York University professors and students reject claims of antisemitism

Nearly 200 York University  faculty members and students have signed a petition  rejecting a claim by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and others that the campus  has become a  hotbed of antisemitism. Their petition appears below:

Faculty and students reject the smearing of York, and uphold the
University’s mission to promote public debate

Over the course of the past year, York University has been targeted in
various public spaces as a site where antisemitism is rife. In a
September 12, 2009 advertisement in the National Post, B’nai Brith
Canada offers a “checklist” of antisemitic incidents likely to occur
on university campuses. Jewish students are told they can “expect ...
harassment ... intimidation by your professor or teaching assistant
... Swastikas and other antisemitic graffiti all over campus”.

Concocted accounts of “violent anti-Jewish riots at York University”
(in the words of the Jerusalem Post, February 15, 2009) have become

Federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney was quoted just a
few weeks ago (Thornhill Liberal, September 11, 2009) as describing
what was going on at York as resembling “pogroms”.

The use of such inflammatory language cannot any longer be ignored and
allowed to fester. Its implications could be seen when the National
ran a piece earlier this year (Matt Gurney, February 13, 2009)
that actually called for York to be “purged of its hateful elements".

The fact is that representations of the York campus--and indeed
university campuses generally--as hotbeds of antisemitism are simply

The B’nai Brith “checklist,” like the allegations of
“antisemitic” acts at York, let alone “riots’ or “pogroms”, are
entirely inaccurate, if not libelous, and amount to nothing but
fear-mongering. Notably, the B’Nai Brith advertisement featured a
photo of a rally in York’s central hall in which some Palestinian
national symbols could be seen, but no antisemitic imagery whatsoever.

As teachers and researchers at York, Jewish and non-Jewish, we do not,
and will not, tolerate antisemitism or any other forms of racism or
discrimination on this campus. But at the same time, we strongly
defend our university’s long-cherished mission to promote public
debate, including debate on contentious political issues.

We deplore attempts to use misinformation and fear, let alone the accompanying call for “purges”, to stifle academic freedom.



1.           Adrian Shubert, Professor, History

2.           Alan Simmons, Professor, Sociology

3.           Allan C. Hutchinson, Distinguished Research Professor, Osgoode
Hall Law School

4.           Allan Greenbaum, contract faculty, Social Science and Sociology

5.           Allyson M. Lunny, Assistant Professor, Law & Society Program,
York University

6.           Amanda Glasbeek, Assistant Professor, Social Science

7.           Amnon Buchbinder, Associate Professor and Chair, Film

8.           Ananya Mukherjee Reed, Associate Professor, Political Science

9.           Anna Zalik, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies

10.   Arun P. Mukherjee, Professor, Department of English

11.   Barbara Cameron, Associate Professor, York University

12.   Barbara Godard, Professor Emerita and Senior Scholar of English,
French, Women's Studies, Social and Political Thought; Historica Chair
in Canadian Literature Emerita.

13.   Barbara Rahder, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies

14.   Bonita Lawrence, Associate Professor, Coordinator of the
Undergraduate Degree Program in Race, Ethnicity and Indigenous Studies

15.   Bonnie Kettel, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies

16.   Brenda Longfellow, Associate Professor, Department of Film

17.   Bruce Ryder, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean First Year,
Osgoode Hall Law School

18.   Caitlin Fisher, Canada Research Chair, Associate Professor, Film

19.   Carl Baar, Adjunct Professor, Political Science

20.   Carla   Lipsig-Mumme, Professor of Work and Labour Studies.

21.   Carlota McAllister, Assistant Professor, Anthropology

22.   Claudio Durán, Senior Scholar

23.   Colin Mooers, Professor and Director, Graduate Program in
Communication and Culture

24.   Craig Scott, Director, Nathanson Centre on Transnational Rights,
Crime and Security, and Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

25.   Cynthia Wright, contract faculty, School of Women's Studies

26.   Daniel Drache, Professor, Political Science, and Associate
Director, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies

27.   Daphne Winland, PhD, Associate Professor, Graduate Program
Director, Social Anthropology, Chair, Human Participants Ethics Review

28.   David Langille, Course Director, Division of Social Sciences

29.   David McNally, Professor, Department of Political Science

30.   David Mutimer, Associate Professor of Political Science, and
Deputy Director, York Centre for International and Security Studies.

