Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Yet again, controversy stalks Lorna

York's president Lorna Marsden is often accused of being too pro-Israel - except when she is being accused of being too anti-Israel. Controversy has popped up yet again in the form of a scandal regarding who gets honorary doctorates.

York's media release describes honoree Richard Falk as "an eminent professor of international law" who "has been highly critical of Israeli policies".

Translation: A man who accuses Israel of attempted genocide has been awarded an honorary doctorate of laws.

The Jewish Tribune article quotes Falk as saying “It was time to realize that the occupation was not only illegal and criminal, but an exterminist one that sought to obliterate the very existence of the Palestinian people.”

The Canadian Jewish News article offers a response by Osgoode's Dean who notes that the complaints are "unfair" since Falk is opposed to suicide bombing.

Well, that changes everything. He opposes suicide bombing. Call the Pope. Maybe there's time to squeeze in a canonization. Or the Queen. Knighthood, here he comes.

Google "Richard Falk" and prepare for some interesting reading.

See the problem with York is that they don't get that there is nothing technically wrong with giving a doctorate to an academic whose views are controversial. But the York admin gets all hot and bothered when people shy away from coming here because of the Mideast tensions on campus.

Deal with it, Lorna. You open the door to controversy, and now it's come in for tea.

In related news, Falk will be speaking at CUNY's Graduate Center conference on Al-Qaeda. I'm sure that will be a real treat.


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