CUSA meeting explodes over anti-Israel motion -

CUSA meeting explodes over anti-Israel motion

“They started banging on the walls, yelling ‘shame’ and screaming”


Reports coming out of Carleton University last night allege that chaos ensued at a Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) meeting  when a divestment motion by Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) was shelved.

Protesters outside the council room began chanting and yelling after the decision, and some students say they felt trapped and threatened.

CUSA was to consider a motion to call on the university to adopt a “Socially Responsible Investment” policy for Carleton’s pension fund, which specified divestment from Israeli companies. Prior to voting on that motion, CUSA VP Finance Meera Chander proposed an amendment recommending divestment from all illegally occupying states, not just Israel. That motion passed, and the chair ruled that voting on SAIA’s motion would be redundant, so it was struck from the agenda.

“That’s when SAIA exploded,” says Emile Scheffel, a Carleton student and member of the Ottawa Israel Awareness Committee. “The council took a five-minute recess, but people didn’t feel comfortable leaving the room.”

Some details of the evening were circulated in press releases issued this morning. Twitter feeds also documented the situation as it was unfolding, however CUSA executives have not yet responded to requests for comment.

Due to space constraints, many of the students and faculty who came to support the motion had to wait outside the council room. The Charlatan estimated there were 200 protesters outside the doors.

“It got pretty intense,” Scheffel says. “They started banging on the walls, yelling ‘shame’ and screaming.”

Some students also allege they were subject to physical intimidation and homophobic slurs for opposing the SAIA motion.

“My personal safety was threatened repeatedly last night, and I am extremely apprehensive about coming onto campus now,” Hashem Hamdy, a CUSA councillor in the Faculty of Public Affairs, said in a release. “I feel like a marked man, like many other students on campus.”

Students were escorted out of the room when additional security arrived. Reem Buhaisi, media outreach for SAIA, says their goal was to encourage CUSA to do the right thing.

“I personally thought the atmosphere was inspiring,” she says. “There were hundreds of people in support of both motions there, and they were saying slogans about anti-war and responsible investment.”

“It was strongly organized,” she says. There were chants and people were loud, but that’s to be expected. They were there to promote anti-war justice and it got loud, of course. I wouldn’t say there was a riot.”

Buhaisi says some people brought musical instruments and drums and there was some banging on the walls. “It was about reclaiming the CUSA space, and students were asking for support.”

SAIA hopes to take its motion to the Board of Governors.

Photo: Protesters carrying “Students Against Israeli Apartheid” banner during the G20 in Toronto, by StephLaw


CUSA meeting explodes over anti-Israel motion

  1. Great democracy, if you don’t get what you want, make a fuss, intimidate and threaten harm. After all, you have “justice” on your side.

  2. I find it interesting that what happened last night is being interpreted as being democratic. It was not democratic in any way. Members in support of SAIA’s motion were trying to coerce Councilors to vote their way and using intimidation and scare tactics. Coercion is not democracy. This is extremely inappropriate and extremely childish. If councilors voted to uphold the chair’s decision; then so be it, having that vote is a clear indication of the democratic process.
    It is inappropriate for SAIA members to have used CUSA council and or executive as pawns in this situation. Had the motion made it to discussion, whether the SAIA motion was voted in favor or against that is exactly what would have happened.

  3. Making a fuss is hugely important in any democracy. I was there and can attest to the fact that there was no threat of harm. Slapping walls to make noise and yelling “shame” at councillors who wouldn’t even listen to a motion that received over 2,000 letters of support (more than all the CUSA councillors received in the elections), is a completely legitimate form of protest against a bunch of student reps who failed to listen to their constituents. The fact that CUSA struck the SAIA motion from the agenda is extremely shameful. Those CUSA councillors who voted against even hearing the motion are condoning human rights violations against Palestinians, and should be disgusted and ashamed with themselves. They also don’t deserve to represent students because they act out of their own political interests rather than listening to overwhelming student demands.


