How a Pro-Palestinian letter led to crisis at TMU law school

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It was late October, a time when students at a promising new Toronto law school should have been focused on lectures and study groups. Instead, many were preoccupied and on edge.

The fighting in Israel and Gaza was thousands of kilometres away. But an attempt at student advocacy — a petition declaring “unequivocal solidarity with Palestine” — was threatening to unravel the mutual respect holding together the diverse campus at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Lincoln Alexander School of Law.

From Harvard to TMU, campuses turned into battlegrounds







Toronto Metropolitan University’s Lincoln Alexander School of Law was branded as “a different kind of law school” focused on equity and inclusion.




Petition demanded TMU law school support Palestinians

Debate intensifies over anti-Zionism







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Joshua Sealy-Harrington, an assistant professor at Toronto Metropolitan University’s law school, has been supporting the petition’s signatories. “The students who wrote this letter are not anti-Jewish, they’re anti-occupation,” he said.




Petition spurs public outcry







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Former Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Harry LaForme, seen here in 2008.




‘New McCarthyism’ decried by lawyers







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Dania Majid, head of the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association, said the law school’s characterization of the petition as antisemitic is “textbook anti-Palestinian racism.”










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Shiri Pasternak, an assistant professor in criminology, is part of a group of Jewish instructors who are concerned about the implications of the external review on academic freedom on campus.




A campus turned tense

Donors cancel TMU law school scholarships







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Adam Wagman, a senior partner at Howie, Sacks and Henry, said he hopes his firm’s decision to discontinue a scholarship “will encourage the university to really look inward and figure out how to make things better.”




A ‘Herculean’ path forward

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