This tribute to Mary-Jo Nadeau can be found in English just below this post. Thanks to Christo El Morr for the translation.
تعرب «أساتذة من أجل فلسطين» عن حزنها العميق لفقدان الرائعة والجميلة ماري جو نادو (المعروفة بـ «إم. جاي») الناشطة والباحثة والصديقة والمشاركة في تأسيس «أساتذة من أجل فلسطين». لقد فُجِعَ الكثيرون منا لأنّها جعلت بناء علاقات المحبة أمرًا أساسيًا في بناء الحركات النضاليّة. نعرب عن أعمق تعازينا لشريك إم جاي لمدة عشرين عامًا، ستيفن تافتس، ولأسرتها وأصدقائها ورفاقها. كان لدى «إم. جاي» شبكة كبيرة بشكل لا يصدق من الأشخاص حول العالم الذين يحبونها، والذين تتدفق الإشادة منهم يوميًا.
كانت ماري جو قوة للتضامن الفلسطيني وضد التفوق الأبيض والاستعمار الاستيطاني الأبيض. لقد كانت حاسمة في بناء حركة مقاطعة إسرائيل (بي. دي إس) في كندا وإبقائنا على اتصال بحركة المقاطعة في جميع أنحاء العالم. بالإضافة إلى «أساتذة من أجل فلسطين»، شاركت إم جي في تأسيس «التحالف ضد الفصل العنصري الإسرائيلي»، وكرست نفسها للعمل من أجل فلسطين. بصفتها ناشطة ومنظمة «الاتحاد الكندي للموظفيّ القطاع العام»، عملت بلا كلل لتعزيز الدعم النقابي للتضامن مع فلسطين. كانت ماري جو أيضًا باحثة بارعة قدمت نقدًا مناهضًا للعنصرية إلى الحركة النسويّة الكنديّة وكتبت بشكل نقدي عن إسكات المعارضة السياسيّة لدولة إسرائيل. تخرجت بدرجة الدكتوراه في علم الاجتماع من جامعة يورك عام 2005، وعلى مر السنين، قامت بالتدريس في العديد من الجامعات بما في ذلك جامعة يورك، وجامعة ويلفريد لوريير، وجامعة تورنتو ميسيسوجا، وجامعة ترينت. تُظهر إشادات طلابها أنها كانت معلمة محبوبة للغاية، ودعت الطلاب إلى رؤية أنفسهم كوكلاء لبناء عالم أفضل.
إنّ «أساتذة من أجل فلسطين» تدين بشكل كبير في وجودها لحماس ماري جو وتفانيها وذكائها السياسي. كان لدى «إم. جاي» طريقة لجعل كل من حضر اجتماعاتنا ونشاطاتنا يشعر بالترحيب والأهمية. لقد استندت إلى معرفتها العميقة وعلاقاتها بحركة التضامن الفلسطينية لتبقى تورنتو تنظم الاجتماعات بشكل مستمرّ، قائدة بمشورتها الحكيمة وضحكتها المُعدية والدفء وروح الدعابة. مع تركيزها الدائم على «الصورة الكبيرة» والعمل التفصيلي على أرض الواقع، قامت «إم. جاي» بدفع «أساتذة من أجل فلسطين» منذ بدايتها كحفنة من باحثين في منطقة تورنتو لتنمو كشبكة من 600 أستاذ من جميع الرتب، وأمناء مكتبات، في 40 جامعة وكلّية في جميع أنحاء كندا.
جمعت «إم. جاي» تجمّع «أساتذة من أجل فلسطين» معًا، وألهمتنا جميعًا بالتزامها ومسؤوليتها ودفئها وروح الدعابة. في حين أنه من المؤلم تخيّل لقاء «أساتذة من أجل فلسطين» بدون «إم. جاي»، فإن مثابرتها في الأشهر الماضية تذكرنا بأنه يجب علينا ألا نشعر باليأس. أولاً نحدّ، ثم نتابع التنظيم.
Faculty for Palestine expresses deep sorrow today as we grieve the loss of the beautiful, brilliant Mary-Jo Nadeau, activist, scholar, friend, and co-founder of Faculty for Palestine. So many of us are devastated because MJ made building loving relationships central to building movements. We express our deepest condolences to MJ’s partner of twenty years, Steve Tufts, and to her family, friends, and comrades. MJ also had an incredibly large network of folks around the world who cherished and loved her, and from whom tributes have been flowing in daily.
Mary-Jo was a force for Palestinian solidarity, and against white supremacy and white settler colonialism. She was crucial to building the BDS movement in Canada and keeping us connected with the BDS movement worldwide. In addition to Faculty for Palestine, MJ co-founded the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), and dedicated herself to Labour for Palestine. As an activist and organizer for CUPE, she worked tirelessly to promote union support for Palestine solidarity. Mary-Jo was also a brilliant scholar who brought an anti-racist critique to Canadian feminism and wrote critically on the silencing of the political opposition to the Israeli state. She graduated with a PhD in Sociology from York University in 2005 and, over the years, she taught at various campuses including York University, Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and Trent University. Tributes from her students show that she was a much-loved educator, who invited students to see themselves as agents for building a better world.
