[Marxism] Canada schools blasted for ban on anti-Israel 'apartheid' poster
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Tue Mar 3 08:40:30 MST 2009
Canada schools blasted for ban on anti-Israel 'apartheid' poster
By Cnaan Liphshiz, Haaretz Correspondent
Two Canadian universities came under criticism this week for banning a
poster which is seen to be depicting Israelis as child-killers and
accusing Israel of apartheid. Brazilian politicians and scholars,
meanwhile, lambasted a recent student exchange accord between Tel Aviv
University and a Catholic academy from Sao Paulo.
The posters from Canada, which were banned from Ottawa University and
Carleton University, are advertisements for an annual series of events
labeled as "Israeli Apartheid Week," due to begin on Monday, March 1.
The "Israeli Apartheid Week" tradition began in 2005 in Toronto,
spreading since to other campuses and cities.
The poster, circulated by pro-Palestinian activists, depicts a gunship
with the word "Israel" on it firing a missile at a boy wearing a
kaffiyeh and holding a teddy bear. In explaining the ban, Ottawa
University said: "All posters approved must promote a campus culture
where all members of the community can play a part in a declaration of
The poster has roused controversy in Canadian and international press
and on campuses, where supporters of Israel said it was unacceptably
portraying Israelis as child-killers - an old anti-Semitic theme.
One student from the Ottawa university, who preferred their names be
withheld from this article, told Haaretz that the decision to ban the
posters was "a blatant violation of free expression for students
speaking out on human rights."
Activists also circulated letters and emails with phone numbers for the
universities' directors, urging students to call and protest.
Pro-Palestinian activist Jessica Carpinone argued that Carleton
officials have given "no valid reason for banning the poster other than
that it's a controversial issue."
B'nai Brith Canada executive vice-president Frank Dimant praised the
universities' action but said the colleges should ban the week's entire
"Israel should be treated as an apartheid state"
Commenting on the student exchange agreement between the Brazilian
university and Tel Aviv University, Valter Pomar, foreign relations
secretary for Brazil's ruling party, the PT, told Haaretz that "now is
not the time for such accords."
The accord was the first signing of a cooperation initiative between a
Brazilian and an Israeli university since Israel's operation in Gaza.
Pomar added: "It would be proper to apply to the Israeli government the
same treatment that the apartheid government of South Africa had
received," said Pomer, who stressed he was speaking in his private
capacity and not for the party.
Last month, Pomar cosigned an official announcement by the party
accusing Israel of "state terrorism" and comparing its actions in Gaza
to Nazi blitzes.
Brazilian priest José Oscar Beozzo, a prominent theologian from Sao
Paulo, also indicated his reservations about the exchange deal, citing
"Israel's condemnable massacre in Gaza."
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