Big thumbs down in Hell to b’nai brith, Rachel Notley, Lethbridge Herald, U of Lethbridge Board of Governors and President Michael Mahon!
Jackboots In The Canadian Academy. Freedom Of Expression And Inquiry Under Threat … Again. University of Lethbridge, Alberta by Robin Mathews, December 2017, American Herald Tribune
Freedom of Speech battles in universities often mirror problems in the larger community, and the one being fought at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, is no exception. It is conducted, on one side, by convinced believers as a response to alleged Anti-semitic positions which have surfaced there and which, the believers think, need relentless, radical, extreme responses. Conversely, the conflict looks, to some others, perhaps, as a program to create a huge smokescreen behind which representatives or friends or sympathizers of the State of Israel can attempt to cut off any examination of that State’s activities which might bring it into disrepute. And the quickest method is to brand any adverse references to the accounts of history held by the State of Israel as well as to any of its actions and policies as acts of Anti-semitism.
Forces wishing to dominate and to dictate inquiry and to control “freedom of expression” always seek to repress certain kinds of knowledge, investigation, and expressions of opinion.
In the late 1980s I was proposed for a year’s exchange with a professor in Simon Fraser University’s English Department – at the time dominated by U.S. immigrants holding U.S. citizenship. They rejected my presence at SFU – and were backed belligerently by SFU’s Canadian president who was quoted in the Vancouver Sun saying that he wouldn’t have Robin Mathews on his campus and he didn’t know a university president in Canada who would! (Amusing slander, but slander nonetheless.)
(If William Saywell’s comment sounds like an utterance by present University of Lethbridge president Michael Mahon it may be because both men appear to have fallen to thinking they could dispose of human persons in any way a passing whim suggested … and to make no bones about it!)
The U.S. citizen chair of the SFU English Department wrote me a letter saying that many people in the Department disliked my views on literary and cultural nationalism in Canada and did not want to give me a place at SFU to utter them. That was a ban on free (scholarly) expression. I took it to mean, also, that U.S. citizens intended to decide what Canadians could say to Canadians in British Columbia.
There was a battle. It was long … months and months. The national faculty body (the CAUT) was strong. It declared SFU in violation of academic freedom. At that point, SFU admitted it had lost. The intensity of the battle is hard to think of now – the basis of it is so apparently minor. Reports, however, were that “grown men” at SFU interviewed on the matter almost burst into tears. And, indeed, passions were running so high the SFU Administration asked me if I would teach from the Centre for Canadian Studies rather than from the bent, bleeding, and discountenanced English Department.
That battle was won at SFU for freedom of expression and inquiry! But the personal victory was muted because president Saywell and a few of his closest underlings, I believe, did everything they could in the next years to limit my effectiveness. No surprise. “The fortunes” one might say “of (academic) war”.
At the University of Lethbridge twenty-six-year professorial veteran of Native American Studies, Liberal Arts, Globalization Studies … and more … Anthony Hall has responded with invention, far-reaching research, and creativity to the hugeness of the body of knowledge he has taken as his province. In two large, scholarly, and fascinating works (The American Empire and the Fourth World (2003), and Earth Into Property (2010) Hall traces the oppression and exploitation of the globe’s indigenous peoples since the historic voyage to “the new world” of Christopher Columbus in 1492.
As a result of his wide-ranging research (and travel) Anthony Hall couldn’t fail to see the power and to observe the participation of the U.S.A. in what he names “imperial globalization”. Nor could he evade the intimate ties between the State of Israel and the U.S.A. Nor, of course, could he fail to see the huge influence the State of Israel has upon U.S. policy in the Middle East (a region populated with indigenous peoples, like the Palestinians).
He is, moreover, a scholar who believes genuinely that no subject worthy of study can be declared ‘off limits’ – whether Canadian culture and literary nationalism or the complex “Holocaust” in Nazi Germany operated preceding and during what we choose to call The Second World War (1939-1945). Donning the apparel of true scholars everywhere, Professor Hall accepts that there is no historical, scientific, or cultural fact – however apparently sunk in concrete – that cannot be revisited, re-opened, re-weighed, re-examined, reassessed.
Closer to home, professor Hall has paid attention to the rising tide of voices in the U.S.A. and Canada which claims the “official” account of 9/11 (of, that is to say, the destruction of the Trade Towers in New York on September 11, 2001) was, has been, and is the product of a huge Conspiracy by complex powers (involving U.S. government) producing a Conspiracy Theory created to mislead everyone and to place the blame for the event on people of Islam, especially in the Middle East … people, incidentally, who have become, it would seem, ‘by the accident of history’, enemies – in fact – of both the U.S.A. and the State of Israel.
