MICHAEL CHMIELEWSKI  

The Carillon (University of Regina)

REGINA — A partnership between the University of Regina and Hebrew University in Israel have been scrapped following a rally of students and community activists on Aug. 11 protesting the plans.

The U of R’s dean of business Andrew Gaudes issued a press release that day stating the following; “We did have some preliminary discussions about our students being able to take courses for credit at Hebrew University. Although these talks were undertaken in good faith, we are no longer pursuing such an arrangement, as the course content offered by Hebrew University did not meet our program needs.

“We are also no longer pursuing a study tour in the region.”

The relationships sought included a study tour for business students in both Israel and Palestine as well as a more contentious partnership with Hebrew University for an MBA in public safety. Anger over the program was derived from its potential content of policing, minorities and law enforcement, homeland security studies and political violence.

Provost and vice-president academic Tom Chase put all uncertainty to rest when he met with protesters after the rally, which was organized under the banner of “Coalition for a Free Palestine.”

“This afternoon I had a good meeting with representatives from the group that held the rally. It was a collegial discussion, and I appreciated their input,” Chase said. “Although our university has had discussions with Israeli institutions in the past, I am aware of no current or ongoing talks.”

“As a university we do not agree with a blanket exclusion of Israeli institutions from these types of conversations,” Gaudes wrote in the same press release. “The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the national body representing 97 universities and colleges in Canada, takes a similar position. In fact, in July 2013 the AUCC signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Association of University Heads, Israel aimed at increased collaboration on research and teaching. The AUH includes Hebrew University.”

In 2012, U of R President Vianne Timmons and Gaudes both travelled to Israel separately. The Israeli government sponsored Timmons’ travel.

The Coalition for a Free Palestine urged the U of R to develop an ethical framework to be applied to all future partnerships.

  • deliaruhe

    Good for that coalition of students and citizens. Standing idly by while Israel thieves the land right out from under the Palestinians is definitely no longer cool. The Israeli government may have Harper wound around their little finger, but that does not mean Harper represents Canadians on this issue.

  • angry foodie

    There is no scarcer person on a university campus today than someone with the good sense to support Israel.

    Well, or someone willing to call bullshit to the extremism advocated by any average campus women’s center.

    People with sense and balls used to be celebrated in post-secondary institutions. Not so much anymore…

  • Rob Zork

    Palestine has show it isn’t a nation as they cannot/will not stop a terrorist organization from operating and effectively setting policy (I.E.. launching rockets). I think this decision was made due to the high enrollment numbers of Muslim students.

    • Manie

      That’s actually incredibly incorrect. All the professors that advocated against this partnership were non-Muslim, as were most of the community members including Jewish Voices for Peace. The fact is, Israel is an illegal terrorist state and the people of Canada are no longer okay with being allies of this country. The BDS movement has seen huge success across Canada in recent months, just like it did decades ago in the campaign against the apartheid in South Africa.

    • Rob Zork

      Oh Sorry ….

      Palestine has shown it isn’t a nation as they cannot/will not stop a terrorist organization from operating and effectively setting policy (I.E.. launching rockets)

    • Manie

      therefore Israel has shown it isn’t a nation as well, using your logic. Same with the US and their drone strikes?

    • Rob Zork

      Manie , lets try and keep this civil debate .

      First off the Palestinian National Authority is subverted buy Hezbollah which launched rockets into Israel seemingly against the wishes of the PNA. Your right I did make a semantic mistake referring to Palestine as a nation see this Wikipedia article on the nature of the PNA and land it has “authority” over.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_National_Authority

      As to the Israeli govt. striking targets in PNA territory it was a response to the rocket strikes aimed at Israel ,Similarly the USA government striking in Iraq.
      Both of these are elected government carrying out policies that is their mandate whether you agree with the policies or not they weren’t carried out by a non government organization.

    • Manie

      Hamas is Gaza’s democratically elected government. Your argument has holes. My apologies, I don’t think a “civil” debate is possible with someone who saw a BDS victory as a result of administrators trying to “please Muslims” instead of what is was- a campus standing against apartheid.

    • Manie

      Also, I find it humours that you choose to use wikipedia…

    • Rob Zork

      OK manie your dislike of Wikipedia aside, lets go over the points here
      and Ill try and be objective.
      -Palestine is a legitimate state with a un-fragmented democratically elected Government.
      -Palestinian government has full control over its territory , police forces and military
      so when the Palestinian armed forces
      -launch rockets into Israel
      -kidnap and kill teenagers
      what is the also legitimately elected government of Israel entitled to do ?

    • Mamie

      There has been NO proof that Hamas was responsible for the kidnappings. If I Israel stopped being the aggressor, ie occupying Palestinian land and implementing a blockade on Gaza, perhaps I would be more understanding as to why the sent 6 weeks absolutely decimating a civilian population with no armed forces

    • Rob Zork
    • Manie

      Also, you’ve evidently never taken a class in political studies, because you are misusing the term nation. Which makes me call into question you’re understanding of politics in general. You evidently don’t understand what legitimizes a state (because that’s what you’re trying to say, not a nation). Additionally, a “legitimate” state as you see Israel does not breach another countries sovereignty…like Israel is doing with Palestine..

  • http://www.mcloughlinpost.com Diane V. McLoughlin

    Good on the administrators of the University of Regina, Canada, for refusing to be party to the normalization of apartheid in Israel.