    Its not Israel, a legally re-established UN state with all nations voting in the motion, but Jordan which is an illegal settlement. Jordan is in violation of the only condition of its creation – to house the Arabs of Palestine with full rights – else the entire creation of Israel is nullified. Jordan is perpetrating a genocidal stratagem of barring the Arabs from entry – with the EU and UN’s blessing:


    Rocket science: Serial 2-state demands in the same land is nothing other than genocide – with the EU and UN’s blessing. Calling Arabs as Palestineans, or shouting Zionists – does not alter the genocidal equation – it only confirms the underlying quest of it.

    The EU and UN cannot claim naive when both are fully iaware there is a declared and proven genocidal aspiration of the Islamic states – most of which are fictional, installed 120 years ago, in secret with no nations voting – for 30 barrels of oil.

    If honest humans do not expose the corruption of the nations then the VE VERE NOT AVARE syndrome applies to them. So go ahead and make your day – remain silent – or expose the genocidal aspirations of Jordan and those nations today calling a deathly 3-state as a 2-state. Its math 101.

    Jordan placed pre-67 signs, DOGS AND JEWS FORBIDDEN IN JERUSALEM AND HEBRON. The Islamic regimes bar all entry of Jews – because they are Jews. Jerusalem is a Hebrew name and the capital of the Jews; Hebron is the birthplace of Judaism and Monotheism. All humans know this more than they know their parents and children. More than thanking America – shame on every state which did a Heil Hitler salute at the UN last friday. At least the Nazis were honest about it.

    Shame on the VE VERE NOT AVARE people.

  5. Thanks Robyn for an excellent and well-balanced article.

    Reem’s statement is unbelievable. A female CUSA executive were surrounded by male antagonists demanding they reverse their vote, peaceful students needed security escorts just to leave the area, and a vocal supporter of Israel was called a “faggot.”

    The only good thing about this is that SAIA has finally shown it’s true colours. It’s violent, vicious, and its intimidation tactics have no place on a Canadian campus.


  6. Meera did not make the amendment, this is poor journalism, a student who was present, and a member of SAIA did. There was a lot of intimidation by people who were opposing SAIAs motion, I myself was called “a pussy” and harassed, and I saw people (some of them small women being harassed by large men) being shoved and bullied by people who were trying to keep Carleton invested in war crimes. I did not see anybody being threatened by people in support of the motion, but that does not mean it didn’t happen; it is unfair however to only include one side’s testimony as to bullying.

    And to those of you saying that those supporting the motion (not just SAIA; the MSA, HOLAS, OPIRG, ABSA, the Coalition, and many other student groups that were represented there) were not being democratic, clearly you have a very skewed view of what democracy is. Protest is an incredibly important part of democracy, and the divestment motion was not even voted on, despite receiving over two thousand letters in support of it, which is more letters than any of those councilors or execs had votes in their favour. The protest that erupted was totally warranted and more democratic than the CUSA council was.

    SAIA did not bully or intimidate councilors, they met with as many of them as would agree to meet with them and had a very civil discussion, explaining our campaign, and did not pressure them. One member who opposed the motion, Hashem Hamdy, secretly recorded one of those meetings in an attempt to garner damning quotes. He clearly failed in that respect, as there have been none published.

    CUSA execs on the other hand, called all of the other councilors and told them to vote no on SAIA’s motion, after trying to bully SAIA into dropping their motion by giving them a two hour deadline to decide whether or not to throw its weight behind their own watered down SRI motion.

    They then put their motion first, knowing that doing so would result in SAIA’s motion being not voted on, when as I’ve previously stated, there was more support for the campaign than there was for any councilors or execs present.

    Over two dozen student groups endorsed the campaign, the TA’s union endorsed the campaign, many profs have thrown their weight behind the campaign, and over two thousand letters were written to councilors by students (all to their specific councilors rather than the emails that war crime supporters spammed to all councilors and execs, emails that were devoid of student numbers or any verification that they were from real students, emails that required only a few mouse clicks).

