RYERSON STUDENT UNION PRAISED FOR ADOPTING NEW ANTI-SEMITISM DEFINITION

On March 30,2017 the Canadian Jewish News posted The Ryerson Student Union has adopted a new, comprehensive definition of antisemitism. On March 29, 2017  the RSU’s executive passed a motion changing its definition of antisemitism to add the Ottawa Protocol on Combating Antisemitism, adopted by the federal government in 2012. The article states the new definition as “In part, the new wording defines anti-Semitism as: the denial of Jews’ right to self-determination; applying “double standards” by requiring of Jews “behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation”; using symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism and drawing comparisons between contemporary Israeli policy and the Nazis.” The reason the university changed was because “The old definition was “prejudice or discrimination based on stereotypes and assumptions about Jewish people. This can include policies, views, or actions that harm or discriminate against Jewish people individually or on an institutional level.”” RSU executive then said ““Now I can confidently say that this motion makes it far more difficult for anti-Semites to perpetuate anti-Semitism at the student government level, and now, we are able to hold them accountable,” I believe it is great that this definition keeps on updating with everything that is going on in our world today. Many times we see these cases of antisemitic acts, yet university just sweeps them under the rug. Hopefully with this new definition, it will bring justice to anyone who has been a victim of an antisemitic act. And hopefully it will keep changing so we do not run into this problem again.   Ryerson Student Union praised for adopting new anti-Semitism definition Reporter, Ron...

Minnesota university denounces anti-Semitism after Muslim student body president’s tweets resurface

On March 22, 2017 The Washington Times covered a story about a students antisemtic tweet at Minnesota University.  Muslims study body president Muhammad said “If you support Israel in anyway, shape, or form, please unfollow me right now cause those people are the scum of the earth,” Muhammad wrote in July 2014, according to screenshots captured by Canary Mission.  Later that day, he wrote, “the yahood [the Jews] will get what coming for them Insha’Allah.” In June 2012, he tweeted, “Imma start stealing candy bars so I can help my n–-s in Palestine. #KaluQuotes @kKass1m looool,” using a racial slur. He followed up that tweet by writing, “100 candy bars = 1 Grenade let’s do this. #KaluQuotes @kkass1m.” Muhammad then gave a statement saying “I am coming under attack for being a Muslim leader of the student government at a private Catholic institution,” he wrote. “Growing up, I was taught by my religion to treat everyone with respect and dignity no matter where they came from or what they believed in. The tweets that resurfaced were from 3+ years ago and do not reflect what I meant at the time,” he continued. “My words were poorly chosen and shared during a period of time where I was very emotional about Israel’s politics and the loss of life in Gaza. I regret my choice of words and apologize for any impact this may have had on people reading my tweets.” The University of St. Thomas said they are looking for student input when it comes to punishment for Muhammad and future leadership. The University needs to take more action when it comes...

Ryerson fires teaching assistant over alleged anti-Semitic comments

The Canadian Jewish News posted an article on March first on how a teaching assistant from Ryerson University(Canada) was fired after making an alleged anti-Semitic remarks during prayers at a downtown Toronto mosque. The original incident occurred in 2016 when a junior employee said “an inappropriate supplication that was offensive to those of the Jewish faith” during prayers at Masjid Toronto. The comments that Mr. Elkasrawy were “O Allah! Destroy anyone who displaced the sons of the Muslims, O Allah! Count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them, O Allah! Purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews!”. “We are relieved to finally hear that Mr. Elkasrawy has been dismissed,” said Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, which laid a complaint with Ryerson on Feb. 21. Although it took a year for the college to take any kind of action against this teaching assistant i believe the actions they took were appropriate. The school also made a statement saying “Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences for those who choose to spread hate, and universities have an obligation to hold accountable faculty or staff who do so,”. Although  Mr. Elkarawy tweeted a public apology that went along the lines of saying “I firmly believe that all human beings: Muslims, Jews, Christians and people of all and no faith deserve to live a life free of any threat to their safety.” it is hard to know if he was trying to just do damage control.  By the university firing him, i think it will should him there are consequences to your actions, and...

