Canadian student files suit over anti-Semitic harassment at a Toronto university

30 March 2011

A Jewish student has filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against York University in Toronto, in which he alleges that the college had actively legitimized an anti-Jewish atmosphere on campus. Similar cases alleging institutionalized anti-Semitism at universities are currently pending in the United States as well, the ‘Jerusalem Post’ reports. A federal civil rights case has been brought against the University of California at Berkeley by a Jewish student who was assaulted on campus last year by leader of a Muslim student organization during a pro-Israel event. At the University of California in Santa Cruz, a US Department of Education investigation on anti-Semitism is currently under way.

The complaint in the York University case, filed by student Sammy Katz, stems from a confrontation in February 2010 between Katz and other students, including a leader of the group Students Against Israeli Apartheid. As Katz was involved in a pro-Israel campaign concerning terror threats to Israel and captive soldier Gilad Shalit, the complaint alleges, he and other student volunteers were approached and threatened with physical violence by students who accused the pro-Israel campaigners of Islamophobia.

Katz alleges that in the ensuing melee, he was hit by a man and a woman in the crowd.  Katz claims that York University has “legitimized and encouraged anti-Jewish events such as Israel Apartheid Week, and makes no proactive effort to address growing incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism around campus.”

The plaintiff is represented by Toronto barrister Ed Morgan, a former president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and Neal M. Sher, a New York attorney who was the head of the US Justice Department’s Nazi prosecution office and formerly a special adviser on war crimes to the Canadian Ministry of Justice.

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Vivek Golikeri

Mon, 30 Apr 2012

@Monika Sears: You are wrong on both law and content. I defend the right of Israel-bashers to speak. But those thugs intimidated his right to speak in favor of Israel. You most certainly get creeps like Abraham Foxman and his ADL who need to be told to go jump off a clliff when they scream "anti-Semite!" at anything they don't like.

But this is the same McCarthism. If anything it is worse because Abe Foxcreep et al never assaulted anyone. I don't care whether the Bagel Mafia is doing it or the Shish Kebab Mafia is doing it. Anyone who threatens or assaults others must be arrested and prosecuted. Not to mention expelled from school.

Vivek Golikeri

Thu, 01 Dec 2011

I myself was branded an anti-semite long ago for speaking against a racist clique of senior male Jewish faculty long ago. And this Jewish student in Toronto today is fighting for exactly what I had to fight for: the basic democratic right to free speech.

If those pro-Palestine students merely want to bash Israel I don't agree with them, but I defend their right. But if they intimidate, harm or suppress other persons for speaking in Israel's favor, sue them, expel them and jail them.

I refuse to take either side here. What angers me is when anyone feels they can attack their opponent's freedom speech instead of attacking what they say.

Cliff Scott

Fri, 01 Apr 2011

This is a sad commentary on the times. Both the US and Canada are democratic nations for all of its citizens. Universities should not single out any one group for their beliefs. Universities should remain open to the exchange of thoughts and ideas of all with any one group being singled out and being fearful of physical harm. Ms Sears, you are a bigot to state that Mr. Katz wants money. Shame on you. Canada is not Nazi Germany or is it?

Monika Sears

Wed, 30 Mar 2011

Again, there is the deliberate confusion between anti-semitism and active anti-Israel organisations in universities. In neither instance is legal action going to solve the problems. Should Mr. Katz win his case, what exactly is he going to attain? Punitive damages? 'You see, that's all they're really after. Money!' The university administration full of contrition and promising to clean up the mess? I have grave doubts if it is willing or able to put its hand into this vipers' nest. Please be good enough to give me some idea of where this will lead Mr. Katz and what legal ation had achieved in similar cases?