Israel and its right to exist has been the subject of much discussion lately in North American media.
Many of the mainstream media outlets covering this issue have unfortunately taken a stance that is unabashedly pro-Palestine and frequently report misinformation about the casualties of the latest conflict in Gaza, the settlements in the West Bank, and the nature of the ongoing violence between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Conversely, we don’t hear enough about the discriminatory and anti-Israel policies of Hamas, the elected government of Gaza that is officially considered a terrorist organization by Canada and many other Western states.
We don’t hear enough about the continued terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians committed by Palestinian insurgents.
We don’t hear enough about the billions of dollars in aid provided to the Palestinian territories by the Israeli government.
We don’t hear enough about the daily humanitarian missions by the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) to protect and save the lives of Palestinian civilians.
Furthermore, we don’t hear enough about the more than 1.5 million Arab-Israelis who live alongside their 6.5 million Jewish-Israeli brothers and sisters – a truth that is not replicated in the Palestinian controlled West Bank and Gaza Strip.
This needs to change.
Here at Trent University, we pride ourselves on inclusiveness, diversity, and the freedom of culture and expression. However, this school’s largest student union, the TCSA, currently has a policy that discriminates against Israel and its more than eight million citizens.
This policy can be found on page 66 of the document “TCSA By-Laws, Policies, & Operating Resolutions 2014-2015” (page 72 if looking at the .pdf version online). This policy states that the Association can’t host any Israeli academics or be a part of exchanges with Israeli academic institutions (some of the best research universities in the world are located in Israel), including both student exchanges as well as exchanges of information and ideas.
This policy is completely counter-productive to the values that we share at Trent. We ask, therefore, that the undergraduate students of Trent University vote to have this policy removed at the TCSA Annual General Meeting scheduled for the end January.
Israel is the only legitimate liberal-democracy in the region, and it shares the same values we cherish here at Trent University and Canada as a whole.
Trent University, it’s time we stand up for Israel. You can reach us at Trent4Israel@Gmail.com.