Our Jewish friends are welcome and loved at AU. Everyone is, so here is a loving welcome to AU to our Jewish, Arabic, White, Black, and all other identity friends. I especially want our Jewish friends to feel welcome here, as they are being wrongly persecuted. No one, and especially no group, should be persecuted.
Under no circumstance should academics persecute anyone or any culture—nor crush anyone’s spirit or cause anyone to live in fear. Academics and academia should stop spinning theories that persecute a group, labeling one as an oppressor and the other as a victim. Academics must view all groups with love, peace, dignity, and respect. If universities aim for divisiveness or victimization, they are missing the mark of their higher purpose: love and acceptance for all.
I love all people and have a particular affinity for our Jewish friends, as I’ve had Jewish mentors who’ve turned my life from despair to joy. I can’t thank them enough, and, on the flip side, I’ve had Arabic mentors who’ve brought great wisdom–the pursuit of peace– into my world. Everyone is a spark of the divine.
According to Statista, for 2022, the largest number of “violent” anti-Semitic attacks occurred in many Western, developed nations. There is something fundamentally wrong with Western policy for this to be the case.
As an example, our beloved Indigo bookstore CEO, Heather Reisman, a Jewish woman and someone I consider a friend, experienced an antisemitic attack where posters were pasted, covered with red paint, blatantly and falsely accusing her of funding genocide. I had corresponded with Heather several times, as I practically lived in her bookstores for a decade and developed many deep friendships with managers and staff. A manager gave me Heather’s email, and I’d contact her on the occasion, mostly to praise her staff. Heather is a beautiful, kind soul doing pure good in the world, bringing knowledge to humanity. No one should experience the hatred she faced for any reason.
As for the university protests, they are claimed to be against genocide but are, in effect, advocating for the genocide of Jewish people, which is immoral. The chant, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free,” is seen by many as a horrendous chant for the genocide against Israel, a slogan for the ethnic cleansing of our beloved Jewish friends. Douglas Murray asked if we said that about Pakistani people, asking for their eradication, is that in the boundary of free speech? No!
Nazi has become a label or name to call someone that a person disagrees with. It’s more of a political tool, and the most preposterous thing I’ve ever heard is to call a Jew a Nazi. Imagine if our culture underwent concentration camps and unthinkable persecution in Germany by the Nazis. And, after the war, the whole world empathized with us for the injustice and horrific brutality we suffered, but decades later, our country of origin gets attacked. It retaliates, and suddenly we are being persecuted again on a global level–the worst dystopian nightmare imaginable–but the world is calling us Nazis. How sickened would we feel by that preposterous label? And how afraid would we feel walking the hallways of a university where professors and students, are calling for our persecution? We don’t know fear until the entire world starts chanting in the persecution of us, our families, and our entire culture. Is there anything scarier than that? No horror comes close.
People who should know better, even some academics and professors, are among those supporting this persecution of our Jewish friends. We all love. Therefore, we all have a right to be treated with dignity and love. There are no exceptions. To think otherwise is to align with pure evil, in my mind, for hatred is the opposite of love, as love for all people is the only answer.
The greatest irony is that the vast majority of Jewish people in Canada, if not all of them, had little or nothing to do with the Hamas attacks and Israeli response outside of sharing an ethnicity. They’re just living their lives like the rest of us.
And this idea that the Jews are the colonizers is called into question. I heard one professor say if you look at a snapshot in time, it suggests the Jews were the colonizers. But what snapshot do we give credibility to? According to Michael Savage, the Jews had a presence in Israel in 1900 BC. What about that snapshot? Does that snapshot count when we point fingers? How about doing our parts as academics by loving everyone instead of pointing fingers at a victim and an oppressor? Loving everyone is the most uplifting paradigm shift academia could ever undergo. That’s when academia and academics grow as stewards of all the beings inhabiting this world. That’s when academia truly sees the light.