Dangerous Dissent?: Critical Pedagogy and the Case of Israeli Apartheid Week

  • Evelyn Hamdon University of Alberta
  • Scott Harris


This paper constitutes an examination of what is perceived to be a backlash with respect to Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) and similar educational campaigns. In it we review recent writings which relate to the importance of critical pedagogical spaces, and which problematize the emerging pushback against popular and political educational efforts to critique the occupation of Palestine. We also examine the history of IAW and chronicle attempts (within the Canadian context) to silence organizers and teachers associated with IAW. Finally we discuss the implications of this for further organizing and teaching about Palestine. Some of the questions at the heart of this paper are, “Why is this form of social justice education perceived to be so dangerous?”, “Where is the impetus coming from to silence this form of popular education” and “What are the implications of these types of surveillance and silencing.”