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While there is no official list of participants in the university presidents’ trip to Israel, CJPME and other groups have been able to deduce which universities participated, and who many of the participants were.  CJPME and its allies either 1) got confirmation or denials from the universities themselves, or 2) looked at the photos from the trip that were posted to social media. Based on this work, CJPME and its allies have been able to confirm the attendance by representatives of the following Universities:

  • Concordia University, 
  • Dalhousie University,
  • University of Manitoba,
  • McGill University, 
  • University of Ottawa, 
  • University of Waterloo, 
  • Western University
  • York University

Apart from the fact that Israel is the target of an international boycott movement because of its brutal oppression of the Palestinians, it is surprising that these university representatives agreed to participate on a trip sponsored by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).  This is because CIJA and its leadership were directly implicated in a hiring scandal at the University of Toronto in 2020.  In that incident, a former director of CIJA intervened to block a University of Toronto (UofT) appointment for a scholar who had published extensively on the question of Palestinian rights under Israel.  This incident led the Canadian Association of University Teachers to take the extraordinary step of censuring the UofT.

Over the past few years, multiple reports have concluded that Israel is committing the crimes of apartheid against Palestinians, something the Palestinian diaspora has been alleging for decades. Palestinian civil society has long recommended that institutions around the world distance themselves from Israeli institutions due to their complicity in Israeli apartheid. It is abhorrent that Canadian universities would have such a blatant disregard for universal human rights.

CJPME and its student and faculty allies will continue to hold Canadian university administrations accountable to uphold academic freedoms and ideals.  Partnering with Israeli academic institutions which participate in the country’s apartheid system undermines Canadian universities’ ability to carry out scholarship to broaden knowledge and understanding of our world.