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5f52a48dcce98340e25350e2/t/6009d4cd9aae3634980fae05/1611257037325/Nipissing+Uni+FA+-+NoIHRA+Letter.pdf>
  17. CUPE 3907 (Graduate Assistants, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)<https://3907.cupe.ca/>
  18. Ontario College of Art & Design Faculty Association<http://ocadfa.ca/ocadfa-monthly-newsletter-vol-1-issue-1-january-2021/>
  19. Osgoode Hall Faculty Association<https://www.osgoodefaculty.ca/issues/>
  20. L’Association des professeur.e.s de l’Université d’Ottawa / The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa<https://apuo.ca/february-bulletin/>
  21. Le syndicat des professeurs et professeures de l’Université du Québec à Montréal<https://spuq.uqam.ca/documents/fr/file/cs6_reso_votee_alliance_holocauste_20210319.pdf>
  22. Le syndicat des professeurs et professeures de l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières<https://sppuqtr.ca/>
  23. PSAC 901 (Graduate Assistants, Teaching Fellows, Teaching Assistants & Postdoctoral Scholars, Queen’s University)<https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uX8tkfbnXimiK8nZZY9c5Z4yf70ToitPdzHlUwHPGIM/edit>
  24. Queen’s University Faculty Association
  25. University of Regina Faculty Association<https://www.urfa.ca/>
  26. Renison Association of Academic Staff<https://www.renisonassociationofacademicstaff.org/>
  27. Ryerson Faculty Association<https://www.rfanet.ca/>
  28. Saint Mary’s University Faculty Union<https://www.smufu.ca/>
  29. University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association<https://usaskfaculty.ca/>
  30. St. Jerome’s University Academic Staff Association<https://www.noihra.ca/s/SJUASA-Letter.pdf>
  31. Faculty Association of the University of St. Thomas<https://www.faustnb.ca/>
  32. St. Thomas More College Faculty Union<https://stmfacultyunion.ca/about/>
  33. CUPE 3908 (Contract Faculty & Student Academic Workers, Trent University)<https://cupe3908.org/>
  34. CUPE 3902 (Contract Academic Workers, University of Toronto)
  35. Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo
  36. University of Western Ontario Faculty Association<https://www.uwofa.ca/>
  37. Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association<https://www.noihra.ca/s/WLUFA-NoIHRA-Letterdocx.pdf>
  38. University of Winnipeg Faculty Association<https://uwfa.ca/>
  39. CUPE 3903 (Contract Faculty, Teaching/Research Assistants Union, York University)<https://3903.cupe.ca/2020/10/27/cupe-3903-executive-committee-opposes-premier-fords-proposed-bill-168/>
  40. York University Faculty Association<https://www.yufa.ca/yufa-exec-rejects-government-attack-on-academic-freedom-democratic-debate/#:~:text=YUFA%20Exec%20rejects%20government%20attack%20on%20academic%20freedom%2C%20democratic%20debate,-Posted%20by%20YUFA&text=Despite%20the%20widespread%20public%20interest,any%20further%20discussion%20or%20debate>

+ Other faculty associations and academic unions across the country are currently working on passing a motion against the IHRA Definition.

Core Issues

The IHRA definition poses a serious threat to academic freedom and intersectional anti-racist and decolonial initiatives across educational institutions.

If governments and universities adopt the definition, there will be consequences for scholarship in Canada, including research funding cuts, outside political influence, censorship, harassment, defamation, and intimidation.

The IHRA definition misconstrues the term to include a broad range of criticism of the State of Israel, particularly targeting decolonial and anti-racist critiques of the policies, structures, and practices of the Israeli state.

Together we must stop the IHRA definition from being used not only to censor critical and engaged scholarship but also to undermine anti-racist and decolonization campaigns in our colleges and universities.

