Today's discussion:

Why are normally outspoken universities suddenly hesitant to condemn violence against Israel?

Universities are under no obligation to comment on any events that do not directly affect students and faculty. But it is revealing to contrast how they have reacted to what’s going on in Israel to other events in the past three years.

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Rob Tyrrell

Universities have a lot of diverse and demanding customers/students to keep happy. Commenting on a heinous event related to a complex, multi-party, eight-decade conflict could be considered “tricky”, especially if sympathies are predominantly with one of the two primary sides.

HOWEVER, when it comes to wholesale, carefully planned, and inexcusable atrocity, it is the act alone that must be condemned in absolute terms, free of all context. This includes universities. The time for motivations, nuance, and context will come later.

As per the article point, universities should be lively containers for ideas of all persuasions, not purveyors of a particular perspective.

13th October 2023 at 6:52 am
Theresa Lemieux


13th October 2023 at 9:47 am
Rob Tyrrell

I would like to read an article about this, although this paragraph makes the case doesn’t really require any more elucidation. Perhaps the counterargument then.
“Canadian universities should never have gotten into the business of commenting on current events and condemning and supporting various groups in the first place. It politicizes the education system, emboldens radical activists within universities, and it’s none of their business.”

13th October 2023 at 6:30 am
jim Cowan

Indeed. It’s one thing to recognise the horror but another to start another war within the University.

13th October 2023 at 11:38 pm
Gordon Divitt

First of all anyone who thinks about this for more than a minute must appreciate that Israel has been caught in a perfect no win situation. There is no way that they can’t respond and there is no way that their response will not involve massive destruction of people and infrastructure in Gaza. Of course I sympathize with the Palestinians’ plight but by “allowing” Hamas to use their enclave from which to launch attacks they have become the pawns which Hamas needs to enrage the Arab street

Whether Universities commenting on such situations could do so from a position of neutrality is a matter of debate but given how nuanced this particular case is I believe no public comment is the wise choice. Classroom discussions – backed by comprehensive historical research from parties on both sides – would be valuable and perhaps a synopsis of these debates and their conclusions might be a useful addition to the discourse.

Unfortunately the chanting of mindless ill informed slogans will probably drown out sober analysis so maybe silence is golden after all

13th October 2023 at 9:26 am
Thor Ragnorson

“Canadian universities should never have gotten into the business of commenting on current events and condemning and supporting various groups in the first place. It politicizes the education system, emboldens radical activists within universities, and it’s none of their business. But what we have seen in their messaging reflects a complete and utter rot at the moral and intellectual core of Canadian academia. The decolonization rhetoric of protestors, academics, and organizers is the direct result of a failed education system that has taught the public to fetishize oppression, elevate grievance, and celebrate the taking of innocent lives so long as they’re of the right kind. Viewing all conflicts through the lens of a Sociology 101 textbook has stupefied our public institutions and alienated us from true notions of justice, equality, and morality.”
I couldn’t agree more. Throw in the CBC, CUPE, NDP, LPC and a variety of other Canadian faux socialist, marxist, institutions and see the true face of the modern progressive liberal hate machine. For old time “Liberals”, you got played. When the majority of publicly funded post secondary institutions are basically political extensions of the progressive left the current silence on what Hamas is and does shouldn’t surprise anyone. Incentives matter and financial incentives in the west are the strongest incentives. “Liberals” should understand this, the Marxists certainly figured out how to use financial incentives to capture the minds of a significant proportion of the knowledge class. A class of pseudoaristocratic do nothings paid to emote, smoke dope, consume porn and buy cheap crap from the PRC. Throw in a little hate to maintain a sense of virtue and what a great economic system you have there. Well until the winds of global conflict blows on this house of cards and the intellectual cancer of entitlement paralyzes 3 generations. Trapped by their own ignorance, gleefully marching toward an old foe, one we well know. Pushed on by the withering hate that can not sustain anything worth building.

13th October 2023 at 10:12 am
Richard Courtemanche

Over the years, students have been indoctrinated by academics of the Marxist Cultural Revolution. It’s not woke to think rationally and to do good. It probably would take a few generations to correct the situation if that is ever possible anymore. Government and education authorities have failed to intervene. To see politicians and protests support Hamas is appalling. How awful to watch the moral decline of societies and humanity.

13th October 2023 at 9:42 am
Bruce Westmoreland

The statement that half of Canadians don’t know about the Holocaust if true is frightening. But it’s not surprising given the education these days. Ripe for history to repeat itself as they say.

13th October 2023 at 7:53 am
Jonah Davids

When I was researching the piece I was pretty shocked at some of the stats. In addition, half of Canadians can’t name a single concentration camp, 1 in 4 believe “substantially less” than 6 million were killed. The survey did find that something like 80% believed we should continue to educate on the Holocaust, which is positive. I spoke briefly once with someone from the Victims of Communism foundation and she told me that the stats for what people know about communist atrocities and events are even lower. So we definitely need to reevaluate our history/civics education and make sure people understand what’s gone on and why.

