FSWC Applauds Ruling Ordering U of T Graduate Students’ Union to End Promotion of BDS Movement

February 5, 2021

Media Release

Toronto (February 5, 2021) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) applauds the recent ruling by a University of Toronto panel ordering the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) to immediately cease using compulsory student fees to promote the antisemitic BDS movement.

The ruling, made by the Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies (CRCSS), which is a panel composed of students, found that the UTGSU’s BDS Caucus had violated the school’s Anti-Discrimination Policy by engaging in discrimination based on nationality.  During their investigation, the CRCSS panel found that the BDS Caucus Policy was not consistent with “open, accessible and democratic principles” and failed to meet the university’s “commitment to freedom of speech and expression.”

Amongst the panel’s recommendations are that the UTGSU should revise its BDS Caucus policy “so that it does not promote BDS actions based on nationality, and so that it is fully in line with the UTGSU’s own Bylaws and Policies,” the BDS Caucus fee should be converted into a refundable fee that students can opt-out of, and that the UTGSU should conduct a review of its Anti-Discrimination Policy so as to align with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

“This is a critically important win in the fight against the growing scourge of antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment on university campuses that, time and time again, has contributed to a toxic environment for members of the Jewish community, including students and professors,” said Michael Levitt, President and CEO of FSWC. “Congratulations to U of T graduate student Chaim Katz and B’nai Brith Canada for spearheading this grassroots effort, and to all our ally Jewish community organizations who along with FSWC have long been engaged in the battle against antisemitism at U of T and university campuses across the country.

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