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

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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