13th October 2023 at 11:18 am
Greg Jackson

The entire education system has failed our society. Leftist unions control our elementary school teachers and secondary school teachers. Teachers who fail to fall in line with the left wing ideologies of their peers are ostracized, one in Ontario was hounded to suicide. The various boards of education across the Province of Ontario are largely controlled by radicals who were elected by a tiny minority of eligible voters who were motivated by their own radical ideals. The majority of voters fail to see the importance of school trustees.
The universities are controlled by people who are products of our failing education system. I have seen several university professors this past week, showing off their moral relevatism, by criticizing the Israeli response to the heinous attacks perpetrated by Hamas. In their perverted view, the torture and murder of women and children, in their homes is justifiable, while those killed by Israeli bombs and artillery, many while being used by Hamas as human shields to protect Hamas’ rocket launchers, are “war crimes”.
The “Occupied Territories” are the result of the Arab World’s attempt to wipe Israel off the map in 1967. Israel held onto these territories due to their strategic importance in protecting their country from annihilation by their bellicose neighbours. The Golan Heights, were they still part of Syria today, would be a perfect platform for Hezbollah to rain death down on northern Israel. The West Bank provides a buffer zone for the narrowest point in the country, which could easily be used to bi-sect the country in an attack. Neither was taken by Israel for imperialist purposes. As was shown in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Israel was correct in their assessment that further attacks by the Arab world were to be expected. During that surprise attack, Israel was nearly defeated, but they ultimately successfully defended the country.
Every time Israel has “attacked” their neighbours, it has been in response to attacks by their neighbours. It is easy for the academics sitting in their offices surrounded by sycophantic undergrads, to pontificate on what life is like for Palestinians versus Israelis. Imagine if you will, someone in Buffalo sailing missiles into Toronto at random times. The Israelis have lived that reality for decades. Yet every time they respond to ensure the safety of their citizens, these same academics blame Israel.
Israel has always used force IN RESPONSE, to aggression by their neighbours. Their attempts to give the Palestinians self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza, only resulted in the Palestinians allowing Iran-backed factions like Hezbollah and Hamas to set up shop in those areas. I have heard apologists claim that many of the Palestinians in Gaza are oppressed by Hamas. It is a fact that 55% of the population voted them into power. They are the authors of their fate.
If you want to blame anyone for the state of the Middle East, blame Great Britain. Post World War One, they carved-up the formerly tribal lands of the Middle East according to their arbitrary notions. Israel was created in 1949, to provide a safe home for the Jewish people, six million of whom had been massacred by the Third Reich. It was a good idea, badly executed. To blame the Israelis for that is unjustified and ignorant.
Unlike the youth of today, I saw this history unfold. Sadly, my generation failed to impress the importance of history on our youth. They are filled with ideology that has little to do with what really happened. So, here we go again…

13th October 2023 at 11:28 am
Donald Harry Roberts

That war has been going on for a long time. The west and all other countries should stay out of it and let Israel and Palestine resolve their own issues…

13th October 2023 at 7:36 am
Jose Lim

You have misinterpreted the demonstration. It was not for the brutality of Hamas. It was for justice to the Palestinians and condemnation of Israel’s continue occupation of their homeland and th barbaric bombings of civilians in Gaza by the illegal Israeli occupiers!

Canada’s pluralism is at its best when it fights crimes against inhumanity in our world,

14th October 2023 at 2:04 am

The last paragraph of this story is beautifully written.

13th October 2023 at 7:22 pm
Jacob Birch

“But what we have seen in their messaging reflects a complete and utter rot at the moral and intellectual core of Canadian academia.”

I get why Mr. Davids expresses such outrage in his well researched and clarifying piece. But i can’t help but paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemoller

“First they cancelled pro-life Canadians, and I did not speak out—because I was not a pro-life.

Then they cancelled the Trucker Convoy Protestors, and I did not speak out—because I was not Trucker.

Then they cancelled Parents, and I did not speak out—because I was not a parent.

Then they cancelled the Jews—and there was no one left willing to speak out.”

13th October 2023 at 6:10 pm
Dan Brown

It is just terrible to keep using the Holocaust as an excuse for Israeli actions. As someone else said, nearly 80 years have passed.
That said, if Gaza is indeed independent of Israel, and Hamas controls Gaza, then Hamas and Gaza cannot hide behind the labels of terrorist – their actions are war crimes. Having committed acts of war against Israel Hamas must be willing to suffer the consequences of Israeli reaction.
Maybe Israel will end this conflict this time. About time.

13th October 2023 at 5:47 pm
Dan Brown

Perhaps I am doing something wrong. My comments are not posting today.

13th October 2023 at 5:25 pm
Michael F

They pulled down your first comment. I called them out on it.

13th October 2023 at 6:14 pm
Dan Brown

I do not see why they pulled it down.
I thought we were here to discuss.

13th October 2023 at 8:41 pm
Michael F

Funny how yesterday my comment was ranked at the top but it didn’t make it into today’s email. But it didn’t fit your narrative so I can see why. So much for The Hub being a independent arbiter of truth and intellectual rigour. You’re no different than the MSM you claim is biased.

13th October 2023 at 11:15 am
Michael F

And I can’t fail to notice that you have also taken comments down here. Is that healthy debate?

13th October 2023 at 11:19 am
Hugh Paisley

There is a person named Gabor Mate who makes a statement on TikTok that purports to explain the situation from the Palestinian perspective. Is there anything of merit in what he has to say ? Hugh Paisley

13th October 2023 at 10:24 am
Joel Watson


13th October 2023 at 7:24 am