Sheridan College professor engages in hatred by dehumanizing Israelis serving (d) in IDF

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There is an important line separating legitimate opinion which improves public discourse from inflammatory rhetoric which interferes with constructive dialogue.

In our opinion, it is alarming to see a professor at Sheridan College writing a baseless and hateful column against Israel entitled: “The Mafia and Israel’s chkillersWhich paints a grotesque and false caricature of the Israeli armed forces.

In his screed, André Mitrovica, a journalism professor at the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design, describes the recent death of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, and bizarrely compares the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to the Mafia, or as he describes, “a ruthless crew of gangsters posing as ‘soldiers’ who populate the IDF. In his eyes, the IDF is an organized crime syndicate and its soldiers, criminals. Snipers who kill the Children of Israel “are no different from mafia hitmen.

As Mitrovica attempts to portray the preteen’s death as a premeditated act of a murderous army, he conveniently omits a critical detail: that the boy was killed during violent clashes on the border between Gaza and Israel controlled by Hamas, where rioters threw explosives and tried to cross the barrier into Israel. Because if this detail were mentioned, readers would understand that there is a chasm of difference between an act of premeditated murder and a victim of war. More so, the fact that a 12-year-old boy was at the forefront of a violent riot on the border with Israel raises the question of whether the boy was recruited in the conflict by Hamas terrorists, as it has done with other child soldiers in the past.

Mitrovica weakly attempts to compare the Israel Defense Forces to the Mafia, claiming that both groups target children indiscriminately. While such nonsense may be worthy of posting on Al Jazeera, they are blatantly untrue. Israel faces relentless terrorist threats to the lives and safety of its civilians, who were bombarded by more than 4,000 Hamas rockets last spring. Israel acts in an extraordinary way sober and targeted way in the face of such violent and heinous terrorism, whether it comes from Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad or other groups. One cannot imagine another country that would tolerate incessant terrorism, calling for its destruction, indiscriminate rockets fired at its centers of civilian population, all emanating from the incessant incitement to hatred peddled by Hamas, the cult of the genocidal, homophobic and medieval Islamist death who rules Gaza with an iron fist.

While factual omissions like this are reason enough to dismiss the Mitrovica column, it is the least of the problems. While reasonable voices may disagree on the policies or actions of the IDF, in our opinion it goes far beyond that line. The biggest problem is that, throughout his editorial, Mitrovica repeatedly dehumanizes all Israelis who serve in their country’s armed forces – which, with few exceptions, applies to the vast majority of Israeli Jews. who reach the age of 18.

Mitrovica calls the Israeli armed forces “Sick and irrecoverable army” and said that Israeli soldiers who tried to protect their border with Gaza from a violent riot of armed infiltration attempts have “lost the privilege of being called a human being.”

But Mitrovica does more than spread factual errors; in our opinion, he is peddling the very fiery hatred that he accuses Israel of perpetrating. As the famous saying goes, “when you point the finger at someone else, you have four pointing fingers at you.”

Even beyond the disinformation sprinkled throughout his column, Mitrovica, in our opinion, adds to the continuing frenzy of hatred against Israel and its Jewish population. He is attempting to strip humanity of the vast majority of Jews in Israel, who have served in the army, are currently serving in the army, or who will one day serve in their country’s army.

Especially the IHRA Definition of anti-Semitism maintains that: by “Make false, dehumanizing, demonizing or stereotypical allegations about the Jews …” is anti-Semitic or in layman’s terms: hatred of Jews.

History has shown with tragic regularity what happens when the propagandists try to dehumanize “the other” and present him as sub-human. The Nazis did this to the Jewish population of Europe over 80 years ago, and more recently the Serbian government has dehumanized ethnic Albanians, and in Rwanda the Tutsi minority has been largely dehumanized. In all of these cases, dehumanization preceded genocide.

Andrew Mitrovica does more than spread false information against Israel; he portrays millions of Israeli Jews as less than human. History has shown the high price paid when this kind of language is used.

In our opinion, Sheridan College, and indeed Ontario taxpayers in general, should be outraged that a speaker teaching impressionable young minds is spreading this kind of hate propaganda.


Make your voice heard by bringing your concerns about Professor Andrew Mitrovica’s hateful comment directly to Sheridan College. Please send thoughtful comments to Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice-Chancellor of Sheridan College at tracy.smith@sheridancollege.ca. Please refer to his September 8 column on Al Jazeera: “The Mafia and the Killers of Israel’s Children”. Please also tweet your conviction labeling @DrJanetMorrison To @SheridanCollege.

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