Assault Against Jews is on the Rise in Europe

Is attacking a Jewish place of worship not anti-semitic? Why would the German court rule an attack on a synagogue to be anti-Israeli and not anti-Jewish? Why are university’s posting hate words against Jewish students? Anti-semitism continues to be on the rise in Europe, forcing Jews out of their countries. Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament stated that there is no reason Jews should be forced off the continent. Unfortunately, as bold as this statement is, there is little truth to it. Anti-semitic incidents have increased greatly and many Europeans seem to be blind to this oppression, which raises a red flag. Back in 2014, there was a firebombing at a synagogue in Germany.  A German court decided that this was not an anti-semtisim attack, rather an anti-Israeli attack. The question of why Israeli embassy was not attacked had risen because there was no sufficient evidence to prove that these worshipers where even connected to Israel. I have similar concerns about this notion. The Germans, displaying several anti-Jews acts, seem to be stating that they are not against Jews; rather, they are against Israel. If they were not against the Jewish population, why would there be deliberate attacks against synagogues? Even students at Goldsmith’s University has been posting against the Jews on campus. The university has expressed disapproval against these actions, but this still deems campus unsafe for the Jewish students. Tajani saying that Jews do not have a right to be forced out of their countries is not enough. The mere statement has to have actions to follow, while getting the rest of the continent on board....

Record Setting UK Anti-Semitism

On February 2 2017, BBC news posted a story remarking that the UK had seen a record setting number of anti-semitic incidents in history. These incidents of anti-semitism can be graffiti, damage to property, social media attacks, or physical assaults. In 2016, the Community Security Trust (CST), who monitor anti-semitism, recorded 1,309 incidents, topping the former high of 1,182 in 2014. The two most heavily jewish populated cities, London and Manchester, were plagued with having nearly three quarters of all of those incidents. It is unknown if this record setting number is because of increased boldness from anti-semites, or because of a higher inclination for people to report such incidents. The United Kingdom has seen unprecedented amounts of anti-semitic incidents in 2016. With luck, that number will sharply decrease for 2017. It is hard to say whether or not this record setting number is because of certain social climates or because of an increased empowerment of racial and anti-semitic bigots. Unfortunately, the highest frequency of these incidents occurred in the two most heavily jewish populated cities. Anti-semites really want to hit the jewish where they are and where it hurts. UK synagogues have been desecrated. Jewish people have been physically attacked in public. Graffiti scatters the storefronts and cars of jewish areas. Throughout social media anti-semites hide behind a keyboard and unleash their hatred upon their audience. Acts of anti-semitism such as these are characteristic for jew haters in this century and former ones. Graffiti and damaging jewish property have been the norm for targeting jews since before the holocaust. These acts are not characteristic of any single area either. All...

Attacks on Jewish Centers

Raylin Pellatt January 2017 brought reoccurring incidents of bomb threats being called into the police targeting a range of Jewish centers, some almost 500 miles apart.  These calls were from an anonymous source, although all different voices. These calls were made during a very busy time for the centers and were made to local police stations saying there were bombs in these locations. Centers were evacuated and were deemed safe to return to several hours later. The police are still searching for the ones who made the phone call, and it is left to be determined if it is hate groups, terrorists groups, or someone unaffiliated. Luckily, no one was hurt from these calls but it shows the normalizations of hatred against minority groups in our current political climate and these actions being deemed okay by members of hate groups, specifically the alt-right. With both antisemitism and gun violence in America rising, these threats reflect the division in our country today and the decreasing sense of security for minority citizens. Calling in these threats might not have resulted in an attack this time, but targeting minorities is a reoccurring theme in America, along with the rest of the world, and proving to be a more dangerous place to live for everyone. With this kind of negative rhetoric in the United States, these negative and disgusting events will continue until there is a significant change in the way the United States focuses on all of its citizens.  ...