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Montreal, November 26, 2021 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) congratulates the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) for standing up for academic freedom on Palestine by opposing the controversial IHRA working definition of antisemitism. A resolution adopted unanimously by delegates at the CAUT’s Council Meeting takes a firm position against the IHRA definition, which conflates criticism and protest of Israel with antisemitism and is therefore widely understood as a threat to academic freedom. CAUT represents more than 70,000 faculty and academic staff in Canada. “CAUT taking a principled position against IHRA is a huge step forward for protecting academic freedom on Palestine and Israel on university campuses” said Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME. “We must commit to fighting against antisemitism everywhere it exists, but without adopting harmful tools like IHRA which delegitimize Palestinian narratives and seek to shut down forms of anti-racist critique and resistance to Israeli oppression.” CJPME notes that CAUT’s resolution follows similar motions adopted by more than thirty faculty associations and academic unions across Canada, as well as by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). Earlier this year, CAUT stood up for academic freedom on Palestine by issuing a rare censure against the University of Toronto for revoking a job offer after a major donor complained about a job candidate’s scholarship on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In that instance, pro-Israel advocacy groups had effectively intervened in a confidential hiring process to block the candidate’s appointment. CJPME has previously noted how pro-Israel advocates view IHRA as a tool that can be used by universities to restrict campus activism in support of Palestinians or to prevent the hiring of academics whose scholarship is critical of Israel. About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region. For more information, please contact: Michael Bueckert, VP CJPME: 613-315-7947 or [email protected] Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org The whole or parts of this press release can be reproduced without permission. -30-Continue reading
Statement from the Palestinian-Canadian Academics and Artists Network on the CAUT Resolution Against IHRAMontreal, November 26, 2021 — The Palestinian-Canadian Academics and Artists Network (PCAAN) applauds CAUT’s resolution opposing the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA WDA) at Canadian universities and colleges.Continue reading
Last week, hundreds of students in Toronto held an amazing walk-out to protest anti-Palestinian racism in their schools. The students called for a "Free Palestine" and used a popular chant that expresses hope for freedom from oppression: "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free." (Read their press release and demands here). Shockingly, these courageous and inspiring students are now being viciously attacked by pro-Israel groups, who are falsely accusing them of using "genocidal" slogans. This unacceptable bullying campaign, which aims to smear the anti-racist activism of high school students, must be immediately challenged by the TDSB. Click here to support TDSB students calling for a Free Palestine!Continue readingHuman rights defenders in Palestine are under attack! In October, the Israeli government falsely designated six leading Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist” groups, in a clear attempt to outlaw them and shut down their human rights work. This puts the work and safety of human rights defenders in danger and makes it more difficult to hold Israel to account for its human rights abuses. While the world has condemned this egregious attack on Palestinian civil society, Canadian officials have been silent. Help us make sure that every one of Canada’s ministers knows we expect more! Click here to demand the Canadian Government take action now!Continue reading
In this policy note, CJPME calls for a major reorientation of Canadian policy towards the Middle East. CJPME urges Canadian politicians and officials to focus on immediate policy tools that can facilitate equality and human rights for both Palestinians and Israelis, rather than emphasizing a theoretical two-state solution as a potential political outcome. This shift in priorities is essential if Canada is serious about advancing the prospects of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Issued July 2021Continue readingOn January 19, 2021, CJPME provided a submission to the Honorable Thomas Cromwell, leader of the University of Toronto External Review process into alleged interference in decisions regarding the hiring of a Director of the International Human Rights Program. CJPME's submission, titled "Protecting Academic Freedom on Israel-Palestine," criticizes the UofT’s alleged revocation of a job offer to Dr. Valentina Azarova based on her scholarship on Israel’s occupation, and explores this incident in the context of broader campaigns to shut down critical scholarship on Israel-Palestine. CJPME's full submission is available here as a .PDF, or copied below.Continue reading
CJPME Factsheet No. 224, published June, 2021: This factsheet provides an analysis of the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in Palestine and Israel's legal responsibility to protect Palestinians from the disease.Continue reading
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