31.   David Shugarman, Professor, Political Science

32.   David Szablowski, Assistant Professor, Social Science

33.   Dawn Bazely, Associate Professor of Biology

34.   Dayna Nadine Scott, Assistant Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School
and the Faculty of Environmental Studies

35.   Douglas Hay, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School and Department of History

36.   Douglas Young, Assistant Professor of Social Science

37.   Derek Hrynyshyn, Adjunct Faculty, Political Science

38.   Eduardo Canel, Associate Professor, Social Science, and Director,
Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean

39.   Elizabeth Lunstrum, Assistant Professor, Geography

40.   Enda Brophy, Postdoctoral Fellow, Political Science

41.   Esteve Morera, Associate Professor Department of Philosophy and
Department of Political Science

42.   Gail Fraser, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

43.   Gamal Abdel-Shehid, Kinesiology, York University

44.   Gene Desfor, Professor Emeritus, Environmental Studies

45.   George C. Comninel, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of
Political Science

46.   Gerald Kernerman, Associate Professor, Political Science

47.   Greg Albo, Associate Professor, York University

48.   Gus Van Harten, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

49.   Haideh Moghissi, Professor and Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal
Arts and Professional Studies

50.   Harry Glasbeek, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Osgoode Hall

51.   Himani Bannerji, Professor, Department of Sociology

52.   Howard Daugherty, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

53.   Ilan Kapoor, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

54.   J. David Wood, Prof. Emeritus, Geography

55.   J.J. McMurtry, Assistant Professor, Business and Society Program

56.   James Laxer, Professor of Political Science, Department of Equity Studies

57.   James Sheptycki, Professor, Criminology

58.   Janet Owens, Contract Faculty, Social Science, and Environmental Studies

59.   Janice Newton, Associate Professor, Political Science and School
of Women's Studies

60.   Janine Marchessault, Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and
Globalization, Faculty of Fine Arts

61.   Jennifer Foster, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies

62.   Jennifer Hyndman, Professor, Social Science

63.   Jody Berland, Associate Professor, Department of Humanities, and
Editor, Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies

64.   Joe Sheridan, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

65.   John Greyson, Associate Professor, Film

66.   John S. Saul, Professor Emeritus, Social Science and Political Science

67.   John Simoulidis, Contract Faculty, Social Science

68.   Jon Sufrin, Adjunct Professor, Humanities

69.   Jonathan Nitzan, Associate Professor of Political Economy,
Political Science

70.   Judith Adler Hellman, Professor, Social Science and Political Science

71.   Karen Murray, Associate Professor, Political Science

72.   Kevin Moloney, Contract Faculty, Deptartment of Languages,
Literatures & Linguistics

73.   L. Anders Sandberg, Associate Dean and Professor, Faculty of
Environmental Studies

74.   Laam Hae, Assistant Professor, Political Science

75.   Lee Lorch, FRSC,Professor Emeritus, Senior Scholar, Mathematics

76.   Leesa Fawcett, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

77.   Leo Panitch, Distinguished Research Professor, Senior Canada
Research Chair, Political Science

78.   Lesley J. Wood, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

79.   Liette Gilbert, Associate Professor, PhD Coordinator and
Associate Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies

80.   Liora Salter, FRSC, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

81.   Lorna Erwin, Associate Professor of Sociology, York University

82.   Lorna Weir, Professor, Department of Sociology

83.   Louis Lefeber, Professor of Economics and Graduate Program for
Social and Political Thought (emeritus)

84.   Luin Goldring, Associate Professor, Sociology

85.   Malcolm Blincow, Associate Professor, Anthropology

86.   Marcela S.Duran, Community Practicum Coordinator, Concurrent
Program, Faculty of Education

87.   Marcia Rioux, Professor, School Health Policy and Management and
Director, York Institute for Health Research

88.   Maria Legerstee, Professor, Department of Psychology

89.   Marilyn L. Pilkington, Associate Professor and former Dean,
Osgoode Hall Law School

90.   Marion Werner, Researcher, Gender and Work Database Project at
York University

91.   Mark J. Goodman, Department of Sociology and Coordinator, Human
Rights and Equity Studies, Department of Equity Studies

