Queen’s issues statement backing Israel/Palestine conference

Queen’s University has issued a statement in support of the conference titled Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace, held at York’s Glendon campus June 22-24. Here is the statement, signed by officials of the university and the Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA).

One of the core values of Queen’s University is a commitment to the vigorous discussion of ideas in a climate of respect for all. It has been claimed that the conference entitled Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace contravenes these values. On the basis of the content of the conference Web site, we find no evidence for this. The conference Web page calls for “measured and thoughtful conversations” and “robust academic critique of the deficiencies, promise, and perils of the range of prospective models of statehood”. It is also stated that “the scholarly goals of the conference are premised on the intrinsic value of civil dialogue and debate.”  These goals are totally consistent with the concept of academic freedom.

It should also be noted that the president of York University has expressed his support for the maintenance of the conference (see www.yorku.ca/presidnt/news/Academic_freedom.html ) as has the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (see www.sshrc.ca/site/whatsnew-quoi_neuf/news-nouvelles-eng.aspx ).

There is no evidence that any Queen’s faculty member taking part in the conference has contravened any academic principles or models of good practice.

Tom Williams
Principal and Vice-Chancellor                       

Patrick Deane
Vice-Principal, Academic                             

Catherine Christie
President, QUFA