CBC Vancouver Radio Program Interviews Jewish Professor At McGill University Supporting Anti-Israel Encampments, Ignores All Criticism Of The Illegal Campus Occupations

On the May 6 episode of the CBC Radio program The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn, the host interviewed McGill University professor Daniel Schwartz, a Jewish professor (a detail Quinn was sure to note twice within the first 15 seconds of the segment) with the department of languages, literature and culture.

Schwartz began his interview by saying he’s “encouraged” by these “wonderful” encampments appearing on university campuses that highlight the plight of the people of Gaza, and “the Israeli apartheid that’s brought us to this situation.”

Listen to the full segment below:

Quinn almost immediately asked Schwartz about the accusations that these encampments are antisemitic. Predictably, Schwartz deflected this, saying that “as a Jewish professor [he’s] very concerned about accusations of antisemitism, but we can’t confuse actual antisemitism with a feeling of discomfort, just because this is an issue that one feels passionately about because one is pro-Israel.”

He went on to say that there are other Jewish professors and students at the encampment, as though the presence of a few fringe and non-representative Jews means antisemitism couldn’t be present, or that the opinion of a small minority of token Jews somehow speaks more accurately to the experience of antisemitism than the feelings, beliefs and opinions of most of world Jewry.

Indeed, one wonders why CBC hosts continue to raise this question at all, since they continue to only broadcast the fringe voices of those who provide them with the desired answer. If CBC was truly interested in student experiences of antisemitism, presumably they would interview one of those students who are speaking out against the encampments. But instead, CBC continues to find token Jews to provide plausible cover for the protestors, by proclaiming them acceptable.

When tokenism doesn’t offer the cover they need, at one point Quinn even parrotted the suggestion provided by rabid anti-Israel professor Avi Lewis, namely that perhaps any antisemitism we see coming out of these encampments was simply a product of “infiltration” by those looking to undermine the movement. This is the worst kind of antisemitic libel, and as old as antisemitism itself – to suggest that the Jews themselves are actually the ones conducting these incidents, so that they can gain sympathy and manipulate the non-Jews around them.

Given that Schwartz more than once, uncontested by Quinn, accused Israel of genocide and apartheid – both words with actual definitions, neither of which can be applied to Israel, no matter how often the accusation is repeated – it’s clear that neither guest nor host apparently appeared interested in adhering to the facts or in dealing with reality. Schwartz demanded that McGill divest from Israeli companies because of their supposed complicity in this imaginary genocide, while saying nothing about any partnerships or investments taking place with countries actually in violation of human rights like the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Indeed, given that McGill University sits on occupied indigenous territory belonging to the Kanien’kehá:ka of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron/Wendat, the Abenaki, and the Anishinaabeg peoples, it’s an interesting position to hold, demanding divestment from Israel while ignoring McGill’s own complicity in ongoing injustices towards Canada’s First People.

But perhaps not, in the end. After all, Jews are indigenous to Israel, so opposing the Jewish landback movement would be consistent with McGill’s – and Schwartz’s – apparent acceptance of Canada’s occupation of indigenous lands. The May 6 edition of The Early Edition is just the latest instance of Stephen Quinn using his platform to promote anti-Israel agendas and we anticipate that it won’t be his last.

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