Queen’s rector abuses his title in letter to Ignatieff

Rebuffs Liberal leader’s condemnation of Israel Apartheid Week, saying Israel is guilty of genocide


 

Remember the Queen’s University rector who used a Remembrance Day address to air his own political pet peeves?

Well it seems Rector Nick Day is back at it. After Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff recently released a statement condemning Israeli Apartheid Week, which is taking place on Canadian and international campuses this week, Day released some words of his own, calling Ignatieff’s statement “deeply unethical” in a note posted on his Facebook page and sent to Rabble.ca.

UPDATE: Queen’s Rector faces impeachment

In his letter to the Liberal leader, Day does make some fair points about the right to hold open dialogue on the Israel/Palestine issue, but also delves into his own personal position on the issue, arguing that Israel “operates a discriminatory judicial system in Palestine” and is the perpetrator of “perhaps the biggest human rights tragedy of my generation.” (Was the Rwandan genocide last generation?)

He goes on to slam Ignatieff’s original statement, cautioning the Liberal leader that if he continues to condemn “critique of the genocide happening in Palestine, you and the party you lead are complicit in that genocide.”

Curiously, he also adds:

I was elected to represent the approximately 20,000 students of Queen’s University. If I ever used the influence of my office and the power of my public voice, as you have [. . .] I would have a very difficult time sleeping at night.

Shall we play “Spot the Irony?”

Nick Day has every right to hold any political position he desires, and the freedom to express his opinions openly. The problem, though, is when he signs his name as “rector,” he no longer just speaks for himself. And when speaking for 20,000 students, it is negligent and unjust to take a strong position on an issue that is so politically divisive.

Day could’ve sent the exact same letter in response to Michael Ignatieff’s statement. But instead of signing it, “Nick Day, Rector,” he should have signed it, “Nick Day, student.”


 

Queen’s rector abuses his title in letter to Ignatieff

  1. i have never been disappointed with being synonymous with Queen’s University, this “rector” needs to be removed from his position

  2. We are doing all we can to get him impeached. He is simultaneously abusing his power and ruining the reputation of this school, which in turn is affecting the value of the degree of all students here. He will not get off so lightly as he did the last time for his misconduct.

    • Very sad. I doubt that you understand what is going on here. I am Jewish and I know anti-semitism when i see it. Isreal as a state, like any other state, can be criticised when it goes wrong.
      We NEED MORE NICK DAYs in the world!! As a believer, God wants us to fight injustice and I know that!

      • PLEASE do not pretend to know the will of god, if such a thing exists. In case you hadn’t noticed, the whole issue of god and the religions he is seen as representing are kind of an important factor in the injustices being committed on both sides of the Israel/Palestine border…as well as, I don’t know, everywhere else on the world. If there is one thing that won’t fix the problem, it is calling on god.

        Thank you

      • Are we forgetting the point? I am Jewish and have my own feelings about the conflict but that is not the issue here.

        Nick Day is exploiting his position as rector to express his own personal agenda which is misrepresentative of the Queen’s student body. He is offending some of his own groups of students and faculty, those of which he is responsible to voice their true values. He is causing disrespect to all of his predecessors, and causing shame upon his university. Regardless of his own personal opinion, it sickens me to see someone bring this much abuse to such a high position of authority.

  3. Never been so ashamed to be Queen’s alumni. Nick Day doesn’t speak for me. He must resign or be impeached.

  4. A self-centered, attention seeker–Nick Day, you are a disgrace to all of Queen’s.

    • speak for yourself. Nick Day just made me proud, for the 2nd time to be associated with Queen’s. The International Criminal Court, the UN security Council all agree that Isreali state is committing atrocities. We should all condemn these, without apology or qualification.

      • While I personally have strong mixed feelings about the Palestine/Israel conflict, some of which actually align with his own, Nick’s personal opinions on the matter are not what have come into question here. I am happy he felt strongly and voiced his thoughts, it is the only way change can ever be made.

        The issue at hand is that he has used his office to speak for an entire institution and population of 20,000 students, as well as alumni; that themselves have not come to a decision on this very aggressive topic. As an elected official he has been given the trust of the student body to represent them accurately.

        I feel that all students, regardless of their political position on the matter of Israel should be offended that Nick Day presumed to speak not as his own person but for us all without consulting our opinion on the matter. He has no reason to think that view is representative of the student body.

      • dear tim.
        If you know a better way to fight against terrorist attacks, please share. if not, let israel defend itself.
        here is an example, hamas uses a human shield to protect its terrorist and they proclaim they, Hamas, love death as much as the Israelis love life. how can such radical leaders be dealt with?
        if you got a pair of nuts, take a look:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0wJXf2nt4Y&feature=related

        PS- nick day can enjoy being a hobo for the rest of his life when this is all over. He is going to be destroyed.

  5. Queen’s students: DON’T BE SILENT! If Nick Day doesn’t speak for you TAKE ACTION! Petitions are circulating now – it only takes 800 signatures for a referendum to impeach. We won’t let Nick Day drag our reputation through the mud – sign a petition today!

    • Where are these petitions?
      Rumour has it 800 signatures are needed by tomorrow’s AMS assembly.
      GET IT ON FACEBOOK/TWITTER

  6. As a student at Queen’s University, I can solemnly swear that, contrary to what he urges people to believe, Nick Day does NOT speak for me.

