University investigating assault on Jewish students

Tyler Golden, co-president of Hasbara Fellowship says two Jewish students were slapped, one on the arm and the other across the face.

TORONTO - York University in Toronto is investigatingallegations of assault against two Jewish students during a pro-Israelprogram.

The incident, which is alleged to have taken place Feb. 1, occurredwhen about 20 Jewish members of the on-campus group Hasbara Fellowshipsat York University gathered, with permission from the university, toraise awareness of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and terroristacts committed by Hamas.

Tyler Golden, co-president of Hasbara Fellowships, told JTA thatabout 50 activists and protesters surrounded the Jewish students andbegan 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. Torontopolice were not called "because we wanted to give the university achance 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 reviewingvideotapes 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 hasoffered 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 inthe Hillel lounge by a mob yelling anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs.Police had to escort the Jewish students out of the building. Two Yorkstudents were reprimanded for the incident.

In response to that and other incidents involving Jewishstudents, York established a task force. Among its recommendations werethe creation of more student space for studying and socializing, andthe 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.