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What Is Happening at the University of Calgary?

Is Anti-Israel treachery afoot at the University of Calgary? Right now it may not be such an unreasonable question.

Clearly anti-Israel bias has taken root deeply at the institution.

First, there was the matter of Saima Jamal. After an anti-israel protest organized by her turned into an all-out riot in which numerous pro-Israel counter-protesters were assaulted, Jamal boasted on Facebook that these counter-protesters would never show their faces at a protest in Calgary again. This, while she purported to offer an apology on behalf of her organization. There was no move made by her group to bring the assailants to justice, despite rumblings from within the group itself indicating that Jamal knew who some of the assailants were.

Confoundingly, Jamal is the director of "Peace Studies" at the University of Calgary.

That was one thing. Now, courtesy of Annette Tezli's Sociology 206 course -- the subject is "Canadian Society" -- there is further reason for concern.

Despite promises to Calgary United With Israel, a largely-Jewish group -- Tezli is still requiring students taking her course to purchase Cultures of Prejudice: Arguments in Critical Social Science. In the book, author Judith Blackwell essentially adopts the fatuous argument that social science is at its best when practitioners reject an "even-handed" approach and instead embrace certain facts at the expense of others. In other words, Blackwell argues that the best sociology is blatantly biased. This says a lot about the current state of sociology.

Blackwell applies this perspective rigorously. She indemnifies King Hussein of Jordan for the massacre of Palestinians by blaming the presence of Palestinians in Jordan on an expulsion of Palestinians from Israel that never actually took place. She insists that Osama Bin Laden merely demanded that Israel vacate any territories occupied after the Six Days War in 1967. That's false: Bin Laden demanded the complete abandonment of Israel so as to incrase the ease with which it could be destroyed.

So it's for good reason that Calgary United With Israel objected to the use of this textbook in a university classroom. It contains some rather blatant and deliberate distruths. The University of Calgary promised that the book would not be used.

Instead,the book is not only still in use, but it remains mandatory. Is the University of Calgary becoming a bastion of anti-Israel extremism?

It's certainly looking that way.

Correction June 4, 2014 - I have been advised by Calgary United for Israel (CUI) that it was in fact the Calgary Jewish Federation that extracted the promise from the University of Calgary that Cultures of Prejudice would no longer be used in U of C classrooms.