Many in Toronto were alarmed Wednesday when Jewish students at Ryerson University experienced pure anti-Semitism – indeed, rejection of a resolution to commemorate Holocaust Education Week, which had absolutely nothing to do with Israel.
Students at Ryerson University in Toronto staged a walkout on Wednesday rather than vote on a resolution to commemorate Holocaust Education Week, B’nai Brith Canada reported.
Local members of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association reportedly staged the walkout Tuesday night during the semiannual general meeting of the Ryerson Student Union. The meeting lost its quorum, according to B’nai Brith Canada.
The resolution, which was submitted by a member of the Ryerson Hillel Jewish students’ group, called on the Student Union to offer annual Holocaust education programs to emphasize “the value of pluralism and the acceptance of diversity.” There was no mention of Israel.
The Ryerson Student Union voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel in April 2014. The resolution prohibits the student group from having ties with companies that do business in Israel, including Home Depot, Costco and Sears, and removed Sabra hummus from the campus cafeteria.
“What starts with BDS does not end with BDS,” said Amanda Hohmann, national director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “More often than not, BDS is simply a gateway drug to more blatant forms of anti-Semitism.” A motion to commemorate Holocaust Education Week failed at the semi-annual General Meeting of the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) on Tuesday night, after students opposed to the motion staged a walk-out that caused the meeting to lose quorum.
Jewish Students Promoting Holocaust Education Motion were Mocked by Non-Jewish Peers
The motion in question, submitted by a member of Hillel Ryerson, would have committed the RSU to offering annual Holocaust education programs to emphasize “the value of pluralism and the acceptance of diversity.”
Aedan O’Connor, who attended the meeting, told B’nai Brith Canada that Jewish students promoting the Holocaust education motion were mocked by their non-Jewish peers, and that the walk-out was a premeditated tactic organized by local members of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association.
Students for Justice in Palestine also put out a call to its members to attend the meeting, despite the fact the motion had nothing to do with Israel.
“This outrageous incident is emblematic of the kind of antisemitism and anti-Jewish sentiment that is rampant on Ontario campuses,” said Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “Jewish students need action, not just words, from the Government of Ontario, as much of this bigotry is funded by taxpayer dollars.”
The RSU endorsed the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel at a similar meeting in April of 2014. Jewish students were belittled and made to feel uncomfortable at that meeting as well. Then, in October, 2015, graffiti in a Ryerson washroom called for Jews and Israel to “burn in hell”.
“As we can see from this saga, as well as similar events recently at York University and Concordia University, what starts with BDS does not end with BDS,” added Hohmann. “More often than not, BDS is simply a gateway drug to more blatant forms of antisemitism.”
By: Aidan Fishman, Campus Advocacy Coordinator, B’nai Brith Canada
Israeli Towns Destroyed by Fire. Can You Help?
As a result of raging wildfires that ripped throughout the Land of Israel, causing the destruction of houses, schools and entire towns, over 80,000 Israelis have been evacuated from their homes.
The stunning news that many fires were the result of arson perpetrated by Israel's 'enemies within' has sent shock waves and fear throughout the land.
Do you want to provide relief to Israel's tragic victims of deadly arson terror? You can make a donation to help victims who lost everything in these devastating fires.
Please contribute to our Emergency Fire Relief Campaign to ease the pain of families who have suffered so much.
The People of Israel need your help right now. Please show your support today!