Boycott Israel: Montreal Professors and Academic Employees

*Note: I do not know how the call for signatures was circulated, but I believe the list above would have been very much longer if they had used the Web more effectively. I did not see this until today. Leaving that aside, I very happily add my name to that list, and encourage others to do so as well.

**Note: A small number of people voted in a poll on this very issue, on this site. See Campus Gaza…

Reproduced from Tadamon!:

We are a group of teachers and employees at Quebec colleges and universities who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and with the people of Gaza who have suffered through the Israeli siege as targets of Israel’s brutal military attack. It will take more than ceasefires to bring a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel. We are acting in response to an appeal for support issued January 2, 2009 by the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees. In the wake of the Israeli bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza, the Federation of Unions has urged academics around the world to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

We support this call and place it within a wider campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions. The struggle against apartheid in South Africa was supported through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions. We support a similar strategy against the Israeli state.

We will undertake actions within our own institutions to promote education on this issue, to support students, faculty, and employees to speak out on this question, and to pressure the institutions in which we work to participate in a boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign that aims for a just and lasting settlement for the Palestinian people.

We strongly condemn the government of Canada’s position on the ongoing conflict in Gaza and for its bilateral trade agreements that help sustain Israeli military actions. The Harper government has condemned Hamas, an elected government, as a terrorist organization. Yet it consistently supports the government of Israel, which has used weapons causing mass destruction on a mainly civilian population, including attacks on children and schools, and has violated International prohibitions against collective punishment through its blockade of the Gaza strip.

We call on the Harper government to re-evaluate its policies and to unequivocally condemn the Israeli siege and assault on Gaza, which constitute serious violations of international and humanitarian law. We further demand that the Israeli government immediately cease its violence.

As well, we urge that all economic relations between Israel and the governments of Canada and Quebec — including trade agreements — be suspended until there is not only a just and lasting peace for the Palestinian people, but that Israel, in compliance with international law, recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

Brian Aboud, Vanier College
Sajida S. Alvi, McGill University
Rachad Antonius, Université du Québec à Montréal
Sima Aprahamian, Concordia University
David Austin, Concordia University
Gregory Baum, McGill University
Rachel Berger, Concordia University
Martin Blanchard, Université de Montréal
James (Jay) Brophy, McGill University
Peter Button, McGill University
Joel Casseus, Vanier College
Jean Chapman, Concordia University
Dolores Chew, Marianopolis College
Jennifer Chew, McGill University
Aziz Choudry, McGill University
Jocelyne Couture, Université du Québec à Montréal
Mary Ellen Davis, Concordia University
Caroline Desbiens, Université Laval
Martin Duckworth, Concordia University
Maurice Dufour, Marianopolis College
Arwen Fleming, McGill University
Roy Fu, John Abbott College
Monika Kin Gagnon, Concordia University
S. Gourlay, Concordia University
Wael B. Hallaq, McGill University
Jill Hanley, McGill University
Michelle Hartman, McGill University
Sumi Hasegawa, McGill University
Oscar Hernandez, Marianopolis College
Christina Holcroft, McGill University
Homa Hoodfar, Concordia University
Helen Hudson, McGill University
Adrienne Carey Hurley, McGill University
Andrew M. Ivaska, Concordia University
Sandra Jeppesen, Concordia University
Yasmin Jiwani, Concordia University
Steven Jordan, McGill University
Denis Kosseim, Cégep André-Laurendeau
Anna Kruzynski, Concordia University
Marc Lafrance, Concordia University
Thomas LaMarre, McGill University
Diane Lamoureux, Université Laval
Andrée Lévesque, McGill University
Charmain Levy, Université du Québec en Outaouais
Abby Lippman, McGIll University
Margaret Lock, McGill University
Richard Lock, Vanier College
Ehab Lotayef, McGill University
Gada Mahrouse, Concordia University
Chantal Maillé, Concordia University
David Mandel, Université du Québec à Montréal
Rosanna Maule, Concordia University
Mark Patrick McGuire, John Abbott College
Elizabeth Miller, Concordia University
L. Monet, Université de Montréal
Norman Nawrocki, Concordia University
Holly Nazar, McGill University
Devora Neumark, Concordia University
Greg Nielsen, Concordia University
Kai Nielsen, Concordia University
Marielle Nitoslawska, Concordia University
Samuel J Noumoff, McGill University
Marielle Olivier, McGill University
Anthony Paré, McGill University
Andrew Pearce, McGill University
James Pettit, Marianopolis College
Veronica Ponce, Marianopolis College
Najat Rahman, Université de Montréal
Frances Ravensbergen, Concordia University
Trish Salah, Bishop’s and Concordia Universities
Daniel Salée, Concordia University
Kim Sawchuk, Concordia University
Gale Seiler, McGill University
Eric Shragge, Concordia University
Lee Soderstrom, McGill University
Martha Stiegman, Concordia University
Miwako Uesaka, McGill University
Indu Vashist, McGill University
Julian Vigo, Université de Montréal
Sarwat Viqar, John Abbott College
Nadia Wardeh, McGill University
Thomas Waugh, Concordia University


57 thoughts on “Boycott Israel: Montreal Professors and Academic Employees

  1. Robert Goldman

    This is great! fantastic
    OK now turn off your pc’s laptops and even your MAC. drop that cell phone and stop taking pics with it as well
    now empty your medicine cabinets, and more,, cause if you are going to do this boycott you have to do it right, no side stepping now, come on do it. take everything that has Intel/ microsoft/motorola/IBM/ etc. toss it out….. then check your cars cause they got micro chips in them that were designed here as well oh and they are sold here to…. now head to the fridge,,,,, hell just go to home depot. WAIT they do business here as well ……… looks like if you are going to do this boycott you are now going to have to start drawing on cave walls again

    1. Maximilian Forte

      You should revisit the history of boycott, sanctions and divestment against apartheid South Africa. The only people left drawing on cave walls were right wing racist militants.