92.   Mark Thomas, Associate Professor, Sociology

93.   Martin Breaugh, Assistant Professor, Political Science.

94.   Martin J. Bunch, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

95.   Martin Thomas, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and

96.   Mary Jane Mossman, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

97.   Michael Mandel, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

98.   Michael Nijhawan, Associate Professor, Sociology

99.   Michael Ornstein, Associate Professor, Sociology

100.               Nalini Persram, Associate Professor, Social Science

101.               Nick Lary, Emeritus Professor, Humanities

102.               Nicola Short, Associate Professor, Political Science

103.               Norene Pupo, Director, Centre for Research on Work & Society

104.               Obiora Okafor, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

105.               Patricia Wood, Associate Professor, Geography

106.               Paul Antze, Associate Professor, Department of Social Science

107.               Penni Stewart, Associate Professor, Sociology

108.               Peter Vandergeest, Associate Professor, Geography

109.               Peter Victor, Professor, Environmental Studies

110.               Radhika Mongia, Associate Professor, and Director,
Graduate Program in Sociology

111.               Raju J Das, Associate Professor, Department of Geography

112.               Ravi de Costa, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies

113.               Ricardo Grinspun, Associate Professor, Economics

114.               Richard Saunders, Associate Professor, Political Science

115.               Robert Latham, Associate Professor, Political Science, and
Director of the York Center for International and Security Studies

116.               Robert MacDermid, Associate Professor, Political Science

117.               Robin Roth, Associate Professor, Geography

118.               Rodney Loeppky, Associate Professor, Political Science

119.               Roger Keil, Professor, Environmental Studies, and
Director, The City Institute and The Canadian Center for German and
European Studies

120.               Rosemary J. Coombe, Senior Canada Research Chair in Law,
Communication and Culture

121.               Sabah Alnasseri, Associate Chair, Professor, Department of
Political Science, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

122.               Saeed Rahnema, Professor, Political Science

123.               Sam Gindin, Packer Visiting Chair in Social Justice,
Political Science

124.               Sandra Whitworth, Professor, Political Science

125.               Scott Forsyth, Associate Professor, Film and Political Science

126.               Sergei Plekhanov, Associate Professor, Political Science

127.               Sergey N. Krylov, Professor, Canada Research Chair in
Bioanalytical Chemistry, and Director, Centre for Research on
Biomolecular Interactions

128.               Shubhra Gururani, Associate Professor, Anthropology

129.               Stanley Jeffers, Associate Professor Emeritus, Senior
Scholar, Department of Physics and Astronomy

130.               Stefan Kipfer, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

131.               Stepan Wood, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

132.               Stephanie Ross, Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Labour
Studies Programme, Division of Social Science

133.               Stephen Hellman, Professor, Political Science

134.               Steven Tufts, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography

135.               Susan Drummond, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

136.               Tania Das Gupta, Chair and Associate Professor, Department
of Equity Studies and Department of Sociology

137.               Teresa Holmes, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

138.               Terry Goldie, Professor, English

139.               Wenona Giles, Professor, Centre for Refugee Studies,
Anthropology Department, Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies


1.           Aaron SanFilippo, Student

2.           Adam Hilton, MA Political Science

3.           Adrienne Roberts, PhD candidate, Political Science

4.           Aidan Conway, Doctoral Candidate, Political Science

5.           Albert R. Gaudio, MA Candidate, Political Science

6.           Andrea Hopkins, MA Candidate, Political Science) and York
Centre for International and Security Studies Graduate Researcher

7.           Andrea Sellinger, Political Science, MA Student

8.           Baris Karaagac, PhD Candidate, Political Science

9.           Brad Bauerly, PhD Candidate, Political Science

10.   Bryony Halpin, PhD Candidate, Environmental Studies

11.   Chris Vance, Ph.D. Candidate, Political Science

12.   Claire Major, PhD Candidate, Geography

13.   Cory Jansson, Phd student, Political Science

14.   Dan Freeman-Maloy, PhD Candidate, Political Science

15.   Daniel Moure, PhD Candidate, Political Science

16.   Dave Campanella, Student, Environmental Studies

17.   Derek Maisonville, Doctoral Candidate, Political
Science/Researcher, York Centre for International and Security Studies

