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Israel Apartheid Week: A Tale of Two Brothers
by David Solway
Driving past the University of Toronto recently, I noticed a lone protestor on the perimeter of the campus carrying a sign objecting to Israel Apartheid Week. I was reminded that the University of Toronto was the first academic institution to host and promote the scandal of this event. Beginning in 2004 under the interim presidency of Frank Iacobucci, who does not seem to have realized the ignominy he had countenanced, the contagion spread to many other academic cesspools across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. The University of Toronto, however, is the revered patriarch of the movement. Iacobucci was succeeded in November 2005 by the current president, David Naylor, under whose administration this academic canard has persisted into the present moment—the festival of anti-Semitic hatred and anti-Zionist calumny will unfurl the Palestinian flag and welcome a contingent of bigoted speakers on March 4.
When questioned by the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies about his university's compliance with so evidently corrupt and defamatory a spectacle, Naylor declared that "We do, in fact, recognize that the term Israeli Apartheid is upsetting to many people, [but] we also recognize that, in every society, universities have a unique role to provide a safe venue for highly charged discourse." Naylor's recognition that the term is "upsetting" is entirely frivolous, unbefitting a university president. The fact is that the term is totally false—a given that appears to have escaped Naylor's attention rather conveniently, thus sparing him the moral duty to confront so spurious a conviction. Further, universities are not always—or even primarily—known for furnishing such "safe venues," especially when the speakers are unpopular conservative figures.
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