The Students’ Society at McGill University in Montreal recently voted to adopt a “Palestine Solidarity Policy,” proposed by the student club Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights. At the Tufts University campus in Massachusetts, meanwhile, Students for Justice in Palestine launched a “Justice Through BDS” campaign, publishing a manifesto in the campus newspaper. Richard Cravatts details of these and other actions by student groups, as well as their pernicious effects on university culture.
At McGill University, anti-Israel sentiment is already so endemic that the university’s student newspaper, the McGill Daily, refuses to run any content that is pro-Israel or defends Zionism or the Jewish state. And a 2021 editorial, seeming to speak on behalf of the whole student body, denounced Israel’s purported “colonialism, imperialism, and genocide in all forms”; condemned “McGill’s Zionist involvement, which is reflected in their continued investment in Israeli and international businesses located on occupied Palestinian land”; and claimed that the “Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is nothing short of apartheid.”
A small core of radical students, obsessively agitating against Israel, Zionism, and the many alleged predations of the Jewish state, have infected not only McGill’s press but also, apparently, its student government, pushing through the latest in a string of anti-Israel resolutions meant to slander, defame, and delegitimize Israel and its supporters on campus. It also calls for the McGill community actively and resolutely to participate in boycotts against and divestment from campus-related businesses allegedly involved in any way with Israel.
On the Tufts University campus in Massachusetts, students have been consistently harangued by anti-Israel activism similar to that on display at McGill, orchestrated by Tuft’s chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine. In March, for example, the group announced its own version of a proposed boycott of Israel-linked businesses, organizations, and sponsors. The group called “on students to show their support for Palestinian liberation through personal choices—namely, refusing to buy products or participate in groups that enable and normalize Zionist settler colonialism.”