  7. The Queen’s campus was reluctant to forgive Nick Day for his previous “slip” during the Remembrance Day ceremony. While he may be attempting to speak for a common good (his vision of such), I refuse to tolerate such a blatant disregard for his fellow colleagues anymore. Queens MUST remove Nick Day from office before further embarrassment ensues. I will go as far as to say that legal action should be taken

  8. I do not appreciate Nick Day speaking on my behalf for this issue. I agree with the writer of the article, that Day should have just signed his letter as Nick Day and not mention anything about being rector of Queen’s. I feel that Mr. Day needs to be impeached, as I am disgusted at the fact that I am now associated with his comments.

  9. Action towards his removal/impeachment are on the way. Queen’s does not and will not stand with Nick Day.

  10. One would think he would have learned from his mistakes after the Rememberance Day debacle, but I guess he really wants to synonymize his name with political ineptness. Good luck finding employment Nick, I’m sure future employers will love to have someone with your polluted reputation.

  11. Nick Day has every right to be all for IAW. I however, am against it. What I don’t like is Day’s presumption that he can put words in my mouth. He’s become quite the embarrassment and is dragging a fine university’s reputation through the mud.

  12. It is illegal for a state to acquire territory by military force (Hague Convention), and it is illegal for a state to transfer its population into conquered territory (Geneva Convention). Israel has broken both of these illegal international norms. Israel is a criminal state. Ignatieff saves his venom for the principled people who point these facts out, and then gives israel a pass. He is no better than a Harper Conservative.

    • it is illegal to blow yourself up in a mall.

  13. Nick Day’s criticisms are right on! You need to read Ignatieff’s comments to understand how ignorant he is. If no one is standing up to him, by all means Nick Day should. I am proud to be a Queen’s student whose rector recognizes that, which the UN and ICC have also condemned. A criticism of Isreal is not Anti-Semitic. It saddens me that there are University students who don’t know this!!!
    Ignatieff himself called these atrocities as crimes a short while ago. What are people so afraid of?? Crimes are crimes, no one is excused from them. Way to go Nick day!

  14. I know a girl who got raped by Nick Day, he’s a real class act all right

  15. @James: Although you may feel that way, but it doesn’t justify speaking on behalf of all Queen’s students. Elected officials should only speak on behalf of their represented group if their represented group supports what the elected official says.

    Whereas, Ignatieff is speaking on behalf of his party. He puts out a statement yearly condemning IAW, because he wants the country to know that this is his party’s stance. There is a huge difference between a political party’s standing on an issue and the president/rector of a group speaking out to another on behalf of its constituents.

    Simply put, one is internal, another is external.

    And besides, nobody has explained this to me still anywhere I go. How does IAW HELP the cause? How does it work to improve the situation? How does it work on the peace-negotiation process? That is something that Ignatieff writes which I couldn’t agree more with. It doesn’t. It’s a counter-productive largely inaccurate hatred-supportive event. And that bothers me.

  16. Such a shame.
    The previous Rector, Leora Jackson, worked endlessly for two years to redeem this important position–made it accessible and understandable to students, and fulfilled her role as a medium between board/faculty and the student body. The Rectorship (as I saw it) was transformed during that time from mere ornament and ritual (of which most of the student body was unaware) to an important representative position, which Jackson performed professionally, responsibly and more importantly, took seriously. During a problematic period for Queen’s (Queen’s Centre fiasco, Homecoming, Increasing Racism, etc.), I always felt that she served as my representative, and not as herself–backing her own interests (far more than the AMS, and other student body representatives during that period). I am so saddened to see her hard work and positive redefinition of the Rectorship during those years be squandered, in a matter of months, by Day. He has every right to an opinion, but not to the extension of that opinion over 20000 students–many of which now, no doubt, feel further alienated from their institution. Sexism, Racism, and class divides on campus have had a profound isolating effect on the student body, and what was needed more than ever was a representative who worked to unite, rather than divide, this fantastic group of students.
    It’s going to take a lot now to bring the Rectorship back from its new reputation as a powergrab, one-man-show. But perhaps we will all be paying a lot more attention to who we are voting for come the next Rector election.

  17. The Arabs/Iran are building a false Myth.
    They will not be confused with real facts!
    Unfortunately some innocent people (or not?) from the west are joining the false chorus.

    By the Israeli law and practice all citizens are:
    Equal by low—–Full political rights—-– Equals in universal human rights ––religious freedom––Citizens express freely––Women equality––Social rights equality–- study on same universities—- sharing the same medical treatment in hospitals- serves as judges and lawyers- play in the same sport clubs–share equally all public infrastructures– and more…..
    This is apartheid??
    Should Israel changed in line to Muslims countries?

    The ridiculous call to change the above lows of some of so called human rights organization or democratic supporters!
    Part 2
    What s the status in Muslim countries?
    *Iran- more than 200 gays have been executed
    *Iran- Teachers were hanged up because teaching Bahai religion.
    *Iran Women low- Virgin women to be executed is raped by a guard ahead execution.
    *All over the Muslim countries: Christians are being persecuted and are under run.
    *Building or repairing of non Muslim shrines is either forbidden or severely restricted
    *Limited woman rights
    * Acceptable honor killing of doters and wife’s
    *People conversing from Islam to other religions may get by low death sentence
    * Political parties are either forbidden or limited.
    *Iran- By low only Shia Muslim cab be president, army chief, judge.
    The so called human rights organization or democratic supporters don’t blame, vote resolutions or demonstrate against Muslim countries.
    What is the definition of this behavior? Hypocrite!