    I’d also appreciate it if you stopped calling it a SAIA campaign, and making it sound like it’s a radical fringe group unrepresentative of the student body, the huge support shown both at the council meeting and on campus by groups, professors, students and community members has been overwhelming and inspiring. The call for divestment from companies that make cluster bombs and hellfire missiles used on civilians, and security systems for settlements that displace Palestinian people and are illegal under international law, and use slave labour, has been taken up by many other groups on campus. It is a student movement that is as exciting and powerful and social-justice oriented as the divestment campaign from South African Apartheid.

  7. Violence ?????!!!!1 well do u want talk about violence, u should go and check how Israel created , man its only 63 years old history lol so we all know it
    we want to stop supporting killer and Israel its number one in that
    that’s only what we need, but as usual they will try to change the truth

  8. Sam, if any member of the group opposing the SAIA motion acted inappropriately, please send me that person’s name or description, and I will deal with it personally.

  9. I don’t get it.

    So there was an amendment to have Carleton divest itself of all “illegally occupying states,” which I presume to have included all countries under that label *including* Israel.

    So what is SAIA screaming about?

    The truth is obvious: SAIA members don’t care about “justice” or “freedom” or whatever they claim on behalf of Palestinians. All they care about is attacking Israel.

    I don’t want to throw the anti-S word around, but…?

  10. Sam Heaton is being a Butthurt tard. go cry in a corner and leave us all alone kthxby

  11. Sam Heaton should read Toqueville so he can appreciate what the tyranny of the majority means for democracy.

  12. @Kevin Leun: You took the words right out of my mouth!

  13. It blows my mind how 200 people show up to these Anti-Israel protests to boycott companies that have small and often insignificant links to the state of Israel, yet none of these ‘human rights advocates’ actually does anything for human rights! It’s called ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ instead of anything productive like ‘Palestinian Human Rights Week’. Instead of fundraising money to help Palestinians buy basic needs and feed their children, instead they focus and spend money specifically on boycotting Israel and making innocent Israeli civilians suffer, some of which probably are against many of Israel’s government policies. The fact that SAIA or any other pro human rights committee would rather protest to divest in a company, rather than fundraise money for a good cause or even attempt to bring up any of the other human rights violaters is ridiculous. These are people who stand by and watch the many many other countries not operating under a liberal democracy, and they decide to attempt to destroy Israel rather than to fundraise or help for… well… anything. Does SAIA actually think that the Egyptians and just about every other middle eastern population other than Israelis are rioting over nothing? Israeli Apartheid Week is simply just set out to destroy the state of Israel and not even help Palestinians or any other groups of people living in war torn dictatorships in any way.
    Some things in life you’ll never understand but to single out a country without even helping the people you are singling out the country for is just plain silly.

    I hope SAIA stops whining, crying and throwing infant-like hissy fits about policies and decide to actually do something beneficial for society…. ANY SOCIETY. Rather than preach hate, how about they try to preach a more positive message.

  14. Just more proof positive that SAIA and these other hate Israel idiots are thugs, bullies, criminals, terrorists and racists. Shades of the Nazi storm troopers of the 30’s who would boycott Jewish owned business and terrorize people.

    The Palestinians would do better to actually set about to build a state rather than let these a***holes represent them.

  15. I am profoundly disturbed by the attempts to distort the facts about what happened at the CUSA meeting. These efforts at smearing and silencing a grassroots, organic movement on campus smack of desperation and dishonesty, and they must be challenged unequivocally.

    This campaign has earned the endorsement of 24 student groups at Carleton, including the Graduate Students Association, HOLAS, Amnesty, the Muslim Students Association, and CUPE 4600. It has also received over 1000 petition signatures, and over 2000 letters of support were written to CUSA councillors in the weeks leading up to Thursday’s meeting. In spite of this level of support, the council refused to even debate the motion, striking it from the agenda before it was even discussed. It is disappointing to see this type of anti-democratic maneuvering from a body that is ostesibly elected to represent the Carleton students.

    The hundreds of students who came out in support of SAIA’s motion were making their collective voice heard, in a passionate display of democratic expression. At no point was anyone threatened with harm, as councillors and others came and went freely from the meeting room throughout the evening.

