TORONTO - York University in Toronto is investigating
allegations of assault against two Jewish students during a pro-Israel
The incident, which is alleged to have taken place Feb. 1, occurred
when about 20 Jewish members of the on-campus group Hasbara Fellowships
at York University gathered, with permission from the university, to
raise awareness of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and terrorist
acts committed by Hamas.
Tyler Golden, co-president of Hasbara Fellowships, told JTA that
about 50 activists and protesters surrounded the Jewish students and
began chanting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slurs.
He said two Jewish students were slapped, one on the arm and the other across the face.
Two university security officers arrived on the scene. Toronto
police were not called "because we wanted to give the university a
chance to put its system into place," according to Golden.
Golden said a complaint was lodged with York's Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution Office.
The university has appointed an adjudicator and is reviewing
videotapes from security cameras, York spokesman Alex Bilyk told JTA.
He offered JTA the chance to view the tapes.
"An investigation is under way," he said.
According to its Web site, the Jewish Defense League of Canada has
offered a $500 reward "for the assailants [sic] identities, names,
alias [sic], phone numbers and addresses."
A year ago, a group of Jewish students at York were barricaded in
the Hillel lounge by a mob yelling anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs.
Police had to escort the Jewish students out of the building. Two York
students were reprimanded for the incident.
In response to that and other incidents involving Jewish
students, York established a task force. Among its recommendations were
the creation of more student space for studying and socializing, and
the expansion of the Student Code of Conduct.
At the time, B'nai Brith Canada slammed the task force report as failing to address anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism at York.