And so … if more and more authentic voices are saying “the official account” of 9/11 was created by government and Secret Intelligence Conspiracy Theorists wanting to pin onto Islam the guilt of 9/11 … a question forces itself forward. If the formally accused did not … then who did organize and carry out the destruction of the buildings of the World Trade Centre (and of the building which, a little later, simply appeared to collapse into rubble without any apparent cause)?
Also, since September 11, 2001 an increasing number of so-called “terrorist” events and attacks have occurred all over the Western World and have (by persistent and often careful and scholarly non government-approved examination) been called by investigators arising in the population “faked events” or what is called “False Flags” undertaken (it is alleged) to terrify innocent Western populations and to condition them to accept “Islam” (in a hundred different forms) as the over-arching enemy of the peace-loving and (mostly) Christian West. In answer to the very active, very numerous, and wholly ‘un-government’ on-going operations and investigations into those “terrorist” events, Anthony Hall has found himself a co-host of “The False Flag Weekly News”.
It is hugely relevant to the whole subject (and especially to Canadians) that in July, 2016, Madam Justice Catherine Bruce in the B.C. Supreme Court declared that an apparent attempted “Islamic Terrorist Event” at the B.C. legislature grounds on July 1, 2013, was, in fact, wholly the work of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, [a major False Flag event] entrapping socially challenged converts to Islam, counselling them, coaching them, assisting them, giving them money, and delivering them to the terrorist site … and then arresting them as terrorist criminals … caught in the act! For all those who say that people questioning terrorist events are ‘conspiracy theorists’ making up lies – the highly organized RCMP criminal action proves absolutely that at least one State – Canada – has engaged in a major False Flag event in order to slander Islam. It did so employing hundreds of RCMP and millions of dollars of Canadian taxpayers’ funds (during the Conservative government led by Stephen Harper).
Subsequently, in answer to a call for a Public Inquiry into the RCMP, (Liberal) Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, responding for the Liberal, Justin Trudeau cabinet, expressed, in effect, approval of organized criminal activity on the part of the RCMP… what he calls in his letter the RCMP’s “major crime technique”. Nowhere in the letter does he refer to the request for a Public Inquiry, instead urging understanding and support for the Force he gives evidence of accepting as a criminal organization….
If the officially declared Islamic men did not plan, organize, and carry out what we call 9/11 … then who did? All possibilities are open for consideration. One of them is that the State of Israel was involved, wanting to influence the U.S.A. towards an aggressive policy in the Middle East. The claim may be completely false. Naturally, the hosts running The False Flag Weekly News, Kevin Barrett and Anthony Hall, would air the possibilities (among many others) on their weekly program. And they did … and, apparently Professor Hall was not unsympathetic to the idea that the State of Israel may have had a hand in the events of 9/11.
Then: in an astonishing event on Friday, August 26, 2016 when Anthony Hall was out of Canada, someone placed a despicable, violently Anti-semitic cartoon on his Facebook Page … completely unknown to Hall. With truly remarkable speed, organizations and individuals, some apparently supporting the State of Israel went to work as if Anthony Hall was wholly guilty of the posting on his Facebook Page. People from outside the University, a few who would normally be thought of as related to the State of Israel in one way or another, pressed upon the University Administration, the police, officers of the Alberta government…and more. (The Alberta government, it seems, has insisted upon keeping secret some of the names of those complaining.)
If one were to suggest the possibility that a carefully staged campaign was unleashed against Anthony Hall, one might not be wrong to so suggest. The University Administration filed a complaint against Hall with Alberta Human Rights. The complaint was rejected. And so the University Administration filed another one.
In an action (some believe) marked by intemperance and folly – without having exchanged a single word with Professor Hall, a senior academic colleague – president Michael Mahon of the University of Lethbridge ordered Hall off every University of Lethbridge campus and suspended him without pay. He did those things while completely ignoring ALL carefully constructed processes within the university for managing complaints against professorial staff. The processes are written into almost every university faculty/administration agreement in Canada and have been honed and improved over many decades.
Slander and libel filled the Lethbridge air to match the wholly unacceptable actions of the University of Lethbridge Administration and Board of Governors. Nonetheless, the national faculty body, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and the local Faculty Association held firm – the CAUT naming the University of Lethbridge in Violation of Academic Freedom, not a light designation in the university world in Canada. In a court procedure weighing the actions, a little later, the Administration of the university won over neither the judge presiding nor the Alberta government represented at the process.