      An academic boycott is a great place to start, and it won’t be our universities that look like cave walls (because they look like that already! Just kidding, partly).

      But I do appreciate the desperate appeal to consumerism to make your implied case in favour of Israeli massacres.

    2. Aaron Vlek

      looks like if you are going to do this boycott you are now going to have to start drawing on cave walls again

      Suits me. But I find it difficult to believe that the planet would gall back into the stone age without Israel and its activities. Call it a hunch.

  2. Robert Goldman

    Sorry. seems that everyone speaking boycott Israel these days is too chicken shit to actually do it because of what it will really mean to them.
    LAME!! real lame

  3. Maximilian Forte

    The notion that Israel has more people with published academic papers and degree holders than anywhere else is outlandish, bordering on crack-pipe hallucination. You know, you don’t help your cause by inventing new fictions. And if it were even remotely true, then Israeli academia should have nothing to fear, right?

    Unfortunately, you yourself don’t believe that Israel is the center of the world economy, that hearts would stop pumping without Israeli hands to squeeze them rhythmically, that blood streams would dry up without regular Israeli transfusions. If you did, again you would have no reason to protest.

    Chicken shit? But we are doing it, and thanks for the added motivation.

    By the way, when did it become safe for Israelis like yourself to derisively call people “pallies”, and am I to assume that it is now safe to call Jews “Hymies”? Ah, but it’s only racism and anti-semitism when the other Semites do it, right?

    Thanks for playing.

  4. Maximilian Forte

    PS: now, if you wanted a much more effective counter argument, you would have written this:

    “But won’t a boycott also hurt all those Israeli academics and others dissenters within Israel who are trying to change the policies of their state and find a better way of living with Palestinian neighbours? Isn’t a boycott an indiscriminate weapon, a blunt instrument that hurts all?”

    See how I try to help you, even you?

  5. Friendly Mensch

    Our Canadian friends might want to take a look at the almost 7000 academic colleagues, many of whom are from Canada, who respectfully disagree with them and support Israel’s right to defend itself and decry such a boycott. Academic boycotts don’t resolve conflicts, they stifle conflict resolution, freedom of speech and violate academic freedom principles. Among the signers are Nobel Laureates and other academics of distinction. Since academics are supposed to examine the facts, perhaps they might want to know that the Islamic University in the Gaza was used as a military command post as evidenced by this clip.

  6. Maximilian Forte

    My response is: “yuck.” That petition link is full of expressions of hatred against Palestinians, simplistic slogans, and many signatories who are not Canadians, and I very much doubt are academics. However, if the point was to prove that many academics will disagree with this boycott call, you are right, and we all know that already. We press ahead regardless, especially as no one, no state, no agency, is doing anything at all to defend Gaza or to impede Israel (and I mean apart from Hamas itself).

    That takes me to the second point: I *hope* that people will watch that video, to see why Israel did so poorly in its war propaganda efforts. That video shows a destroyed campus. It shows NO bomb making whatsoever. It is entirely in the narration/subtitles that the assertions are made, without the necessary visual evidence to support them. Perhaps I am wrong, and it is clever propaganda: plant the words, roll some footage, and hope viewers’ imaginations will fill in the gap between the two. When you are ready to present facts, I am here.

    I would also like to know why you think that Gaza has no right to defend itself against staggering Israeli aggression? The fact is that it cannot do so effectively, as we have all been seeing. That is why we need to do what we can to step in.

    However, back to the last point again: why are Palestinian universities not allowed to do research for military defense, but all Western and Israeli universities are? And if the bottle rocket is the high point of Hamas’ science…we should be infinitely more outraged at what our universities produce, and just burn them all down, right?

  7. Robert Goldman

    while watching the raw footage of the bombing of the uni many of us were amazed at the ammount of secondairy explosions that came from this place of so called higher education… as a soldier I assure you that these secondairies were not gas lines or anything but explosives devices and weapons stored in the uni!
    some class line up they had there as well kassam 101 how to make your date go BOOM!
    these guys are idiots,,,,

  8. Maximilian Forte

    Mr. Goldman, thanks for the multiple split messages, we share at least one flaw in common.

    The “secondary explosion” tale. This has become the wonderful line of remote, long-distance appraisal. No gas lines or chemicals in a university? Amazing. Don’t they teach chemistry there, because that would mandate that both be present. In other words, you don’t have any actual evidence.