  18. Pingback: TRUTH in Context » Blog Archive » ‘Get your head out of your Rector’

  19. I think Nick’s letter was timely and important. As a Queen’s alumnus and current student, I am happy that the position of Rector has become political. Frankly, I’ve never been so pleased to call myself a Queen’s student. It’s also nice to see Canada’s press giving IAW and the issue it addresses, the national coverage it deserves. Thanks MacLean’s!

  20. The only place where Nick Day refers to his position as a Rector is in the following paragraph:

    “I was elected to represent the approximately 20,000 students of Queen’s University. If I ever used the influence of my office and the power of my public voice, as you have, to insulate from criticism the perpetrator of a mass-slaughter, I would have a very difficult time sleeping at night. Please reconsider your position and come down on the right side of history. Use your voice to support the brave scholars and activists, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, who are using their voices and bodies to speak out against genocide and injustice in Palestine. Attend Israeli Apartheid Week in Toronto and listen with an open mind. You may suffer politically; however you will finally have a reason to be proud of yourself. ”

    How exactly did he misuse his position as a Rector? What he is writing is clearly his opinion and he is protesting the grotesque statement by Ignatieff.

    Anti Apartheid activists of the stature of Desmond Tutu have called on Israel to stop its extremely discriminatory, violent and degrading treatment of Palestinians. There are three issues in the Israel Palestinian conflict. These are :

    1. The right of return for refugees.
    2. The removal of settlements.
    3. The status of Jerusalem.

    On each of these, the International Law and morality is on the side of the Palestinians. They were ethnically cleansed to create Israel and they have a right to return. All settlements outside of the Green Line are illegal. Jerusalem is the heart of the Palestinian culture and life.

    Since at least Eighties a reasonable consensus has been available for the solution of the issue. This solution entails:
    1. Establishment of a Palestinian State in West Bank and Gaza.
    2. Removal of All settlements except for minor mutually agreed adjustments.
    3. A just solution to the refugee issue. This includes providing compensation for their loss.
    4. Jerusalem as a shared capital.

    Almost the whole World is behind this solution except Israel, US and a few others.

    Israel meanwhile imposes check points, conducts a blockade, jails thousands, does home demolitions, drops white phosphorus on hospitals, boards unarmed ships in international waters and murders unarmed activists.

    IAW is a effective way to debate and spread awareness about the issue.

    Further reading:

    1. The Fateful Traingle by Noam Chomsky.
    2. Beyond Chutzpah by Norman Finkelstein.
    3. Image and Reality of the Israel Palestine Conflict by Norman Finkelstein.

    • Nick Day abused his office and responsibilities when he signed the letter as Rector. As the article says, had he signed it as Nick Day, Student, there would be no issue with the letter. By choosing to sign it with Nick Day, Rector, he implies that he sends the letter on behalf of all of the students he represents, and implying that the majority of those 20,000 students share his views on this highly divisive subject. Furthermore, his responsibilities as Rector involve representing the students to the administration, not to the general public or to the federal government.

      • He was elected to represent the student body. Therefore, he MUST represent the voices of the majority of students. There is no way around that logic except to say you didn’t vote or voted for someone else, and either way that means he fairly represents the Queen’s student body. Everyone on here calling for his impeachment must bring into mind that he did nothing wrong other than voice his opinion and I don’t see how that couldn’t be the opinion of the majority of students. If it makes you feel better, write a letter to Ignatieff voicing your sentiments and sign it President Obama. It doesn’t make any difference.

    • This is from the Queen’s News Centre:

      “He [Principal Daniel Woolf] says the University’s position is that the Rector’s actions were inappropriate.

      ‘The views in the letter are not the issue – agree or disagree, he is entitled to them – it’s the context in which he communicated his personal opinion,” the Principal says. “Mr. Day’s views do not and should not be seen as being representative of those of the University or Queen’s students.’

      […]

      As a student-elected representative, the Rector is answerable to Queen’s student body. The issue is being discussed tonight at AMS Assembly.

      ‘I take this situation very seriously and I will be monitoring developments,” says the Principal. “In our conversation, I asked Rector Day to consider the impact of his actions and take steps to separate his personal views from the university position he currently holds. I am hopeful he will do so immediately.'”

  21. Sceptic – You ignore the number one concern of Israelis in your list of issues: Israel’s security. No peace is going to be sustainable if it is the victim of suicide bombers (which would likely resume if the so called “Apartheid wall” were removed) and other attack. So until the Israelis have a good faith partner on the Palestinian side to deal with those concerns its really a non-starter.

    Insisting on the right of return is also going to be a non-starter for Israel. Ethnic cleansing my eye. What absurd hyperbole to describe the various processes by which Palestinians left Israel earlier on.

    There is so much inconistency, double standard and hypocrisy on the pro-Palestinian side its often hard to sort out. Israel is a “racist” state yet its population is 20% arab who–even some of the high profile figures whose names activists throw out there to bolster their cause–enjoy the same rights as other Israelis. Israel and Palestine are lumped together as one “apartheid state”, yet Israel is an “occupying power” (inconsistent). Palestinian Arabs have a “right” to live in Israel but all settlers have to evacuate the West Bank. Israel has to accept a “right of return” which would effectively make Jews a minority in Israel proper.