And so on November 23, 2017, the University of Lethbridge Administration reinstated Professor Hall, lifting all sanctions against him and announcing it would also withdraw its complaint against him to Alberta Human Rights. After fifteen months of attempted Jackboot Justice, the Administration at the University of Lethbridge agreed to use the processes long set up to provide fair and impartial judgements of complaints against faculty members. At one level the return to civility by the University of Lethbridge Administration is a victory for democratic forces in Canada. But at another level its long hold-out, a period filled with injustice to Anthony Hall as well as being filled with violent language and slander, will long remain a scandal in the Canadian Academy.
On the same day – November 23, 2017 – a top B’nai Brith official declared that B’nai Brith is “outraged” at Professor Hall’s full reinstatement which is coupled with the move to due process in the examination of complaints against him. [Emphasis added]
Because of the almost total breakdown of press and media in Canada (including the CBC) … because much of the reporting of the matter dealt with here has been reactionary, brainwash propaganda, I urge readers to post this column and to send it on to contacts, friends, and elected representatives. R.M.
Academic Freedom and Responsibility: Understanding the case of Professor Anthony Hall Update by Academic Freedom, December 2, 2017
The news is mixed.
The good news is that as of November 23, 2017 Professor Anthony Hall has been reinstated to his position on the faculty of the University of Lethbridge after having been suspended for over a year. This accords with an agreement made between the Board of Governors, the Faculty Association, and Dr. Hall himself. The agreement was reached in the aftermath of a judicial decision handed down on September 15, 2017 that went against an attempt on the part of the Board to oust Professor Hall without going through the agreed upon procedures laid out in the Faculty Handbook.
The university has already set the course schedules for the spring term in 2018, so Professor Hall will not be back in the classroom at least until September 2018. In the meantime there are plans to set up a committee of investigation composed of members agreeable to both the Board of Governors and the Faculty Association to assess the validity of charges against Hall. Exactly what the charges are have been left unspecified.
There are no plans to set up a committee to investigate the failure of the Board of Governors to fulfill its obligation to protect academic freedom as set out in Article 11 of the Faculty Handbook:
“The Board and Association recognize the need to protect academic freedom. Academic freedom is generally understood as the right to teach, engage in scholarly activity, and perform service without interference and without jeopardizing employment. This freedom is central to the University’s mission and purpose and entails the right to participate in public life, to criticize University or other administrations, to champion unpopular positions, to engage in frank discussion of controversial matters, and to raise questions and challenges which may be viewed as counter to the beliefs of society.”
The wider context for this is that a series of wars have been prosecuted in the Middle East in large part because of the impetus given to a belligerent attitude adopted in Western states (U.S., Canada, U.K., etc.) in the aftermath of the atrocity called “9/11”. Canada has participated in some of these wars, though not all.
Many have wondered whether the finger of blame has been deliberately pointed at the wrong culprit in order to generate this belligerent attitude. But, as President George Bush said on November 10, 2001, soon after 9/11,
“Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th …”
Ever since, those who doubt the official story have been relegated to the lunatic fringe. Amongst these are Professor Hall and his partner on the False Flag Weekly News Youtube show, Dr. Kevin Barrett. As with the abridgment of Dr. Hall’s academic freedom, Dr. Barrett’s academic freedom was breached at the University of Wisconsin.
Is there not a conflict between the Bush directive and Article 11 of the Handbook?
Those of us who have studied war propaganda know that the theory that 9/11 was a false flag fits with the usual patterns of deception that take place prior to going to war. It may at first seem counter-intuitive that democracies would be particularly vulnerable to deceptive practices, but in fact they are. Under dictatorship, citizens are forced to do as they are told, but in a democracy a greater degree of consent is required – and so the wealthy and powerful often deceive the citizenry into doing what they want them to do [eg Synergy Alberta and environmental NGOs deceiving the public and harmed/concerned citizens by asking for regulations to enable frac’ing when it’s known that regulators and other authorities engage in fraud to help companies violate those regulations, or break the law too helping companies cover-up contamination and health harms]. The existence of such patterns does not, of course, prove anything about 9/11, but it makes the unofficial conspiracy theories about 9/11 seem less preposterous to those who are aware of them.
