Canadian Professor Target of anti-Semitic Vandalism

Canadian Political Science Professor Julien Bauer was the target of anti-Semitic vandalism this week. According to Canada’s National Post, Bauer is “an outspoken defender of Israel” who is “used to having his views challenged.” However, says The Post he was surprised by graffiti that he found scrawled on the door of his office.

Vandals had written messages such as, “Heil Israël” on his door and had called Bauer himself “stupid.” According to The Post, because Bauer’s office is in a remote location, and because the vandals “knew to use an accent on Israel”, Bauer believed that students were responsible.

According to The Montreal Gazette, both The Center for Israel and Jewish affairs and the head of Bauer’s department condemned the vandalism, with the department head calling it “unacceptable.”

Bauer himself, said The Gazette, said that he was “not afraid.”  The Gazette also reports that David Ouellette, associate director of public affairs for The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said that Bauer was not the only target of such vandalism. “There are all sorts of acts of intimidation against Jewish professors who declare their solidarity with Israel,” he said.

One of Bauer’s colleagues, Normand Baillargeon, a professor specializing in philosophy of education at the university, wrote a defense of Bauer on a Voir Montreal blog. “He suggested that Bauer’s comments about anti-Israel protesters may have provoked the vandalism of his office. Bauer, say Baillargeon, had called those who protested against Israel “fools.” Bauer also allegedly suggested that the students who participated in such events had “a low intellectual level.”  Furthermore, according to Baillargeon, Bauer had called those who participated in protests against Israel racist and said that they “served evil.”

While Baillargeon said that Bauer’s views upset him and that he “did not like the insults he uttered”, he also said that Bauer had a right to his own views. Baillargeon said that because Bauer was citizen and a professor at the university, Bauer’s right to express his views ought to be “jealously protected.”

Baillargeon also said that those unhappy with Bauer’s ideas, should respond to him, not with intimidation or vandalism, but “in the context of real and hopefully peaceful debate.”

Filed Under: Politics


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Miranda Flint About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda

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