    The one sidedness and the sacrafice Israel is expected to make when there is no promise of peace is just absurd.

  22. I am a student at Queen’s but part of the GSPS rather than the AMS so I have no horse in the impeachment race. I would like to note, however, that hearing about this story on campus led me to this blog through google on Macleans and as general feedback: It is terrible. I’ve been involved in student government affairs and university issues for the better part of a decade as I have pursued various undergrad and grad degrees at different schools and the shallow, surface reading and outright uninvestigated crap written by Robyn Urback about these issues does a disservice to the issues and the people who are engaged in them. It is like reading a really bad set of facebook posts, Macleans, save your coin on this one. I would be upset if I was on either side of this issue, or any of the other 25 archived issues I just went and read, for the author making it more convoluted and able to fit within her poorly orchestrated narrative. Just silliness.

  23. He was elected as rector to voice school opinions. I didn’t cast a vote because I think it was before I began here. In any case, those who were here voted for Nick Day to represent the student body and as far as I’m aware he won in a landslide. It’s the same as electing any politician; in reality, it’s your fault. You chose the guy with these opinions now deal with the consequences. You can’t rightfully impeach someone if they haven’t done anything outside their duties. He might be an idiot and you might might disagree with him, but the lesson here is that next time people should cast a vote instead of bitching when the guy that was chosen voices the opinion he was elected to voice.

  24. I have never been so proud to be associated with an institution as I was when I read Nick Day’s letter. Did any of the above actually read his argument- how argumentatively sound it was? Nick Day WAS elected as a representative of Queen’s University and I’m proud that, at Queen’s, we have a rector who is not afraid to speak truth to power. Israel Apartheid Week (despite what those who have not attended the internationally renowned conference or who attend with only mischievous and closed-minded reasons claim) is a forum for open dialogue on a humanitarian issue that is clearly one of apartheid.
    A silent Nick Day is not an apolitical Nick Day, as most accusers on this wall would like to think. By taking on a position of silence on a very important humanitarian issue and an issue relating to free political expression on university campuses, Day would have been promoting a strong political message- one that cowers in the face of injustice, that tows the party line when it’s convenient and ultimately one that stifles freedom of speech. I’m glad that Nick has the courage to fight against all of these political forms that seem to be antithetical to intellectual growth.

  25. @Queen’s Student: You’re wrong. It would be like Stephen Harper blasting Obama for supporting abortion since all Canadians are against it.

    Elected people are entitled to personal opinions. No questions asked. However, they are not entitled to speak on behalf of their constituents to the public or another group (ie: the Liberal Party of Canada) if their group has not explicitly given majority consent to do so.

    And please. Having signs on campus saying “Israel brutally murders Gaza children, is using stolen land, and wants to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians out of their native land for no good reason. If that’s not Apartheid, which was so horrible in South Africa, what is?” is not open dialogue.

    Open dialogue is “the Israeli people have done xyz that is wrong, the Palestinian people have done abc which is wrong {which they have… don’t argue otherwise}, the peace process is currently at such and such, however, it currently at a standstill.” And then to encourage “panel discussions on the merits of each groups demands, and how to encourage BOTH parties to get along so we can finally achieve a two-state solution”.

    Now, let’s look at what I suggested vs IAW for a moment. IAW: Working against Israel. Blasting Israel.

    My definition of open dialogue: Works with both parties, acknowledges where each have gone wrong, and tries to peacefully resolve the situation without resorting to hatred.

    Which is better? IAW clearly is not. It’s been largely ineffective, it’s been condemned at all levels of government everywhere, and it encourages a lot of hatred on campus which I’ve seen first hand. It puts Jewish students who support Israel in a very uncomfortable situation, where truthfully, they end up wanting to hide their views and their backgrounds. This is also a fact. Universities have became so involved in social justice causes that this just gets overlooked for its political agenda.

    And btw. 2 thoughts:
    1) Nick Day wrote this is the worst human rights abuse of his time. Rwanda? Congo? Tell me. Is there a bias somewhere?

    2) Renowned conference is a meaningless statement. By who? By “____ For Palistenian ____”? Every Arabic country? Just because a ton of people support it doesn’t mean its open, free and ethical.

    IAW has no place on campus. There is a valid peace process. I want both Israelis and Palestinians to be happy and free. But this does not accomplish this, unless the organizers of IAW want something other than what I said in this paragraph.

  26. I fully support Nick Day for demonstrating the type of critical reflection that university education is supposed to foster. I am dismayed that so few people seem to be actually reading and engaging with his well-researched and principled argument. Instead, it seems that people are relying entirely on the hard core conservatist spewings of one Kevin Wiener and the poor writings of Robyn Urback here and Jonathan Kay at the National Post. Robyn, your game of “spot the irony” is based on a faulty premise due to misquoting–which means you’d fail a university writing exercise about proper academic citation. You basically yadda yadda yadda’d the key part of Nick’s remarks about using the influence of one’s office: “I was elected to represent the approximately 20,000 students of Queen’s University. If I ever used the influence of my office and the power of my public voice, as you have *to insulate from criticism the perpetrator of a mass-slaughter* I would have a very difficult time sleeping at night.”