Faculty for Palestine exists in no small part because of Mary-Jo’s enthusiasm, dedication and political smarts. MJ had a way of making everyone who attended our meetings and events feel welcome and important. She drew on her deep knowledge of and connections with the Palestinian solidarity movement to keep Toronto organizing meetings on track, leading with wise counsel and her infectious laugh, warmth and good humour. Always with her eye on the big picture and on the detailed work on the ground, MJ steered F4P from its beginning as a handful of Toronto-area scholars into a network of 600 faculty of all ranks and librarians in 40 universities and colleges across Canada.
MJ held F4P together and inspired us all with her commitment, responsibility, warmth and humour. While it is painful to imagine a Faculty for Palestine meeting without MJ, her perseverance in the last months reminds us that we must not despair.
Faculty for Palestine (F4P Canada) expresses unwavering solidarity with Black liberation movements, and allied mobilizations of other oppressed people, demanding justice in the face of racial terror, criminalization, surveillance, incarceration and murder of Black life in Canada and the US. We urge our members and supporters to participate in the mobilizations (while practicing COVID-19 safety precautions) and/or to provide concrete material and political support.
We heed the calls from the mass mobilizations in the streets of Canada and the US as well as from our allied organizations, USACBI and the BDS National Committee (BNC) , the Palestinian coalition leading the global BDS movement. BNC has asked Palestinian solidarity organizations “to stand with the Movement for Black Lives and other Black-led organizations in their righteous struggle for justice.” This current rebellion is part of a long tradition of Black radical resistance that has inspired liberation movements globally, including BDS and the broader Palestinian justice project.
The US Black intifada comes in the wake of the racist police murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, to name only the most recent in a very long list of such murders, including those of Black queer and trans people. In Canada, the death of an Afro-Indigenous woman, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, killed during a police intervention in her Toronto apartment, joins a long list of murders, historical neglect and profiling of Black, Indigenous and other racialized individuals. In just the last two months, Canadian police forces have murdered five Indigenous people: Eishia Hudson, Jason Collins, Stewart Kevin Andrews, Everett Patrick and Chantel Moore. In addition to endemic anti-Black racism , we also acknowledge the disturbing resurgence of anti-migrant, anti-Asian/anti-Chinese, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab and anti-Latinx pandemic racisms. We mourn the death of the unarmed Palestinian, Iyad Halak, shot dead on Saturday by Israeli police.
• Faculty for Palestine stands with the families of the murdered, sharing their demands for prompt and full investigations into the deaths of their loved ones, and their calls for justice.
The white settler colonies of the US and Canada were built on Black enslavement, Indigenous dispossession, racial capitalism, indentured and migrant labour, and patriarchal social relations. Contemporary protests reflect outrage at historical and ongoing white supremacy and at militarized policing to protect property and repress dissent. Justice cannot come through meaningless calls for police reform. We acknowledge the work of Black and other racialized activists and scholars who have elaborated critical new frameworks through decades of work.
• F4P therefore affirms its full support of: abolition and divestment from prisons, policing, and immigration detention; defunding police in favour of social investment in peoples’ needs; decolonization, redress and reparations for historic and ongoing violence against Black, Indigenous, migrant and racialized people.
Faculty for Palestine opposes the accelerating convergence of US and Israeli racial projects. Concretely, this includes exchange programs between Israeli occupation forces and US police, ICE, border patrol, and FBI agents to train, share technologies, and exchange worst practices including racial profiling, mass surveillance, spying, shoot-to-kill, detention and deportation. Canada is not an exception . In 2005, 32 police chiefs from across Canada travelled to Israel for an Israeli police and state-sponsored mission to deepen and further militarize security ties through joint police trainings and trade shows in high-tech security products. Further, and in line with U.S. state anti-divestment efforts, both the Conservatives and Liberals in Canada have advanced legislation to silence growing support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
• As a Palestinian solidarity organization, F4P calls for ending all missions and training exchanges of Canadian and US police forces, law enforcement, and border patrol with the Israeli apartheid regime and its occupation forces.We recommit to working with Palestinian prisoner support and human rights organizations, such as Addameer , and with all those detained and imprisoned. We rededicate support for the Birzeit University Right2Education campaign, in solidarity with Palestinian students and faculty subjected to arrests, beatings and imprisonment by the Israeli occupation forces. And we continue to work with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and USACBI in struggle to end apartheid, institutionalized racism, policing and campus militarization.