    It is important to note that the council did pass a motion endorsing the divestment of corporations involved in unethical and illegal activities, including those involved in “illegal occupation.” This undeniably includes companies involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and as such, it is a significant step forward for SAIA’s divestment campaign. I would encourage anyone who would like to learn more about the facts about the campaign to visit the SAIA website at

  16. I was present for the entire meeting, one of many locked out of the room by CUSA.

    If peaceful chanting constitutes “intimidation,” one might as well accuse the demonstrators in Tahrir Square of the same thing.

    There was no intimidation, no riot, only a spirited, peaceful demonstration. A group of pro-Israel demonstrators, one with an IDSF T-shirt, showed no signs whatever of being “intimidated.”

    Finally, SAIA did in fact see the revised CUSA motion as a victory. Let’s not revise history as it’s actually being made.

    It’s too bad that Maclean’s, in knee-jerk fashion, simply repeated the hasbara emanating from the tiny “Ottawa Israel Awareness Committee.” This was an appallingly slanted article from someone who was obviously not present at the event in question.

  17. “IDF,” sorry. Faute de frappe.

  18. Aidan: “It is important to note that the council did pass a motion endorsing the divestment of corporations involved in unethical and illegal activities, including those involved in “illegal occupation.” This undeniably includes companies involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and as such, it is a significant step forward for SAIA’s divestment campaign.”

    Okay…so why the need for CUSA to debate the motion specifically dealing with Israel, since the amendment already includes Israel and you’ve concluded that it was a success for SAIA?

    The only logical response is that SAIA supporters don’t care about anything but attacking Israel.

  19. Kevin: No, that is not the only logical response. In fact, one of the three recommendations in the original SAIA motion is for the Carleton Board of Governors to adopt a broader socially responsible investment policy, through consultation with the entire Carleton community. Consequently, if SAIA’s recommendations are followed, Carleton would divest from and would refrain from any future investments in any other companies that violate the principles of the SRI policy. We have also offered our assistance to any other groups that are interested in launching similar campaigns that might be focused on corporations involved in violations of human rights and international law in other parts of the world.

    In order for a movement to adopt SRI to be effective and meaningful, it is crucial that it include concrete examples of companies that violate the SRI policy. The four companies included in SAIA’s research are in clear violation of international law and human rights principles, and as such, it is important that we name them explicitly. Our hope is that through this campaign, the precedent will be set for future groups to launch similar campaigns against companies that violate human rights and international law in other parts of the world.

    What we vehemently object to is CUSA’s attempt to suppress the mention of the word “Palestine,” and its efforts to silence Palestine solidarity activism. If this campaign was aimed at companies involved in Burma or Darfur, would there be an attempt to remove the names of the companies or the countries involved? I highly doubt it. It’s only when it comes to Palestine that the specifics are suppressed or removed completely.

  20. I wonder what the average Palestinian would say about all of this mess? Maybe, “let us decide what we want?” “Give us equal representation?” “I prefer to speak for myself?”

    I don’t think any of them care about Israeli companies and would prefer the employment offered by them than nothing at all (which is the picture being painted by most of the pro-Palestinian groups). Kevin makes the most sense out of all of this and he’s being attacked for following your line of discussion? Wow.

    How about we all stop interfering by picking sides for places we most likely have never been to and help both sides communicate and reach a compromise instead of partisanship?

  21. Stories like these infuriate me.

    The policy passed says that the school’s pension fund should not use any companies that are situated in countries where human rights problems exist.

    According to SAIA, that includes Israel. You know how much work it took to get the support of this motion. Wouldn’t it make more sense to pass this motion, and then using that motion as a background, focus on whatever country you desire first? (ie: Israel)

    Nope. Not good enough. As Kevin Leung and aas said, and I couldn’t agree more, the goal of organizations like SAIA is to solely attack Israel. It doesn’t matter what happens in Egypt, Jordan, or anywhere else. Israel is held on a ridiculously different set of standards. 2 sides to the story? Why does Israel impose anything on the poor innocent people living in Gaza? Where there is not one single person who has done anything wrong? Because they’re big “meanies” of course. Wake up! What happened BEFORE Israel started to screen what entered Gaza? They were being attacked by rockets daily! Poor INNOCENT (just like the people of Gaza) ISRAELI children were doing bomb shelter and gas mask drills because daily bombings were NORMAL.