    Nick can sleep at night, as a representative of Queen’s students, precisely because he’s provided a researched argument (one backed by the UN no less). A misuse of public influence would be one that encourages the protection of perpetrators of mass-slaughter, as Ignatieff does in his condemnation of Israeli Apartheid Week. Nick is doing quite the opposite by openly discussing this violence, and supporting the open, anti-oppressive dialogue of events like IAW. This is how I’d like my elected representatives to use their public influence: to actually have an influence, to take a stand, and to speak out. We don’t need more ribbon cutters, hand-shakers, and smile-for-the-camera-type leaders. I want a leader with substance, intellect, passion, and politics NOT complacency. Good thing we at Queen’s have Nick Day.

  27. Thank you Nick Day for stating your opinions on a matter of great importance, and for using your position to support genuine discussion despite all the antagonism and pressure to remain silent, as all responsible citizens of the world should do. I support Nick Day’s ability to express his political opinion as a Rector.

    Queen’s students need to engage in discussion about the issue itself rather than trying to impeach the guy who brings it up. What is our university education worth if it did not teach you have to threaten to impeach the first person who says something to disagree with? (Let’s stop pretending this has anything to do with Nick Day attempting to speak for others – a doctor signs his letter as a doctor, a president expresses his opinions as a president. Stop the farce)

  28. Nick Day gave his opinion in his personal capacity. It is very clear from a reading of his statement. Nowhere did he say that his opinion is a representative opinion of the Queen’s students. He was objecting to Ignatief’s idiotic statement.

    He referred to his rectorship only as an analogy to draw attention to the inappropriateness of Ignatief’s statement. People who are frothing at the mouth about Nick Day mentioning his rectorship position are just trying to create a straw man. The real substantive issue is whether Israeli state is guilty of all the things it is being accused of-acquiring territories by war, settling those territories which is illegal under Geneva convention, illegal blockading, creating a network of roads from which Palestinians are banned, dropping white phosphorus on hospitals, boarding an unarmed ship in High seas with deadly force. IAW provides an opportunity to debate these issues. So if supporters of Israel has anyting substantive to say on these issues, then they should state their argument. Instead what they want is to muzzle the critics of Israel.

  29. @Diya and Sceptic you’re both mistaken.

    Someone who has a Phd will include in a letter they have one, and might sign their letter as Dr. Jon doe. However, this does not imply they are speaking on behalf of all doctors.

    A president of a company would only sign his letter as President, Company if it’s on official business. No president would sign his personal letters, when they have nothing to do with the company, in an official capacity.

    The difference here is simple. Ignatieff IS speaking on behalf of the liberal party. His caucus has decided to be strong supporters of Israel, and his caucus feels that IAW should be condemned.

    Nick Day does NOT have the support of the student body. Therefore, he has no capacity to sign a letter on their behalf which is what he does. You can argue he didn’t, but its irrelevant. When you sign a letter in that fashion, you’re acting as an official spokesperson.

    Can someone PLEASE tell me how IAW works towards peace instead of just working towards inducing hatred of Israel? Nobody has answered me, which can only lead me to assume the answer is it doesn’t.

  30. R,

    IAW by bringing out the issues in the open is making it more difficult for Israel to hide behind its lies. This is leading to international opinion gradually solidifying against Israeli crimes and bestial treatment against the Palestinian people. This will make it difficult for Israel’s backers to continue to turn a blind eye to Israel’s culpability. The recent release of Palestine papers show that Israeli government do not want peace.

    IAW is thus helping in highlighting the terrible oppression of the Palestinian people and making it more difficult for Israel to do this without loss of international standing. Sooner or later Israeli government will be bound to come around to a reasonable and just solution for Palestinian people. Right now by making settlements Israel has made the two state solution impossible. So ultimately we will have a secular bi-national state in Israel-Palestine.

    Of course you can hide behind make believe history (like the old Zionist myth of Palestine being empty land). Of course you can hurl the charge of anti-semitism reflexively against any criticism of Israel. But the public opinion is changing. More and more people are getting informed. IAW, inter alia, is making it possible.

  31. Congratulation Queens. You should be proud of Mr. Day and his defense of student rights of expression and assembly and saddened by the toady and ill informed statements made by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

  32. Mr. Day is an embarrassment to his university. To say that that the Palestinians suffered “perhaps the biggest human rights tragedy of my generation” is not an “opinion” – it is simply an absurd and enormous lie. Mr. Day sounds like a real racist to me – he discounts the lives and welfare of dark-skinned people, of people living in the former Yugoslavia, of suffering people all around the world. Apparently, for Mr. Day the lives of 200 Africans are nothing compared to that of one Palestinian. And, of course, the lives of Palestinians are of no consequence unless they are killed by Jews rather than by their fellow Arabs (as happened on a massive scale in Jordan and Lebanon, not to mention all the Palestinians killed by other Palestinians).

