Neutrality is spurious: student
Concerning your refusal to use the word occupied
in reference to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in your effort to be seen
as neutral you have, in fact, shown yourself to be anything
but. The word occupied is the only honest and accurate description
of the situation.
With the exception of the Israelis (and occasionally the Americans),
virtually the entire world including the UN recognize
that Israel is occupying the West Bank and Gaza. Furthermore, it is
a flagrantly illegal occupation which, like all military occupations,
is enforced by violence and intimidation.
Quite frankly, as a journalism student at Concordia, Im more than
a little disgusted by your attitude on this matter. In refusing to use
the word occupation you are essentially adopting the line
of the Israeli government and negating the harsh reality of life for
millions of Palestinians who live under occupation.
While presence may be a technically accurate descriptive
term, it is intellectually dishonest and seriously distorts and misrepresents
the reality. The concept of neutrality itself is rather spurious, especially
in a case such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When you try to
be neutral in a conflict where one side is overwhelmingly stronger than
the other, whether you like it or not, you are implicitly siding with
the stronger party.
Im particularly shocked to see this kind of nonsense being propagated
by Thursday Report, it seems much more suited to the odious pages of
an Asper publication.
Christopher Hazou, Journalism
Editors note: We understand that the term presence
may have offended some readers. This was not our intent.
Fight for all: student
I didnt move 4,773 kilometers away from my friends and family
to learn specifically about Palestine or Israel.
The kind of activism I envisioned was not about endless discussions
on whether this word/action is really anti-Semitic or this word/action
anti-Arab, but about unifying, mobilizing, and consolidating energy
and talent to stand up for human beings every where in the world who
Id like to be proud that Concordia is notorious for fighting for
human rights instead of for just fighting.
Ezra Winton, Political
Hearings raise questions:
The following is an open letter to Concordia senior administrators and
the Board of Governors.
It is disappointing to me, a Concordia alumnus, to see you acting hypocritically
with regards to the charges placed on your own students from the incidents
of September 9, 2002.
I gather that one of the charges being placed on Yves Engler is of creating
an intimidating or hostile environment on campus. How do you think
Palestinian Concordia students felt when the right to create a Palestinian
Human Rights student club was denied them three years ago? Was that
not an extremely unwelcoming act on your part? Why werent
those responsible for this decision fired from their posts if you are
threatening to expel Mr. Engler from school?
Furthermore, if the evidence being used against these students in the
interest of expelling them is so great, then why cant they see
all of it? And why hold the hearings behind closed doors?
But speaking of false accusations and conspiracies, if the issue at
hand for the Sept. 9 events is truly one of freedom of speech, then
how can you justify having Jaggi Singh arrested and expelled from campus
for five years on January 20 for something he allegedly did on September
9, more than four months earlier?
The timing is odd enough to begin with. However, the fact that he was
arrested during an interview with the press and directly preceding a
talk he was scheduled to give about global migration at McGill University
and only hours after he spoke at a rally regarding the first disciplinary
hearing makes it even more suspect.
BA, MES, alumnus, ApSS & SCPA, 1999
CTR solicited the following response:
Unfortunately, your letter raises several misconceptions that we have
seen in the media during the last few days.
Firstly, with respect to claims of unfairness to student clubs, you
should address yourself to the CSU, since they are responsible for the
funding and recognition of student groups.
With respect to those accused under our Code of Rights and Responsibilities
for involvement in the disturbance that resulted in the cancellation
of the planned speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, the hearings are closed
to protect the confidentiality of those accused and the integrity of
The Code provides for extensive procedural due process for accused students.
Students receive copies of any and all information that will be used
against them in advance of the hearing as well as a list of the witnesses
that will appear at the hearing and have the opportunity to question
the witnesses, raise whatever defenses they wish and present whatever
arguments they wish.
The members of the hearing panel are drawn from a pool
of students nominated by the Concordia Student Union (CSU) and the Graduate
Student Association (GSA). A non-voting volunteer lawyer, external to
the University, who is there to ensure that the hearing proceeds fairly,
chairs the hearing panel. In fact, Concordias Code is a model
for other Canadian universities in terms of due process and safeguarding
the rights of the accused.
In reference to Mr. Singh, following the SPHR demonstration last Monday,
two SPVM officers arrived on campus and asked our Security to escort
them to the CSU offices to determine whether Jaggi Singh was there.
The university was not responsible for calling the police. Mr. Singh
was located in one of the offices at which time the officers placed
him under arrest for assault. We later learned that the assault charge
stems from the Sept. 9 incident.
In terms of the Universitys decision to ban Mr. Singh from campus,
the University has from the outset maintained that any and all individuals
involved in the September 9, 2002, disturbances who could be identified
would be charged under our disciplinary Code if they were students or
be banned from campus for five years if they were not students. As a
result, Mr. Singh is being treated in exactly the same manner as all
others in his position.
Bram Freedman, Assistant Secretary-General and General Counsel