18.   Diana Abraham, PhD Student, Environmental Studies

19.   Gabriel Levine, Doctoral student, Social and Political Thought

20.   Genevieve LeBaron, Doctoral Candidate, Political Science

21.   Graham Potts, PhD Candidate, Social and Political Thought,

22.   Ian Hussey, PhD candidate, Sociology

23.   Irina Ceric, PhD Candidate and Adjunct Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

24.   Isaac Asume Osuoka, Canada Vanier Scholar, Environmental Studies

25.   Janine MacLeod, PhD Student, Environmental Studies

26.   Janna Promislow, Adjunct Professor and PhD Candidate, Osgoode
Hall Law School

27.   Japji Anna Bas, PhD Candidate, Environmental Studies

28.   Jasmin Mujanovic, Political Science Graduate Student

29.   Jesse Ovadia, PhD Candidate, Political Science

30.   Jessica Parish, Phd Candidate, Political Science

31.   John Carlaw, PhD Candidate, Political Science

32.   Jordan Brennan, Tutorial Instructor, Political Science

33.   Jordy Cummings, Student, Graduate Department of Political Science

34.   Kathleen Mullen, MFA Student

35.   Kaushalya Bannerji, Ph.D. Candidate, Law

36.   Kole Kilibarda, PhD candidate and Teaching Assistant, Political Science

37.   Mazen Masri, PhD Candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School

38.   Michael Skinner, Researcher, York Centre for International and
Security Studies

39.   Natasha Jerome, Undergraduate Degree Candidate, Honours Double
Major: Philosophy & Political Science, Faculty of Arts

40.   Nchamah Miller, B.A., M.A. (york Alumni), Visiting Professor,
Institute of Philosophy of University Havana

41.   Nicole Cohen, PhD Candidate, Graduate Program in Communication and Culture

42.   Nishant Upadhyay, PhD Candidate, Social and Political Thought

43.   Noaman Ali, MA Student, Social and Political Thought

44.   Pablo Vivanco, Student, MES

45.   Peter Brogan, PhD Candidate, Geography

46.   Rade Zinaic, Social and Political Thought

47.   Roxana Salehi PhD Candidate, Environmental Studies

48.   Ryan James, PhD Candidate and Teaching Assistant, Anthropology

49.   Ryan O'Neill, PhD Candidate, Environmental Studies

50.   Simon Granovsky-Larsen, Ph.D. Candidate, Political Science

51.   Simon Tremblay-Pepin, PhD student, Political Science Department

52.   Sonja Killoran-McKibbin, PhD Student, Environmental Studies

53.   Sophie Voegele, Graduate Student, Sociology

54.   Stu Marvel, Chair, Graduate Law Students' Association, Osgoode
Hall Law School

55.   Tania Hernandez-Cervantes, PhD Student, Environmental Studies

56.   Teresa Abbruzzese, Doctoral Candidate, Environmental Studies

57.   Tod Duncan , PhD Student/Teaching Assistant, Social and Political Thought

58.   Tyler Shipley, Doctoral Candidate, Political Science

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Toronto Bob

Oct 25, 2009 at 4:51am

In February, at York Univeristy, a mob chased a group of mostly Jewish students, shouting: “Israelis off campus,” “Racist Zionists,” “Die, bitch, go back to Israel,” “Die, Jew, get the hell off campus,” “Fucking Jew” and so forth.

The mob then besieged the Jewish students in the local Hillel office until the police arrived and freed them.

Was this a progrom? No. Progroms killed thousands of Jews. Was it an antisemitic riot? Yes.

Do these professors and students signing the petition care? Not a whit. For them, antisemitism is something someone else does.

student york

Oct 25, 2009 at 2:54pm

No, that is not true. There was a demonstration, but the slogans "die, bitch, go back to Israel", "die, Jew, get the hell of campus," & "fucking Jew" were not said. There has been no evidence that this was said. If you actually read the accounts of the media that were present during that demonstration none of them picked up any such slogans.

They were later embedded to make it seem like something it wasn't. It was exxaggerated and concoted. Think about it, the Israeli Lobby wants to create the image of there being huge amounts of anti-semitism in Canada and other countries because then Jewish people will fear Israel is the only safe place for them. It is in their interest to exxaggerate and concoct things like this to make it seem so. Ironically Israel is the least safe place for Jews.


Oct 25, 2009 at 3:57pm

Except, Toronto Bob, no one has been able to prove that actually happened. It depends on who you want to believe.

Besides, shifting the goalposts to defend Kenney's remarks is pretty callow.

enough bullshit

Oct 25, 2009 at 10:01pm

"In February, at York Univeristy, a mob chased a group of mostly Jewish students, shouting: “Israelis off campus,” “Racist Zionists,” “Die, bitch, go back to Israel,” “Die, Jew, get the hell off campus,” “Fucking Jew” and so forth."

anyone who was there can tell you that NONE of that was said. clearly, toronto bob, you were NOT there.

Toronto Bob

Oct 26, 2009 at 12:52pm

ADHR, who's defending Kenney's hyperbole? If you'll read my post, I said there was no pogrom at York.

As for proof of what happened:

There was a news conference to announce that enough votes had been gathered from students at York to force the resignation of the Student Council.

