FSWC Demands UofT to Disallow Former Member of Terror Group from Speaking at Student Event

September 6, 2019

Media Statement

Toronto (September 6, 2019) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is demanding the University of Toronto to not allow a man with previous ties to a Palestinian terror group to speak on campus.

Issam Al-Yamani has been accused of being a former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been designated by Canada as a terrorist organization and has carried out numerous terror attacks, including murdering 15 innocent civilians and five military personnel. According to a Global News investigative report, the Immigration and Refugee Board ordered Al-Yamani’s deportation in 2005, but he remains in Canada awaiting the execution of the deportation order. The Canada Border Services Agency has called him a “danger to the security of Canada.”

This contentious speaker is being brought in by the Students Against Israeli Apartheid UofT student group to a campus event at the University of Toronto, according to the group’s Facebook page.

“Frankly, we are surprised he is being given an open platform and that the group itself is able to utilize UofT property to house this event,” said Avi Benlolo, FSWC president and CEO. “In an opinion piece in the Canadian Jewish News this week, the university’s president, Meric Gertler, wrote that the university is standing up against antisemitism. We hope to see these statements come to fruition in this case.

FSWC has contacted UofT President Gertler’s office expressing concerns regarding the event and Al-Yamani and is awaiting a response and course of action.

“The university should also be questioning why a student group is inviting such an individual to speak. Clearly, the intention of BDS and anti-Israel groups on campuses is to promote hate and violence, not human rights. Following this incident, the student group should not be permitted to operate.”

Media Contact:

Avital Borisovsky
Communications Associate
416-864-9735 ext. 29

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