Universities have a responsibility to resist deceptive practices, and to pursue the truth on the basis of evidence and good reasoning. They cannot fulfil this responsibility if they do not have freedom from political interference. [And what about corporate bribery (aka “donations”) interference?] This is one of the central components of academic freedom. Not all professors need take on the issue of 9/11 of course. But those who do should have protection against the likes of the directive from George W. Bush. Without such protection, universities cease to be pillars of democracy.
This brings me to the bad news. The campaign to keep Professor Hall out of the classroom continues. As explained in the letter below this campaign has reached into the office of the Premier of Alberta. Now I actually am a fan of Premier Rachel Notley. She appears to me to be a good person, and not at all an enemy of democracy. But I believe she has been deceived and unduly influenced by the B’nai Brith.
The B’nai Brith has been sapping the life-blood of democracy by interfering with freedom of expression. Their allies collect information on individuals, professors and organizations, which they then target in order to silence them. Their information on Professor Hall may be found here. They have every right to collect this information, and to their opinion of the people and organizations they target. They also have the legal right to call for the dismissal of people they disagree with, but they do not have the legal right to defame them, as they have done in the case of Professor Hall.
[Judges don’t have the right to defame plaintiffs in their publicly released rulings either, but they do (even repeat the defamation in their prepare summary of the ruling for media), but, in Canada can’t be sued or held accountable for doing so. Our patronizing, make believe watchdog, the Canadian Judicial Council, says judges lying in rulings is “judgement” not conduct, thus is not reviewable. A farcical judicial free-for-all, eh?]
However, even if the B’nai Brith has the legal right to call for someone’s dismissal (without defamation) it does not follow that they are morally right to do so. Given their opinions of Hall and Barrett what the B’nai Brith should do is dispute whatever of their assertions they wish and engage them in an exchange of reasons why they believe that their own views are correct and those of Hall and Barrett are not. That is the democratic way. Should the B’nai Brith choose to take this approach, I will facilitate in whatever way I can – for example, by making pages on this website available for such an exchange. I doubt that the B’nai Brith will take me up on this offer, as they have not replied to my own comments on their website, as recorded here, but deleted them instead. However, my offer stands.
Better still, why doesn’t the B’nai Brith contact Hall or Barrett to ask for airtime on False Flag Weekly News? If they refuse it will tend to discredit them. If they accept maybe both sides can come to a better understanding.
Other email addresses you might wish to use:
Comments on anything on this site are welcome, but especially if there is something you disagree with. Just scroll to the bottom of this page and enter them.
Here’s the letter:
1 December, 2017
Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta
Dear Premier Notley
I must write to you, for if I do not the blood of many may be upon my hands. This perhaps sounds melodramatic, but I beg you to hear me out, and I shall explain.
In a press release on November 24, 2017 the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs expressed its disappointment with an agreement made between Professor Anthony Hall, the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association, and the Board of Governors of the university. The agreement spells out the details of the reinstatement of Professor Hall after he was abruptly suspended over a year ago without due process. At the end of this press release there is a quote which is attributed to you:
“There is no question that the views of this individual are repulsive, offensive and not reflective of Alberta. Our classrooms are a place for freedom of speech and expression but that does not mean individuals get to stand at the head of the class and spread lies and conspiracy theories. I am terribly disappointed to learn that this individual has been reinstated, but let me be clear that legislation that our government introduced did not give him his job back. I can confirm that this individual is now under investigation by a committee at the University.”
In addition to this you write in an email to allies of the B’nai Brith:
“We absolutely do not believe he [Hall] should be teaching students.”
The primary question I have about this is how you have derived your impressions of Professor Hall. Who has been feeding you information? As one who has been studying his views for over a year now I believe you have been misled as to his real character. The B’nai Brith has a proven history of tendentiously selecting evidence, taking quotes out of context, using semantic sleight of hand, galvanizing over-simplified public opinion, and generally being careless about whether they give accurate portrayals of those they wish to destroy. For example, in my Open Letter to the U. of L. community of September 14, 2017, I refer to letters sent to your office in the late summer of 2016 in which Professor Hall was defamed in a very extreme manner by misattributing to him a viciously anti-Semitic post put up without his knowledge on his Facebook wall.
I voted for the NDP in the last election, and still support many planks in its platform. However, the principles of freedom of expression, and of academic freedom, are more important than all other plans of action. [Notley’s NDP showed their anti-Charter views when they failed to file an intervention in support of Albertans having their freedom of expression trump the AER at Ernst’s hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada on January 12, 2016] Without these principles our plans, no matter how well-intended, will be undertaken in darkness. While this letter focuses on the case of Professor Hall, the principle at stake is much broader. If a lobby external to a university can orchestrate a campaign of defamation against one of its professors, and thereby have him fired, it creates an immense chilling effect on all academics.
