The University of Toronto Still Hasn’t Reckoned with Its Anti-Semitism Problem

Feb. 15 2022

It has been more than two years since the University of Toronto’s president, Meric Gertler, pledged publicly to protect Jewish students from bigotry and harassment. Yet, argue Stuart Kamenetsky and Michael Mostyn, the school has little to show for these promises. They explain:

The University of Toronto was the birthplace of the notorious “Israeli Apartheid Week,” which often ends with calls to dispossess the Jews and destroy the state of Israel. . . . In 2012, its Graduate Student Union (GSU) voted to boycott Israel and, in June 2019, its executive questioned whether GSU would support a student-led drive to provide kosher food on campus since doing so would be “pro-Israel.” (The GSU later apologized).

But it wasn’t only student groups. There was a “Jew count” of Jewish faculty held during a class meeting at the Faculty of Social Work. And then there was the professor who refused to meet a Jewish student based on an absurd allegation that he was an Israeli agent. The list goes on and on.

Finally, in June 2020 the university created a “working group on Anti-Semitism.”

The U of T administration said this group would study anti-Semitism at the university, which we found comparable to the Canadian military investigating its own sexual-misconduct charges. Expert groups that study anti-Semitism such as B’nai Brith were not invited to participate. There were no undergraduate students asked to be in this group, either. The recommendations of the group, when finally released, were weak.

Strangely, the report also recommended the rejection of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Anti-Semitism, which has been adopted by more than 30 countries and more than 1,000 organizations and universities worldwide, including Canada and Ontario.

Read more at Toronto Sun

More about: Anti-Semitism, Canada, Canadian Jewry, Israel on campus


How the U.S. Is Financing Bashar al-Assad

Due to a long history of supporting terrorism and having waged a brutal and devastating war on its own people, the Syrian regime is subject to numerous U.S. sanctions. But that doesn’t stop American tax dollars from going to President Bashar al-Assad and his cronies, via the United Nations. David Adesnik explains:

UN agencies have spent $95.5 million over the past eight years to house their staff at the Four Seasons Damascus, including $14.2 million last year. New Yorkers know good hotel rooms don’t come cheap, but the real problem in Damascus is that the Four Seasons’ owners are the Assad regime itself and one of the war profiteers who manages the regime’s finances.

The hotel would likely go under if not for UN business; Damascus is not a tourist destination these days. The UN claims keeping its staff at the Four Seasons is about keeping them safe. Yet there has been little fighting in Damascus since 2017. A former UN diplomat with experience in the Syrian capital told me the regime tells UN agencies it can only guarantee the safety of their staff if they stay at the Four Seasons.

What makes the Four Seasons debacle especially galling is that it’s been public knowledge for seven years, and the UN has done nothing about it—or the many other ways the regime siphons off aid for its own benefit. One of the most lucrative is manipulating exchange rates. . . . One of Washington’s top experts on humanitarian aid crunched the numbers and concluded the UN lost $100 million over eighteen months to this kind of rate-fixing.

What the United States and its allies should do is make clear to the UN they will turn off the spigot if the body doesn’t get its act together.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Bashar al-Assad, Syria, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations