Yesterday, I read about the disturbing case of Stav Daron, who had his application to a Canadian trade school rejected because he is Israeli.
Israeli civil engineering student and amateur carpenter Stav Daron, who initially spoke with Mako News reporter Ido Daniel, said that he applied to study at the Island School of Building Arts, a Canadian trade school specializing in wood construction and design.
The report cited Daron as saying he had wanted to study at the ISBA, located on Gabriola Island in the province of British Columbia, due to its expertise and prominence in the wood construction field.
According to copies of emails received by The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Daron had been in correspondence with Patricia Rokosh, the ISBA’s manager of the school and student services, since February. He mentioned that he is Israeli and wanted to sign up for a four-week course costing $2,500 CND. He had even purchased a book from the ISBA website by the school’s founder in order to prepare him for the course
However, when the time came to sign up for the course, Rokosh wrote back to Daron on January 25 that the school is “not accepting applications from Israel.” She said the reason was “due to the conflict and illegal settlement activity in the region.”
In his final email to the school, Daron wrote that “not taking applications from Israeli students just because they are from Israel is racism, which is basically what you are protesting against.”
Since the story was publicized, ISBA has apologized and rescinded the ban, with what looks like a heck of a lame excuse.
The school rescinded the ban Tuesday after Mr. Daron’s rejection was covered by the Jerusalem Post and his cause championed by Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and B’nai Brith Canada.
Patricia Rokosh, the school’s executive director, said in an e-mailed statement that the private trade school apologizes for the ban on Israeli students.
“After significant thought and listening to all interested parties, ISBA has decided to rescind any restriction placed on accepting students from Israel, is posting that on our website tomorrow and apologize for any inconvenience,” her statement read.
“This was a misinterpretation of a UN declaration and a mistake on the part of ISBA.”
On Tuesday, the owner of the school confirmed there was a restriction on students from Israel because he thought ISBA would be breaking the law by accepting them.
“Well it was a UN resolution by the security council that was done just last December,” James Mitchell said. “The law was condemning that it was illegal to build on occupied land in Israel.”
The school admitted it was naïve to believe those details and has since rescinded its ban.
“I’m wrong in that, but it wasn’t done under any malice, it wasn’t done under any prejudice,” Mitchell said. “I’d just like to say I’m sorry to all Israeli people.”
I call BS. It is hard to believe anyone would be of the opinion that a UN Resolution on its own sets domestic law. I am also willing to bet the school has never imposed a ban on any student from any other country in the world, including the worst human rights offenders out there.
Despite Mitchell’s mea culpa, I think prejudice was at play here. It seems the school did not anticipate the ensuing negative publicity from their horrendous actions, and once they did, reached into their pocketbook of feeble excuses and came up with this doozy.
They must have logs in their heads if they think we would eat this excuse up.
So I am glad this was Stav’s response:
Despite the school’s apology, Mr. Daron said he will not reapply and is now set to follow his passion for woodworking at one of several U.S. schools.
“I’m happy they changed their minds about accepting Israeli students, but I don’t accept it,” he wrote.
Please help us get the word out. Your support is appreciated.