Toronto (February 19, 2020) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is calling on the University of Toronto to cancel upcoming events scheduled on campus featuring speakers with histories of defending terrorists and spreading misinformation about Israel.
These events are being organized by U of T club Students Against Israeli Apartheid as part of its “Israeli Apartheid Week,” a yearly celebration of antisemitic propaganda and disinformation about Israel that takes place in March.
One of the speakers is a “journalist” who became well known for her belief that 9/11 was a plot carried out by the US government. She has accused Israeli Jews of using “Hitler’s methods” and has accused the “Zionist lobby” of “selling” the Holocaust in order to create fear. She has falsely claimed that Israel has a policy of shooting unarmed Palestinian civilians in the genitals as part of its alleged effort to carry out its program of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians. She has also falsely claimed that Palestinian Arabs are banned from entering Jerusalem or praying at the Temple Mount (Dome of the Rock), when it fact it is only Jews whose access to the Temple Mount is restricted.
Another scheduled speaker is an outspoken defender of her mother, who is a high-ranking member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is considered a terrorist organization by Canada. The speaker’s mother is currently in jail facing military prosecution in Israel following the brutal murder of an Israeli teenager last summer that was allegedly carried out by PFLP operatives.
In a letter to U of T President Meric Gertler, FSWC demanded the administration take quick action to cancel any events scheduled for Israeli Apartheid Week that will involve speakers who defend terrorism against Israeli civilians or spread antisemitic tropes and blatant falsehoods about Israel.
“As a prestigious institution for higher learning, it is unconscionable that the University of Toronto should be bringing to its campus those who defend the actions of terrorists and promote antisemitic lies about Israel,” FSWC wrote. “We call on U of T to draw a line in the sand and make it crystal clear to the entire university community that this type of rhetoric is completely unwelcome on campus.”