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Updated on Wednesday, January 13

#23503

OMG: You've all heard about the referendum to sever ties with Israeli universities that contribute to the Israeli Apartheid, right? The FedS are administering it and it is clear that they are actively working against the supporters of the peace movement. Don't believe me? Look at this.

This is just making up rules to benefit the NO side. How can the advocates for the YES side be expected to police the actions of other groups? FedS are clearly trying to help the NO side win. But don't let them win. If you support human rights for all people around the world, you need to vote YES in the Sever Ties referendum.

34 comments

  1. It is really depressing that people have decided that the only country, system, or group in the Middle East that deserves so much of their effort to try to attack and bring down is the only country in the Middle East where Arabs and non-Arabs have solid rights and are protected.

    You guys have decided that everything's okay in Syria, and Libya, and Iraq, and Iran. You've decided that, compared to how women, political dissidents, opposition, and ethnic and sexual minorities are treated in all of the other countries I mentioned above, Israel is where the *real* tragedy is. You've decided that your efforts, time, and abilities as students in a free country are not best aimed at the other Middle Eastern lands of desperation and catastrophe, no, it's Israel; where Arabs serve as judges in the Supreme Court and Arab (and non-Arab) members of parliament can stand in the middle of the Knesset and criticize Israel all day -- and they do -- and no one would dare take their deserved right to say that away. Where every day or every other day for the last few months there is an attempted stabbing by terrorists that target anyone.

    I am not trying to be snarky. I am an Arab**, and as an Arab, this really depresses me. Calling Israel an "apartheid" state is both incorrect and offensive, and it hurts the people in other Middle Eastern countries who could actually use some Western help and defence. But no, you decided you want to cut ties with _universities_ in one of the most intellectual, academically productive countries in the world (and certainly the most in the Middle East) with any concepts of rights and freedoms and with many sincere contributions to technology and medicine that benefit the world without prejudice.

    Shame on you. You are not helping Arabs, you are hurting them.

    If I were still an undergraduate I would vote No, but I am not. I urge anyone who reads this, who _can_ vote, to vote NO.

    Sherif

    ** I know this is the internet and you may not believe that I am, but I don't care. I'm an Arab and I've lived in the Middle East for 17 years and I've seen how things are actually like. Anti-Semitism is woven deep in the fabric of culture.

    P.S.
    Here is a much longer speech by an Arab diplomat that makes a much better and thorough argument than I have here.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m6ux-IeNo4

    And this is a relevant community editorial in Imprint submitted by a student.
    http://www.uwimprint.ca/article/5413-ethics-or-politics--will-our

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    1. The university doesn't have ties with Syria or Iraq, or whatever you listed. What the fuck are you on about? And my ass you're an Arab.

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    2. @ 1.a

      انا عربي و مستعد اتكلم معاك(ي) عربي للصبح. بس مش ده الموضوع اساسأ. انت(ي) سبت(ي) كل النقط و المناقشات اللي انا قدمتها و مسكت(ي) في موضوع انا عربي و لا مش عربي. سواء انا عربي او لأ متفرقش في صحة تعليقي او مناقشتي.

      Translated: I'm Arab and I'm willing to talk with you in Arabic all night. But that's not the point. You ignored all the points and arguments I made and got hung up on whether I'm Arab or not. Whether I am or not has no bearing on the truth or validity of my comments/arguments.

      As for the university's ties:
      https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/university-waterloo-president-signs-agreement-speaks

      It's not one of the countries I listed, yes. But it's Saudi Arabia. A country that whips and imprisons people for talking about liberalism, and beheads others for being a different sect (or for "sorcery" or "witchcraft", or drug offences, or many other reasons). I don't even have to spend a lot of time enumerating Saudi Arabia's human rights violations or just how horrible it is over there for way over 50% of the population. You know. Everyone knows.

      Even then, there is a debate to be had on whether ties to universities there help or hinder changing their government and ideas for the better. The point is that if you are burning with the passion of a sun to pass referenda indicting countries you think the university should not collaborate with, you're way, way off.

      Sherif

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    3. Meant @1.b

      Sherif

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    4. The slowest and most sincere of slow claps to this post.

      This referendum is stupid. Fuck people that drag me out my ingrained apathy towards student politics to keep them from causing harm to my school.

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    5. Beautiful response.

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  2. You fucking tool. This isn't a Feds issue. This is a fairness issue. Don't fucking cheat if you want your shit to be legit.

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    1. How so? How does cutting ties and ceasing communication make things more fair? Do you think its young people in universities that make the decisions that cause the suffering in that part of the world. Its all right though, you got to call someone a name. Day well spent.

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    2. @2.a. I think maybe you misunderstood what 2 was saying? They meant that the demerit/ruling issued by Feds was about being fair to both sides of the debate and following the rules of the referendum, not about favouring one over the other. They weren't talking about the fairness of ceasing communications with the universities.

      That said, agreed with the spirit and content of your comment.

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  3. Jews have consistently supported and contributed to Apartheid Israel. If you believe in human rights, I urge you to go and beat up a Jew. /s

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  4. TIL that the Feds Election Committee doing literally the only job it exists to do is "making up rules to benefit the NO side."

