"This conference is academically flawed and unbalanced," says Daniel Ferman, City-Wide Student Council Chair of Hillel of Greater Toronto. "It's disappointing that a university which publicly supports 'reasoned discourse’ would sanction a conference with so many speakers whose rhetoric falls far below this lofty goal."
"We certainly endorse academic freedom. However, this conference is so heavily weighted in favour of those who advocate the demise of Israel as a Jewish state that it promises to become a forum for anti-Israel propaganda. It fails to pass the test of fairness and balance, both of which are essential for any academic conference," notes David Spiro, chair of UJA Federation's Public Affairs Committee.
"This conference is an unpleasant culmination of a year in which Jewish students faced virulent anti-Israel sentiment, hostility and derision on campus. The conference represents insensitivity to these students and to the impact of this year’s disturbing events on York’s reputation," added Ferman.
Hillel and its partner organizations, are calling on York to insist on more rigorous academic criteria before endorsing future conferences. They have also submitted dozens of recommendations to a York task force empowered to improve the quality of student life at the university.
Howard English, UJA Federation, 416.631.5735/416.274.8461
Daniel Ferman, Hillel of Greater Toronto, 843.6253