    However, that is not what I would wish to argue. Let me just concede the point even without convincing evidence for your argument. What I would argue is this: who says that Gaza is to be totally disarmed and defenseless? Is Israel disarming? And given the vast butchery performed by the IOF (I refuse to call it IDF any more), the only argument I see that needs to be made is this: Gaza needs to urgently ramp up its defenses. Those bottle rockets just won’t do.

  9. Robert Goldman

    Not long distance,,,, i’m on the ground in israel. I served in the IDF for too many years to mention… I did EOD in gaza for over 2 and a half years, those secondairy explosions were not gas lines case gas lines go off one time not multipul times …..
    and gas lines also don’t shoot across the screen like thos rocket bit tend to do if you have seen any of the other footage taken. secondairy explosins that were larger then the first explosion…… funny to think that the lab would store so much stuff ,,,,,,,
    not even a low budget collage would dare store that much stuff for any ammount of students…… and the intel was from a Fatah member who pin pointed the labs as the place and that intel was good.

  10. Maximilian Forte

    You misunderstood. You are relying on video evidence — that is remote and long distance. Were you in the university itself?

    Anyway, as I said, you seem to be working with the flawed theory that Gaza has no right to self-defense, only you do, and that you are the perpetual victim here. That does not match the facts in even the remotest way.

  11. Robert Goldman

    long distance for you.. but when you see it first hand, and get first hand reports and you know the people inside, and you know the guys who brought you the intel. and when you sit on the hill over looking gaza and see the secondairys then it isn’t long distance,, you see i’m here, in Israel, i’m on the ground taking pictures,,, I’m writing first hand in my blogs.. you cur are quoting hear say.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      Good, I am glad that you established that. On the other hand, the larger points remain unaddressed. Why does Gaza not have a right to defend itself? It clearly needs to be able to do so, quite desperately, since the butchery you visited on them they have never visited upon you. Why is military research not allowed at a Palestinian university? Do you conduct no military research at your universities? Why the constant lopsidedness?

      I realize that the whole point of the operation was to terrorize Gazan civilians, to make them pay for voting for Hamas, and to frighten any notions of resistance out of their minds, especially after Israel was twice expelled by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon and by all accounts is much stronger now. The aura of Israeli supremacy and invincibility was diminished, and you had to restore it at the expense of Gazan lives. The entire operation was politically timed. Not one single Israeli justification for the invasion and the ensuing butchery stands up to scrutiny.

      And back to the actual point of this post: the boycott. If you can bomb universities, the least we can do is to boycott yours. At least you suffer no loss of life from our action, and hopefully that sets an example of humanitarianism for you. You really need it, urgently.

  12. Tali

    Oh Maxi, don’t be silly, you know perfectly well the reason Gaza is air-striked in order to kill one Hamas leader, is because it’s better to kill 20 Palestinians than harm one hair of the head of a Jewish soldier. You won’t get any answers from Rob that make any sense, because he’s been brainwashed by the “Hasbara” project:

    I’ve head this dribble pumped into my head, since I was yay high. But I’m all better now. The only thing that sucks about waking up is that now I’m open to abuse. I wonder if Rob will come back, I haven’t been abused in a while.

  13. Robert Goldman

    Gee Maxie. you seem to be a bit sour… and why is it that when a school, hospital, mosque, home, apt bldg’s are used as weapons stores you have a problem with us takeing said weapons store out?
    when the guy shooting at you. and i do mean shooting at you surrounds himself with human sandbags how many of your people need to die before you take that sad bastard out?
    you can’t even make a valid point on urban combat..
    i bet the only uniform you ever wore was that of the scouts. and even that to me is a reach with really long arm extenders.
    your reasoning seems to speak of , OK Israel you need to die just for being there.
    Gaza was not defending it’self. GAZA declaired this war.. so don’t even try to wool us on that one

  14. Robert Goldman

    you grew up. you made up your mind! fine. you have a brain go ahead and live as you like just don’t think I’m going to act like your daddy and spank you .

  15. Tali

    Wow, that librarian conjures up Rosa Parks in my head. She’s something else.

    That rhetoric just goes on and on. Until REAL international reaction, Israelis will never see the ugly truth about Zionism. i hate to think what might happen to me, but I hate to think who I could have been, if I had failed to wake up, even more.

    Thanks for the fascinating links Max :)

  16. Maximilian Forte

    Thanks Tali.

    Mr. Goldman, those are your last comments here, you are getting very silly now on a personal level. On a political level, your reasoning is almost as atrocious as the acts of butchery that you justify.

    First of all, the human shields argument is complete and utter bullshit and you should know better than to spout it when among intelligent adults, because the argument makes you look foolish. If the Nazis had won WWII, their texts would have said that Stalin’s boys planted soldiers within Leningrad, to hide among civilians. If the Nazis had won WWII, their school texts would also say that Churchill hid among civilians during the blitz. You cannot invade dense urban areas and bombard a tiny prison camp of a place, without killing civilians — and what you also cannot do is come up with the outrageous notion that, deserving no right to self defense, it is alright to kill those civilians if any of their fellows should raise a gun in their defense. The argument is idiotic, inhumane, and respected by no body of international law — just think about it, for a change. That you consider the civilians mere sand bags speaks volumes of how cheaply you value Palestinian life, which is now the argument of a full blown racist.