    I agree that its unfortunate for the people of Gaza. But Israel has no intention of making their lives miserable. They are looking for a balance between ensuring their citizens are safe, and ensuring the people living in Gaza are well too.

    Israel was condemned by the UN advocates: Israel is unfairly targeted more so than any other democratic country. During the Rwanda genocide, the UN basically ignored it. However, anything Israel does results in emergency meetings. Heck, Darfur? In the eyes of the UN, what’s that?

    There is a valid peace process being negotiated. This simply undermines the whole process. We want to work WITH Israel to develop a 2 state solution. Not AGAINST.

    If SAIA truly cared about human rights, they would be more than happy with a resolution calling on all companies who reside in areas with human rights violations have divestment sanctions.

    And by the way. These arguments are beyond dumb. SAIA is being hypocritical, since they’ve commented above. Why? Intel chips were made in Israel. Many cell phone parts were developed in Israel. Many articles of clothing as well. Heck, most technologies have at least some connection to Israel. So, lead by example. Shut off your computer, cell phone. Research every article of clothing that you wear. Because well, otherwise, it’s “do as I say but not as I do”.

    And finally. I agree wholeheartedly with people above. Instead of spending TONS of dollars trying to get Israel boycotted, why don’t you raise awareness by helping the people of Palestine? That should be your first priority. Do you realize how much you can improve their lives if all the money of all these anti-Israel groups went to? No, probably not. Because that’s not in your mandate for some reason.

  22. All in the past few days:

    Students shot in Yemeni protests.
    Military tanks confront protesters in Bahrain.
    Libyan troops open fire on protesters.

    Notwithstanding these recent events, SAIA, in an obvious double standard, continuously focuses on Israel. Those of you who try to deny this clear and embarrassing double standard are drinking some pretty strong Kool-Aid.

    What a world we live in.

  23. Let’s also not forget that homophobic slurs were used last year by an ‘Israel supporter.’ The matter was dealt with through Equity Services and SAIA did not use the unfortunate incident to dissuade ‘Israel advocacy.’ Likewise, if one is to discuss who is intimidated by the possibility of violence, it was two SAIA members that were assaulted last semester by an ‘Israel supporter.’ The matter resulted in criminal charges and a lackadaisical response from both the Carleton administration and Safety. SAIA again did not use this unfortunate incident to dissuade ‘Israel advocacy.’

    Although I was not present for the event being discussed, it sounds like it was a passionate expression of solidarity that is being misconstrued. This tactic is very predictable though. It’s quite difficult to argue with over 1,000 personal signatures, over 2,000 personal letters, tens of group endorsements, a union endorsement, tens of faculty endorsements, not to mention multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, an International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion, the opinions of some of the most respected international figures (Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, etc), thousands of pages of damning reports from major human rights organizations (B’Tselem, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch), the Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocols and other customary international and humanitarian law. Oh and we mustn’t forget the most important: the inherent dignity and human rights of the Palestinian people. Somehow this last one seems to be the most controversial.

  24. @Dax: You realize you just supported every claim I made in the post above yours?

    Although its a common argument, nobody is arguing if Israel is in the wrong. People are in disbelief that SAIA would cause such a commotion when a motion was passed against all companies that reside in countries with human rights violations, instead of just Israel.

    This is why people are arguing that the goal of SAIA is to criticize Israel incessantly, instead of actually fight human rights violations or help the people of Palestine.

    And btw. You used Israeli products to type your reply on this post.

  25. What is SAIA screaming about if the motion already included the amendment for illegal occupation, and is clearly a victory for SAIA?

    Lets make things clear first, something that this article failed to do.

