An Open Letter Addressed to Concordia Students Regarding CUTV

Dear Concordia Students,

My name is Abigail Hirsch, and I served as a dedicated volunteer at Community University Television (CUTV) for two years under previous management. I am writing to express my concerns about the current state of CUTV and its potential impact on our student community.

As you know, CUTV is funded by your student association fees, which you contribute along with your Concordia fees. It is crucial that the organization, representing the entire student body, adheres to principles of fairness and honesty and avoids divisive or discriminatory practices.

Regrettably, I have observed a noticeable shift in CUTV’s approach since September 2010, coinciding with the appointment of Laith Marouf as the new programming manager. I want to draw your attention to a few key points.

  • When I signed up, Laith Marouf banned me from CUTV’s learning lab because of my pro-Israel posts.
  • When I sought help from Concordia’s administration and the ombudsman, I learned that the Concordia Students Association operates as a legal workers’ union under Quebec union law. This means it’s outside the authority of the Concordia Academic Apparatus, giving the Student Association the freedom to operate and manage a substantial budget using student fees.

During my research into CUTV and Laith Marouf, I uncovered the following:

  • Unethical Reporting: Marouf has a track record of engaging in dishonest reporting, as evidenced by his conviction by McGill radio station ‘The Olive Tree.’ This was due to baseless claims he made about Israel’s involvement in the Abu Ghraib scandal. His subsequent retraction lacked sincerity and repentance.
  • Controversial Content: Under Marouf’s leadership, CUTV published a news piece that characterized Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, writer, and Nobel Prize winner, as a “war crimes apologist.” Such content is not only inflammatory but also disrespectful.


Now is the time for all of us to consider the future of news reporting at Concordia. Do you endorse biased and malicious reporting? Is Laith Marouf the right person to lead the media at our university? Is CUTV deserving of your financial support?

Abigail Hirsch
A former volunteer at CUTV
Concordia student

Summary of Recent Developments:

Regrettably, Laith Marouf and the student councils, marked by bias and libels about Israel, continue to operate without consequence. Laith’Marouf’s outright antisemitism was only exposed to public outcry in July of 2023 when it was revealed that the Canadian governemnt had awarded him an antiracism grant.  $122,000 CAD. The CBC review of the government’s attempt to retract this grant can be found here.

Context Leading to the Current Situation:

Since 2011, I have closely monitored instances of antisemitism on Montreal campuses and globally, mainly linked to “BDS,” “Israel apartheid,” and the claim that “Zionism is racism.” These narratives originated from a UN resolution which first appeared in 1975, was retracted in 1991 and was  reintroduced and accepted in 2001 at the UN World Conference against Racial Discrimination in Durban, South Africa.

The suspicion of the influence of foreign entities in sponsoring Palestinian students who are active in university student unions has also been raised. In any case it is clear that these student unions have been the source of libelous indoctrination regarding Israel and worst of all they have been alowed to exist while actively prohibiting frredom of exprssion on university campuses. This situation demnds responsible and immediate action.

Following the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, discussions about the role of student unions at universities like McGill and Concordia have also emerged  recenlty in US congressional hearings. These student unions have clearly functioned as propaganda outlets for the Palestine cause..Sadly the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel has emboldened them to violent protests against pro-Israel students.  A notable event at Concordia involved a situation where police and ambulances had to be called when pro-Palestine students attacked pro-Israel  students distributing pro-Israel pamphlets in the lobby of the Hall building.

At McGill, an ongoing contested vote within the Student Union proposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel is another indication of the power that these student unions feel they can wield.

Anti-Israel discussion which leads to attacks on students cannot be permitted on any campus or indeed anywhere in Canada. When any one group is threated that affects the safety of all groups. It erodes the Canadian value of tolerance and freedom of expression for all.

It is crucial to approach these matters with sensitivity and respect for diverse perspectives, acknowledging their impact on university communities.

I do believe it would be a public service for the CBC and indeed all media to address this issue with claity and integrity.