    You also neglect the many instances when the Israel Offense Force used Palestinians as human shields, or bombarded unarmed civilians in their homes, or told Gazans to gather in the city center and then shelled that center, or bombed a U.N. school when no one will substantiate Israel’s shifting and changing claims of a Hamas presence. Really, I am disgusted. If your aim was to come here and foment anti-Israeli hatred, you are doing an excellent job — was it intentional?

    It would be great if someone like yourself, just for fun, as an experiment, could be honest for a mere moment: you smashed those neighbourhoods from the air and from artillery because you could not blemish one of your beloved heroic men in uniform, who apparently don’t know shit about using sniper rifles but are good only at showering fleeing civilians with white phosphorous. Cowards in uniform, wouldn’t you say? (And you know, as they say, it’s not the uniform that makes the man.)

    This was also pure “shock and awe” designed to terrorize civilians. That may have worked, for a while, but guess what? You now have all sorts of new “enemies” all over the planet! Congratulations, war hero!

    Second, I am not “sour.” I am outraged. In case you missed this, so is most of the world. You should stop and reflect on that fact, instead of trotting out the worst imaginable lies, like the preposterous one that “GAZA declared this war.” Since Israel broke the ceasefire, since Israel conducted a savage economic blockade, since Israel conducted extradjudicial killings, since Israel has been planning this operation for months, since Israel packed people into Gaza to take those people’s lands, I wonder if someone who can then say it’s Gaza’s fault is either some sort of monster, offspring of monsters, or worse: a liar who believes his own lies.

    When you want to make such arguments, go face some of the people you killed, and look at them here:

    This board is for discussing the boycott, and not giving vent to your neo-Nazi, racist, and colonialist fantasies. Some will complain that my comments are not of a “scholarly” tone…but when this is the material that is handed to me, one has to speak plainly and honestly, as a matter of respect — and name the foolishness for what it is.

    Thanks for the “entertainment” while it lasted, but don’t come back.

  17. Tali

    And there you have it. I’ve just been virtually spanked by a 52 year old man. Fare game, because I’m just as much a human sandbag as any Palestinian. But look at the bright side, I’m a HUMAN sandbag.

    You know, I hated the Israeli scouts and my least favorite parts were the uniforms, ranks and formations. Maybe if they focused more on the community bonding and less on preparing me to be a better soldier, I would have tolerated that uniform.

  18. Michael Pyshnov

    During the 20-th century Jews made themselves the scourge of the Earth: first, with the communist cult, then, with Zionist cult. The first, apparently, was also a project for Jewish domination and no more than this.
    In the 19 century, there was a growing movement for Jewish emancipation, a movement intended to end the life in the ghetto; it was killed by communism and Zionism. The emancipation took the new form – penetrating gentile society with the aim to destroy its foundations.
    We now see the fruits of Jewish conquest: enormous difficulties in opposing Israel and its fascist regime. The difficulties are clearly in the fear to loose job. Due to the communist/socialist transformations, the business and the economic structure of society is no longer based on private enterprise, most of it is quasi-socialist infrastructure of corporations, the socialist institutions that conduct business on public money. The worst side of such society is that most people, and especially intelligent people, are employees who increasingly must obey the party line.
    What the hell do you expect from the boycott? A few Jews will join; a few others. It’s not going to become a force – people are scared to death to loose jobs. Consult Dr. Finkelstein.
    Therefore, Israel cannot be changed. They know this very well. They will expand and they will prevail until such time when Moslems overcome their centuries-old fractional feud, will unite, will get the bomb and will finish with Israel.

    Michael Pyshnov, biologist, web site

  19. Maximilian Forte

    There are an awful lot of mixed up thoughts in that message, some of which can sound like the worst of right-wing anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, or if not the worst, then something like Pat Buchanan (I believe he was the one who referred to the U.S. Congress as “Zionist Occupied Territory”…unfortunately there is a lot to credit that statement.)

    I am more in agreement with roughly the second half of your post. I am not as pessimistic as you are about a boycott. Norman Finkelstein’s persecution is an outrageous scandal, and it is Alan Dershowitz who should be booted from campus. That Harvard regularly serves as the home for some of the worst abusers of the ideas of democracy and freedom, should tell us a lot about prestige universities vis-a-vis governments, militaries, and corporations.

    Israel might change if we can be a source of encouragement to that thoughtful minority that opposes their state’s genocide and envisions peace with Palestinians through respect and recognition. If not, as you say, I fear the worst: the anger, the unbridled rage of those suffering occupation, should they one day all let loose and storm the settlements and the cities, I would expect to see them ripping the flesh off of Israelis just out of sheer rage. Israel has put itself on an extremely dark and destructive path.

    P.S.: Your own case, with which I am not familiar, reminds me of countless such stories from academia, especially research in the natural sciences. Such cases can have disastrous consequences, as we know very well at Concordia University. Stay cool.

  20. Robert Goldman

    as for my human shield “Bullshit” as you call it,,,,,

    Members of a Gaza family whose farm was turned into a “fortress” by Hamas fighters have reported that they were helpless to stop Hamas from using them as human shields.