    -SAIA has been doing research on these 4 war profiteering companies (Tesco Supermarkets, Motorola, BAE Systems,Northon Grumman) for 2 years, this type of research is something that cannot be easily done overnight.
    Why these 4 companies? well, this is a Palestinian solidarity group that stands up for Palestinian human rights, and the initiative to form such group was made by people that have been directly affected by the conflict there. This initiative could have been formed by any group of any nationality since human rights violation do occur world-wide, and there are other groups that defend human rights in other countries (Ex: Canadian Friends of Burma – they too rally and chant in a peaceful manner to have their voices heard in other to defend human rights of Burmese people).
    Is this racist or the anti-S word that you were mentioning? No, not at all if any other group such as HOLAS did the research on war profiteering companies in Central America, such as Canadian mining companies that illegally occupy indigenous territories, then they would receive SAIAs support as well. Also, the third recommendation made by SAIA included a general SRI policy, meaning that any other group on campus would be able to benefit from the motion.

    -CUSA claims to have done research on companies, yet is not able to provide students with the names of these companies. Who comes to a meeting unprepared discussing SRI policies of the university, claiming to have done research. CUSAs motion was a vague version of SAIAs motion, and did not make any binding claims for the university in regards to the companies they have done their research in. I’m assuming that these research would have been of great value to the meeting because since CUSA wants to be “fair” these companies would be from all around the world not just Israel, or is that the reason why the names were not provided? Because, CUSA has not actually done research on their own but rather basing all their claims on SAIAs research? Had they been able to provide names of of ALL companies violating human right that Carleton is investing, their arguments would have been strong. Also, if the had names of ALL companies been included in the motion, them I am certain that negotiations about the motion between SAIA and CUSA would have been much easier. I strongly urge everyone to ask Meera and the other councilors what are the names of the companies they have done research in.

    -There was only one motion going to be discussed at the council meeting, SAIAs motion, but then less than two hours before the deadline to finalize the agenda was made two CUSA execs informed SAIA of their new motion, which by the way would come before SAIAs motion. Knowing the rules for the council meeting CUSA knew that by doing this, the “second” motion would be seen as redundant. Just as they had planned the motion was not even discussed. The voices of thousands of students were silenced. And I say thousands because SAIAs motion was backed by the support of 24 student groups, more than 2000 support letters signed , and approximately 200 students (or more) that were present at the rally.

    – CUSAs original motion did not include “illegal occupation”, and Meera did not propose that amendment. It was a member of SAIA to propose the amendment, knowing well that CUSAs attempt to sabotage SAIAs motion would mean that SAIAs motion would not even be discussed if the chairman declared it redundant, which he in fact did. Those who opposed to the amendment argued that it was directed to Israel, which in fact is not true since there are illegal occupations everywhere, including Canada, Central America and Israel. This amendment was a form of compromise on SAIAs behalf after having had their motion sabotaged. It is only reasonable for SAIA to have wanted to reassure that CUSAs motion would include the companies for which years worth of research have been made, specially since the motion did not bind the university to take immediate action on ANY company violating human rights. Also, recall that the that the third recommendation of the motion served as a stepping stone to encourage ANY group on campus to research the companies that the university is investing in.

    Students were yelling “shame”, but don’t you think that after such dishonest behavior CUSA should in fact be ashamed?

  26. There are a couple of things that need to be said here. First of all, CUSA’s motion is the best compromise for the issue at hand. You want the University to have a binding policy, well everyone voted for an SRI policy for the board of governors to adopt. Secondly, the amendment was presented by a SAIA member; I don’t understand what the problem is, it was still passed. The amendment was passed by CUSA councilors and certain executives. Thirdly, I was in the meeting and do remember recognition of SAIA’s work in getting these 4 companies however it was said that it would be more inclusive to expand on that. SAIA’s work was not gone unrecognized. The chair ruled that the second motion was redundant, this means the action items are either the same or similar so it wasn’t looked at. If we want to talk about human rights, why are we only talking about human rights in one country? I think it is fantastic that the CUSA council was able to pass an inclusive motion that didn’t single out a specific country, it condemned all kinds of human rights violations. Kudos to them! On another note, I feel it is very troubling that some people don’t see SAIA supporters actions in that meeting as being violent and intimidating. Intimidation is not the way to get what you, instead it further pushes people away from your cause. So please, STOP IT!

