Dr. Dawg

Carleton University's shameless president

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Bedouin dispossession.jpg

Roseann Runte is at it again.

It wasn’t enough to ban an Israeli Apartheid Week poster from the campus and threaten Palestinian and pro-Palestinian students with expulsion; or to fire a lecturer because B’nai Brith demanded it; or, more recently, to refuse to permit a Board of Governors debate on a properly submitted petition calling for pension fund divestment from companies whose wares are used to put down those pesky Palestinians by force.

Now Runte, the recipient of at least one freebie trip to Israel, is set to endorse an explicitly racist organization—the Jewish National Fund—by her presence at a fund-raising dinner for it as “honorary co-chair.”

Try the following thought-experiment: imagine that fully 13% of Canada’s habitable land is owned by a white supremacist organization whose stated policy is to sell or lease only to whites. Much of that land has been bought from the government, who earlier expropriated aboriginal Canadians to get it.

Now imagine the president of a Canadian university co-hosting a dinner to honour the organization in question, thereby lending her support to the continued ethnic cleansing of a disputed area belonging to the aboriginals.

If we substitute “Israel” for “Canada” and “Jewish” for “White,” does it make things any better?

While Harper’s Canada joins the US in supporting a Jewish state but opposing a Palestinian one, most recently pulling money from UNESCO for daring to give the Untermenschen a seat at the table, villages in Israel have now gained the legal right to exclude Arab Israeli citizens, and the JNF is helping to conduct ethnic cleansing in Israel’s Negev desert to make way for 250,000 Jewish settlers by 2013.

Of course, we mustn’t call it apartheid. Apparently the phrase “living space” is also under the ban. So let’s cut to the chase. The Jewish National Fund is racist in its policies and its actions. And it’s not going too far to regard it as a quasi-state actor in Israel.

The ancestral lands of the Bedouins have been seized by the state, and their villages repeatedly bulldozed. The luckless inhabitants are being deported to undesirable areas: Israel-first apologists say it’s for their own good. It’s just “urban renewal,” according to one of them (an odd claim, because it’s rural lands that are being confiscated), but in any case the poor benighted heathens simply don’t appreciate what’s being done for them.

Except, of course, that like any other colonial administration, Israel’s motives aren’t misplaced paternalistic altruism, but the theft of land and resources. There are those quarter-million Jewish settlers who need a place to live, and they can’t have a bunch of nomads getting in the way. Indeed, the JNF’s original goal for the South Negev was 500,000.

Other Arab Israelis are second-class citizens as well. The Israel Land Administration works hand-in-glove with the JNF to deny Arabs equal access to land. An attempt to deal with this outright racism met with defeat in the Israeli parliament, two weeks after it decided that Arabs may be refused the right to live in Jewish villages.

The JNF’s confiscationist and racist policies have been apparently too much even for the Conservative Prime Minister of the UK to swallow. But it’s all just fine by Carleton University President Roseann Runte. She’s now made my alma mater a “proud supporter” of the JNF ethnic cleansers (like the Ottawa Citizen, whose uncritical pro-Israel reportage is now perhaps better explained). For whom are you speaking, Dr. Runte? How dare you?

If you would like to get in touch with President Runte directly, you can contact her here:

Phone: (613) 520-3801 Fax: (613) 520-4474 Email: roseann_ runte@carleton.ca; presidents_ office@carleton.ca

I’ve written my share of polite letters in the past, but I can no longer trust myself, so I shall refrain this time. Suffice it to say that I, as a Carleton alumnus of long standing, wouldn’t drop one penny on the place at this point. And nor should anyone else until the wretched Runte takes her leave.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on November 2, 2011 9:46 PM.

Canada's national animal: the elephant? was the previous entry in this blog.

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