    They told the official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper that for years Hamas had used their property and homes as military installations from which the group would launch rockets into Israel, dig tunnels and store arms. According to the victims, those who tried to object were shot in the legs by Hamas operatives.

    Palestinian Media Watch quoted the official Palestinian Authority daily, Al-Hayat al-Jadida as reporting on January 27, “The Abd Rabbo family kept quiet while Hamas fighters turned their farm in the Gaza strip into a fortress. Right now they are waiting for the aid promised by the [Hamas] movement after Israel bombed the farm and turned it into ruins.”

    According to the report, the hill on which the Abd Rabbo family lives overlooks Sderot, making it an ideal military position for Hamas fighters.

    The Abd Rabbo family members emphasized to the paper that they were not Hamas activists and that they were still loyal to the Fatah movement, but that they had been unable to prevent the armed squads from entering their neighborhood at night.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      And it remains bullshit, and thanks for proving my points further by the nature of your commentary and your sources.

      First, on a conceptual level, it is bullshit. From which non-civilian area does Hamas have the option of operating? If they had an air force, or a navy, like you do, then I would expect them to operate outside of civilian areas. But as you instead choose to raze civilian areas, in which they are forced to live like other people in that prison camp called Gaza, then of course they are surrounded by civilians. Nobody would dare to raise the “human shield” issue when it comes to Stalingrad or the bombing of London. Many of your civilians also serve in the military, and you have military outposts throughout Israel, therefore, when Hamas strikes a civilian target, with unguided rockets, they could just as easily claim that you are using “human shields.”

      Second, on the level of your sources, your statement repeats bullshit. Your one and only source comes from a collaborationist agency, the Palestinian Authority, ruled over by Mahmoud Abbas and the anti-Hamas Fatah. According to one of your earlier statements, Fatah also served as informants for Israel to target its strikes against the university. Far from being neutral sources of credible news, they have a lot to answer for. Your use of their allegations, unsubstantiated by anyone else, tells me what I need to know: that it’s bullshit.

      Third, on the chronology, you misunderstand your own state. Well before the first Israeli strikes against Gaza on December 27, 2008, decisions were already made to use extraordinary force, to demolish entire neighbourhoods. This was reported in your media now, and Olmert himself said “we will take no one into consideration.” Do you read? Because I already detailed this here:


      So, once again, bullshit. You had already decided to kill and destroy as much as possible, the “human shields” bullshit was an afterthought you would use for the international media and for diplomacy.

      Fourth, while we have unsubstantiated allegations like yours above, courtesy of the Palestinian Authority, which just finished a sweep of the West Bank arresting and torturing (according not to Haaretz, but the Jerusalem Post) opponents of Abbas, critics, and people who demonstrated in solidarity with Gaza…unlike that bullshit, what do we know about real human shields?

      That the Israelis use Palestinian human shields, not as alleged, but as shown on CBS’ 60 Minutes:

      By the way, the link for the JP story of Abbas’ anti-Hamas actions in the West Bank is at:

      Thanks for the bullshit, it allowed me one more opportunity to correct it.

      As for your other comments which I deleted, I won’t tolerate either paternalistic, sexist, or other foolish comments that diminish the discussion by reducing it to personal qualities. In addition, I asked that you post your comments where they were most appropriate and relevant. Your comments do not belong on a post about the boycott movement, unless you happen to think that all we talk about is “human shields.”

  21. Maximilian Forte

    It’s not just bullshit, it is laughable bullshit:

    I wonder how Hamas managed to glue its fighters up and down and across the walls of the al-Quds hospital when Israel nearly demolished it?

    Listen, your government came out and said that the next time they strike, it would be to teach absolute fear and to exact the heaviest price possible, an attitude which your country is (in)famous for. Don’t try to now pretend that it was all accidental and incidental. Instead, force yourself to look at yourself with new eyes, and not like some dogmatic, fanatic, who lusts for blood. By now, you must realize that the production of official bullshit is needed because something really atrocious was done. Ask yourself about the atrocity, deal with your actions, and stop this incessant chant that it’s all Hamas’ fault for not being obedient little prisoners.

  22. Robert Goldman

    lets put you in the hot seat for a moment.
    you are the leader of your own little country. OK?
    so the guy next door shoots rockets into your towns,, (Don’t give me any of your BS just answer ok?)
    what do you do?
    how long do you suck it up?
    what will your responce be to broken cease fires?
    what will your responce be to people firing atr your border patrols and kiling them off?
    what will your responce be to missles falling on your schools ?
    come on be honest.
    even if you couldn’t be the leader how would your leaders act? what would they do?
    me thinks they would tear someone a new a hole big time

  23. Maximilian Forte

    I noticed that you completely evaded my last two responses to you, so I will start with the basic premise that you agree with what I said, because that will also inform my further response below.

    One, I am always in the hot seat, one way or another.

    To your questions:

    “so the guy next door shoots rockets into your towns,, (Don’t give me any of your BS just answer ok?)
    what do you do?”

    Well, you are the one giving me the BS. First you begin incorrectly, as if Hamas had initiated everything, and poor Israel merely responded. Wrong. What you have to answer is this: if I come and take away your land, and then control every aspect of your life…will you merely be obedient and servile?

