I have attended several dialogical sessions organized by Norman Cornett, sometimes as discussant and sometimes as a member of the public. I have always been fascinated with his ability to raise difficult issues, and to let the students take responsibility when it comes to choosing their own position. He simply makes available to them a range of positions that they can discuss and critically analyze. So why is McGill not allowing him to continue his great pedagogical mission?
McGill is a great institution, but when it comes to criticizing Israel, academic freedom is greatly reduced. It is no secret for anyone who has followed Cornett’s story that what triggered the administration’s action was his giving a space for voices that dissented from Israel. Not only to these voices, as he also invited people who defended Israel’s colonial policies. But those dissenting voices were credible and visible. That was too much for McGill. When will McGill recognize its error?
Université du Québec à Montréal