TORONTO (Oct. 13, 2023) – The Jewish Campus Coalition (Allied Voices for Israel, Hillel Ontario and StandWithUs Canada) is demanding that York University and Queen’s University administrations ensure a safe space for Jewish students and their allies on campus when students return to school next week.
This week, the York Federation of Students (YFS) issued a disturbing statement that referred to the beheading of babies and massacre of innocent unarmed civilians as “a strong act of resistance” against “so-called Israel.”
YFS chose to normalize and legitimize a terrorist attack that left 1,200 dead, including at least two Canadian citizens. As we mentioned in our previous statement, the YFS has made it clear that it views civilians in Israel as legitimate targets.
Further, YFS is attempting to create a moral equivalency between a legitimate army defending its civilians and Hamas, a terror group. Statements like this will only embolden Hamas and lead to further bloodshed. YFS must immediately remove this horrendous statement and apologize to Canadian students at large.
At Queen’s University, student clubs that purport to support “Palestine solidarity” decided to justify the heinous Hamas attacks by lamenting that “violence doesn’t occur in a vacuum” and that the attacks were “a product of the imprisonment of Palestinians in Gaza.”
The clubs did not mention Hamas terrorism and called on Queen’s to “take a stand against Israeli occupation, colonialism, and apartheid.”
In our view, both York University and Queen’s University must follow the important precedent set by McGill University this week after it revoked campus privileges for an anti-Israel student club that promoted Hamas rhetoric.
Now more than ever, administrations must recognize that the blame for the loss of life on both sides lies solely with Hamas. It is imperative that universities have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the celebration and justification of the brutal attacks of innocent civilians. We urge both York and Queen’s to ensure that Jewish students and their allies can feel safe on campus – now.
We have also reiterated our call to University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) to intervene immediately after its student union also chose to justify and excuse Hamas terrorism.