Letter to the Editor 

To the Editor,

In his recent letter to the Journal, Prof. Eric Shragge objected to the presence of President Judith Woodsworth at a conference of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, held at Concordia this summer. He states that “the conference was held in an atmosphere that is in flagrant violation of academic freedom.” Yet last winter, Prof. Shragge's name appeared on a petition which called for an academic boycott of Israel.

I have read a fair amount of Mideast history by historians of various stripes, and in my view, things are not so one-sided as that facile petition makes out, and its allusions to South African Apartheid are particularly simplistic and inaccurate. But be that as it may, if academic freedom is so lofty a principle as Prof. Shragge's letter implies, should it not be applied evenly?

Dr. R.J. Stern
Department of Mathematics and Statistics


Concordia University