    “how long do you suck it up?”

    Again, you’re playing victim. It doesn’t work.

    “what will your responce be to broken cease fires?”

    It would be the same as Hamas’ response, since Israel broke the ceasefire on Nov. 4. Try again.

    “what will your responce be to people firing atr your border patrols and kiling them off?”

    If my nation is the one that imprisoned those people and ruined their lives…then given the chance I would take part in firing on those same border patrols.

    “what will your responce be to missles falling on your schools ?”

    To ask why.

    “come on be honest.”

    I am always honest. I am waiting for you to reciprocate.

    “even if you couldn’t be the leader how would your leaders act? what would they do?”

    Good, because I would NEVER be the leader of such a country, or I would resign.
    What would “my” leaders do, you mean here in Canada? They are a bunch of cretins and criminals themselves, who took Israel’s side completely, and therefore they would probably do the same, and would suffer the consequences, and would deserve to suffer the consequences.

  24. Robert Goldman

    you dance a nice two step!
    but it just goes to show that you can’t answer the questions honestly. you just set the bar at it’s lowest level in history.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      At its lowest level in history? Then that is quite an achievement.

      I thought the bar was set at its lowest level possible for humanity when your state decided to flatten neighbourhoods in Gaza because some of their people failed to be moved by your threats.

      Thanks for coming Mr. Goldman, but I wonder if we have not exhausted this discussion. Incidentally, I answered your questions very plainly and with very direct honesty, I am sorry that you failed to appreciate that. I believe that what you wanted was for me to do an impersonation of Olmert, and to recite the official Israeli dogma. You must have known that I would not do that — why would I? If it was meant as a game, then I can play Olmert…but you have to play Haniyeh, or else we end up with a false drama where only one actor gets the stage (you know, just like Peres got the stage at Davos, and any contrary opinion was disallowed).

  25. Adrian Belshaw

    What concerns me most here are the ads on your website ostensibly from Google.

    I cannot assume that other readers will have seen these ads.

    Here they are:

    Support Israeli Soldiers
    Support IDF Soldiers! You Too Can
    Strengthen Israel’s Defense.

    Israel Flight Secrets
    Upgrade Air Seats At Coach Prices
    Learn How To Travel First Class!

    I need to make no comment.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      Yes, that is very disturbing. I had not seen any ads from Google on this site, so I am assuming they are kept invisible from the site owner. Typically, WordPress imposes temporary ads when a blog begins to gain a respectable amount of traffic. Unfortunately, I have no control over that, apart from moving the blog to private hosting, which then increases its vulnerability to hackers (I am assuming that WordPress itself has many layers of security for which I do not pay).

      PS: This must really be temporary: I have logged out, and used different browsers to view the site, and the post in question, and did not see any ads.

  26. Adrian Belshaw


    Wherever these ads came from — Google, WordPress, or somewhere else — I will not be supporting the IDF, nor will I be travelling to Israel, until a few deep-seated attitudes change.

    Please, everybody, keep the truth flowing.


  27. Pingback: Canadian Academic Boycott of Israel: Why We Need to Take Action « OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY

    1. Maximilian Forte

      Um, no. This is how it works, let me explain it to you, and pay careful attention because I know there is a lot here that you miss very easily.

      You can waste all your money on foolish ads. The boycott means: we do not buy. No money is spent by me on those ads or any of the things they advertise.

      So keep wasting money, and we’ll keep not spending it on you. That’s how a boycott works.

      Back in your face. ROFLMAO.

  28. Robert Goldman

    does your computer have Intel inside?
    does your cell phone have a camera?
    what’s in the old medicine cheast?
    you see you scream boycott but it’s not going to work.
    cause if you were to really boycott Israel , israeli made , designed, etc you would be sitting in a cave about now.. painting on the walls…

  29. Maximilian Forte

    “It means using as well.” Well, I am using it against you, so how do you like your anti-boycott measures now?

    As for your previous statement, you’re partly right (which is why when I buy, I do not buy anything with Intel in it), but you also exaggerate.

    In your view of the world, and perhaps this comes with thinking that you are one of God’s few chosen ones while the rest of us are expendable garbage that God hates, Israel is central to everything. To the extent that it is true, we will decentre it.

    Nothing is permanent, nothing is absolute. Ask South Africa, with all its precious mines that were so central to the world economy when it was boycotted.

    Capital is highly mobile, and it flees trouble, and moves toward opportunity. Americans know this story very well. You are going to learn it, and I will be one of millions who will help to teach it to you.

  30. Erez Cohen

    Dear Max

    I am not sure if you know but I now live in Israel. I agree this is a brutal conflict and that Israel use force, maybe too much force, in its attempt to solve it. This maybe a wrong policy but you need to remember that the other side use force and brutal acts of their own against Israelis. As long as there is a Palestinian armed struggle, there will be Israeli military operations against them. I do not support all my government policies and hope a peaceful solution will be a real option one day.

    However, a boycott is not away to go. Apart for maybe making you feel better, it contributes nothing towards a real dialog and in fact encourages the ones who believe that the only way to deal with Israel is by using force and more violence.

    As such it also contributes to the more violent elements in Israeli society- a boycott encourages further the use of violence in this conflict as such it is a wrong means that will achieve nothing.

