Open Letter to Queens University Principal
Dr. Patrick Deane
Principal and Vice Chancellor
351 Richardson Hall
74 University Avenue
16 May 2021
Dear Principal Deane;
It's been a long week for all of us who are standing in defence of the State of Israel. As you may have noticed, a propaganda campaign of defamation is underway to delegitimize Israel's right to exist, its sovereignty and the Jewish people's connection to the the land.
Within this spectrum, I was shocked to learn this afternoon that The Queens Journal released a defamatory statement exclusively in support of the Palestinian community. As you can imagine, I have received numerous messages and letters of concern from Queens University students, parents and alumna.
The language in the attached letter is horrifying, especially its false premise that reads: "this occupation is a result of the settler colonial state enforced by the IDF and backed by western powers". Unfortunately, this decontextualized falsehood can influence students who may not be as informed about historical circumstances which have led to this latest conflict.
Moreover, the Journal has advised that it will be donating to the BDS movement this month. As you well know, BDS has been widely recognized as a movement that foments hate against Jews. It has been recognized as such by our own government, the United States and the European Union. I understand that many Jewish students are demanding a refund from the mandatory fee to the Journal, given the fact they do not want to support these policies.
Its this exact behaviour on our university campuses that has fuelled hatred of Jewish people and anti-Israel sentiment over the last twenty years. I encourage you and your university to take steps to rectify the assertions made by the Journal and ensure that student funds are not there to incite hatred.
In writing to you at this late hour, I hope that together we can help foster a level of decorum and inclusivity for all at your university.
I look forward to your reply and can be reached at email@example.com
Avi Abraham Benlolo, BA MA, Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa)
Order of Vaughan, Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, Race Relations Award
ABOUT: Avi Abraham Benlolo has been described as the nation's most prominent and noted expert in Holocaust studies, in countering Antisemitism and promoting human rights. He has dedicated nearly three decades in executive capacities, was founding President and CEO of a major organization in the Jewish community, has raised over $150 million for charities and is a leading voice in Canada. His academic research, graduate degree, Ph.D. coursework and nearly three decades of professional work has focused on these arenas in addition to peace and security in the Middle East. He has published hundreds of articles in these areas. In recognition of his national and international leadership in this area, he has received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate from a prestigious Israeli university for his work in Holocaust studies and combating antisemitism; an Order of Vaughan for his distinguished contribution to anti-racism, equity and diversity; the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to Canada and a race relations award for best practice, based on distinguished service in promoting human rights.
As a supporter of Israel, he is proud to have established "The Avi Benlolo Scholarship Fund in National Security" at Haifa University.