Summary by ARC national coordinating committee member Mark Ayyash:


National ARC Coordinating Committee Members

Mark Ayyash, Associate Professor of Sociology, Mount Royal University

Greg Bird, Associate Professor of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University

Larry Haiven, Professor Emeritus, Saint Mary’s University

Sheryl Nestel, Independent Scholar (Independent Jewish Voices)

Jasmin Zine, Professor of Sociology and the Muslim Studies Option, Wilfrid Laurier University


Pierre Beaudet, professeur en développement international, Université du Québec en Outaouais
Dyala Hamzah, professeure agrégée d’histoire, Université de Montréal
Michelle Hartman, professeure titulaire de littérature arabe, Université McGill
Diane Lamoureux, professeure émérite de science politique, Université Laval
Máire Noonan, chargée de cours en linguistique, Université de Montréal
Norma Rantisi, professeure titulaire d’urbanisme et de géographie, Université Concordia
Vincent Romani, professeur agrégé de science politique, UQÀM

Greg Bird | Associate Professor | Department of Sociology | MA in Cultural Analysis & Social Theory Program | Wilfrid Laurier University | @GregUccello | https://wlu-ca.academia.edu/GregBird
| http://www.sunypress.edu/p-6266-containing-community.aspx

Wilfrid Laurier University is on the traditional and unceded territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples.  Brantford, Kitchener, and Waterloo are located on the Haldimand Tract<http://www.sixnations.ca/LandsResources/HaldProc.htm>.

The Haldimand Tract: On 25 October 1784, Sir Frederick Haldimand, the governor of Québec, signed a decree that granted a tract of land to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), also known as the Six Nations, for their alliance with British forces during the American Revolution (1775-83). The Haldimand Tract extends by 6 miles on both sides of the Grand River, from its source in Dundalk Township to its mouth at Lake Erie. Originally, 950,000 acres were designated for the Haldimand Tract. Today approximately 48,000 acres remain. Read more about the history and ongoing negotiations: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/documents/p80100/130877E.pdf.

From: acc-cca-L <acc-cca-l-bounces at mailman.ucalgary.ca> on behalf of Marsha Barber <m2barber at ryerson.ca>
Sent: August 28, 2022 15:01
To: Jody Berland <jberland at yorku.ca>
Cc: acc-cca-L at mailman.ucalgary.ca <acc-cca-L at mailman.ucalgary.ca>
Subject: [EXTERNAL *] Re: [acc-cca-l] Fwd: Jewish group urges Canadian government to condemn Israeli raids on Palestinian civil society


This is not the place to conflate these issues, Professor Berland, in the shadow of the recent federal funding of antisemitism:  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/hussen-tweets-contract-cancelled-1.6558541<https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbc.ca%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2Fhussen-tweets-contract-cancelled-1.6558541&data=05%7C01%7Cgbird%40wlu.ca%7Cb0f1f2621817483c01e708da8927ddd7%7Cb45a5125b29846bc8b89ea5a7343fde8%7C1%7C0%7C637973102293239400%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C2000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=oni0DrrMXhCGen3%2BoAsw8gckdv%2F%2Bjj5zIZRgnMS5HrU%3D&reserved=0>

To say that it's circumstances in the Middle East that "inspire such comments" is vile. It's also vile to justify such comments because an angry individual's "spirit is assaulted."

This opinion piece in yesterday’s Globe and Mail provides insight:

The headline for the piece is “The Public Service Does Not Understand Antisemitism.” I would add that neither do some in academe.

I won’t engage in further discussion of this issue in a public forum dedicated to academic issues. If anyone reading this has a thoughtful and civil comment to make, perhaps they could use our private email addresses, not the CCA's.

As much as I respect individual members of Independent Jewish Voices and their supporters, including Professor Berland, they're described as a fringe group. In no way do their views reflect those of members of the larger Jewish community. All peoples should be entitled to self-determination, including the Jewish people. Anyone who disputes the right of Israel to exist (the classic definition of Zionism) is engaging in antisemitism, whatever disingenuous rationalizations might be used. Supporting Israel's statehood is, of course, different from criticizing policies of specific Israeli governments.

Finally, in case it needs to be spelled out, my opinions are my own. I don't speak for my university.