F4P understands the Herut Canada event as a clear provocation meant to silence BDS and broader Palestinian advocacy on campus, and to shield the Israeli state from criticism by suggesting that all such critique constitutes anti-Semitism. Groups such as B’nai Brith, which have been urging the York University administration to revoke SAIA’s student status, form part of a broader campaign by the Israeli state and its advocates to stop advocacy for Palestinian human rights and to silence Palestinian narratives. Given this context, and the vicious attacks by the Jewish Defense League on November 20, we are deeply dismayed that the York University administration is now advocating “dialogue” between the opposing sides. We are also deeply concerned about the militarization of campus life as well as the role of campus security in failing to protect the students from the violence and injury caused by the JDL, well known for its far-right, nationalist politics. Indeed, there have been previous calls to ban JDL from campus due to its violent actions. Even Hillel, a Zionist organization, declined to endorse the Herut Canada event.
We hold the York Administration accountable for failing to protect students and community activists and call for the following immediate actions:
i. President Lenton immediately revoke the suspension of SAIA-York, and ensure that the official review of the JDL and Herut’s violent actions that evening also includes statements from those who were victims of this violence.
ii. President Lenton clearly acknowledge and further investigate the perpetrators of the violence, specifically, a) the direct violence and injuries/harms to students/Palestine solidarity activists by the JDL and b) the violence it tacitly authorized by permitting the IDF, Herut Canada and the Jewish Defense League on campus.
iii. President Lenton ensure that students, faculty and their allies who attended the SAIA-York protest on November 20 are not punished in any way – either as individuals or organizations – for exercising their right to protest and express concerns about the inappropriate use of York campus.
iv. President Lenton and York Administration foster an environment where all campus members (and their non-campus allies) are free to advocate for the demilitarization of campus and for divestment.
This particular provocation is not a singular event. Attempting to silence Palestine solidarity is part of a long-standing and widespread pattern on our campuses. We call on the York University Administration to reappraise its response to date and to urgently address these calls for immediate action.
—- Faculty for Palestine (Canada) was formed in 2008 and organizes in solidarity with, and endorses, the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (2005) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).
Faculty for Palestine, and the undersigned signatories would like to express our strong and unwavering support for SPHR McGill and other students at McGill University who have been organizing and mobilizing in opposition to the new POLI 339 course. This course, which isscheduled to be held this summer, includes a two-week exchange program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. As student activists have critically and consistently argued, this discriminates against Palestinian, Arab and Muslim students who would be subjected to potential harassment, detention and/ or expulsion by the Israeli border authorities. Moreover, the funding for this course is strongly tied to the violent Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territories, and Hebrew University itself is partially situated on illegally obtained land in East Jerusalem.
As strong supporters of the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, we are appalled by the McGill University’s continued support for and engagement in exchanges with Israeli institutions, and by the senior Administration’s refusal to recognize the constitutionally binding vote of the Arts Undergraduate Society Legislative Council NOT to approve the additional fee that will be charged for this course. We stand in solidarity with the students in demanding that McGill University cancel the POLI 339 course.
NOTE:Signatures are organized alphabetically by last name, and are used in a personal capacity. Institutional affiliations are for identification purposes only.
Nahla Abdo (PhD.), Professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Carleton University Ottawa, Ontario
Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, PhD, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, San Francisco State University
Motion on academic boycott of Israel passes at Society for Socialist Studies AGM
The Society for Socialist Studies (SSS) joined the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel when it passed a motion supporting the boycott of Israeli academic institutions at its AGM on May 31st.
The motion, which passed unanimously, reads that the Society “endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions” and that the Society “supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Palestine and the state of Israel and in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.”
The petition is a response by members of the American Studies Association to the last remaining lawsuit targeting the ASA’s BDS resolution.
Among other things, the petition points out that the lawsuit names “further members of the ASA who, we note, are predominantly queer, indigenous/Palestinian, and women of color, despite the fact that those working towards the resolution also included white (and specifically white Jewish) ASA members, and although an overwhelming majority of the ASA membership voted in favor of the resolution.”
Please take the time to review the petition in full and consider signing.
The Louis D. Brandeis Center is engaged in lawfare against members of the American Studies Association, against the association itself, and against the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (http://www.usacbi.org/). This lawfare takes the form of a frivolous and racist lawsuit.
As experts at Palestine Legal have explained: “The Brandeis Center is seeking to fix the failed theory of their original lawsuit against the American Studies Association (ASA) by asking the court for permission to add new theories and new defendants . . .
The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) is calling on faculty and students to defend Bill Mullen, professor of English and American Studies at Purdue University, from “false and malicious attacks” by Purdue’s president, Mitch Daniels. The statement of support for Mullen condemns Daniels for the “misconception . . . that anti-Zionism is antisemitic.”
Please join Faculty for Palestine in signing and sharing this public statement.