On my website, Academic Freedom and Responsibility, I recently posted an open letter to Amanda Hohmann of the B’nai Brith requesting that she apologize for the role that the B’nai Brith has played in the Hall case. (There has been no reply.) The post of the letter to Amanda Hohmann alone has received hundreds of views despite the fact that I have been severely hampered in getting the message out by Gmail’s anti-spam policies. I believe that I can find a way to overcome the anti-spam problem, and expect that this letter I am now writing to you will receive thousands of views after I post it. I am hopeful that my alarm at your statements about the Hall case can be assuaged, and that I can return to my support for the NDP. But if not I will be campaigning hard in the next election for whatever party will stand most strongly for freedom of expression and academic freedom.
I would like to offer four objections to the quotes from you. Following the four objections I will make five recommendations for your consideration.
My first objection is that there is no specification of what the views are that are supposed to be “repulsive, offensive and not reflective of Alberta”. There is just this blanket impression that Hall holds some terribly odious views. You have no business making such a pronouncement at all, and even if you did you should explain which views you are talking about, and why you regard them as repulsive and offensive. As you know, the university is planning to appoint an investigation committee to evaluate his views. By issuing a condemnation from the highest political office in the province, how can we expect such an evaluation to be untainted by prejudice against him? By stating that he should not be teaching students you are making a judgement before an investigation has even begun. [Just like the AER finding Ernst guilty of being a criminal in 2005 without any evidence, no hearing, no trial, then 7 years later, filing in court that she is a terrorist, both rulings without any evidence, no trial, no hearing, no investigation, and punishing her without due process. Enter Supreme Court of Canada. They do the same as the AER, but lie to change the regulator’s lies – also without any evidence or trial – to AER finding Ernst to be a vexatious litigant. Judicial magic, eh?]
I shall be writing a letter to the Lethbridge Herald to protest the egregious unfairness of your statements. Not only does Professor Hall have to contend with vicious smears in the media, which have created popular prejudice against him, especially here in his hometown, but now also with the ill-considered judgement which has come from you. Before writing my letter to the Herald, however, I would like to give you the opportunity to consider my first recommendation below, and I will give you some time before I write it.
Second, I would like to offer an opinion contrary to yours. One of the primary views for which Hall is being reviled is his claim that the 9/11 attack was a false flag attack in which Israel First partisans are implicated. This differs from the official story put forward by the 9/11 Commission, namely that al-Qaeda and bin Laden were responsible. The latter story has been ensconced as the truth in the minds of many Canadians, but this acceptance of the official story is not founded on the results of scholarly expertise. Though I have barely scratched the surface of the evidence surrounding 9/11 my own investigations have been much more extensive than those of the average person. In addition to looking at arguments against the official story I have been looking for peer-reviewed studies that attempt to show that the preponderance of evidence favours it. Perhaps they exist, but I have not been able to find a single one. There are indeed academic studies that assume the official story is true, and go on from there, and there are studies that argue against some of the pieces of some of the alternative stories, but I have been unable to find what I am looking for: academic substantiation of the official story. If anyone reading this knows of such a study, please let me know. I am still looking.
As a result of accepting the narrative put out by the Bush administration we Canadians participated in the “War on Terror” and fought in Afghanistan. The B’nai Brith accepts this narrative, and says, for example, that Hall “has promoted the canard that Israel, rather than al-Qaeda, was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.” (The quote may be found on their post of September 28, 2016, titled Website says Holocaust-denying Professor Has Been ‘Asked to Step Down’.) If it is an indication of anti-Semitism for Hall to say that Israel was involved in 9/11, why is it not an indication of hatred of Muslims for the B’nai Brith to say that al-Qaeda did it? The B’nai Brith is being an inconsistent advocate for human rights, and this inconsistency has had, and is having, murderous consequences for the peoples of the Middle East. Surely the proper academic approach is to freely examine whatever evidence may be found for all views regarding who conspired to commit 9/11. How can such an examination be free if academics have to fear being silenced as hate-mongers? Hall’s views on 9/11 may cause cognitive dissonance, but, whether they are right or wrong, they are a courageous and honest attempt to defend the weak against the strong. This is not repulsive or offensive, and I think that this is reflective of Alberta. (For more on 9/11 and the “War on Terror” see Peace, Democracy and Academic Freedom – Aug. 2, 2017.)
