MEDIA RELEASE: FSWC Petitions McGill University Administration to Combat Campus Antisemitism

February 16, 2017

Media Release

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                                     FSWC Petitions McGill University Administration to Combat Campus Antisemitism

February 16, 2017 – Toronto: Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is sending the first batch of approximately 600 signed petitions to McGill Principal and Vice Chancellor Suzanne Fortier and Provost and Vice Principal Christopher Manfredi, following the university’s tepid response to a student’s call for violence against ‘Zionists’.

                                                                                              The Petition reads

                                                                               Tell McGill University: No to Antisemitism

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies Condemns McGill Student Union for Condoning Violence Against Jews; Advocates Dissolution of Student Council

February 14, 2017 - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) condemns the Student’s Society of McGill University (SSMU) Board for supporting a student leader who advised his Twitter followers to “punch a Zionist;”  the SSMU  yesterday rejected a motion to remove him from the board, while targeting a Jewish student who called the remarks hateful. “McGill University must end the practice of turning a blind eye to growing hostility and calls for violence against Jews. It is outrageous – particularly given the tragic events at the Quebec City mosque just a few short weeks ago, that violence against a minority group is not only tolerated, but supported by McGill student leaders,” said FSWC President & CEO Avi Benlolo.  “In the absence of a concrete response, this promotion of antisemitic hatred appears to be tacitly permitted by the university administration. Advocating violence against any other group would be fiercely condemned by all parties, yet when Jewish students are the target, there is a deafening silence,” he added.  WE call on the McGill administration to take charge of this dangerous situation, to dissolve the antisemitic SSMU, to offer support for Jewish students who are victimized on campus, and to launch an immediate investigation into the culture of ingrained anti-Jewish hatred at McGill.                                              ____________________________

“Although McGill students voted against supporting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement last year, this recent incident highlights the need for the university administration to remain on guard against anti-Jewish hatred, and to clearly demonstrate that the promotion of violence against any student will never be tolerated,” said FSWC President & CEO Avi Benlolo.

Media Contact
Stacey L. Starkman, Director of Communications & External Relations
416.864.9735 x 32 /

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is a leading Canadian non-profit human rights foundation directly representing over 30,000 members. FSWC is committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs including workshops, Freedom Day, the Spirit of Hope Benefit, Tools for Tolerance and the widely acclaimed new Tour for Humanity. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles, which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament. Visit us at
Canadian Headquarters: Toronto  Branches: Los Angeles • New York • Chicago • Paris • Buenos Aires • Israel
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