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October 21, 2020


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Stan Nadel

High jacket AND attempted mass murderer. Remember that she attempted to fire a hand grenade inside an airplane in mid flight.

Stan Nadel

Hijacker— damn auto spell check

Prof. Kevin Heller

Academic freedom is the one area in which I almost always agree with you, especially given your willingness to condemn anti-Palestinian censorship. So I'm disappointed that you have not weighed in on the ever-growing scandal at the University of Toronto, whose Dean unilaterally rescinded an accepted offer to Valentina Azarova to run the law school's human rights programme after a sitting tax judge whose family has given tens of millions to the university complained about Azarova's past work on behalf of Palestinians.


We can add attempted mass murderer to Khaled's description given her attempt to set off a hand grenade in a passenger airplane in mid-flight. A comment that I agree with was And what would Mahoney have said about a speaker who called for segregating non-white Americans and moving them to closed reservations or concentration camps? Would cancelling that have won her sympathy for those who would feel deeply wounded by the cancellation? Once again we see an implicit double standard at work.


the comment I agreed with that didn't appear in my last post was:
President Mahoney did nothing. She's no Bollinger. As for “Zoom’s cancelation of the event will be deeply wounding to some members of our community who will feel themselves and their dissent silenced once again”, I bet that this is not a standard she would apply to a speaker whose text is, "Jews, you won't replace us." Frankly I don't care about deeply wounding some people. Plus, her comment dog-whistles "all powerful Israel lobby".

Steve L.

Sorry about the delay posting your comment, Kevin. It was stuck overnight in the spam folder for some reason. I'd been thinking of posting something on Toronto's Azarova case, so thanks for the reminder.

A non

Yes, please do, Steve. The Toronto case is fascinating. How, for example, does anyone know what (and how) was communicated - if anything - by the judge to the dean, or to anyone else? Were there emails handed over to the press to people at Toronto FROM the judge? (We know about Vincent Wong's emails: do these include communications from the judge?) Other forms of written communication? And from who to who? The Canadian press, for example, has quoted the CEO of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM, which is calling for an investigation into this debacle) that the allegations may be wholly spurious.

Is there any information that this was a hit job by those interested in perpetrating imperialistic lawfare - such as what Professor Heller does for a career - including the hiring panel members? (The usual suspects are "worried" about the judge harboring biases, which, rather amusingly, rather betray their own prejudices and hatreds.)

Further, did the provocateurs throw the postdoctoral fellow, Vincent Wong, under the bus by having HIM be the transmitter of emails to the press?

Prof. Kevin Heller

Here are some publicly available facts for readers who are interested in what actually happened:

1. The Dean has never denied being contacted by the judge about Azarova's past advocacy on behalf of Palestinians. His "defense" is that the phone call did not affect his decision to rescind Azarova's accepted offer almost immediately after he spoke to the judge.

2. Every email in the public record was released either by Azarova herself (the ones that were sent to her) or by the hiring committee members who received them from the administration.

3. As widely reported, every member of the hiring committee has denounced the decision and every member of IHRP's faculty advisory board has resigned in protest.

4. Vincent Wong, who has been one of the Dean's fiercest critics, resigned his paid position in protest of the decision. In other words, he threw himself under the bus.

A non

Thank you, Professor Heller. However, none of that really answers the important questions about what ACTUALLY happened.

How was it determined that there was phone call in the first place, such that the Dean was to be challenged accordingly for rescinding the offer on that basis? Did the Dean TELL the Committee, or others, that he'd been telephoned by someone - by a sitting judge - who didn't think the hire was a good idea, and so was rescinding the offer on that basis? What in the Azarova-Hiring Committee-Admin email exchange could otherwise possibly prove that information? Did they tap the Dean's phones, hack his emails, etc.? Did the Dean subsequently WRITE about the call in an email?

It's not for nothing that the NCCM qualifies its view by noting that this may ultimately be a spurious allegation.

Did Wong resign before or after providing the emails to the press? Was he prompted to provide them by his colleagues? Isn't it odd that the least powerful member of the group handed them over?

Please enlighten us on these matters.

Of course the Hiring Committee denounced the decision. They wanted their ideological hire to help their racist imperialistic lawfare project.

Leora Freedman


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