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University of Toronto student union claims Kosher food is pro-Israel

University of Toronto student union claims Kosher food is pro-Israel

The group’s statement comes amid an ongoing campaign to secure Kosher food on campus for Jewish students at the University of Toronto.

A Jewish student at the University of Toronto wrote to the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), as part of an ongoing campaign by Hillel to bring Kosher food to campus, only to get the response that GSU “[doubts] the Executive Committee will be comfortable recommending this motion given that the organization hosting it (Hillel) is openly pro-Israel.”The email added that any efforts to bring Kosher food to campus may be against “the will of the membership,” in reference to the GSU’s adopted motion of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which campaigns for various cultural, economic and political boycotts of the Jewish state. Read More Related Articles

The GSU responded on Facebook, saying that any board member can submit a motion on the status of Kosher food on campus, without an indication that the Executive Committee is willing to change their stance on the issue.

The University of Toronto’s GSU is the only student union in Canada that maintains a special committee aimed at supporting and encouraging BDS. A formal complaint against the BDS committee has been sent to U of T’s Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies (CRCSS), which is still under review. The complaint notes that the existence of the BDS committee within a student government body representing all students, via tuition fees, violates U of T’s anti-discrimination policies.In response to the controversy, B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said that “shamefully, the GSU has been permitted for years now to cultivate a hostile attitude toward Jewish graduate students at U of T.”“The U of T Administration must act against antisemitism on campus – fine words are simply not enough,” he added.

 B’nai Brith also sent letters to officials at the university, requesting that they condemn the GSU’s stance on the Kosher food initiative, as well as ensure that the formal complaint against the BDS committee is done in a timely manner, in order to provide access to Kosher food on campus. Like many universities in Canada,  there has been an ongoing battle to protect the rights of students to “opt out” of paying part of their tuition to organizations and student unions that engage in BDS and other politically controversial movements.The University of Toronto has had a history of anti-Israel activism on campus. In 2005, the university became the first school to host Israeli Apartheid Week, which has since morphed into an annual series of university lectures and rallies held around the world. 

Source: Jerusalem Post


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