Marsha Barber
Professor, School of Journalism
The Creative School
Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University)
Toronto, Canada
m2barber at ryerson.ca<mailto:m2barber at ryerson.ca>

On Sun, Aug 28, 2022 at 12:32 PM Jody Berland <jberland at yorku.ca<mailto:jberland at yorku.ca>> wrote:

I concur with everyone’s outrage at the expression  of crude anti-Semitic sentiments recirculated on this list. They are terrible as are all vile racist smears against any people defined by race or religion.
I just wish our media and our government would take an equally strong (or even just more balanced) position on the circumstances in the Middle East that inspire such comments. Where is the outrage about the well documented illegal violence being committed every day year after year by the Israeli government against Palestinian journalists, human rights organizations, universities, hospitals, medical staff, refugee camps, homes, students, and civilians?  These military attacks have been condemned by many governments (not ours), Amnesty International, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

I believe we can and should criticize the policies and aggressions of a government whose actions have been deemed war crimes with the same concerns that lead us to criticize the colonizing violence of our own governments or the racist comments of a single angry individual whose spirit is assaulted by the actions described below and the complicit silence of our elected representatives about them.  I encourage CCA members to push for a fair and truthful accounting of this tragic state of affairs from our media and from our governments.
I have attached the statement calling for a revised policy  on Israel and Palestine just released by Jagmeet Singh. It is the first statement by a Canadian politician supporting the rights of Palestinians in line with the policies of The United Nations, Amnesty International, and human rights organizations within both Israel and Palestine. When an MP from Hamilton posted Singh’s statement, he was accused of being antisemitic.
The widespread use of anti-racist language to suppress the human rights claims of Palestinians is unfortunately common
in our media and our universities. I hope the critique of that strategy will be as instant and energetic.
Jody Berland

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Sid Shniad <shniad at gmail.com<mailto:shniad at gmail.com>>
Date: Sat, Aug 27, 2022 at 8:02 PM


WAFA -- Palestine News and Information Agency                                             21/August/2022

Jewish group urges Canadian government to condemn Israeli raids on Palestinian civil society
[Jewish group urges Canadian government to condemn Israeli raids on Palestinian civil society]

MONTREAL, Sunday, August 21, 2022 (WAFA) – Independent Jewish Voices Canada has called on the Canadian government to condemn the Israeli raids on the offices of seven civil society organizations in Palestine last week. The raids come ten months after Israeli occupation designated six of these organizations as ‘terrorist’ groups, although it has failed to provide any substantial evidence to support its claims.

“Israel’s crackdown on these organizations is a blatant anti-democratic attempt to delegitimize and ultimately silence Palestinian civil society,” said IJV Communications and Media spokesperson Rowan Gaudet. “This motive is made especially clear by the attack on Defense for Children International–Palestine which is investigating the killings of some 37 Palestinian children this year alone.”

In July, the foreign ministries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden jointly investigated Israel’s designation of these organizations as terrorist groups and came to the conclusion that the charges were unsubstantiated. The decision has also been protested by more than twenty Israeli human rights groups and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, among others.

In December 2021, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said she was in contact with Yair Lapid, then foreign minister, who she claimed to have asked for “clarity” on the situation.

“The government has had ample time to seek clarity” continued Gaudet. “It’s time for Canada to take action. We call on the government to immediately condemn Israel’s attempted shut down of Palestinian groups who are exposing and opposing its well-documented system of apartheid.”

“Just this past June, Justin Trudeau reiterated that Canada and Israel ‘are close friends bound together by shared democratic values’,” said Gaudet. “Does this mean we can expect Canada to shutter the offices of Canadian human rights and Indigenous groups and seize documents they’re using to investigate our government? Or will Canada finally condemn these actions and join with its European allies in rejecting Israel’s claims?”


*IJV website: www.ijvcanada.org<https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ijvcanada.org%2F&data=05%7C01%7Cgbird%40wlu.ca%7Cb0f1f2621817483c01e708da8927ddd7%7Cb45a5125b29846bc8b89ea5a7343fde8%7C1%7C0%7C637973102293395654%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C2000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=DpuPwVk%2B%2BI9rtJ5JcCKqH9u%2FUwgZJcEcrtKutijQ17Q%3D&reserved=0>

Jody Berland
Professor, Department of Humanities
York University, Toronto, ON  M3J 1P3 Canada


Jody Berland

Professor, Department of Humanities
234 Founders College,  York University
Toronto, ON  M3J 1P3 Canada

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