Tolerating Violence Against Jews on Campus


In a country where multiculturalism has a reverent following and criticism of protected minorities has essentially been criminalized as “hate speech,” it is more than ironic that on some Canadian campuses radical students have taken it upon themselves to target one group, Jewish students, with a hatred that is nominally forbidden for any others. And with a recent incident that took place at the beginning of February, York University in particular, has now revealed a troubling pattern of tolerating physical and emotional assaults by pro-Palestinian radicals against Jewish students and others who dare to demonstrate any support for Israel or question the tactics of Islamists in their efforts to destroy the Jewish state.

At a February 1st event, Hasbara Fellowships at York University, with the permission of the University, had set up a table to inform interested students about Hezbollah-kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as part of Hasbara’s ongoing campaign called “Free Palestinians from Hamas.” Typically, York’s outspoken and volatile pro-Palestinian students were less than willing to let such benign sentiments be aired, and, according to Hasbara’s co-president, Tyler Golden, demonstrated their displeasure by surrounding the table in an angry mob of some 50 activists, spewing forth anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs at the Jewish students.

“At around 4 o’clock,” said Golden, “several known anti-Israel faces on campus came to start questioning us and debate with us . . . Security has asked us, when we come across this type of situation, to call them, which we did. We also videotape so they can see the faces and hear the voices of the people that do it. A few students who were surrounding us were upset that there were cameras in their faces, so they started yelling and screaming. As they were trying to push the cameras out of the way, they actually hit two of our students.” Muslim student groups have consistently attempted to disrupt the speeches of guests whose view are considered “unacceptable” because they might cause discomfort or “intimidation” for students unwilling to face the reality of radical Islam and unable to see any villain in the Middle East except Israel.

And the recent brawling at York University is not the first instance of anti-Israelism gone amuck on that campus. York’s radicalized students had already revealed a rabid anti-Semitic leaning, when in February 2009, some 100 pro-Palestinian students initiated a near-riot, as police had to be called to usher Jewish students to safety after they had been barricaded inside the Hillel offices and were “isolated and threatened” by the physically and verbally aggressive demonstrators.

Parroting the morally-incoherent and factually-defective exhortations of Israel-haters elsewhere of “Zionism equals racism!” and “Racists off campus!” the York mob, members of both the York Federation of Students and Students Against Israeli Apartheid, demonstrated once again that what is positioned as “intellectual debate” on campuses about the Israeli/Palestinian issue has devolved into something that is not really a conversation at all. Rather, it is something more akin to an ideologically-driven shout fest with a new version of pro-Palestinian brown shirts who pretend that they are merely criticizing Zionism but are actually slurring Jews. So York’s supporters of the cult of Palestinianism apparently no longer felt even a bit uncomfortable voicing what was actually on their minds when the subject of Israel comes up: when the York Hillel students were trapped inside locked offices, surrounded by an increasingly violent and aggressive mob, the intellectual “debate” that day included such invidious and raw slurs as “Die Jew―get the hell off campus.”

That thuggery by pro-Palestinian Jew-haters had already become something of a tradition on the York campus. A year earlier in April 2008, Barbara Kay of Canada’s National Post reported, York’s Hillel had invited then-Knesset member Natan Sharansky to deliver an address. Not content with allowing anyone with a pro-Israel viewpoint to shares his or her views on campus, the Palestinian Students Association and Students Against Israeli Apartheid@York (SAIA) used the now common tactic of intellectual bullies on American and Canadian campuses: they jeered at and shouted down Sharansky, spoke loudly among themselves during his talk, and generally prevented anyone in the audience from listening to the content of the speech, but not before they had articulated their own vitriol with such comments as “Get off our campus, you genocidal racist” and “you are bringing a second Holocaust upon yourselves.”

Violence, and threats of violence, against Jewish students during conversations about Israel have occurred at other Canadian universities, as well. At the University of Toronto’s invidious 2009 Israeli Apartheid Week, for instance, the annual event had so devolved into a racist, rabid rally that proceedings were closed to cameras and reporters, and individuals who actually attempted to participate in a dialogue about the issues being raised by the noxious event in the first place were confronted with physical intimidation and threats, encountering the dark side of pro-Palestinianism.

