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Scholar Strike Canada applauds the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) for standing up for academic freedom on Palestine by opposing the controversial IHRA working definition of antisemitism. A resolution adopted unanimously by delegates at the CAUT’s Council Meeting on Nov. 26th, takes a strong position against the IHRA definition, which conflates criticism and protest of Israel with antisemitism and is widely understood as a threat to academic freedom. The resolution was moved by the Association of Academic Staff of the University of Alberta (AASUA) and seconded by the Syndicat général des professeurs et professeures de l’Université de Montréal (SGPUM). CAUT represents more than 70,000 faculty and academic staff in Canada.

 

CAUT has stated that it “opposes” the adoption of the IHRA definition by Canadian academic institutions, “supports the academic freedom of its members and recognizes the need to safeguard the rights of scholars to critique all states, including the state of Israel, without fear of outside political influence, cuts to funding, censorship, harassment, threats, and intimidation.” 

 

CAUT’s resolution follows similar motions adopted by more than thirty faculty associations and academic unions across Canada, as well as by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).

 

The IHRA definition of anti-semitism has been produced in the midst of a global campaign to silence criticism of the State of Israel and suppress support for Palestinian people. Scholars who have been mislabelled as antisemitic in this context include: Edward Said, Rabab Abdulhadi, Nadia Abu El-Haj, Steven Salaita, Norman Finkelstein, , Angela Y. Davis, Marc Lamont Hill, Jasbir K. Puar, Nick Estes, Cornell West, Achille Mbembe, and many others.

 

As an individual scholar, you can join the +600 scholars who have signed the Open Letter by Canadian Academics Opposing the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, organized by the Independent Jewish Voices of Canada. Please also disseminate this open letter amongst your colleagues.

More information can be found here : https://www.noihra.ca/academic-campaign