  33. Why the reaction? Israel is guilty of genocide. Zionists have been targeting Palestinian lands since the late nineteenth century. Theodor Hertzl,in 1896 in reference to Palestine, coined the phrase, “A land without people for a people without land”. He was referring to a Jewish takeover of Palestine. Of course, at the time, Palestine has only 50,000 Jews but 500,000 Palestinians. The creeping takeover was abetted by the British with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 even thought the British had no right to make decisions about Palestine or the Palestinians. Up to 1928, Jews only made up 16% of the population. The creeping takeover was accelerated after WWII, because of sympathy for the way Jews had been treated, but still no consideration was given to the native Palestinians. Finally, the Zionists applied lessons learned from the Nazis and exterminated or forcibly deported hundred of thousands of Palestinians from what is now referred to as Israel. Zionists killed British soldiers and U.N. representatives in order to hasten the takeover of Palestinian land. From December 1947 to March 1948 Zionist terrorists started “cleansing” Palestinian villages. That drive to eliminate Palestinians continues today only on a more subtle level.

    Israel is not just guilty of apartheid but it is guilty of mass murder, just the reactor of Queens stated.

    • Thanks for the much-needed history lesson…
      so often this important issue of the historic ethnic cleansing (with the help of the world’s most powerful western states) gets forgotten
      I’m so tired of hearing zionists speak of having more discussions about a peaceful two-state solution, whilst Palestinian people continue to be treated like sub-humans on land that they are indigenous to.
      It’s quite easy for the Israel state to promote further diplomatic action when those they deem proper citizens of Israel continue to be prosperous at the direct expense of millions of Palestinians.

    • Everyone accuses israel of mass murder but it is not true. There is no mass murder in israel! there is no genocide! Why do people spread these lies?
      As a person who lived in israel for 11 years, i can tell you that there have been hundreds of terrorist attacks on israeli civilians with 1196 people dead by these terrorist attacks that are aimed to murder jewish women, children, and civilians. Yes, in gaza and the west bank the palestians (who are not israeli citizens- they are refugees) were subjected to searches, live inside a security wall, and over the years many have been killed in their attempt to fight israel. like every war (war in iraq already has 100,000 dead civilians! wow, why isnt anyone doing anything? because criticizing israel is a way to mask antisemitism but you won’t admit it), this war has collateral casualties, (about 6000 since 2000).
      Israel’s defense forces are known as the most humane army in the world- going to extreme measures to prevent civilian casualties, such as calling palastinians and advising them to stay clear of their house because their terrorist neighbor who is shooting rockets is going to be killed the next day (this puts the army at a disadvantage to ensure the highest level of safety for palestinians). Israel has air dropped thousands of pamphlets in gaza during their missions to increase the safety of palestinians who don’t want to fight and want to be safe. Israel has never targeted civilians like hamas does. It is impossible to prevent death of civilians when this is the situation:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0wJXf2nt4Y&feature=related

      As far as nick day, he is a complete moron who misrepresented his university. He has outraged students, faculty, and alumni; it is a matter of time until he is removed.

      • Those are not “terrorist” attacks. They are attempts by people to reclaim the land that Zionists stole from them. If you want peace in Israel, make Jerusalem a U.N. city, grant right of return to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians disposed by Zionists paramilitaries, pay reparations to the families of those murdered by the Zionist paramilitaries, stop building settlements on Palestinian lands and be prepared to give a lot of settled land to the Palestinians for a Palestinian state.

  34. Looking over this thread there seem to be three groups each with their own arguments:

    Group 1) Already convinced Israel is bad so anybody attacking Israel is right and do not want to hear otherwise.
    Group 2)Already convinced Israel is good so anybody attacking Israel is bad and do not want to hear otherwise.
    and Group 3) Queen’s students with no Israel agenda and who see the real issue here – abuse of office.

    To groups 1 & 2 (and you know who you are)like it or not the facts don’t bear you out. Yes, that applies to both of you. While there are injustices towards the Palestinian people there is no Apartheid or Genocide. This is just hyperbole and repeatedly using it doesn’t make it true. In fact endlessly chanting these absurdities has only served to polarise both camps, lose legitimate pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli arguments in a sea of emotion and make it impossible for you to have a dialogue. So how about dropping it already? IAW had done not one thing for the Palestinian issue. If it was only neutral it would have been a colossal waste of time. As it is counter productive to dialogue it is actually harmful.

    But what about Group 3? You folks have seen the issue for what it is. Nick Day was using his office to voice an opinion. He can try to backtrack all he wants but when Obama speaks it is for America, When Osama speaks it is for Al-Qaeda and when Day speaks it is for Queens. In speaking for Queens he no longer has the right to take a stance that is not representative of those who put him in office.

    Nick Day will likely be impeached. This is due process and the just result of his actions. The only question is whether he will blame others for his fall. If so it would be a pity because, not only would it be untrue and not only would it be seeking to avoid responsibility for his own actions but, if he blames others he cannot learn from the event. Elie Wiesel said that if one does not learn from history one is bound to repeat it. In the Middle Ages when faced with the Black Death the Church blamed the plague on the Jews rather than looking for a cure. In Libya today Moammar Quadaffi has blames “outsiders” for the unrest rather than addressing the needs of his people. In Kingston will Nick Day blame others or will he learn from his mistakes?

    • Tell that “hyperbole” tale to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were forcibly expelled from their homes by Zionists or to the families of the tens of thousands murdered by Zionists.

      Your “argument” amounts to denial only.

      The Queen’s Reactor is to be congratulated for bringing even more credibility to the topic of Zionist mass murder.

