York U Hillel Suspended Over Clash With Pro-Pal Contingent

Echoing 2002’s events at Concordia University, The JTA reports,

A Toronto university rescinded permission for demonstrations by Jewish and Palestinian student groups after recent clashes. Students from Hillel and the Young Zionist Partnership had attained a permit for an outdoor vigil at York University last week for victims of suicide bombings. Many became incensed when pro-Palestinian activists set up an unauthorized, street-theater-style demonstration nearby with mock Israeli checkpoints and soldiers. When members of the Palestinian group went inside a campus building, many Jewish students followed and a brief melee erupted involving hundreds of students. In response, university administrators forbade the groups from sponsoring rallies or lectures on campus for a week. “We do view the suspension as an overreaction,” said Zac Kaye, executive director of Hillel of Greater Toronto. “Our hope is that it will be lifted and that Hillel will be able to resume its activities as before.”

For more information, visit Hillel Toronto‘s website.

More insight, of course, is provided by the pro-Palestinian activist group, SPHR, which states in a press release,

Though this was to be a theatrical display only, Hillel and the Young Zionist Partnership organized a counter event. There were around 200 counter-demonstrators and 30 pro-Palestinian activists. The counter demonstrators completely surrounded the checkpoint theatrical display, screaming racial slurs against Palestinian members of SPHR and harassing female participants with comments like “you deserve to be raped” and “you can only have terrorist children”. A number of female participants were also physically pushed and beaten. Police and York security were present as all this happened, but refused to get involved. The York administration was simply unable to protect SPHR members who are a minority on campus, but instead is attempting to silence us.

Click here for the full release.

Also, a Jewish-solidarity rally, sponsored by the UJC, will be taking place in Toronto today, in response to the recent spate of antisemitic vandalism, and the York incident. I wonder how that’ll go down…

[Update] I’ll have a story on this in Jewsweek tomorrow.

One thought on “York U Hillel Suspended Over Clash With Pro-Pal Contingent

  1. For more information, visit Hillel Toronto’s website. (I’m waiting to hear back from York’s PR people for “the other side” of the story.)
    There’s a whole other side, too — contact details for SPHR York here or here.

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