SPME Petition text
Source: SPME, 19 Jan 2009
We, the undersigned university faculty members from around the world call upon the members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) to oppose any resolution to ban Israeli academics from teaching in Ontario or anywhere else. The current resolution invokes, as justification for the proposed ban, bombing that damaged the Islamic University in Gaza on December 29. Sid Ryan of CUPE's Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee says: "Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general." No other country's academics have been the targets of such union action before, whether or not their country was at war. Israel is engaged in a war to defend its people against an enemy that has been firing missiles at Israeli civilians for years. The enemy, Hamas, had been using the Islamic University as a training camp, launching pad, and weapons depot. Other universities in Gaza were not Hamas facilities and were therefore not bombed.
The proposed ban clearly represents ethnic discrimination, and the proposed ideological litmus test is a violation of free speech. The members of the University and College Union in England recently rejected a similar proposal because of its discriminatory nature, and we urge the Ontario CUPE members to reject the proposal now before them.
To show our solidarity with our Israeli academics in this matter, we, the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded.
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