U of T denounces BDS motion passed by Scarborough students as “unacceptable”

“The motions are specifically focused on Israel in a way that is troubling,” writes President Meric Gertler


TORONTO (Nov. 27, 2021)  – The University of Toronto has strongly denounced the recent motion passed by the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, calling it “unacceptable” and “troubling.”

The statement, issued Friday evening, came one day after Hasbara Fellowships Canada called on the university to intervene when the SCSU voted to “refrain from engaging with organizations, services, or take part in events that further normalize Israeli apartheid,” which would directly threaten funding for Jewish and/or pro-Israel student clubs on campus.

The SCSU also voted that kosher food must come from organizations that do not support “Israeli apartheid.”

In response, U of T President Meric Gertler stated, “A requirement that providers of food as a religious accommodation be required to apply for an exemption, or even be asked about their views about issues elsewhere in the world, is unacceptable.”

The SCSU cannot “restrict the speakers that they [student members] can invite, or organizations with which they can cooperate based on their connections to a particular country,” he said.

“The motions are specifically focused on Israel in a way that is troubling to many members of the community. Such motions would be no more acceptable if focused on another country, or if a student organization in which members are enrolled by their registration were to take multiple stands on a wide variety of issues.”

Gertler also said that U of T will follow up with the SCSU to address these concerns.

To read his statement in full, click here.

“While this is a certainly a positive development, the University of Toronto must ensure accountability from the SCSU,” said Daniel Koren, Executive Director of Hasbara Canada. “Jewish students deserve an apology from the SCSU and an assurance that this will not happen again. U of T must always enforce its bylaws and step in when student rights are being violated.”

Hasbara Canada would like to commend each and every U of T student who is active in the fight against antisemitism on campus.

November 28, 2021 | Comments »

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