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Queen’s'Israel'on'Campus'Statement're:'Nick'Day’s'Remembrance'Day'

Remarks'

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I,#Mitchell#Rattner,#President#of#Queen’s#Israel#on#Campus,# speak#on#behalf#of#myself, # my#co= President,#Jacob#Martin,#and#our#executive#committee,#when#I#congratulate# Craig#Draeger,#a#member= at = large#of#the#Queen’s#Alma#Mater#Society#(AMS)#who#in#

the#AMS#General#Assembly#meeting#of#November#11,#2010#put#forward#the#motion#

that#the#‘ AMS#Assembly,#in#order#to#preserve#the#political#neutrality#of# Remembrance#Day,#formally#censure# Rector#Nick#Day#for#his#disrespectful#comment# at#the#Remembrance#Day#ceremony#in# Grant#Hall#on#Nov.#11#2010.’ #I#also# congratulate#the#AMS#on#passing#this#motion,#thus#formally#censuring#Nick#Day#for# his#blatant#lack#of#discretion#in#crafting#his#Remembrance#Day#remarks.# (A#full# transcript# of#his#speech#is#available#at#

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/258629/Rector%20Remembrance%20Day.pdf.)#

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We#support#this#censure#of#Nick#Day#for#the#following#reaso ns.#First, #he#abused#his# position#and#the#podium.#Instead#of#adhering#to#the#decorum#and#spirit#of# Remembrance#Day#and#paying#tribute#to# our#Canadian #soldiers,#past#and#present,# who#have#served#and#died#for# our! country,#he#used#this#opportunity#to#argue#his# opinions#on#a #range#of#controversial#political#topics.#Second,#he#blatantly#misquoted# and#misconstrued#facts#about#Israel,#its#policies#and#its# history#in#order#to#provoke# anti= Israel#sentiment. #

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We# are #offended#by#his#glaring#deviation#from#the#traditional# ethos#of#Remembrance# Day.#Remembrance#Day#is#a#time#to#be#proud#of#being#Canadian,#to#embrace#our# heritage,#and#pay#tribute#to#our#soldiers. #His#words#detracted#from#the#solemnity# and#purpose#of#the#day. # Given# his#position#as#Rector#of#the#university#which#places# him#in#the#position#of#being#the#students’#representative#to#the#administration,#and# given#that#he#was#asked#to#speak#in#this#capacity#by#Rev.#Brian#Yealland,#Chaplain#of# Queen’s#University,#we#are#shocked #by#Nick#Day’s#lack#of#judg ment, #sense#of#his# position,#and#overall#sensitivity#to#his#constituents.#He#alienated#and#offended#a# large#contingent#of#those#he#is#supposed#to#represent.##

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Additional ly,#we,#the#IOC#executive,#support#the#censure#because#part# of# our# responsibility#is#to#advocate#for#accuracy#when#it#comes#to#issues#related#to#Israel.# To#quote#Nick#Day’s#speech:##

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He![Mr!Day’s!grandfather]!would!have!been!dismayed!by!the! following!order,!issued!by!the!Israeli! Defense !Force’s!central! command!to!its!soldiers:!‘when!our!forces!encounter!civilians! during!the!war!or!in!a!raid,!the!encountered!civilians!may,!and! even!must,!be!killed.!Under!no!circumstances!should!an!Arab! be!trusted,!even!if!he!gives!the!impression!of!being! civilized. ! ’”# #

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Here#is#the#original#quote,#taken#from #chapter#2,#part#ii#of#Edward#Said’s#book# The! Question!of!Palestine .#The#differences#are#in#bold#font: # #

# “When!our!forces!encounter!civilians!during!the!war!or!in! the$ course$of$a$pursuit$or !a!raid,!the!
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“When!our!forces!encounter!civilians!during!the!war!or!in! the$
course$of$a$pursuit$or !a!raid,!the! encountered!civilians!may,!
and! by$Halachic$standards !even!must!be!killed ,$whenever$it$
cannot$be$ascertained$that$they$are$incapable$of$hitting$
us$back.$Under!no!circumstances!should!an!Arab!be!trusted,!
even!if!he!gives!the!impression!of!being!civilized.”! !
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Nic k#Day’s#omissions#betray# his#intent#to#condemn#Israel#and#inspire#anti= Israel#
sentiment ,#even#at#the#cost#of#false#misrepresentation.#
one#might#logically#conclude#that#this#quotation# reflect
From#Mr. #Day’s#presentation,#
s#current#official#government#
pol icy, #but #this#is#utterly#untrue. #To#provide#accurate#context,#this#quotation#was#
published#in#a#theological#pamphlet#during#the#1973#Yom#Kippur#War.# The# quote#
was#originally#issued#by#Rabbi#Abraham#Avidan,# an#army#chaplain#for#the#Israel#
Defense#Forces,#not#a#combat #officer#or#politician.#As#consequence,#this#quote#is#
therefore#not#government#policy;#rather,#it#is#a#rabbinic#interpretation#of#wartime#
Halacha#(Jewish#law).#Lastly,# following#a#condemnation#of#the#pamphlet#by#Mapam#
(an#Israeli#political#party),#it# was#retracted.#Nick#Day’s#decision#not#to#provide#any#
historical#background#further#emphasizes#his#desire#to#misconstrue# ‘fact’. #
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Although#we#do#congratulate#the#AMS#on#its#decision,#the#vote#of#14#yes,#10#no,#and#
11#abstentions,#indicates#that#there#is#a#need#for#greater#awareness#of#Nick#Day’s#
error.#As#students#of#Queen’s#university,#we#have#lost#faith#in#the#judgement#and#the#
abilities#of#our#Rector#to#represent#the#student#body#as#a#whole. #
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This#issue#must#be#resolved#by#the# Queen ’ s#community . #
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Mitchell#Ratt ner#
President,#Queen’s# Israel#on#Campus#
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If#you#have#questions#or#comments,#please#contact#Mitchell#Rattner#or#Jacob#Martin#
at#iocqueens@gmail.com #
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