Jewish Canadian student threatened
Anti-Israel activists attack Jewish club’s offices at York University in Toronto, shouting racial slurs
Another anti-Semitic incident took place in a Canadian university Thursday when over 100 anti-Israel activists surrounded a campus building belonging to the Jewish student club ‘Hillel’ at York University, Toronto. The activists pounded on office doors while yelling out racial slurs.
Campus security was forced to alert police to restore order and the latter demanded that the offices be shut down.
An anti-Israel march is also scheduled for Friday, and ‘Hillel’ leaders have called on Jewish students to arrive with Israeli flags in order to show support for the country.But anti-Semitism also took its toll outside of the campus. A Jewish student reported receiving a phone call during which an unidentified person threatened his life and those of his family members if he were to continue his pro-Israeli activities in the university.
Bert Camp, of York Police, said the case was being investigated by the hate crimes unit because the threatened student is a well-known pro-Israeli figure on campus. Camp said the threats were in all probability related to Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
York University, one of the largest in Canada, is home to many Jewish and Israeli students, and many of its faculty members are Jewish. But in recent years the number of Muslim students on campus has increased, and its student council has been characterized as anti-Israeli. The council published statements condemning Israel during its operation in Gaza.
The following is an eyewitness account of the harassment felt by Jewish members of the DROP YFS team while holding a press conference
Drop YFS held a press conference in a room that could only comfortably fit 30 people, to announce the success of our petition. After letting about 50 people in, we told people that they couldn’t come in, because we were at capacity, and didn’t want to break fire code.
Once the conference started, people started banging on the door, yelling “Let us in” and “Zionist Racists”.
The conference was canceled, and all the students were asked to leave. The students who left were greeted by a mob chanting slurs against them, chanting “this is OUR campus” and shoving some people.
The Jewish students who felt targeted, as well as some journalists, were invited to go up to Hillel, The Jewish student’s lounge, one floor up. They were followed up by about 100 people, who continued to chant, and some of whom approached the people watching the door.
The people watching the door retreated inside the lounge and locked the door once security arrived. Some people shoved past security and banged on the glass of the door.
Some Jewish students went out to confront the people banging on the door, and heard such comments as “leave our campus”, “Israelis off campus” and “Let’s break the glass and get them out”.
When a man with his face covered came to the door and banged on it, many students became terrified, began to cry, and some contacted the police.
When the police arrived, they told students to evacuate the room, and be escorted out. The Jewish students lined up, and walked out with their heads down, not saying anything or making eye contact, as instructed by the staff. They were escorted out of the area by police, as the mob of 100 or so chanted more racial slurs, and yelled “SHAME”.
Among the people seen leading the mob were Krishna Saravanamuttu, the York Federation of Students Vice President of Equity. I saw him after the rally shaking people’s hands and thanking them for coming.