On September 19, HonestReporting Canada exposed how Sheridan College Professor Andrew Mitrovica had, in our view, engaged in hate by dehumanizing Israelis who serve(d) in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Mitrovica penned a column on Al Jazeera which compared the IDF to the mafia, an international crime syndicate, claiming that Israeli soldiers deliberately murder Palestinian children.
Mitrovica accused the IDF of being a “ruthless crew of gangsters” who “mutilate Palestinian boys and girls” and “slaughter Palestinian children of their humanity.” His hate-laced polemic went on to refers to the IDF as “Israel’s diseased, irredeemable army” made up of “unrepentant thugs” who “deem children to be legitimate targets.” Mitrovica said Israeli soldiers “forfeited the privilege of being called a human being.” In so doing, he engaged in Jew hatred according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, as he dehumanized the Jewish people of Israel collectively. As we know from history, dehumanization often leads to genocide.
Writing in The Post Millennial, Columnist Barbara Kay observed that:
Mitrovica’s piece fairly trumpets misinformation and hatred of Israel. That’s nothing new in progressive circles, but he goes much further than most Israel haters, who confine their (publicly expressed) hatred to the Israeli government or the IDF as an institution. Mitrovica calls out all Jewish Israeli citizens as evil.”… This is a blood libel. This is the language we associate with pre-Holocaust Germany. The Nazis couched their hatred of the Jews as a hygiene issue. They taught school children that Jews were like vermin, bringing disease into a healthy Aryan environment. Seen in that light, of course they had to be . The smell rising from Mitrovica’s malediction of the IDF is acrid with human ash.”
HRC and scores of our subscribers filed complaints with Sheridan College President Dr. Janet Morrison, as did Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre (FSWC), who condemned Mitrovica for authoring a blood libel, along with Hasbara Fellowships Canada, who sent the College a response from a Jewish student at Sheridan who feels targeted for hate in light of Professor Mitrovica’s remarks.
In response, Sheridan shamefully defended Professor Mitrovica claiming his views fall under their free speech policy. The following was posted to HRC’s Twitter and Instagram account:
In response, we asked Dr. Morrison: Does Sheridan consider that Professor Mitrovica’s comments were delivered “thoughtfully and respectfully”? If a Professor made accusations that were Islamophobic, homophobic or misogynous, would that be a problem? Are there any self-imposed limits to the Free Speech Policy? If so, what are they? If not, who monitors for criminal hate speech? Not surprisingly, Sheridan failed to respond to our queries.
As we told Dr. Morrison and Sheridan College, this issue is not about free speech, this is about a journalism instructor, who we contend, fanned the flames of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people.
Importantly, Sheridan’s own free speech policy prohibits: “Hate speech, speech that intends to harass, intimidate or is harassing is not allowed.” The policy says the following:
The first guiding principle of honest journalism can be described in three words – tell the truth. In this case, we have a so-called journalism professor whose efforts relay to impressionable students that they don’t need to deal with the facts and that it’s permissible to label Jewish soldiers as gangsters, Mafia hitmen, and people who are something less than human beings. Is this telling the truth?
Professor Mitrovica has demeaned himself and tarnished the reputation of Sheridan College and on Al Jazeera no less, a Qatari state-funded news outlet that is banned in many countries because of its antisemitism and bias.
Is this what Sheridan College stands for – a publicly-funded educational institution that champions the right to spew hate?
Take Action Now: Sheridan College has a fiduciary obligation to safeguard Jewish and pro-Israel students from hate. Call on the school to conduct an urgent investigation and to enact immediate disciplinary measures. Send emails to President Morrison at: firstname.lastname@example.org.