JDL gets traction against York U.
By Ted Belman
York University and Queens University are hosting an Academic conference this month in Toronto to explore alternatives to a two state plan. I made a proposal to them to be included as one of the speakers but was turned down. I had proposed a paper on creating a Jewish state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.
The JDL, under Meir Weinstein, started a campaign six months ago to shut down the conference. His complaint was that it didn’t have a balanced agenda but was meant to demonize Israel and replace it with a bi-national state. He pointed out to the Government of Canada who had been duped into funding the conference its true nature. I am very happy to say he is getting traction.
OTTAWA, June 5, 2009 – The following is a statement from the Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, on the conference at York University entitled, “Israel/Palestine: mapping models of statehood and prospects for peace”.
“Our government is committed to the principle of academic independence and the independent, arms-length, peer review process for assessing applications for research grants.
“It has come to my attention that following a recommendation of a peer review board earlier this year, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council provided $19,750 under its Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences Program to a conference at York University entitled “Israel/Palestine: mapping models of statehood and prospects for peace”.
“Approval of this funding was based on an initial proposal that did not include detailed information on the speakers at the conference. Since funding was provided, the organizers of the conference have added a number of speakers to their agenda.
“Several individuals and organizations have expressed their grave concerns that some of the speakers have, in the past, made comments that have been seen to be anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic. Some have also expressed concerns that the event is no longer an academic research-focussed event.
“Therefore, I have spoken to the president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to bring these concerns to his immediate attention and asked that Council give them full consideration. In particular, I asked that the Council, once they have seen this information, to consider conducting a second peer review of the application to determine whether or not the conference still meets SSHRC’s criteria for funding of an academic conference.”
For further information:
Office of the Hon. Gary Goodyear