  31. Maximilian Forte

    Hello Erez,

    I did not know, as I lost touch with everyone I knew in Adelaide.

    Do you have doubts that Israel “maybe” used “too much force”? It’s interesting to hear a perspective, from an anthropologist, inside Israel, because I gather this feels like a major concession to you, and yet what else can you say about 1300 dead Palestinians, most of whom were civilians, compared with 13 dead Israelis, most of whom were soldiers? It’s absolutely certain that the violence was entirely out of proportion.

    You blame the Palestinians for having an armed struggle. I blame the Israeli occupation, that demands the resistance it provokes. You have almost all the power here, change is going to rest heavily in your hands.

    A boycott is not violence, so I do not accept your point. A boycott is absolutely necessary because nobody else is doing anything at all. Hizbollah is illegal in Canada, as is Hamas, a democratically elected ruling party. Sanctions have been slapped on Hamas. Sanctions have been slapped on Iran. The Sudanese president is indicted for genoice. Israel walks away free. With such astounding and atrocious double standards, with such glaring injustice and unfairness that should be making you personally quiver with rage, you should understand that when no one does anything, then we boycott.

    Nor is it about making oneself feel better, please do not trivialize it like that. It makes me, personally, feel like I am doing what needs to be done, and it is long overdue. It actually makes me feel guilty, for not having done more sooner.

    Your last sentence is very contradictory: you begin by saying what a boycott does, and end by saying it does nothing. If it does nothing, then it is harmless, and no objection to it makes any sense. As for any eventual success of the various boycott campaigns, don’t rush to pronounce them failures: we are working on it busily, all of us, so that they don’t fail.

  32. Erez Cohen

    Hi Max

    Dear Max,

    Thanks for your replay. The double standards I am afraid is yours. Would you say that what Israel is doing in Gaza is worst from what the U.S.A has done in Iraq? Probably not and yet I do not hear voices to boycott the U.S.A – but let’s leave this a side.

    Hamas was maybe democratically elected but this organisation has very little concern for human rights or any democratic values. In fact during the last fight against Israel (and yes despite the large mumblers of casualties they did fight back) they actually shoot and killed their own political opponents. see for example-

    This is a tragic situation but you need to remember that there are two sides to this conflict. The Palestinians are not dupe and senseless and they have been fighting for a long time now. In fact some of them today do prefer a negotiation to solve the conflict while other like the Hamas have glorified death and violence and use it against Israelis and against Palestinians.

    I don’t like the boycott because I don’t think it will change anything – if you ask for my perspective I can tell you that the first victim of such a boycott is the Israeli moderate voices the ones who want the conflict to end and believe in a two state solution.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      Dear Erez,

      I am not sure this last statement makes sense, I am so sorry to say. You say that the double standards are mine, when I was referring to the double standards in force in the international system. If I was incorrect, you could have proven me wrong, not deflect the discussion to a more personal level.

      The final sentence ends in a way similar to your previous message, which reads like blackmail: either desist from a boycott, or the good people will get hurt. In no way is it mandatory that anyone, anywhere, buy Israeli goods or invest in Israel. It’s not mandatory for any other nation, so why should Israel be an exception.

      You do not hear voices demanding a boycott of the USA — excellent point. I think sanctions and a total boycott of the USA are very long overdue, and in the meantime I personally do whatever I can. I can absolutely swear to you that my decisions have cost the U.S. at least $14,500 in lost revenue since 2004, from me alone, because I keep exact track of these things.

      I know very well that Hamas has killed opponents. I also know those opponents are Fatah, which have actively collaborated with Israel and the U.S., and when in power they persecuted Hamas (which at one time was favoured by Israel as a counterweight to Fatah…remember?). While the Gaza war was at its height, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank was arresting and torturing (according to your Jerusalem Post), opponents, suspected Hamas supporters, and detainees released by Israel. See for example:

      So, no, I do not understand the sudden concern with the fate of Palestinian opposition, and it seems to be just a little convenient, selective, and self-serving. I also do not understand this notion that Hamas should not act like any other humans, i.e., respond and fight back in self-defense.

      I realize that it would help the plans of the Israeli state a great deal if the Palestinians, and the rest of us, just stood back and silently watched as their effective genocide progressed to its ultimate fulfillment, without opposition, and with our financial support. No resistance, no protest. I find this position to be utterly astounding.

      There are two sides to this conflict. So far, your side has been winning all the dollars and all the support from the world powers, and has dominated the international media and even academia. Let’s start, then, to actually pretend like there really are two sides, and not just yours.

      I would expect that an anthropologist would do a much better job in not reproducing the logic of a violent and expansionist state, not try to quell opposition and silence different voices, and struggle extremely hard to make sure that the humanity of all, not just their own, was recognized and accepted. These are my standards.

      You say the boycott will not change anything, and then once again, you say that it will: it will harm moderate Israelis. Please, make up your mind Erez: if it does not change anything, then it can cause no harm. As for what moderate Israelis are saying, several hundred have signed their names to boycott petitions, including academics. Perhaps this is not being allowed to make news in Israel, so I refer you to these facts found in “Canadian Academic Boycott of Israel: Why We Need to Take Action“:

      * some Israeli academics have in fact called to be boycotted

      * the Palestinian Human Rights Organisation’s call, supported by more than 540 Israeli citizens

      Outside of Israel, you can also look at the calls for an end to aid and support to Israel made by Jews Against the Occupation. And, as you should know, Jews and Israelis occupied Israeli consulates across North America in protest against Israel.

