Syd Ryan, leader of Ontario CUPE is quoted as going on record for beyond the pale in this Globe and Mail report:
"Attacking an institution of learning is just beyond the pale,” CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan said last night. “They deliberately targeted an institution of learning. That's what the Nazis did.”
I really could not care any less what a CUPE union calls to boycotts or not; although I do find something deeply ironic in calls for the collective punishment of Israeli academics as a protest against the any action of the Israeli government. I suppose collective punishment is all in the eyes of the beholder.
Anyway, I love blogging - if only because my archives are a hidden throve of information available at my fingertips. Let us revisit said bombed institute of higher learning – circa February 2007 via the Palestinian Authority. Ynet News report:
Kidnapped solder Cpl. Gilad Shalit spent most of his time in captivity imprisoned on the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza, said senior Palestinian sources on Monday. Shalit was kidnapped on June 25th 2006 and up until three months ago had been held at the university – a prominent Hamas stronghold – but arguments amongst his captors led to his relocation. The Islamic University is under complete Hamas control, with faculty members and students alike all loyal to the organization.
Within its walls there are not only regular academic studies but also military training and religious preaching. Palestinian officials have labeled the university a "sanctuary for wanted men" and they note that Hamas mastermind Yahya Ayyash fled from the West Bank to Gaza in 1995 and hid in the Islamic University for several months during the time he was being pursued by Israeli forces for his role in numerous suicide bombings in the 90's.
Ayyash and other wanted Hamas members took advantage of the fact that none but Hamas loyalists set foot in the university. That changed last Thursday when troops from Fatah's Force 17 raided the university campus, confiscating some 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles, hundreds of RPG launchers and massive amounts of ammunition. Fatah troops also uncovered a tunnel opening leading all the way to the Palestinian Police headquarters in Gaza City. Estimates suggest Hamas had intended to fill the tunnel with explosives and destroy the police building.
Of course, what would a university be without visiting foreign academics? Ynet News:
A Palestinian source has said that the Iranian general nabbed in Gaza by Palestinian security officers supervised the manufacturing weapons and explosives for Hamas.
The source told Ynet on Friday that the expert was in charge of several labs in the university, mainly chemistry labs in which he trained Hamas activists, most of them women, manufacturing the explosives. At least five Iranian citizens were arrested during a raid at the Islamic University, a Hamas stronghold in Gaza City. One of the Iranians committed suicide during the raid. Six to nine Palestinians were killed in the raid, sources said. The raid on the Hamas-linked university in Gaza was carried out by national security forces affiliated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Hundreds of weapons and a lathe for the production of Qassam rockets were seized in the raid.
A security official said that during the raid a Hamas commander believed to have orchestrated the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier near the Gaza Strip in June last year suffered serious-to-moderate wounds. Ahmad Jaabri is believed to have planned the cross-border raid carried out by gunmen of Hamas and two other Palestinian groups on June 12 during which Corp. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. The Palestinian source added that at least 20 women, some of them students, were arrested in the labs supervised by the Iranian expert, who was mainly involved in developing shells and rockets, but also explosives.
The source said that it was so far not clear what would happen to the general, who was still being questioned by Fatah members. Official diplomatic sources in the Palestinian Authority, including aides to Abbas and senior Fatah officials, refused to officially comment on the affair. Hamas officials also continued to strongly deny the report on the Iranians' arrest.
So where was Syd Ryan and CUPE’s voice of outrage back in February 2007? And just why weren’t there calls for an academic boycott of all non-Hamas affiliated Palestinian academics when Palestinian Authority forces raided Hamas U? I suspect - it’s because no Jews were involved - and there does seem to be a kind of pattern for that kind of thing here.
Perhaps, Dr. Dawg can offer up a rationalization as to how a university which stores hundreds of RPGs, thousands of AK-47s, masses amounts of ammunition, in addition to bombing making equipment is nothing more than a hallowed of hall of higher academic learning as he is rather good at that kind of thing, but I know, I cannot.