Independent Jewish Voices Canada February 12, 2018
MONTREAL – Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) and Independent Jewish Voices McGill (IJVM) applaud the findings of a McGill investigative report into alleged anti-Semitism at its 2017 undergraduate student union General Assembly (GA).
The report was commissioned by McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier and was conducted by former Student Ombudsman Dr. Spencer Boudreau. It concluded that allegations of anti-Semitism by student Noah Lew were unsubstantiated. Lew claimed that he was not renewed as a member of the SSMU Board of Directors (BoD) because he was Jewish.
“The report confirms what IJV McGill, along with various Canadian Jewish academics–including recently deceased McGill professor Abby Lippman–as well as commentators like Carleton University professor Mira Sucharov, have been arguing all along. What transpired at the McGill GA was about politics, not anti-Semitism” said IJV McGill spokesperson Tali Ioselevich.
As Boudreau reported, Lew is associated with pro-Israel lobby organization, the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC). He has also made his opposition to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) public. This opposition has included voting in favour of a resolution to deem BDS unconstitutional.
“Such associations and actions are political positions in support of the Israeli state, which members of SSMU can legitimately take into consideration when voting. IJV is glad to see that Boudreau was able to see this, distinguishing Zionism from Jewishness and Judaism, and BDS from anti-Semitism.”
IJV, including its McGill chapter, centers much of its work around fighting religious and ethnic discrimination, especially anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
“Anti-Semitism is a real and pervasive force that must be combatted, along with all forms of racism and oppression” continued Ioselevich. “We see standing against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as wholly consistent with these efforts.”
“It’s important that we focus on instances of true anti-Semitism–such as swastikas found on campus last year–and not get distracted by efforts to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.” concluded Ioselevich.
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