Another view for which Hall is being vilified is his appeal for open debate on the Holocaust. He says in the 2 minute video found on their post of November 23, 2017, titled Holocaust-denying Professor Back in Classroom Thanks to Government of Alberta, that there should be authentic, honest discussion, based on evidence rather than propaganda. This appeal is what the B’nai Brith calls “Holocaust Denial”. Despite the fact that Professor Hall has never made the Shoah (Jewish Holocaust) a topic of discussion in his courses, the B’nai Brith has highlighted this as one of the indicators of his unfitness for teaching. They close the video with the rhetorical question: “Are these views acceptable for an educator?” Given that historians tell a variety of conflicting stories about the Shoah I must ask “Why not?” How else are historians going to come to rationally established conclusions about what happened in the past other than by open debate? How else are they going to draw lessons about how to avert such dreadful events from recurring? But the B’nai Brith seems to have come to a foregone conclusion that Hall is a Holocaust denier. When he calls for open debate they assume that he is doing so because he wants hatefully to deny it. For more on this see my Open Letter to Amanda Hohmann – October 27, 2017.
My third objection is that freedom of expression within the classroom, especially the university classroom, means that there is room for expressing false views. In the quest for truth various claims should be considered in all seriousness and inevitably some of these will be proven false. If students are to be educated, and not indoctrinated, the truth cannot be definitively declared before a sifting of the evidence. Of course no professor should deliberately lie (and Hall does not) but one of the purposes of a liberal education is to give students an opportunity to wrestle with competing ideas, not because they are all equally true, but because only in the contest of ideas in fair and civil discussion, in weighing evidence for and against, can students come to understand what is likely to be true and why. To give an organization like the B’nai Brith a veto power over what is going to be said in the classroom will inevitably lead to a distortion of the process of genuine education. If professors can be ripped from the classroom and denied their salary out of fear of being labelled bigots for going against the currents of popular opinion, or of offending some external lobby, or the university administration, or the government, then they will censor themselves massively – which, to some extent, they already do, but let’s not make it worse. I have expanded at length on this in my open letter to Amanda Hohmann, and will not comment further here.
Fourth, you say “that legislation that our government introduced did not give him [Hall] his job back”. I have been following all this, and I know that what you say here is correct. Not only is it correct, but from a procedural point of view this is the right thing to do in order to protect academic freedom. Hall has always worked in discomfiting areas, such as native studies, where some find the truth shameful. There will always be those who attempt to ward off recognition of the truth by attributing hateful motivation to those who try to tell it. If there is a need to separate honest truth-tellers from hateful story-tellers the task is best given over to those who have been professionally educated in the relevant areas of study. In this instance the university administration bowed to external pressure and tried to do an end run around the appropriate procedures laid out in the Faculty Handbook, which are part of the collective agreement. The ruling of Judge G.H. Poelman on September 15, 2017 tripped up this end run, and drove the faculty association, the university administration, and Professor Hall into a compromise agreement. The agreement does not address the failure of the administration to do its duty to protect academic freedom, but at least it brings all the legal wrangling closer to a resolution. This wrangling has been very costly in terms of time, money, and collegial relations in the university community. The upshot has been the decision to appoint a committee of scholars to do an investigation. Whether there should be an investigation at all is questionable, but if there must be an investigation this is the way it should be done. The B’nai Brith, however, does not like this way of proceeding.
Notice the title of this post of the B’nai Brith: Holocaust-denying Professor Back in Classroom Thanks to Government of Alberta. It twists the truth about what the Alberta government has been doing, making it look as if the Government of Alberta does not care about the propagation of anti-Semitic Holocaust denial. This is typical bullying propaganda from the B’nai Brith. You know, and I know, that this is not a fair representation of your views or of the views of other members of the Alberta government. I can understand your desire to distance yourself from this misrepresentation. However, you have allowed yourself to be rushed to judgement by the B’nai Brith in the way you are distancing yourself. The government, including your office, should have no say in whether Hall should be allowed back in the classroom. This is a matter for the professionally educated investigative committee to decide.
I turn now to my recommendations.
First, retract your statements that the views of Hall are “repulsive, offensive and not reflective of Alberta” and that he should not be teaching students. In doing so you will of course lose the support of followers of the B’nai Brith, but do not underestimate the fury of the electorate if they realize that a special lobby group has been undermining one of the foundational pillars of democracy: academic freedom. It is better to admit that you made a mistake.
