UWOFA Bargaining Bulletin – Vol. 8, No. 4
June 23, 2022
April 16th, 2021
UWOFA unequivocally supports the academic freedom of its members. This freedom includes the right to pursue research and open inquiry in an honest search for knowledge that is free from institutional censorship, including that of the government. UWOFA opposes antisemitism and all forms of racism and hatred. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Antisemitism poses a serious threat to academic freedom at the University of Western Ontario and in our broader community. The IHRA definition of antisemitism misconstrues antisemitism to include a broad range of criticism of the State of Israel. The IHRA definition thus undermines important anti-racist and decolonial initiatives in Canadian educational institutions. It can also be used to censor political speech and restrict the academic freedom of teachers and researchers who have developed critical perspectives on the policies and practices of the State of Israel. Such targeted attacks will have a chilling effect on the academic freedom of our members in the classroom, in their research, and in campus politics more broadly.