Backgrounder: The New Israel Lobby in Action (David Noble) Canadian Dimension November/December 2005
Prof. Denis Rancourt is generally assumed to be at odds with the University of Ottawa because of his insistence on giving an extremely popular, ungraded activism course under the heading Science in Society. But yesterday's arbitration hearing, at which York University Prof. David F. Noble acted as Rancourt's advisor, seems to have yielded a different perspective.
The Israel Lobby Strikes Again:
Revelations from the Rancourt arbitration
By David F. Noble
November 6 2007
Going into yesterday's arbitration hearing all assumed that it was about a grievance filed by Professor Denis Rancourt against the University of Ottawa. Rancourt was challenging a disciplinary action taken against him for allegedly describing his course in a manner inconsistent with the course description approved by the Senate. But documents obtained in the course of the hearings suggest that, in fact, the dispute over the course description was merely a ruse and that Rancourt was rather the victim of a zionist campaign against his course.
On September 17, 2005 Rancourt sent out an email describing his upcoming course. Two Days later, September 19, an Ottawa yoga instructor named Shulamit Day-Savage sent an email to U of O professor Pierre Anctil complaining about Rancourt's email. In particular, she expressed concern about Rancourt's reference to a guest lecture by U of O professor Michel Chossudovsky, in which he included several links to websites attacking the guest lecturer as a self-hating Jew because of his criticism of Israel. Day-Savage took exception to Rancourt's note that such websites illuminate 'how Zionism intimidates free thinkers." Day-Savage has worked with the UJA's Jewish Family Services organization. In other unrelated emails Day-Savage had expressed her concerns about criticism of Israel on the part of anti-war activists. Her email to Anctil was signed only by her first name, indicating familiarity.
Since 2004 Anctil has been the director of Uof O's Canadian Studies Institute. A scholar of Yiddish literature and French Canadian Jewry, Anctil has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Israel Association for Canadian Studies, an Israel-based organization. Other Executive Committee members include a number of former presidents of the Canadian Jewish Congress and other leading Canadian zionists. Under Anctil's 'leadership', the U of O Canadian Studies Institute has established an undergraduate program in Jewish studies funded by Sarah and Zeev Vered. Vered owns the Ron Engineering and Constuction Company and is an important member of the zionist Jewish Federation of Ottawa, whose stated mission is to enrich Jewish life in Ottawa, Canada, and Israel.
According to U of O's counsel Michelle Flaherty, U of O Vice President Academic Robert Major was alerted to Day-Savage's email by Anctil. (No documents have yet been disclosed about this communication. It remains unclear whether Anctil contacted Major directly or through another route, such as the office of the President. President Patry was a participant in a zionist campaign against an academic boycott of Israel). On September 21, Major faxed to the Dean of Science Christian Detellier, Rancourt's superior, a copy of Rancourt's course description, together with a print-out of material from one of the self-hating Jew websites and a hand-written note: "va voir le site alternative voices où D.R. annonce ce cours comme crédité!" (exclamation and emphasis in original). The same day, which happened to be the very day that Chossudovsky was giving his guest lecture, Dean Detellier appeared in Rancourt's classroom and announced that the class would be cancelled. It appears that the U of O is trying to discipline Rancourt in response to direct pressure from Ottawa's Israel lobby, courtesy the good offices of Professor Anctil.
The "American Movement for Israel" decides who will get arrested on this campus, Julie Rowe, Daily Staff Reporter, Nov 27 2007