Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Canadian Union Leader Calls for Boycott of Israeli Academics

Sid Ryan, the President of the Ontario Section of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has called for a boycott against Israeli academics at Canadian universities.

Ryan, who has also been a perennial NDP candidate in both federal and provincial elections, said that unless Israeli academics condemned the assault on Gaza and the bombing of the Islamic University in particular then they should not be allowed on Canadian campuses. For good measure, Ryan has likened Israel's actions in Gaza to that of the Nazis. How sweet of him.

I've never met Ryan but his statements don't surprise me. In 2006, Ryan persuaded CUPE Ontario to pass a resolution supporting the international divestment campaign against Israel a la South Africa.

Jonathan Kay of The National Post summed up Ryan's actions quite nicely:

Never mind that Israel's campaign in Gaza has been humane by military standards -- surgically killing hundreds of Hamas gunmen yet only a few dozen of their human shields. And never mind that the Islamic University is a suspected arms depot for Hamas. Where, we ask, were the CUPE boycotts against from Russia, China, Sri Lanka, or any of the many other nations whose battles against terrorists have resulted in a far greater civilian toll?

Nowhere. On this file, Mr. Ryan and his fellow CUPE leaders care about demonizing only one country: the Jewish state.

There's a name for that kind of bigotry, isn't there? Remember to speak its name plainly next you meet a CUPE Ontario employee. (

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