AT A TIME when Israel, backed by the United States and Canada’s power elite, is calling for all-out war to destroy Iran; even having a U.S. Zionist pundit call-out in the media for U.S. President Obama to be assassinated by Israel if he won’t attack Iran (as recently reported in the Globe and Mail)…

At a time when a major regional war is threatened to satisfy Israeli regime ambitions…

What better time for two university presidents—two champions of Canadian government-sanctioned human rights advocacy—Allan Rock and Lloyd Axworthy, to point out (in the Huffington Post, Jan. 5) Iran’s human rights violations against Iranian Baha’i educators who had their University of Ottawa degrees stripped from them by the Iranian government?

It is heartening to see these men of principle call out for the protection of human rights irrespective of the political circumstances. In their own words: “Those who support human rights, who believe in access to education, and who deplore repressive governments are increasingly speaking out.”

Does this mean that we can soon expect our two academic champions of human rights to jointly and publicly denounce the lack of access to higher education for the occupied Palestinians of Gaza, mainly due to Israel bombing schools, hospitals, and public health infrastructure?
I hope so. But somehow I fear this will not occur soon.

This author does not minimize the human rights abuses of Iran or of any state, Canada included. But it seems to this author that influential citizens should be first concerned with the human rights abuses of their own nation and nation’s allies, since that is where these concerned actors have the greatest potential influence and responsibility.

Denis Rancourt
Former professor of physics
and U of O alumnus