An Open Letter from Jewish Academics and Elders to McGill’s Administration Regarding False Allegations of Student Anti–Semitism

November 13, 2017


This letter was sent Nov. 13, 2017 to Principal Suzanne Fortier, Provost Christopher Manfredi, and Secretariat Board of Governors and Senate Maria Kontzidis.

As Jews, we declare solidarity with the McGill students who are currently being demonized for supporting Palestinian rights. They are being labeled anti–Semitic by major establishment organizations and the university Principal, in an apparent campaign to suppress Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activism on campus. BDS is a non violent movement for equality for Palestinians and a just peace for everyone in Israel–Palestine.

We understand that the McGill student government (SSMU) has been a contested space around BDS resolutions, but it is disingenuous and disrespectful to label students who support BDS as anti–Semitic. They exercised their legitimate right to oppose student officials who are anti–BDS. There are Jewish students on both sides of this issue as well.

Political disagreements among students should be dealt with by respectful debate, not libel. We applaud all students who speak up about the need to distinguish anti–Semitism from anti–Zionism.

Signed:

Abby Lippman, Professor (retired) Medicine, McGill University
Michael Dworkind, MDCM, Associate Professor, McGill Medical School
Eric Schragge, Professor, Dir. (retired) School and Community and Public Affairs, Concordia
Yakov Rabkin, Professor, History, Universite de Montreal
Larry Haiven, Professor Emeritus, Department of Management, Saint Mary’s University
Harry Shannon, Professor Emeritus, McMaster University
Sid Frankel, Associate Professor, U of Manitoba
Sheryl Nestel, Professor (retired) Department of Sociology and Equity Studies (OISE/UofT)
Dorit Naaman, Associate Professor, Queen’s University
Joanne Naiman, Professor Emerita, Ryerson University
Stephen Levine, Professor Emeritus, York University
Neil Naiman, Senior Scholar, York University
Diana Ralph, MSW, Ph.D. Associate Professor (retired) Social Work, Carleton University
Kevin Gould, Associate Professor, Geography, Concordia University
Dr. Adrian Fine, Professor of Medicine
Marty Roth, Emeritus professor of English, University of Minnesota
Dan Freeman–Malloy, PhD, University of Exeter
Mark Etkin, Associate professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba
Dr. Yoella Teplitsky, MD
Dr. Miriam Garfinkle, Retired MD
Cheryl Gaster, LL.B., C.Med
Maxine Kaufman–Lacusta, MSc Pharmacology, U. of Toronto
Bruce Katz, BA Literature SGWU, BA History Waterloo, MA English Studies UdeM
Adrian Fine, Ph.D. Medicine
Freda Knott, Retired Teacher
Edward Clarke, Psychologist
Scott Weinstein, BSN
Arthur Milner, Playwright
Eva Sharell
Elizabeth Block
Wolfe Erlichman
Zvi Gaster
Sid Shniad
Carl Rosenberg
Gordon Doctorow
Marion Pollack
Mira Khazzam
Tali Loselevich
Smadar Carmon
D. Ryce