Both you and I do regard anti-Semitism as “repulsive, offensive and not reflective of Alberta.” In this we are in solidarity with the B’nai Brith, but you will be joining the B’nai Brith in defaming Professor Hall if you do not retract your statements.
Second, issue a warning to the B’nai Brith that they must not use tactics of deceit and intimidation in their stand against anti-Semitism. Use of such tactics tends to be counter-productive, fuelling hatred against Jewish people, instead of reducing it. Moreover, use of such tactics for any cause, no matter how good, tends to lead to tyranny.
Third, I see on its post of November 24, 2017 that the B’nai Brith plans to make submissions as part of the investigation of Hall’s views. I cannot speak for the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association or the university administration, but I would be very surprised if they would accept such a submission. To accept a B’nai Brith submission would be unfair to all the individuals and groups who might also like to make a submission: for example, me, Owen Holmes, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, various Muslim associations, Peace organizations, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions organizations, and so on. To open up the investigation process in this way appears to me to be an administrative nightmare. Nevertheless, whatever is the decision made by the faculty association and the university administration about this, both you and I should stand by it. If this means that any submission by the B’nai Brith is ignored, so be it.
That being said I think that it would be a valuable thing to give the B’nai Brith an opportunity to lay out what it thinks the limits of academic freedom should be, and why, which leads me to my fourth recommendation.
Fourth, encourage President Mahon, or members of the faculty, to have the University of Lethbridge put on a conference about the limits to academic freedom. Perhaps the government of Alberta could find some funds to support such a conference. I am sure that there are many academics who would welcome the opportunity to participate in one. There is never going to be a complete consensus on where the limits should be drawn, but it would be very helpful to consider a range of perspectives on this for a variety of issues. It would also be a help for academics and administrators to know where each other thinks the lines are – not knowing this is one of the reasons why the case of Professor Hall has been a debacle. Holding such a conference would be a way of turning a bad situation around, and making the University of Lethbridge a leading light of liberal education.
Fifth, encourage an Alberta university to institute a course for university administrators and faculty on the history and philosophy of academic freedom and responsibility. Such a course could be a valuable component in the development of greater competence among individuals who need to be able to deal with this highly explosive issue that often erupts unexpectedly within universities, causing enormous damage.
In closing I want to come back to my opening sentence about having blood on my hands if I do not write to you. In addition to giving my attention to the views of Professor Hall I have been studying what it is that makes us humans go to war. War propaganda is a major factor. I have come to see the preservation of academic freedom as one of the keys to overcoming our blindness when those who want to profit by war manipulate and deceive us. This is too large a topic to expand upon here. Many do not see as clearly as I do about this and I am sure I do not see with perfect clarity myself. But I have begun to see, and so I write to you.
|Subject:||A victory for academic freedom (and common sense): Dr Anthony Hall wins big & interesting poll|
|Date:||Fri, 24 Nov 2017 06:13:03 -0700|
Many citizen now agree with some of the Jewish Hierarchy like Major General Yair Golan and Moshe Yaalon that Israel has become as Nazi as Germany before the second world war!!
Most Canadian citizens now recognize that more Jews fought for Nazism than against it—and totally reject the monument erected to those who tortured and murdered Canadian citizens! The meeting of nations around the world held in London-without United States in attendance was an eye-opener for the worlds citizens!! Canadians have been tortured and indeed MURDERED by the hands of Jewish forces,and there are Canadians outside our government and military who will always remember this shame on Canada for remaining silent!!
THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE AND THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE FACULTY ASSOCIATION HAVE AGREED THAT THE OUTSTANDING ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED CONCERNING DR. ANTHONY HALL WILL BE ADDRESSED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK. AS A RESULT, THE SUSPENSION IMPOSED ON DR. HALL HAS BEEN LIFTED AND HE HAS RETURNED BACK TO WORK AT THE UNIVERSITY. THE PARTIES WILL BE FULLY PARTICIPATING IN THE AGREED UPON PROCEDURES IN THE FACULTY HANDBOOK TO INVESTIGATE AND ADDRESS THE OUTSTANDING ISSUES. – NOVEMBER 23, 2017
Professor Hall was suspended more than one year ago following a witch hunt orchestrated by B’nai Brith Canada. The anti-Hall PR campaign was launched by an outrageous and illegal “kill all Jews” image surreptitiously planted on his Facebook page by parties still unknown. B’nai Brith and its allies falsely insinuated (and in some cases stated) that Hall was responsible for posting the image. The Canadian mainstream media, including CBC, dutifully echoed those lies and false insinuations.