      I was hoping that more Israeli anthropologists, like yourself, would make their voices heard like Jeff Halper, and not do everything possible to maintain the current order. I am extremely disappointed by your messages (not that I can recall you ever having anything sympathetic to say about Palestinians) and actually you make me reaffirm my support for an academic boycott.

  33. Erez Cohen

    Hi Max

    This is not a black and white situation I’ am afraid. If you think the boycott will bring peace and help end this conflict, go own and try it. We live with the Palestinians, I actually have Palestinians students, and they live with us. We know each other very well, as only two people who have been fighting each other for so long know. Boycott or no boycott we, Israeli Jews are not going anywhere and neither do they – together we’ll fall or together will get over this horrible conflict and learn to live with each other. If you think your boycott is going to bring an end to the conflict I am all for it – but in my opinion boycotts do not generate dialogue. This is the real tragedy of your attampt but lets wait and see.

  34. Maximilian Forte

    Ok, Erez, I see you are trying to be fair, and in any case we are virtually communicating by email like this, with all of the attendant possibilities for great misunderstanding.

    I understand that most Israelis are there to stay. So are Palestinians. Of course, some Israelis just arrived, like many of these “Russians,” and they can’t claim to have been in Israel for generations, but that’s besides the point.

    I am interested in helping in a very small way to set up a situation for dialogue that is built on fairness and some balance. If one side has all the firepower, all the money, and all the backing, then it can afford (as has been the case) to take unilateral actions against the other side. You don’t get to dialogue like that, you get to the Treaty of Versailles, and think of what came out of that. Israel has just elected some extremely unreasonable people to power, and I definitely do not trust them to have all the firepower and still want to negotiate, in fact, much less so now.

    So out of interest for fairness, this is what I will commit myself to: if on your side you can get the blockade of Gaza completely lifted, recognize Palestinians and their government, and remove colonies from their lands, then I will immediately drop out of the boycott movement, and start to write against it. In fact, all I need to know is that blockade is lifted, and the other issues *will* be solved, and I will still drop out of the boycott.

    The boycott will never be as severe in its effects, I don’t think, as the blockade of Gaza. I actually regret that fact: I think one side needs to know the suffering of the other so it can properly understand and negotiate in good will.

    Otherwise, there is no room for dialogue where a situation of ghastly disproportions reigns, where everything is lopsided.

    By the way, mere talk of the boycott has in fact generated dialogue…between you and I, after eight years since we last saw each other in Adelaide. So that much of a positive side it has had already.

  35. ll

    I think I might divest and boycott Canadian institutions and academics associated with the boycott. But alas I am afraid due to the current economic situation I lack the resources to institute said boycott. Crap.

  36. Erich

    I am all for this campaign..
    enough crimes in the 21st century against Palestinians in their mother land.
    it feels like whites and red indians again but under the nose of the international bodies and so called civilized governments..
    somebody has to start saying no to racist Israel..the spoild child, and demand a Palestinian state with a practical plan to reach the goals rather than just wishes

  37. Kirsten

    I am not sure what is Mr Cohen is talking about by saying both Israelis and Palestinians live together..
    yes they a racist country where the arabs under occupation have to be stripped naked at every check point, and where 40 thousands palestinians in Israeli prisons..of them a few thousands are actually children.
    it’s easy for you to claim that you dont mind Palestinians as long as they are your slaves and inferior to you by all means..those poor people have had one opportunity in a lifetime to elect democratically a government, and ever since Israel has been starving them to death..
    this is how democratic your country is.
    If you have any ethical concept at all, you wouldnt say (oh I have Palestinian students), while you are living where their demolished villages once was, and eating oranges and olives from their stolen lands..
    but what does being an academic has to do with consciens?!!!!

  38. Joel Gauthier

    Hey Max!

    Ironically enough I was looking at this list just yesterday (on a different site) and I was wondering where your name was … It’s all cleared up now :P

    It doesn’t take too much to get the flies swarming on this site does it! I’ll always be amazed by the ability people have to defy common sense and reason to reinforce a negative worldview (yes I’m talking to you Rob). People love to hate.

    Anyways keep stirring that pot Max! I love watching the literary akido you practice with some of your posters :)

  39. Honest Broker

    One can either take sides (and boycott Israel or buycott Israel) or one promote a peaceful resolution. One cannot do both.

    Supporting one side over the other simply encourages the supported side to entrench themselves and fight for their cause, pushing the two sides further apart.

    This applies to all conflicts where neither side will concede and the only way to stop attacks on each other is a peace treaty.

    In this conflict it’s even worse. Support of the Palestinians is support for their denial of Israel’s right to exist and entrenches Israel’s belief that they are fighting for their very survival and cannot heed criticism against them.

    Supporting the settlements increases Israel’s resolve to continue with them.

    And the whole conflict is perpetuated to their mutual detriment.

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