a Jewish Concordia alumni, I have to say that I am profoundly disgusted with Hillel’s deceitful cowardice, which clearly set in motion the events of the past week. While I know that many Hillel members claim to not support Benjamin Netanyahu’s neo-talibanic extremism and racism, this statement is not dissimilar to having a Christian organization hosting the likes of Pat Robertson and then claiming not to support his world-view. In fact, it is worse, since Netanyahu, by even the most apologetic estimates, has gallons of blood on his hands. By hosting Netanyahu, Hillel allowed themselvs to be used as agent-provacateurs for Netanyahu – and Sharon and Bush’s, for that matter, right-wing agenda. While they act like little lambsy divey, it is clear that Hillel knew, by bringing in a polarizing figure, that they would provoke a response, therefore showing the world that Concordia is a “hotbed of extremism and anti-semitism,” causing fear and animus among young Jewish students and their parents. Of coruse, this is without mentioning that many Jews demonstrated alongside their Arab brothers and sisters this past Monday, or of course that Netanyahu is viscerally hated by most Israelis, left and right. Concordia is feared by some (though certainly not all) elements of the Canadian Zionist Establishment, particularly those, like Izzy Asper, with a Likudnik bent, not because Jewish students are “intimidated” or exposed to Anti-Semitism, rather, that it is a progressive institution in which Palestinians and Jews come to understand one another. Palestinian and Jewish unity groups bring in Jewish and Arab speakers who speak of peace. The self-apponted Jewish community leaders bring in racist hawks. The likes of Hillel are trying to destroy Concordia’s progressive social fabric and it seems like the administration is letting them have their way.
My message to new Jewish Concordians is to embrace the intrinsically Jewish spirit of dissent, and to not trust the Kvetches in Hillel. I would also suggest that a Tikkun community be created, to replace Hillel. See Tikkun.Org for more information.
BA Journalism 2002