UQÀM students voice opposition to Israeli apartheid

April 21st, 2011 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine, Quebec
    report prepared by Coalition pour la justice en Palestine UQAM, April 2011.


    Photo: Tyseer Barakat, Palestinian artist.

Download report by the UQÀM Coalition pour la justice on Palestine PDF format

On March 30th, Palestinian Land Day, Emanuel Navon presented at UQAM. Resident of a West Bank settlement (Efrat), part-time professor in Tel Aviv, Navon is also associate researcher at Ariel University, the target of a major boycott initiated by Israeli academics due to the fact that the institution was built in an illegal Israeli settlement, deemed illegal under the Geneva Conventions.

Emmanuel Navon also works as a consultant for the Israeli military and is a registered candidate for the right-wing Israeli political party, Likud. Additionally Navon is a lobbyist for the Israeli government, currently lead-by Likud, which announced Navon’s talk on the Montreal Israeli consulate website.

In response to UQAM hosting Navon, whose academic and political positions go against international law, Coalition pour la justice en Palestine (CJP) UQÀM sent a letter to both the Dean and Director of UQAM’s Faculty of Political Science. CJP UQÀM clearly expressed doubts on the legitimacy of holding such an event at UQAM and questioned the importance of recognizing Navon’s support and contributions to war crimes against the Palestinian people and in violation of international law.

At the event, during the question and answer period, UQAM students denounced Navon’s support for Israeli policies of apartheid, colonization, expropriation and forced displacements, as well as Israel’s consistent lack of respect for international law and the institutionalized racism that Palestinian citizens of Israel face daily.

Following these comments, the audience, mainly not composed of UQAM students, violently expressed their disapproval of the arguments voiced by UQAM students and backed by international law. After word spread in UQAM concerning the event, additional progressive students arrived at the door of the event spontaneously with a megaphone. Determined to denounce UQÀM’s complicity in holding this event, students chanted slogans in opposition to Israeli apartheid and military occupation. Eventually UQAM security escorted Navon away from the event room, a disproportional response by UQAM security given the students presented no threat to the speaker, only their collective voices that aimed to disagree with Navon’s vocal support for apartheid.

In fact holding such an talk is a direct provocation by pro-Israel organizations, emphasizing the importance of moving forward with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) initiated en 2005 by more than 170 Palestinian organizations and supported by many progressive Israeli groups. Essentially the BDS movement aims to hold the Israeli state accountable, like never before, for the social injustices, colonialism, apartheid and racism practiced on a daily basis against the Palestinians collective rights. As UQAM students we will not back down in the face of intimidation!

This document by the CJP UQÀM is a report and critique of a talk hosted by the political science and law faculty at UQÀM of a lobbyist for Israeli Apartheid. It was submitted to UQÀM’s administration in the context of the growing Palestinian campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) on Montreal university campuses.

download report released by the UQÀM Coalition pour la justice on Palestine in document PDF

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