PAJU - Palestinian & Jewish Unity

Go to content | Go to menu | Help - Accessibility | Site Map | Version française

  1. You are here :  
  2. Home  >
  3. "End the occupation !" PAJU Vigil #901, May 18, 2018: Panel “Zionism in Academia (March 2013 )

"End the occupation !" PAJU Vigil #901, May 18, 2018: Panel “Zionism in Academia (March 2013 )

Publication date : 2018-05-18

A panel held on 14th March 2013 and entitled “Zionism in Academia” discussed on that academia in North America is complicit in privileging Zionist discourses, rendering the study, analysis, and discussion of Palestine invisible. Facilitated by Michelle Hartman, professor of Arabic Literature at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill, the panel – held as part of Israeli Apartheid Week – drew a crowd of fifty people.

The panel was composed of Mohsen al Attar, a visiting professor and human rights lawyer, and Douglas Smith, a PhD student who was a member of Tadamon!, a Montreal-based collective working in solidarity with struggles for self-determination, equality, and justice in the Middle East.

Panel “Zionism in Academia (March 2013 )

A panel held on 14th March 2013 and entitled “Zionism in Academia” discussed on that academia in North America is complicit in privileging Zionist discourses, rendering the study, analysis, and discussion of Palestine invisible. Facilitated by Michelle Hartman, professor of Arabic Literature at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill, the panel – held as part of Israeli Apartheid Week – drew a crowd of fifty people.

The panel was composed of Mohsen al Attar, a visiting professor and human rights lawyer, and Douglas Smith, a PhD student who was a member of Tadamon!, a Montreal-based collective working in solidarity with struggles for self-determination, equality, and justice in the Middle East.

“I’m not interested in the question of if Zionism holds a privileged place within the environment of North American universities, because I think that it does. I don’t think that it is a question whether or not Palestine is colonized, because I think that it is,” Hartman said in her introduction to the panel. “In many university spaces, to say this is not accepted,” she added. Instead, Hartman continued, the panel would focus on the way in which this privilege manifests itself. Hartman told the audience that it had been hard to find people to talk at the event, as many people that she had approached didn’t want to talk about these issues in public. Hartman herself was on the receiving end of political smearing at McGill in February, when her office door was defaced with Zionist slogans.

In 2009, Hartman, along with 81 other Montreal CEGEP and university professors, signed an open letter published in Le Devoir in the wake of the Israeli bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza. The letter, which was in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, called for academics around the world to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, and an ending of all economic relations between Canada and Israel.

“We call on the Harper government to re-evaluate its policies and to unequivocally condemn the Israeli siege and assault on Gaza, which constitute serious violations of international and humanitarian law,” the letter read. “We further demand that the Israeli government immediately cease its violence”.

Adapted from https://www.mcgilldaily.com/2013/03/anti-zionist-discourse-silenced-on-campus/

Distributed by PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity)

WWW.PAJUMONTREAL.ORG

  1. Return to top