One of these individuals, Isaac Apter, a Jewish alumnus of the University of Toronto, recounted how he and others in the audience of one evening’s events quizzed a speaker about why Hamas had persistently refused to recognize the legitimacy of Israel—did “Israel have the right to exist?”—and when the speaker side-stepped the questioning repeatedly, some audience members shouted out, “Answer the questions!” Apter found himself approached from behind by a member of a private guard retained by Students Against Israel Apartheid, slapped in the head, yanked from his seat, and yelled at with the warning, “You shut the f–k up!” A second Jewish attendee was similarly assaulted that night by one of the hired security team and given a far more chilling warning, particularly in light of the barbaric practice of beheadings in the Middle East: “Shut the f–k up or I’ll saw your head off.” Not only was the Jewish state being attacked and degraded throughout these events, but now Jews themselves were being targeted for emotional and physical assault, an unsurprising outcome of a prolonged, virulent campaign against the concept of Israel as a Jewish state.

University officials regularly proclaim, as they did when they had to defend sponsoring Israeli Apartheid Week, that they have a “commitment to the principles of freedom of inquiry, freedom of speech and freedom of association.” But that empty exhortation has shown itself, repeatedly, to be, at best, disingenuous, and, at worst, a masking of their true intention:  enabling favored victim groups to utter vitriol and libel against Israel and Jews, with the pretense that they have somehow encouraged intellectual debate and productive political discussion. This is not scholarship at all; it is Jew-hatred dressed up in academic clothes.

  • PAthena

    Tyler Shipley teaches at York University. He attacks Israel in an attack on the Winter Olympics.

    Reclaiming the games, From the Games
    Tyler Shipley

    One of the first photographs I ever posed for was of my dad and I skating on our frozen backyard in Winnipeg. I wasn't even a year old but I was already engaged in an activity that would frame my moral and ideological compass for the better part of three decades (and counting.) Hockey has given me community – even as it has been used to legitimate politics that destroy communities. Hockey taught me values like teamwork and commitment – even as it reinforced values that perpetuate sexism, heterosexism and racism. And in perhaps the greatest irony of them all, hockey saved my life – even as it has been a vehicle for the propaganda that justifies our savage occupation of Afghanistan that continues to take so many lives.

    Tyler Shipley teaches at York University and is a member of CUPE.

  • PAthena

    Tyler Shipley, continued, 2: Corporate Sporting Spectacle

    And so it is with this year's great corporate sporting spectacle, Vancouver 2010. Each day, I read a new article describing the myriad destructions the Olympic Games are wreaking upon people in British Columbia and beyond. Roger Annis’ excellent piece in The Bullet provides just a sketch of that destruction – ranging from the militarization of Vancouver and the ‘cleansing’ of the city's impoverished to the innumerable offenses committed against the hundreds of Indigenous nations who have never ceded the territory upon which the Games are being held. Our ‘green’ Games are the most environmentally destructive on record.[1] As public money is poured into the seemingly bottomless pit of over-budget Olympic expenses, British Columbia's government has had to acknowledge that they are slashing-and-burning the services that build and protect the communities that Olympics claim to celebrate.[2]

  • PAthena

    Tyler Shipley, continued 3:
    Speaking of celebration, the lavish opening ceremonies on Friday featured an alphabetically-ironic moment as flag-draped athletes representing Iran and Israel, two detestable regimes that detest one another and carry out unspeakable violence on people living in their territory often in the name of that conflict, paraded out one-after-the-other. It is hard to imagine Palestinians in Gaza or student protestors in Tehran being comforted by Olympic organizers’ claims that the Games represent the spirit of ‘international cooperation.’

  • USMCSniper

    Tyler Shipley, you are the typical grotesque intellectual incompetent, an epistemological retard, the inferior product of the dumbed down Canadian education that started with Comrade Pierre Trudeau.

    As for the Palestinians, they are nothing more than the subsidized proxy terrorists of Iran who strap munitions on their own women and children and send them out on homicide-suicide missions to murder other women and children in markets, restuarants, and on school buses. The Palestinians have forfeited their right to even exist.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

      Ooh Rahhhh !