      When Elie Wiesel said that if one does not learn from history one is bound to repeat it he may have been referring to the failure of Zionists to learn from their own treatment in WWII and instead apply the same draconian tactics to the Palestinians whose lands they coveted.

      Your segues into history do nothing to justify the Zionist invasion of Palestine nor the Zionist murder or exile of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

      • Hyperbole; from ancient Greek ‘exaggeration’ is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.

        Hundreds of thousands?
        Tens of thousands?
        I must assume both Group 1 and hyperbole (as other options are far less charitable).

        More light less heat might be useful. My point is proven better than I ever could do myself.

  35. @The Real Truth

    Here is an extensive quotation from Norman Finkelstein’s book “This time we went too far.” This is about the invasion and massacare in Gaza.

    “The casualty fi gures aက ested not to a war but to a massa-cre—or, as Duncan Kennedy put it, they were “typical of a par-ticular kind of ‘police action’ that Western colonial powers…have historically undertaken to convince resisting native popu-lations that unless they stop resisting they will suff er unbear-able death and deprivation.”131 Indeed, an Israeli soldier posted in the Gaza Strip later recollected how Operation Cast Lead was largely conducted by remote control. “It feels like hunting sea-son has begun,” he mused. “Sometimes it reminds me of a Play-Station [computer] game.” “You feel like a child playing around with a magnifying glass,” another remembered, “burning up ants.”132 The modus operandi of Operation Cast Lead pointed up the aptness of the soldiers’ metaphors. An HRW study homed in on Israel’s “unlawful” use of white phosphorus in Gaza. Although it is used primarily to obscure military operations on the ground—white phosphorus ignites and burns on contact with oxygen, generating a dense white smoke—it can also be used as an incendiary weapon.When making contact with skin white phosphorus causes “horrifi c burns,” sometimes to the bone, as it reaches tempera-tures of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (816 degrees Celsius). HRW concluded that Israel “repeatedly exploded white phosphorus munitions in the air over populated areas, killing and injuring civilians, and damaging civilian structures, including a school, a market, a humanitarian aid warehouse and a hospital,” and that such use of white phosphorus “indicates the commission of war crimes.” It further found that, insofar as Israel wanted an obscurant for its forces, it could have used smoke shells (man-ufactured by an Israeli company); that Israel’s persistent use of white phosphorus where no Israeli forces were present on the ground indicated it was being used as an incendiary weapon; that in its targeting of the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City, which warehoused vast quantities of humanitarian food and medical supplies, the IDF “kept fi ring white phosphorus despite repeated warnings from U.N. personnel about the danger to civilians”; that Israel targeted the U.N.’s school in Beit Lahiya despite the fact that “the U.N. had provided the IDF with the GPS coordinates of the school prior to military operations”; and that Al-Quds Hospital, also a target, was “clearly marked and there does not appear to have been fi ghting in that imme-diate area.” It deserves special emphasis that the U.S. manufac-tured “all of the white phosphorus shells” recovered by HRW in Gaza.” (Pages 77-78).
    Most humane army indeed.

    • @Sceptic

      Firstly, you present a very important AND true argument.

      coincidently, I was visiting israel during operation cast lead and due to the situation there was nothing to do but watch news so I remember a few things…

      I’m also sure you know that israel warned the civilians to stay clear of the areas where white phosphorous is used. white phosphorous was used to make sure civilians will stay out of the streets were the combatants were active.

      The UN school:
      It was used as a human shield of palestinian children where terrorist fired rockets into israeli cities regularly. (over 8000 rockets have been launched in the last decade from gaza to israel)

      The hospital you mention was part of a network of underground bomb factories so what do the palestinians expect?

      I agree with you that so many mistakes have been made (like why use white phosphorous? stupidity…) but accusing israel of genocide or mass murder is not true. Also I think you can agree, free of sarcasm this time, that the IDF is more careful in protecting civilians than the rest of the world’s armies and especially more than the palestinian terrorist organization.

      Israel will gladly make peace with the palestinians, ultimately – it is because the leaders of Hamas identify jews as a cancer and strive for the destruction of the israeli state that this war continues. A common phenomenon in the arab world is that when a leader needs to gain popularity, all he needs to do is spread antisemetism and anti-israel hate.

      At my university’s Israel Apartheid Week I was told by the palestinian students club that they “dont want to coexist”. more what can I say? How long will I long will i wait for the palestinians to accept a peace treaty? until they finally do. But until that day, Israel has to do its best to protect its citizens (also the muslim citizens in israel who have equal rights, so why is it an apartheid?)

      • “Israel will gladly make peace with the Palestinians”??? Why should Zionists allowed to keep land and assets they stole over the last century. How about reparations?

      • @Real Truth.

        So your information about Operation Cast Lead comes out of Israeli TV. It is a truism to say that we would require some corroborations of these claims. I am reasonably well read on this topic and so far no evidence of underground bomb factories etc.

