TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
was recently made aware of a lecture given by Professor Cameron
Johnston yesterday at York University, which reportedly included an
In response, Sheldon Goodman, the GTA Co-Chair of the Centre for Israel
and Jewish Affairs issued the following statement:
"Upon hearing of this incident, we immediately contacted York University
as well as Professor Johnston directly. While York is currently looking
into the matter, it appears that a very unfortunate misunderstanding
has taken place. We believe Professor Johnston's use of an abhorrent
statement was intended to demonstrate that some opinions are simply not
legitimate. This point was, without ill intentions, taken out of
context and circulated in the Jewish community.
"Professor Johnston, himself a member of the Jewish community, may
regret his wording but should not see his reputation tarnished. This
event is an appropriate reminder that great caution must be exercised
before concluding a statement or action is anti-Semitic."
The Canadian Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is now the
spokesperson for all issues concerning the organized Canadian Jewish
community, including those formerly handled by the Canadian Jewish
Congress, the Canada-Israel Committee, and the Quebec-Israel Committee.
Statement from Professor Cameron Johnston
September 13, 2011
In lecture, I discussed that the course focuses on the texts and not
"opinions". In fact, I stated that for this course opinions are not
relevant and I questioned the common idea that everyone is entitled to
I pointed out that everyone is not entitled to their opinion by giving
the example of someone having an anti-semitic opinion which is clearly
not acceptable. This was an example of the fact that opinions can be
dangerous and that none of us really do believe that all opinions are
For the record, I am also Jewish which undoubtedly influenced my choice
of this example of a reprehensible opinion.
SOURCE Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
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