      BTW: There's no such thing as a Palestinian, and there's never been a nation called Palestine !

      If anyone doubts this, read the article that can be found here !

      • Davidinator

        By your argument there are also no such things as Kurds or Jews.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

          That's very intelligent.. Your mother must be so proud.

          Kurds are from Kurdistan, and being a Jew is a religious and not a nationalistic description.

          Putz !

          • Davidibator

            So you’re admitting then that Jews have no right to a state?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Davidinator Davidinator

    Security video shows that the "assaults" never happened. Why is Front Page reporting this as fact when it's already been debunked? See http://www.excal.on.ca/cms2/index.php?option=com_

    Security footage debunks assault allegations
    "Surveillance footage made available to Excalibur shows no evidence of a physical brawl. While the footage lacks audio, it does clearly show that no one physically touched another person or invaded anyone’s personal space in a threatening manner.
    Body language is exuberant, at most, but never aggressive. No more than 20 to 30 people can be seen around the table in the video, including both parties and bystanders. Two visible handheld cameras can be seen on screen, none of which is smacked to the ground."

    http://www.shalomlife.com/eng/5021/York_Universit

    "The video was taken using the closed circuit cameras which are installed on campus, and although there is no audio as the camera is placed in a high traffic area, it clearly shows the events which took place between 4pm and 5pm on Monday, February 1, the day in question. The table which was set up by the Hasbara group at York is visible, and no more than about 15 to 30 people are seen around the table at any given time. At one point, it can be seen that an argument may have taken place; however, at no point during the video is there any evidence of a brawl, nor can a shouting match be evident from the students’ body language. At several points cameras are being used by the students, and at one point a female student who obviously does not take well to being on camera tries to reach for the camera, but the male student holding it lifts it up so it is out of her reach. No evidence of students being physically assaulted can be found during the video. York’s security officers are seen towards the end of the video taking statements from students who were on scene."

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Davidinator Davidinator

    Hasbara needs to apologize to the Jewish community and York students for perpetrating this hoax.

    Chronology of Events:

    Feb 1 – Alleged verbal and physical harassment of Hasbara members at Vari Hall by a mob reported to York security

    FEB 3 – Hasbara issues a press release regarding the incident, stating that both York security and Toronto police were informed of the incident

    Feb 6 – ‘Excalibur’ sends email to Tyler Golden of Hasbara to discuss the incident. No response is received

    Feb 9 – ‘Excalibur’ approaches Hasbara table at Vari Hall twice for comment; members decline.
    ‘Excalibur’ calls Toronto police. Records confirm that they were never informed of this incident

    Feb 8 – ‘Shalom Life’ releases article documenting what was seen on CCTV security footage. The ‘Jerusalem Post’ releases article, in which Tyler Golden says Toronto Police were not called, contrary to Feb. 3 press release

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Davidinator Davidinator

    Regardless, Hasbara lied about being "attacked" and Front Page printed this article despite the fact that the lie has been known for about a week now. The disregard for truth makes you wonder how accurate anything on this site is.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Dar_al_Harb LibertyLover

    Islam is an aberation. Evolution made a brief detour and recovered, but unfortunately about 1.5 billion human beings are now suffering as a result of this deviation. Now they are trying to silence anyone who recognizes this mistake of nature. No thinking person can embrace the Religion on Hate (Islam) and claim to being anything other than a savage.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WilliamJWard WilliamJamesWard

    There are people in charge of forces that can and will if need be destroy the Muslim
    threat, we may see it sooner than later but we will see this happen. Another world war
    is underway, the battle of good vs evil goes on and on and each generation fights
    it in its newest guise. Decent people everywhere must defend each other against
    barbarians. The leftist beasts love hatred and discord and thus support Islam but
    they do so at their own peril, there is always judgement day. Israel has friends in
    America no matter what the leftist government does, it will be undone in November
    and the path to sanity will be widened and lengthened around the world……..William

  • george

    This forum is not productive. Those who matter don't read it. It actually influences no-one. Its preaching to the converted. etc etc.