        Coming back to your statement about “Israel will gladly make peace with the Palestinians”-the historical and diplomatic records are clear. Historically Israel ethnically cleansed the Palestinaian population to make room for the Jewish State. Diplomatically Israel has been in continuous violation of Geneva Convention by constructing settlements. Each and every one of those settlements beyond the Green Line are illegal. Also diplomatic and factual records are that there has been a proposal for a two state solution on the table for some 30 years. The whole world is behind it sans Israel, US and a few other states. In 2004 for example, the UN resolution passed 160 in favour to 6 opposed. The UN resolutions has been calling to a two state solution with a Palestinian state in West Bank and Gaza and Israel in the area bounded by the Green Line subject to mutual adjustment. In 2002, the Arab Legue offered a comprehensive peace deal. Israel responded by pulverizing the refugee camp Jennin. And someday you might look up the racial slurs hurled by Isareli leaders towards Palestinians. The Israeli claim of good will is being exposed every day as an empty sound bite.

      • @ sceptic

        I am an israeli telling you i want peace? do you?

        As far as your claims of ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Palestinians in 1948? 1 000 000 jews were ethically cleansed from the arab countries but you don’t hear anyone complaining do you?

        The technicalities of a peace treaty are not relevant when palestinian leaders call for murder of zionists. A drastic change in power must occur before progress is made.

        Israel Apartheid Week does not help bring two sides together. Instead it polarizes both sides. I hope you don’t believe that 200 students standing at the university community on two sides screaming at each other is good or effective. That was the scene at the University of Western Ontario last Wednesday.

        This my conclusion to you: I don’t want IAW on my university campus, I promotes hate- not peace. It miseducates the surrounding students as they only hear one side of the story instead of both. And so when Nick Day used his power to promote IAW he is negatively using his position and misrepresenting Queens.

    • You’re forgetting a point. History also shows that the Jewish people had that land in the time of the Romans. Does that not count?

      The Jewish people, and Israelis in particular, want peace. It will make everything easier. But I think the term written in this thread couldn’t define it better. IAW doesn’t work towards peace. It is a futile activity in polarizing the campus and making many students feel incredibly uncomfortable. Congratulations to all IAW organizers and supporters. You did nothing for your cause, but you made Canadian citizens feel unwanted on campus. Good for you!

  36. If there is a God or Heaven forbid Gods. He/She/It/They are responsible all the ills of mankind. Human fallibility less of a myth than all religions.

    • You are getting far off track. However, God(s) is(are) not responsible for how people chose to misuse/misunderstand religion in order to pursue their own desires.

  37. Real Truth

    If you want peace, then stop taking over Palestinian lands, give back the Palestinian land stolen by Zionists, make reparations to Palestinians, agree to a right of return of forcibly exiled Palestinians and their families, make Jerusalem an international city under the protection of the U.N., oh, yes, and admit it was wrong of Zionists to take over other peoples’ land.

    • Ahh the good ole right of return… proof positive that pro-Palestinian activists have zero interest in peace. Why on earth would Israel agree to something that could make jews a minority within the country? That would be madness.

      • KC, the right of return demonstrates not only peace but fairness. Why should Zionists be rewarded for murdering or forcibly removing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from lands the Zionists wanted but had no legitimate claim to? Allowing the right of return, demonstrates atonement which is supposed to be important to Jews. Or, is atonement only superficially important to Jews once a year during the 25-hours of Yom Kippur?

    • While we’re on it what is wrong with Jews moving to Palestine? Do you have something against immigrants? People are allowed to migrate you know.

      • KC, Jews didn’t just move to Palestine. Jews hatched a plan in the late nineteenth century to take over Palestine and have been ruthlessly implementing that plan and murdering Palestinians who resisted the seizure of their lands for the last 115 years.

  38. @KC

    To respond to your two points:

    1. The Palestinians were expelled to make way for the Jewish State. In International Law and in morality they have a right to restitution and/or compensation. So far Israel has refused to acknowledge any culpability.

    2. Nothing is wrong with migration. But there are plenty of things wrong with ethnic cleansing.

    • The causes of the Palestinian exodus are far more complicated than that. Certainly there was some of that. There was also a lot of the usual refugee creation associated with a war (that the neighbouring Arabs started I might add–maybe they should be the ones who pay) As for reparation will all the Arab countries who refused to accept the partition plan and ‘ethnically cleansed’ their own Jewish population be paying reparation? (International “law” with me simply isn’t an argument so I wont respond to that).

      The reality is that the right of return is a non-starter for peace negotiations. After all the bad blood I dont think any reasonable person can expect Israel to allow a right of return.

      • KC, the Palestinian exodus had only one reason – the rapacious Zionist desire for Palestine land and assets at any cost to the Palestinians. I personally know Palestinians who, several decades ago, were forced from their homes at gunpoint by Zionist paramilitary thugs, loaded on ships that night and told not to return or they would be killed. Those that didn’t go were murdered.

    • Amen to both of your points, Sceptic.

  39. The whole Israel Aparteid Week is an unfortunate political tool of the fervent leftist groups who are convenient puppets in the ultimate desire of Palestinians governments to regain the entire country of Israel and push the Jews into the sea…at least the ones they didn’t manage to blow up through terrorist activities.

    Ignatief makes a great point saying the IAW event does not help bring peace to an already divisive situation and foments more hatred…not something that many of Nick Day’s constituents espouse. Fire his *ss.

    • Peebs, your comment is just a string of jargon, other than the spelling mistakes. There are no Palestinian terrorists, there are only Palestinians trying to regain their lands stolen by Zionists. The terror was inflicted over the last century by Zionists as they murdered or pushed out Palestinians in order to take over their lands and assets. Nick Day is to be congratulated for adding support to the idea of Israeli Apartheid.