    ...I mean, I guess they are making up rules, in the sense that, at some point, a person had to think up and write Feds' Elections Policies... but I don't think that's what you meant.

    If you don't know the rules, then learn them, and campaign within them unless you want to be disqualified (and I would REALLY love to see a referendum where "No" is the only option on the ballot).

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  5. The fact that this referendum is happening at all disgusts me, on so many levels:

    1) It has literally nothing to do with FEDS mandate. I get that their bylaws say they have to do it, but it has nothing to do with any part of FEDS business, and they should change their bylaws to stop this from happening in the future.

    2) In what world is universities cutting off ties with each other supposed to fix anything? If anything, the lack of communication from outside academics will only further entrench existing social problems in Israel, and cause a worsening of the very problems this misguided effort is responding to!

    Definitely voting no. "Ethical Collaboration Waterloo" is clearly anything but ethical.

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    1. Well said.
      Not sure how Waterloo cutting off ties with an academic institution in a particular country would enact any change. Regardless, however wrong anyone believes these universities are acting, I guarantee you that the most liberal voices against Palestinian mistreatment would come from them. Are we actually trying to accomplish some sort of political change or are we singling out a particular country unjustifiably. If so I would love to see some outrage or talk of referendums against any Saudi Arabian, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, American, etc.

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    2. "If so I would love to see some outrage or talk of referendums against any Saudi Arabian, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, American, etc."

      So much this. Why are we having a referendum on cutting ties with Israeli academic institutions (which we don't have many actual ties with in the first place) when there are far more questionable academic organizations and countries that we have ongoing, active relations with!

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  6. In all seriousness, are there some steps one could take to call a referendum to defund WPIRG?

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    1. I'd sign that.

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    2. 1) Convince the Feds Pres to call one (he won't).

      2) Try to get Feds Council, Board, or a General Meeting to call one (someone tried the latter option a couple years ago, it didn't work).

      3) Do what these people did - get 2900 students to sign a petition for a specific referendum. Just be sure to do it before Feds inevitably changes their bylaws over this.

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    3. @ 6.b:

      1. Depends. The current President may be spineless and weak-willed right now, but who's to say that he won't change after he is re-elected (since he is likely running unopposed this year)

      2. Council likely would want to do it, but I doubt they would because *nobody* would want to vote yes to that and then get all the hate from students. Board could more feasibly do it because they are private, so nobody could target them individually for it, but I doubt the Board would ever make a decision like that. A GM would also be pretty impossible, because WPIRG would just mobilize and make sure that they don't lose that vote.

      3. Most guaranteed to actually work, but that is a lot of time and effort compared to the President or the Council routes.

      Bottom line, this should happen. At the very least, so that students can get to decide whether they continue to pay for these fees.

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    4. 6c, agreed on all counts, but the President would probably have to call a referendum on the other student ancillary fees - Imprint and the Student Refugee Program (not UPASS since we just did that a couple years ago) - in order to justify calling it himself. Otherwise he potentially risks opening himself up to legal action from WPIRG.

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    5. I'd be willing to put both time and money into this effort.

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  7. SJWs are the cancer of humanity seriously. I would sign in a heartbeat. The only way to get rid of WPIRG is for all students to fucking get a refund. Please cut them off from funds they make me want to vomit.

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    1. Whoops this was meant as a reply to 6.

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    2. See, I don't care for WPIRG, but I also don't understand this reaction to them. The socially aware/active are sometimes a little annoying, often more than a little overzealous, but I can't honestly say they've ever triggered my gag reflex.

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    3. For the benefit of 6 and 7, it's worth noting WPIRG is not the group that started this referendum.

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    4. Who organized it? Was it not the Palestine Solidarity Action Group, which is part of WPIRG?

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    5. I was under the impression it was Ethical Collaboration Waterloo, which is a third party organization.

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    6. It's not really a third party organization: http://ethicalcollabuw.org/about.php
      It's pretty much PSAG with a different name, used for this particular referendum.

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  8. Can we please keep politics out of university? This is a place for learning, please go fight your bullshit battles elsewhere.

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    1. Bingo, unless these universities themselves are acting seriously unethically in their own research and practices this whole effort is terribly misguided and contrary to the ideals of University and higher learning.

      A persons opinion of the actions of the state of Israel and the IDF should have no bearing on their vote on whether an academic institution should partner with another academic institution in the pursuit of knowledge and discovery.

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    2. "Can we please keep politics out of university?"

      //
      While I'm not happy that this referendum is being held (and plan to vote "No" just on principle), we cannot and should not "keep politics out of university." Outside of objective fact (which tends to be more background support to what is taught in a university), knowledge and the learning process is INHERENTLY political. Things are controversial, things are up for debate, people have strong emotions about different perspectives - and that's okay.

      The key isn't to keep politics out of university, but to confront those politics in a way that allows for the full range of views to be openly and comfortably debated. This applies not only to the material we teach, but also to how we teach it - how we operate as an institution. That's what it means to be a university.

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  9. Make sure to sign the student letter and pledge-to-vote form if you're voting "No", so you don't forget to actually vote when the time comes!

    http://votenowaterloo.com/

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  10. Also, if you'd like to show your support in a public forum, then go here:

    https://www.facebook.com/votenowaterloo/

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  11. OP why dont you shut the fuck up

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