York University’s Zionist Star Chamber fails to intimidate student, professor

When last I wrote about Daniel Freeman-Maloy on July 8, he had just been banned from the York University campus for three years for using a megaphone. You read that right.

At the time, I mentioned that the university had to reverse this absurd and indefensible edict or else replace the “o” of York with the Star of David to be up-front about the institution’s subservience to Israeli interests.

Well, Freeman-Maloy returned to class in September, but my demand for the vowel replacement still stands. The university withdrew the punishment, not out of a sense of honesty or justice, but because it failed to manoeuvre Freeman-Maloy into a rigged Star Chamber-like “discipline tribunal.” Now, York is facing a $850,000 lawsuit for abuse of power, defamation and breach of academic freedom.

Another reason concerns the conduct of the university and the Canadian Zionist… er, Jewish Congress toward history professor David Noble. After a film screening sponsored by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights in late November, Noble handed out copies of The Tail that Wags the Dog (Suggestions for Further Research), a memorandum he wrote exposing the pro-Israel connections of individual directors of the York University Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm.

CJC attack poodle Bernie Farber wailed “anti-Semitism” (big surprise!) and York accused Noble of disseminating “hate literature.” Noble, who is Jewish, has begun a libel action against the CJC and the university.

The stories of Freeman-Maloy and Noble are related and illustrate a disturbing fact common to tyrannies–”the setting up of tribunals to prosecute political dissenters. In these Star Chambers, the outcome is a foregone conclusion because the accused cannot avail himself of the rights he would otherwise have in a court of law.

On July 19, 2004, Madame Justice Epstein of the Ontario Superior Court refused a motion from the university and its president Lorna Marsden to quash Freeman-Maloy’s petition for a judicial review in light of an impending disciplinary tribunal. Epsteins’s reasoning cut to the heart of the university’s duplicity. We’ll only consider two factors for brevity’s sake.

Even though the court will generally quash or stay a petition in the face of an “adequate alternative remedy,” the mere existence of a remedy is not enough; it must meet judicial standards. One of these concerns the nature of the appellate body:

“There is a serious question about whether the University has the jurisdiction to call the hearing of the discipline tribunal in the manner in which it did. In my view the disciplinary hearing is not an adequate forum for resolving, at first instance, this important jurisdictional issue. I say this for a number of reasons not the least of which is that there is no meaningful appeal route from the decision of the discipline tribunal. When pressed on this point, counsel for the University and President Marsden conceded that any appeal Mr. Freeman may wish to take from the decision of the discipline tribunal would be to President Marsden, herself.” (Para. 22).

A second factor concerned the issue of “convenience”; that is, whether “irreparable harm” would be done to Freeman-Maloy if the tribunal were to take place:

“In this case the harm relates to Mr. Freeman-Maloy’s being caught in a procedural nightmare while the time is fast approaching when his next school year will begin. The combined effect of the questionable validity of the discipline tribunal together with the uncertainty surrounding the timing of the tribunal’s ability to deal with the matter over the summer causes me to conclude that Mr. Freeman-Maloy’s academic career may be irreparably harmed if he is forced to participate in the hearing before the discipline tribunal.

“I find that the discipline hearing… is of questionable jurisdictional validity and deprives Mr. Freeman-Maloy not only of many of the safeguards to which he is entitled under the University’s own procedures but also of many of the protections afforded by the rules of natural justice. In these circumstances, the motion to quash the application for judicial review is dismissed and the cross-motion to stay the hearing of the discipline tribunal is allowed.” (Paras. 33, 36.)

Rather than face the expense and humiliation of certain defeat, the university withdrew the punishment and condescendingly told Freeman-Maloy he was being given another chance to prove himself. Actually, it would be the university that would again “prove itself.”

On Oct. 26, five undergraduate and graduate students, one of whom was Freeman-Maloy, received letters of warning against assembling without a purpose. Their heinous crime? Holding a candlelight vigil for the 56 Palestinians murdered during the bloodiest day of the Zionist Occupation Force’s recent invasion of the Gaza Strip. This latest affront to free speech was too much for Professor Noble; hence, the memo.

“The recent decisions by the Y[ork] U[niversity] president and Board of Governors to discipline pro-Palestinian activists (notably the suspension of Daniel Freeman-Maloy) and otherwise to clamp down on campus protests, appear to reflect the strongly pro-Israel orientation of the YUF[oundation].” (Para 3)

(Noble had hired Freeman-Maloy to be a research assistant, but the campus ban hindered his ability to work. Noble has filed a union grievance for lost research.)

As Noble wrote in the memo, the YUF was formed in 2002, and is the “tail that wags the dog” –”the dog being the university. He began by describing the conspicuous cross-membership between the two bodies, including the fact that university president (Marsden) and its chairman of the board of governors (Marshall Cohen) also sit on the YUF board.

He went on to describe the co-optation of the York Federation of Students by two members of Young Zionist Partnership, and the political influence that led to the Argonaut football stadium being located at the university.

But the real controversy concerned his listing of 11 YUF directors, six of whom hold or have held a high position in the United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto, Of these 11, three have direct ties to Israel:

Alonna Goldfarb–”partner, Intelligence Marketing (family business with father Martin Goldfarb), one of whose major clients is State of Israel bonds, the development corporation for Israel.

Julia Koschitzky–”Chairwoman, Israel NOW consortium, board member UJA, United Israel appeal of Canada, Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy), Jewish Agency for Israel, National Jewish campus Life (with Leslie Gates, Heather Reismann and the late Israel Asper.)

The CCIJA, of course, is the new zionist pressure group formed by Reismann, Asper and others that is subverting our foreign policy.

Howard Sokolowski–”Co-chairman UJA 2003 campaign, with wife Linda Frum (sister of David Frum), vice-chairman UJA; Israel Emergency Fund, etc.

Clearly, Freeman-Maloy had no hope of a fair hearing, and Noble had every right to expose the Israel-firsters who stifle legitimate dissent, and are the real propagators of hate.