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Call to Action: University of Toronto Professor Rebukes Graduate Student for Connection to Hasbara Fellowships (Toronto Sun via Hasbara Fellowships)…includes petition

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Apr. 2, 2018

It’s no secret that university campuses are breeding grounds for anti-Israel misinformation peddled by student groups, campus media, BDS activists and others. But what is often less known is that faculty members are often very much part of the story, as well.

Recently, Ari Blaff, a Hasbara Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, contacted professors in the field of Middle Eastern studies, asking for their advice on potentially pursuing a PhD. He contacted one professor, Jens Hanssen of the Department of Historical Studies, politely asking for a meeting. According to an email sent by Hanssen to Blaff (and reported in today’s Toronto Sun), Hanssen blasts Ari for his connection to Hasbara Fellowships.

According to the e-mail obtained by Hasbara Fellowships, Hanssen writes:

“Now, you may be a graduate student at the Munk School, but you are also a Hasbara Fellow. As far as I know, Hasbara Fellows are Israeli advocacy acvists sent to North American campuses on behalf of…the new Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and International Diplomacy, the e-mail reads. He continues: “You are instructed to conflate Judaism and Zionism and are encouraged to give the impression on our campus that such criticism constitutes antisemitism,” and finishes the email by refusing to meet with Blaff due to his affiliation with Hasbara Fellowships “on ethical and academic grounds.”

Click on link above for Toronto Sun article, or here for petition, or here for full Hasbara Fellowship article and call for letter writing campaign.

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