Union members at York University, the country’s third largest, have been instructed to condemn Israel, according to a training booklet distributed by the university’s employee union.
The union, CUPE 3093, says Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, is operating in the war with “unrestrained confidence to carry out genocidal violence… through the discursive levitation and material support of Western imperialist nations.”
The 15-page booklet, titled “A Toolkit on Teaching Palestine,” also calls Israel a “murderous colonial project,” and calls organizations such as Hillel a “Zionist cultural institution.” The booklet also seeks to educate professors how to approach anti-Israel discourse in class, giving an example: “Today, I open up our classroom to bring our attention on Gaza, to speak up and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian liberation movement, and contribute in ending Canada’s and York’s complicity with genocide and the settler-colonial occupation of Palestinian land and life.” It also gives the tells professors they will be supported by the organization if attacked for such discourse.
CUPE 3093 tells professors “We all have a moral, professional, and collective human imperative to speak, teach, and be in solidarity with Palestine.” More so, they offer resources in how to dispel “Israel’s pink/rainbow-washing, as well as other resources on identifying and combating the myths of Zionism.”
As if to conflate their entire existence with the Palestinian cause, the employee union even added the Palestinian flag into their logo. The university itself condemned the union, saying “York’s commitment to support and uphold academic freedom, and freedom of expression within the limits of the law, remains the same. It is true that there will be some courses and seminars where dialogue about events in the world can be relevant; it needs to happen in a respectful manner that allows for the expression of diverse perspectives in an inclusive learning environment. In this regard, the university informed the community that we do not find the ‘Toolkit on Teaching Palestine’, which calls on union members to divert their teaching from the curriculum, to be consistent with the university’s expectations as an employer, the needs of the students and the legitimate claims of the community.”
The union has a history of anti-Israel sentiment, saying shortly after the war started when Hamas terrorists killed over 1,200 Israelis and took hostage more than 240 during their invasion of southern Israel that it was Israel’s fault, and due to the “apartheid, genocide and violence on the part of [Israel.]”