[Marxism] Canada schools blasted for ban on anti-Israel 'apartheid' poster

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
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 
human rights."

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 
"hate fest."

"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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