  27. @Erika: The goal of a governing body is not to adopt motions to the benefit of specific groups, but is to adopt motions that sub or umbrella groups of this organization can benefit from.

    Look at it this way. If SAIA’s motion passed, and nothing else, then the Canadian Friends of Burma will have to start from scratch on their motions.

    Instead, now, each organization now has a mandate to advocate their cause under the general motion their umbrella organization passed. Although SAIA might focus only on Palestine, they should at least somewhat want the same thing for other groups fighting the same cause.

    Now, I don’t go to Carleton. But really: intimating people because your resolution was not heard won’t get you far. Remember, you voted in these people. Everything they did, whether you agree with it or not, is legal. If you can find cause that it was not legal, there are appropriate avenues to take. But taking the law into your own hands is not the least bit beneficial to your cause.

    With this in mind, someone please explain why this motion much be solely anti-Israel. As well, such policies won’t make a difference. We both know that. Explain why none of your money goes towards AID for Palestine. If they are so deprived, they can surely benefit from aid instead of massive letter writing campaigns.

  28. Having read this article and being present during the rally, there are some points above that need clarification. Given the sources used by the author – 1 article and 3 twitter posts, this reply should be viewed as equally valid.

    The purpose of the rally was NOT to attack Israel or to delegitimize it as a state. Rather, its purpose was to stand up against human rights violations, ranging from child and undocumented labour to illegal occupations. Palestine is a current example of illegal occupation; however, this motion is not limited to this example alone. It is taking a stand against ANY illegal occupation anywhere in the world.

    February 17th’s rally was an example of students, faculty and members of the Carleton community rallying together under one common goal – to stop the university from investing in and profiting from companies that support human rights violations. SAIA was ONE of many groups (over 20 students clubs) who supported this motion. The campaign asks for Carleton University to adopt a Socially Responsible Investment Policy developed by the entire university community (one of SAIA’s recommendations). This policy would also encourage student associations to research any other human rights violations linked to our university’s current investments to ensure our tuition is being handled in an ethical manner.

    As students, and as Canadians, it is our right, as well as our duty, to ensure our money (be it taxes, tuition, or consumer spending) be spent and invested in accordance with the same values we hold dear in Canada.

    “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”- Howard Zinn

  29. This is thanks to Trudeau’s multiculturalism.. It not only breeds racism of all kinds but fosters it. Stop all government funding to any and all “multiculture” groups. While we are at it let us ask all levels of government, why they are funding racists in New Hibret Coop, Toronto. The tip of the iceberg.

  30. On Remembrance Day Stephen Harper made a speech denouncing anti-Semitism in Canada, mentioning specifically the anti-Israel campus weeks. Where is he now that these weeks are being organized for 2011?
    As for the learning that is supposed to take place on Canadian campuses, learn your history! Anyone who knows Israel and who knows South Africa will tell you that Israel is a democracy with equal rights in all aspects of life and law for all its citizens.
    There are Arab members of government with equal rights to introduce, debate, and write laws the same as all other members.
    Then, study the history of Jordan, and its treatment of Palestinian residents, who are never allowed to gain Jordanian citizenship. Which state is the apartheid one?

  31. “… study the history of Jordan, and its treatment of Palestinian residents, who are never allowed to gain Jordanian citizenship. Which state is the apartheid one?”

    Not only that, but where were the largest number of Palestinians slaughtered? That’s right – in Jordan. Google ‘Black September’ for the numbers.

  32. Judea, the home of the Hebrews (Jews) was renamed Palestine during the Roman conquest of those lands. The Jews lived in the land of Israel for two thousand, eight hundred and thirty seven years before the arrival of Arabs who migrated to the Galilee from the deserts of Arabia.

    So please, don’t tell me that the Jewish people are stealing Arab land.

