A BDS demonstration (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)


Column submitted to McGill Tribune was critical of the campus BDS movement for ‘instrumentalizing the Palestinian cause as a moral license to be antisemitic.’

By United with Israel

A student-run newspaper associated with McGill University rejected a student opinion piece discussing “ZIonism,” on grounds that  “Zionism is a settler-colonial ideology that has perpetuated the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”

According to HonestReporting Canada, the student, Claire Frankel, submitted her column entitled “Queer McGill is not a safe space for Jews” to the McGill Tribune opinion section for publication but on Sunday, over two weeks later, received a notice of rejection as the article “doesn’t align with our values as a paper.”

“We’re not going to be able to publish it,” the opinion editors replied, explaining, “Zionism is a settler-colonial ideology that has perpetuated the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”

“There are almost six million Palestinians that are either living in exile without the right to return or are internally displaced, disenfranchised and oppressed.

“It would be at the expense of our journalistic integrity and credibility to ignore these truths,” the editors concluded.

In her column, Frankel wrote that “the BDS movement on university campuses has instrumentalized the Palestinian cause
as a moral license to be antisemitic by creating spaces on campus where no Zionists are allowed.”

She related how she had last year been invited to speak at a McGill interfaith panel hosted by Queer McGill and the McGill Office of Religion and Spiritual Life.

“I was so excited for this opportunity where I could discuss the intricacies of my identity as both a Jew and a Queer woman,” Frankel explained. “However, that same month I was singled out by one of the organizers of Queer McGill and asked not to speak about Zionism at the event in order not to upset anyone else who would be speaking on the panel.”

“I wish I could say that I was surprised by this request. But the latest trend in progressive spaces and specifically on university campuses, are only to be supportive of Jews who reject any
connection to their ancestral homeland,” she added. “Like most Jews in North America, Zionism is integral to my Jewish identity. And to ask me to separate the two from one another is not only impossible, but it is, frankly, antisemitic.”

Mike Fegelman, HonestReporting Canada’s Executive Director, slammed the Tribune‘s response to Frankel, calling it “unabashedly discriminatory towards Jews.”

“The official email response from the Tribune is unabashedly discriminatory towards Jews by its flagrantly false definition of Zionism as being a ‘settler-colonial ideology,’ when in actuality, Zionism sought to reconstitute the nation state of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland, a place where Jews have lived for three thousand years,” he said. “Zionism is merely the collective movement of Jewish self-determination in their historic homeland.”

“By denying a voice to a Jewish student because she dares to identify as a progressive Jew supportive of Israel and Zionism, The Tribune has adopted a bigoted policy that discriminates based on a student’s Jewish identity. This policy has racist overtones and xenophobic dimensions,” he concluded.

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