At the height of the media witch hunt, University President Mike Mahon, apparently backed by the Board, unilaterally suspended Hall without pay. Mahon never even contacted Hall to ask whether Hall had posted the offending image! Mahon and the Board took the position that they had the right to fire any faculty member at will, for any reason or no reason, with no due process of any kind, in complete violation of the procedures of the University of Lethbridge Faculty Handbook. In response, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) issued a stinging reprimand to the Board, threatening to censure and sanction the University for its outrageous conduct. The U of L Faculty Association, U of L founder Owen Holmes, and others rallied to the defense of academic freedom, and the witch hunt gradually crumbled under the weight of its own absurdity.
Professor Hall and I will be discussing and celebrating his return to the University of Lethbridge this Friday, 11 to noon Eastern, on False Flag Weekly News, broadcast live on No Lies Radio and later archived at my VT page and also here. [Emphasis added]
Subject: Don’t Try Dragging The Jewish B’nai Brith up Around Me!!
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2017 09:22:43 -0700
I think the B’nai Brith should be told to go to hell- -and their right to exist within Canada denied!
It is one thing in Canada to have a government too eager for a seat on the U.N. Security Council– to go after Jews that pirated and tortured Canadians Citizens, or indeed purposefully murdered an Unarmed CANADIAN Military Major in cold blood for the war crimes he witnessed as a observer for the U.N. when the Jews Invaded Lebanon in 2006!!
We have no need of an organization in Canada that is a representative of a extremist foreign nation that uses torture to the point of murder and has stolen petroleum fields in front of the entire world that would and could lift Palestine out of abstract poverty!!
Anyone with a direct linkage to Israel- and exist to promote Israel and Nazism in Canada should not be allow any space to exist in Canada!! Both Major General Yair Golan of Israel and Moshe Yaalon have stated that Israel today is as Nazi as pre-war Germany—in their treatment of Palestinian prisoners!!
We also now know there were far more Jews fighting for Nazism than against it- during the second world war that cost many of us family members!!
No one will ever know the total shame felt by many Canadians- that Canada would erect a monument to those who brutally used a coordinated ground and air attack to purposefully murder an unarmed Canadian military Major who had taken refuge in a well marked U.N. Bunker in Southern Lebanon!! What Shame!! I would ask that Monument be removed and replace by an monument in honour of A brave Canadian who died at the hands of Jewish fighters we are asked and expected to honour??
The Manner our Major was put to rest by the Harper Nazi government has made Mr. Harper a hero among the Jews—but a total disgrace on Canadian University Campus’s, where the B’nai Brith are working hard to curtail the truth about Israel and Jewish factions!!
B’nai Brith, residents demand Swastika Trail street be renamed in Ontario town, The organization says despite the swastika’s ancient origins, it is inappropriate today for a Canadian street to bear its name because it is still used as a symbol for hate by Jennifer Horton, The Canadian Press, November 24, 2017, The National Post
PUSLINCH, Ont. — A major Jewish advocacy group in Canada is demanding that a municipality in southwestern Ontario rename a street called Swastika Trail.
B’nai Brith Canada started a petition Thursday after residents in Puslinch Township, about 75 kilometres west of Toronto, approached the organization for help.
The group says it will present the petition at a township council meeting Dec. 21, where politicians and community members will discuss renaming the street.
B’nai Brith Canada says residents of Swastika Trail, which was named in the 1920s, are embarrassed by the street name, especially when forced to use it on driver’s licences or other government documents.
The organization says despite the swastika’s ancient origins, it is inappropriate today for a Canadian street to bear its name because it is still used as a symbol for hate and racism.
In an online statement, B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn says maintaining the street name would also be an insult to Holocaust survivors and a “gross disservice” to veterans.
“Tens of thousands of Canadian servicemen made the ultimate sacrifice to combat Nazi tyranny,” Mostyn says. “Millions more were victimized by the evil depravity symbolized today by the swastika.”
2017 07 27 U Lethbridge Board vs Tenured Prof Anthony Hall, Alberta Minister Justice Intervention, Requests Stay Nasty!Alberta’s Minister of Justice intervenes in support of Anthony Hall’s case at Court of Queen’s Bench, but not Ernst’s at the Supreme Court of Canada
Thank you Prof Hall, for not caving to the lowly b’nai brith et al! ]