Campus Warrior For Israel

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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Josee Chiasson, a York University student in Toronto completing an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in psychology.  She wrote her undergraduate thesis about the influence of media bias on group attitudes towards Israelis.  She is a recipient of the 2010 Israel Experience College Scholarship. In her capacity as immediate past President of Christians United for Israel at York University, she fought for Israel by trying to change the name of Israel ‘Apartheid’ Week to Middle-East Peace week and by educating and mobilizing other students in support for Israel on campus.  Josee has spoken on student panels as well: she has appeared on MENCHlife and has written an article for the Prince Arthur Herald addressing the politics at York and the administration’s responsibilities.

FP: Josee Chiasson, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Before we get into all your courageous efforts on behalf of Israel, first give us a bit of background about yourself. How did you come to being so passionate about the issues you are involved in?

Chiasson: In my first year of University, I witnessed two large groups of students separated by campus security shouting at each other waving Palestnian and Israeli flags with signs that read “Free Palestine”, and “Zionism is Racism.” I thought this was a display of international students bringing the politics from their home countries to campus.  My conclusion was that this had nothing to do with me.  However, in January 2010, I became friends with Jewish and pro-Israel Christian students at York who taught me about why supporting Israel is important and also told me about the Israel Experience College Scholarship.  I got the scholarship and spent three weeks in Israel where I attended lectures from politicians, Rabbis and intelligence experts.  I visited parts of the West Bank and met Israelis and Arabs at all levels of society.  I came back with first hand experience, a deep knowledge base and a deep spiritual conviction that it is my responsibility to be a voice against anti-Semitism in this generation.

FP: So tell us about the campus politics at York University. I’m wondering how things may have changed since I went to York in the 1990s — as I am well aware of the leftist and anti-Semitic climate there.

Chiasson: The democratically elected student government/union, the York Federation of Students (YFS), has been a divisive force on campus.  The YFS used student fees to bring a Hamas supporter, George Galloway, to speak on campus while refusing to sponsor speakers of different opinions to which students responded in a protest.

In 2009, the YFS stringently condemned the state of Israel on behalf of ‘all York students’.  In response, a facebook group was created to protest this declaration.  Furthermore, in 2009, York students collected 5000 signatures necessary to impeach the executive of the YFS.  This resulted in a group of pro-YFS protesters (which included members of the YFS and students) trying to intrude on the press conference.  Feeling unsafe, the students retreated to the Hillel office at York.  The protesters followed them and blocked them into the office while shouting things like ‘f*ing Jews’ and calling the president of Hillel a ‘dirty Jew’.

York University has a large and diverse Middle-Eastern population which has fostered a distinctively charged atmosphere.  For instance, when Hasbara Fellowships at York showed the movie Iranium they received bomb threats and Iranian students protested outside the event.  Also, there was a dispute when the Middle-East Student Association refused to hang the Israeli flag and recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel.

FP: How does Israel Apartheid Week manifest itself there?

Chiasson: The dynamics have changed drastically during Israel ‘Apartheid’ Week (IAW). IAW typically led to rallies in which pro-Israel and anti-Israel students were separated by campus security, yelling at one another and waiving Israeli and Palestinian flags and signs.  Any hate speech or other offenses committed during these rallies were difficult to prove because of the intensity of the moment and the lack of police presence.  There was also outrage because certain groups were expected to pay exorbitant security fees to host certain pro-Israel speakers.  The York administration was criticized by students and community members for their ‘laissez-faire’ attitude.

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  • Chezwick_mac

    This young lady inspires even a pessimist like myself to have at least a little hope for the future. Keep up the good work Josee!

  • jordi

    a great person, also by the way she’s gorgeous…

  • zaramart-kippot

    For the Jewish people to find its spiritual balance, we will need to work on personal spiritual development and purity; and also on strategies that are grand enough to allow all of us to stand together in the presence of God. Moadim leSimha.

  • IamJoseph

    Clearly, Muslims are emilating medevial Europe today – and Europe is having a ball of it – not realizing her own weapons are attacking Eurostan. Ironically, America rebuffed medevial Europe, basing her Constitution on the Hebrew laws, becoming the stounchiest ally of Israel. The Campus filth is a backdoor by an exposed criminal culture, the rage of a cornered wild cat making payola grants to cover its shame. 'GOD BLESS AMERICA' was penned by a Jewish refugee who fleed Europe.

  • LindaRivera

    Wow! A very courageous Campus Warrior, indeed! She is the perfect role mode for University students. And when Josee stands up for Israel, she is standing up for Canada, America and the entire Free World. Every non-Muslim is targeted for Muslim conquest. The hate, blood libels and demonization of Israel is all part of global jihad.

    • couchtripper

      The only logical defence of your claims is that you're insane. I'd go into why this fact is obvious, but it would mean engaging you in debate, when you're clearly not capable of logical or critical thinking.

  • LindaRivera

    "when Hasbara Fellowships at York showed the movie Iranium they received bomb threats and Iranian students protested outside the event."

    Violence and bomb threats (and Muslim terror attacks) is what happens to countries when they take in large numbers of Muslims.

    • couchtripper

      Your attitude is laughable. If you want to challenge this fact, go and look at the statistics for terrorist threats in the USA and Canada over the last 5 years. I know you won't though – people like you will never submit to education.

      • JoeAmerica

        Hey couchtripper – why is your reputation score so low. Your opinions must not be held by very many other people. Maybe you should just go back to your local Hamas group and be surrounded by the people you love so much. At least they'll make you feel at home.

  • Fred

    You are to be commended Josee. Hard to believe this kind of stuff goes on at universities in Canada and America. Why doesn’t the governments deport this radical trash who speak out against Canada, Jews, America and Israel?

    If I was still in college I would be in fights everyday after seeing and hearing this radical hate filled trash. They only respect strength and people who are not afraid to speak and fight.

  • winoceros

    Would that campus Jewry were as determined and married to the true history of the region as she.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem and all of Israel is and important part of
    Christian life and it is noteworthy that this young woman has her priorities
    straight. As we live in a day of spiritual and moral darkness it is wonderful
    to see aspiring youth in University with ideals and courage of convictions,
    that Josee attracts other students and emboldens them to stand up for
    what is right encourages me to think maybe our youth are not all a lost
    generation. Hopefully more attention can be given to good students who
    affirm what should be American educational values and are friends of

  • Michael

    Violent Muslim students mast be removed from Canada.Christians and Jews unite against common enemy.

  • Bonnie

    Christians like this woman are not Israel's friends because they enable Israel's self destructive policies of betraying Jewish humanitarian ideals by supporting or, at minimum, excusing,the oppression of Palestinians. Many Christians base their support for Israel on what they think must be in place for the second coming of Christ — the Jewish return to Israel, and then the destruction of the Jews after Christ returns. Too many members of the Jewish community fall for this false support and also rely on the anti-Muslim attitudes of these so-called Christians to form a bond. What Israel is doing IS Apartheid and should be labelled as such. As an American Jew I fear for the state of Israel's future mostly because of the Jewish idealogues and Christian zealots who are her worst enemies. As the saying goes, "with friends like these, who needs enemies"?

  • Vivek Golikeri

    Regardless of which party is right or wrong, the very idea that some can assault or threaten others because they don't like their views is an outrage. Let the police get all the facts, and let the aggrieved file hate crime charges. Insulting issues is free speech, but persecuting someone one-on-one is criminal harassment. Those Jewish students have every right to refuse to tolerate such treatment.