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Canadian Graduate Students Petition Against the Proposed CUPE Ontario Boycott of Israeli Academics and Institutions

Source: Via Facebook, reproduced with permission of the author

Sam's message

Dear Friends,

Below is a statement/petition against the proposed CUPE Ontario boycott of Israeli academics and academic institutions, and against all such academic boycotts. I believe that, regardless of the target, such boycott resolutions against academics are counter-academic, and discriminatory as they target people based upon nationality, with no regard for personal views or personal actions.

To have your name added to the statement, please email:
stopthecupeboycott AT gmail.com and list your name, institutional affiliation, and degree (MA or PHD). Also, I encourage you to please send this to any others you think might be interested in signing.

I hope you'll join me in standing against this attempt to curtail academic freedom.


Samuel Konig
Graduate Student Chair
Canadian Federation of Jewish Students

The statement

Canadian Graduate Students Petition Against the Proposed CUPE Ontario Boycott of Israeli Academics and Institutions

We, the undersigned, are Canadian graduate students writing to condemn the boycott of Israeli universities proposed by CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan. Academic boycotts are anathema to free and fair academic discourse and serve to stifle the free exchange of ideas which is so essential to academic life. Notwithstanding any of our own views on the Arab-Israeli conflict or the current situation in Gaza, stifling debate is not the way forward.

Only through the free exchange of ideas do we have any chance of fostering the kind of understanding and progress that might one day bring peace to the Middle East, or to other areas suffering from conflict. We applaud CUPE National President Paul Moist in his decision not to support the boycott resolution and call upon Sid Ryan and CUPE Ontario to follow suit, and to refrain from such behaviour in the future.

Press Releases

The CUPE proposals and clarification, (Jan 5, Jan 13, Jan 14)
CUPE 3902 (local branch), Executive Statement, (rejecting boycott proposal)
Canadian Graduate Students, Petition Against the Proposed CUPE Ontario Boycott of Israeli Academics and Institutions
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), petition
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), press release
B'nai Brith Canada, CUPE-National must address blatant discrimination by its Ontario affiliate, Press Release, January 6, 2009
B'nai Brith Canada, Why is CUPE National still silent on Hamas terrorism, Press Release, January 13 2009

News Reports

Union at Ontario Universities Proposes Boycott of Israeli Professors, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 6, 2009
Sid Ryan's bigotry, National Post, 6 January 2009
Bob Dale, Ottawa needs to proscribe CUPE's anti-Israel agenda, The National Post, January 06, 2009
Sid Ryan keeps digging, National Post, 7 January 2009
Tamas Virag, Local Jews slam union ban idea, The Edmonton Sun, January 7, 2008
Kate Dubinski, Western rejects CUPE call for boycott, The London Free Press, January 8, 2009
CUPE should stay out of politics, Calgary Herald, January 08, 2009
Vanessa Kortekaas, CUPE Ontario leader apologizes for 'Nazi' reference, The Ottawa Citizen, January 8, 2009
Jessica Ireland, Ryan's Israel stance creates rift in CUPE, The Windsor Star, January 09, 2009
Susan Martinuk, Racism is behind push to ban Israeli scholars, The Calgary Herald, January 09, 2009
James Cowan, Right to fight?, National Post, January 10, 2009
Michael Coren, Lecture for a union, Toronto Sun, 10th January 2009
Oren Gross, CUPE Ontario's proposed boycott of Israeli academics is just plain anti-Semitic, The Globe and Mail, January 13, 2009
Kenyon Wallace, Ryan rebuked by national CUPE head, Toronto Star, 14 January 2009
Howard Levitt, Political lobbying doesn't help CUPE member interests, Financial Post, January 14, 2009
Joe Howell, CUPE Ontario proposes to ban Israeli academics from campuses, The Strand, 15 January 2009
Ryan’s rage, Editorial, Canadian Jewish News, January 15, 2009
Murray Teitel, A waste of CUPE's money, Toronto Sun, 15 January 2009
Sid Ryan must go, National Post, 16 January 2009

Responces, Blogs, Newsletters

CUPE Shows Their Colours, Pelalusa Blog, January 05, 2009
CUPE Wants HM Government to Condemn Israel, Dr Roy's Thoughts, January 05, 2009
Israel Academic Boycott Urged by Canada Labor Leader, ZWord Blog, January 06, 2009
CUPE’s Latest Gimmick: Just Plain Wrong, BlogUT (A blog by University of Toronto Students), January 6, 2009
Scratch A Leftist Labour Union, Small Dead Animals, January 06, 2009
CUPE asks that Israeli professors be blacklisted, Keyes, January 06, 2009
CUPE: Ban Israeli academics, The Shotgun Blog, January 07, 2009

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