    This is a little like having a pee in a wetsuit. It gives you a nice warm feeling but no-one who matters knows about it.
    We need our own MILITANT actions.
    Fight fire with fire.
    Get down & dirty.
    Vigilanties & return the thuggery.

    -George

  • Bennie

    Complete hate speech and outright propaganda!

    FRONTPAGEMAG wants to structure and control the message, but it NEVER includes the truth, because that would reveal The Freedom Institutes hypocracy.

    It's sad, because not only are innocent people dying, many more innocent people, including innocent Jews, will die as a result of this dispicable excuse of website enlightenment.

    If you want to understand the problem – look in the mirror!

    Links below may provide help in understanding some of the anger directed towards Jewish students at York Univ.

    HERE's to ANOTHER HATE DAY!

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_co

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_co

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WilliamJWard WilliamJamesWard

    Bennie you are X'd in the head, you go to that rag of a web site for news, well
    if that is what you call news you are not doing your self any good. Michael Ratner
    is a Jew in name only, he is a sellout to Leftism big time. The problems of the
    so called Palestinian people are the result of the thieving leadership they have,
    a fortune has been given to their people and stolen by Yasser Arafat and Co.
    who with the collusion of Arab and Muslim governments keep the Palestinians
    in wretched lives to blame Israel for their plight while sending arms and munitions
    to the Palestinians to go murder Jews. That is the legacy of Arafat.

    Why is that so hard to understand, life would
    be good for both Palestinian and Jew but the Muslim world is against Isreal
    occupying 1/10th of 1% of all Mid-Eastern lands, which belong to the Jews by
    brithright for millenia. Ratner is so far left he is blind to truth and sees only through
    his X'd in the head glasses. Don't go away Bennie, keep reading Frontpagemag.com
    as it may even help you……….William

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WilliamJWard WilliamJamesWard

    Bennie you are X'd in the head, you go to that rag of a web site for news, well
    if that is what you call news you are not doing your self any good. Michael Ratner
    is a Jew in name only, he is a sellout to Leftism big time. The problems of the
    so called Palestinian people are the result of the thieving leadership they have,
    a fortune has been given to their people and stolen by Yasser Arafat and Co.
    who with the collusion of Arab and Muslim governments keep the Palestinians
    in wretched lives to blame Israel for their plight while sending arms and munitions
    to the Palestinians to go murder Jews. That is the legacy of Arafat.

    Why is that so hard to understand, life would
    be good for both Palestinian and Jew but the Muslim world is against Isreal
    occupying 1/10th of 1% of all Mid-Eastern lands, which belong to the Jews by
    brithright for millenia. Ratner is so far left he is blind to truth and sees only through
    his X'd in the head glasses. Don't go away Bennie, keep reading Frontpagemag.com
    as it may even help you……….William

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

    I wonder how many of our guests here know the true history of modern day Israel. The history has been incredibly distorted. Anyone wanting a good basic outline can find it here.

    If you learn anything, you might find another piece by the same author interesting as well. It can be found here.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/WilliamJWard WilliamJamesWard

      It is the history as I know it, Swemson you belong in politics, keep up the good work.

      Regards, William

  • Stern

    Bennie, the first flag you should have noticed in the post you linked to is the statement "We were with a Palestinian guide throughout our journey" (or something like that). These Palestinian "fixers" are notorious for providing only one side of the story. They attach themselves to all Western journalists, who aren't allowed to report unless they tell the approved story. In other words, this is just more propaganda – and you are just one more sucker.

  • Davidibator

    It’s notable that Linda is unconcerned that the subject of this article never happened and was fabricated by Hasbara in order to smear their opponnents. I guess Linda and the others here prefer propanganda to fact.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/HelgaMarie HelgaMarie

    Many years ago(at least 18 to 20),I recall by chance,tuning in to a TV program on some news channel here in Canada.A man of middle east appearance was being interviewed.I'll never forget how calmly he explained that Muslims were coming to Canada in growing numbers and that,though it would take many years,they would eventually take over our country….our laws,our traditions,everything would be subdued.At the time,I was amazed by what I was hearing but thought,"Not possible".Two decades later,needless to say,my thoughts have changed.