“Jewish Community Concerns Must Be Heard”: Organizations Seeking Intervener Status in U of T Injunction Against Encampments

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|June 03, 2024


Toronto, ON – June 3, 2024 – Today, Jewish community organizations as well as other campus groups seeking intervener status in the injunction case brought by the University of Toronto to authorize the removal of the encampment at King’s College Circle held a joint press conference at Wolfond Centre for Jewish Campus Life, to share their concerns about the hateful nature of encampments and encourage the courts to ensure that Jewish campus community voice is considered during the injunction proceedings. 

Rabbi Seth Goren, Chief Executive Officer, Hillel Ontario, read the following joint statement on behalf of Allied Voices for Israel, B’nai Brith Canada, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Hillel Ontario, Network of Engaged Canadian Academics, StandWithUs Canada, and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto:

“As organizations engaged in addressing the alarming rise of antisemitism we see across Canada, it is crucial that we – and those we represent – are heard about the hate that has been allowed to fester and even been enabled on campus through harmful and hateful speech, confrontations, and violence related to the encampment at the University of Toronto.

“Every U of T community member should feel safe and be free from harassment and intimidation on campus, and Jewish students, faculty, and staff are no exception. The encampment has continued to fuel hateful rhetoric, intolerance, and extremism, and shows no sign of abating in this regard. Recently, a shocking video circulated of an anti-Israel demonstrator doing a Nazi salute and praising Adolf Hitler. Just last week, Toronto Police announced that another individual, a 36-year-old man, has been arrested and charged with assault in an encampment-related incident, the same man who was arrested a few months ago for targeting Jewish neighbourhoods for protests.

“U of T President Gertler himself confirmed that the university had received over three dozen reports of harassment, discrimination, and "hateful speech and hateful actions" connected with the encampment, with evidence turned over to the police for investigations. 

“Members of the campus community, including Jews, Israelis, and those who simply believe in the right of the State of Israel to exist, shouldn’t be blocked from entering shared common spaces on their campus. They shouldn’t have to walk through their campus seeing signs that tell them to “go back to Europe” or encourage “resistance by any means necessary.” They shouldn’t have to hear antisemitic chants about all Zionists being racists or calls to globalize the murder and sadism that were part and parcel of both intifadas.

“These threats and exhortations to violence prompt us to ask: Is this the type of environment that is acceptable on campus here in Ontario? Does this align with the values we see and want to see reflected in our shared Canadian multicultural society?

“We are here, with one united voice, to say that this hatred and bigotry have no place on campus or anywhere in Canada. 

“As convocation ceremonies and festivities begin, graduates will have to contend with the potential for disruptions, harassment, and the threat of non-peaceful protest located mere steps from Convocation Hall. Sadly, these are the same students who lost their high school graduation ceremonies to COVID-19 restrictions. Rogue and fringe actors should not and can not be permitted to dampen such a momentous occasion in a student’s journey.

“We continue to call on the U of T administration to show leadership and send a clear message that a hateful, anti-Jewish occupation of the campus will not be tolerated. This hate-fest has gone on far too long, and it is past time for those engaged in shouting antisemitic slogans or harassing and abusing Jewish students to be held accountable for their actions.

“The concerns of Jewish students, faculty, and staff must be heard. The Jewish community’s perspective must be a part of the public record through this process. Jewish voices can no longer be silenced or dismissed at the University of Toronto.”


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The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada.