From a discussion with a Mohawk leader in a traditional longhouse at Kahnawake to an exchange with a justice at the Supreme Court in Ottawa, 10 Israeli university students were given an intensive introduction to Canada. These law students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew U) and 10 McGill University law students were participants in a new summer exchange program in human rights law. The young Israelis and Canadians spent a month together in Montreal, three weeks of that in the classroom at McGill taking five one-credit courses in Human Rights and Armed Conflicts given by McGill and Hebrew U professors.
This year’s McGill cohort was a diverse group, the majority not Jewish, and the Israelis, although all Jewish, held a wide spectrum of political views. They included both a veteran of an infantry unit who had seen combat, and a conscientious objector, said McGill professor René Provost, who co-chaired the program with Prof. Tomer Braude of Hebrew U.
Provost sums up the value of the program this way: “The students are getting a rare experience. There are not many programs where they get to spend a month with students [and faculty] from another country looking at global issues… For the McGill students, this was a way of demystifying a country that is represented in a certain way in the media.” But it’s more than that. Provost said McGill is “investing significant financial resources… [and], in a public way, is taking a strong stand that the academic boycott of Israel is completely misconceived and cannot be defended.”
Read more at the Canadian Jewish News