  33. I absolutely agree with Aidan. When Israel and its supporters disagree with groups who are trying to push for real discussions and compromise with the Palestinians, they act like a juggernaut to crush such disagreement, whether against groups, politicians, governments, and so on. Israel has no right, moral, political or by international law to continue to move the Palentinians off their lands and to continue to block most any attempts to raise crops and trade them, allow travel to Palestinians and so on.

    This was a good, grassroots movement that was quashed by those afraid of ‘offending’ the Jewish community and the Iraelis who support Israel’s offenses, no matter what.

  34. These motions against Israel are just another form of anit-semitism. Why are these people also not making an issue of the completely illegal actions of Hamas, the Palestinian Gaza government, in holding Gilat Shalit as a prisoner in total violation of international law? An example of this ongoing hypocrosy of condemning Israel. And over 1 million Israeli Arabs might have something to say about how integrated they are in Israel society. Polls show that the vast majority are uninterested in leaving Israel for a separate Palestinian run entity. Apartheid? Hardly.

  35. Many Israelis are not Jews. And most Jews are not Israelis. Why is there a constant mixup in the use of these words? The answer – there is a built-in antisemitic thrust to many of these “anti-Israeli” motions. And remember, many Israelis are Palstinian Arabs – and Bedouins – and Druze – and Christians. Get the facts, before throwing around labels about who is doing what to whom.

  36. The lands owned by Israelis were bought in legal transactions – going back to Ottoman Turkish rule, British Mandate rule and beyond. No one has stolen anything from anyone. Where the State has used lands for public use, compensation has been paid. No different when land was used to build the 401 in Toronto – or the Allen Expresway – or the TransCanada Highway – or many other public works. Many of those lands in fact originally belonged to First Nations – who claim they weren’t properly compensated. Time to start demonstrating in front of Parliament, Queens Park, Toronto City Hall?

  37. Since when has Israel “moved” Palestinians off their land. In fact, it is Jordan that has kept so many Palestinians in refugee camps. And Syria. And Lebanon. And when Egypt ruled Gaza for so many years, what did they ever do for those Palestinians? Nothing. And by the way, there are absolutely no Israelis or Israeli troops now in either Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, or Egypt. So who is doing the moving? And who exactly is being moved. And also there are over 1.2 million Arab Israelis (Palestinians) living in Israel – who have full property and other rights. No one is moving them.

  38. In answer to “The purpose of the rally was NOT to attack Israel or to delegitimize it as a state. Rather, its purpose was to stand up against human rights violations, ranging from child and undocumented labour to illegal occupations. Palestine is a current example of illegal occupation; however, this motion is not limited to this example alone. It is taking a stand against ANY illegal occupation anywhere in the world.”

    Such hypocrisy. There are many cases of use of child labour in many African countries, in India, in Pakistan. Shame on putting such a totally unsubstantiated label on Israel, which is a democracy with very strong and legitimate legal standards. What about exploitation of child and other labour in China – the use of the death penalty for relatively small crime? Where is the outrage?
    Was there any move to include these nations in the call for withdrawing investments? The answer is no.

    Israel was attacked by Jordan in 1967 and took over lands that were always part of the “Jewish Homeland”. Regardless, there is plenty of space for both Palestinians and Israelis (Jews, Arabs, Druze, Christians etc.) to live together. The Palestinians and other Arab countries elected to say no to any negotiation, any compromise, any agreement with Israel – this was after the 1967 war. Since then, treaties have been signed with Egypt and Jordan. But, the “Palestinians” still refuse – and their governments still state openly that they wish to destroy and exterminate every Jew living in “Palestine” (Israel, Gaza and the so called West Bank). Hardly a remedy for compromise. And where is the morality in their obscene declarations?

    Narrowing focus of the small state of Israel, The Jewish Homeland, earns one the right to accused of antisemitism. Shame.

  39. I’m 76 and so tired of this idea that Israel is the perfect and untouchable State . I believe in the FREEDOM OF SPEECH not a selective freedom at the whim of any extremist.This is CANADA , a diverse population with many culters and religions , and all have the right to exp[ress their opinions , and that includes the anti Israel factions.