Tadamon! response to Gazette

August 17th, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine, Quebec
    17 August 2009.


    Tadamon! collective responds to Montreal Gazette.

Peggy Curran’s article entitled “Activist group stirs up storm” (August 14, page A6) is filled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations, some of which bear directly on the Montreal social-justice collective Tadamon!. For the record, we would like to identify and correct some of these inaccuracies and misrepresentations.

1. Tadamon! has never used the slogan “Take back the campus”.

2. The Community-University Research Exchange (CURE) guidelines, and not a “promise” made by Tadamon!, indicate that course projects completed under the CURE program may earn students course credits.

3. Tadamon! submitted a project idea to CURE that includes the mapping of ties between local universities and corporations and similar organizations in Israel. Tadamon did not ask for CURE “to help it map” these links.

4. There is no larger “mapping campaign” as suggested by Abraham Cooper. Within the social sciences, research undertakings include the approach of “mapping” ties, links and relationships between organizations, individuals, groups, and so on. Undertaking research of this type is not equivalent to a “campaign” and in no way implies the tracing of something like the ancestries of particular individuals. The Tadamon! research proposal identifies academic, corporate, military, or government institutions as the objects of its research, and not individuals.

5. There is no validity to Cooper and Harold Brackman’s comparison of Tadamon’s potential CURE project with research projects proposed by hypothetical “anti-Muslim groups.” Tadamon’s CURE submission proposes that a student undertake research on links between Israeli and Canadian institutions. Nowhere in the submission are institutions, or individuals, identified on the basis of religious affiliation. The comparison of Tadamon’s project with those of “anti-Muslim groups” serves as a spurious charge that investigating local links with Israeli institutions is an anti-Semitic act. Tadamon repudiates all forms of discrimination and boasts a diverse membership.

6. The context of the research proposal is that of the growing worldwide movement to end the Palestine-Israel conflict while achieving full justice for all peoples concerned. This global movement has correctly identified many of the Israeli state’s practices and policies with respect to Palestinians as elements of an apartheid system and therefore as the necessary objects of challenge and opposition. The campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel takes up this challenge and openly opposes the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the apartheid policies to which Palestinians are subject, including discrimination in employment, education, housing and freedom of movement.

The errors, misrepresentations and distortions in Ms. Curran’s article suggest that it was written and published in haste and with little concern for objectivity or a thorough understanding of the wider issues that bear on the circumstances of the story. In this light, if there is indeed a storm on Montreal campuses regarding the Palestine-Israel question, as the headline suggests, this article seems bent on stirring this storm rather than reporting on it.

Tadamon! collective
tel: 514 664 1036
email: info(at)tadamon.ca


Excellent answer to Curran. Keep up the great work you are doing, Tadamon!

Comment by Malcolm Guy — August 18th, 2009 @ 3:54 PM

Great Job

Comment by FX-2030 — September 1st, 2009 @ 1:19 PM

Curran’s article was, as you rightly note, designed to fan the flames of hysteria. That it was the product of haste goes without saying — few of their articles are based on long-term research, and obviously careful reflection is not a requirement either. Moreover, Curran is not a skilled writer, so that her bias is salient and she comes across as someone with an axe to grind — i.e., the political interests that back her newspaper and pay her salary.

In the meantime, the university places itself in the bizarre position of denying the credit-earning possibilities for students in CURE projects, which it heralds on its very own website. To say that professors would not back projects such as Tadamon’s is patently false, as professors are also engaged in related research.

The charge of anti-Semitism is gross, and ironically it serves to cheapen, diminish and trivialize real anti-Semitism. Keep crying wolf, it’s a very simple lesson, and they seem determined to ignore it.

For my part, I am very proud of the work of QPIRG at Concordia and McGill, and of the students involved with QPIRG, CURE, and Tadamon!

Yes, keep up the great work and don’t suffer fools.

Comment by Maximilian Forte — September 21st, 2009 @ 12:34 AM

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