Reaction to CUPE Ontario's proposed ban on Israeli academics

January 7, 2009

A recommendation by CUPE Ontario to ban Israeli academics due to an attack on a Gaza university is generating controversy. Academics interviewed by the Ottawa Citizen say the proposal is "unfair and inconsistent" but not anti-Semitic. A uOttawa professor says a boycott would violate academic freedom. The Canadian Association of University Teachers condemns the attack on Gaza, but does not support the union's proposal. The president of CUPE Ontario's comparison of Israel's actions in Gaza to "what the Nazis did" is being characterized as "offensive" and "nasty and bigoted rhetoric." Ottawa Citizen | Toronto Star | Globe and Mail | National Post | CAUT News Release

Postscript: Jan 9, 2009
On Wednesday, CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan apologized for comparing Israel's attacks on Gaza to "what the Nazis did." Ryan said the comparison was "hurtful and completely beyond the pale." Meanwhile, University of Western Ontario president Paul Davenport says the university does not support CUPE Ontario's proposed boycott of Israeli academics. CUPE News Release | National Post | Globe and Mail | CTV | London Free Press