Angered by the fact that the students at York were throwing them out of office, a mob gathered to suppress free speech by breaking up this news conference and to say “screw you” to the will of the York student body.

The mob pursued the mainly Jewish students through the hallways, shouting abuse at them. The Jewish students locked themselves in the Hillel Office until rescued by the police.

All this is part of the public record, readily available in the media. Here, for example: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304788139&pagename=JPost/...

There was also a video on YouTube (since removed) of one of the leaders of the mob, literally in the face of one of the Jewish students, blocking his retreat, and screaming “Racist!” at him, from a distance of 3 inches - close enough for the verbal abuse to be accompanied by a stream of spittle.

The only dispute is over the exact terminology of the abuse. Explicit anti-Jewish abuse such as, “Die, Jew,” wasn't caught on tape, and so you do have to decide who to believe.

If you believe the victims, the mob made their antisemitism explicit. If you believe the junior fascists, then, yes, they were guilty of suppressing free speech, of verbal and physical abuse of their victims, but honest, they only screamed, “Die, Zionist,” not “Die, Jew.”

As for this petition, I’d take it seriously if they were calling for the expulsion of York’s junior fascists – particularly the one caught on video abusing the Jewish student. This sort of criminal behaviour is a far worse and more direct threat to free speech on campus than anything Jason Kenney has to say.

But rather than calling for their expulsion, several of the people signing this petition, paid the $150 fine that York imposed on the mob’s ringleader.

Really, things are not good at York. Not only are they trying to pretend that intimidation is free speech rather than its opposite, but they're also trying to erase the line between academic inquiry and propaganda.

See here, for example: http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/07/03/academic-freedom-or-academic-circus/


Oct 26, 2009 at 10:06pm

These "victims" also called my friend the N-word. The DROP YFS had been making racist remarks towards students of colour for weeks before this happened. I conducted an interview with a pro-BDS individual on my radio show and members from DROP YFS surrounded the radio station and followed my female co-host to her car. There were a lot more dynamics that took place than what Toronto Bob said.

York Student from Vancouver

Oct 27, 2009 at 12:32am

I have attended York for numerous years, and have not once seen any sign of racial intolerance or bigotry. This is all spin - gross, unfounded spin. I'm anglo saxo, open minded and appreciative of everyone. I have not seen any antisemitism, nor anything negative towards other faiths. Why is this fictional antisemitism even being discussed?!

Toronto Bob

Oct 27, 2009 at 7:03am

The Drop YFS coaltion included people of colour.

The issue was that the York Federation of Students Council had been taken over by junior fascists. These radicals supported the striking contract faculty (led by another bunch of political radicals) who closed down the university for months with absurd wage demands.

Naturally, this made the student council unpopular with their fellow students.

The student council was also unpopular with large segments of the student body because of their support for the Hamas terrorist organization (a group which really does preach and practice the most vile forms of racism, with an open call for genocide against the Jews in their founding document).


Oct 27, 2009 at 10:58am

Ok, you clearly don't understand any of the dynamics at York. I find it funny that you use the Jerusalem Post as a source for something that occurred at a university in Canada to start with.

Ok, where to begin? Ok, these "victims" came into a screening of Occupation 101 last week and laughed at images of dead Palestinian children. Of course the Jerusalem Post hasn't mentioned this. Ok...first off, this slate of so-called "junoir fascist" was re-elected after this event on Feb. 11 so they have immense support from the student body. They are a progressive slate, more socialist or social democratic than fascist but nevermind.

DROP YFS claims to have had people in coluor in it, but I have not seen any. Every day they were tabling they were ALL WHITE. Of course, you can go and get me quotes from an Israeli paper disputing this if you want.

Lastly, this studnet council did NOT ever support Hamas at any time or place. I have NO idea where you are getting your "facts". They passed a motion condeming Israel's excessive bombing of the Gaza Strip. I condemn the bombing personally, does that automatically mean I support Hamas by default or something? Seriously, you do not know what you are talking about. There is a rule I learned when I was young, "if you dont know what you are talking about don't talk"


Oct 28, 2009 at 8:29am

Toronto Bob's use of fake sources pretty much says it all as far as the veracity of his claims are concerned.

He tips off the reader to his real motives when he mentions the York University CUPE strike. Anti union political strategists in both the Federal Conservative Party and the Ontario Liberals have been happily exploiting student anger over a lost semester and blaming it on the unions and the NDP for some time. By adding an anti-semitism complaint to the mix they are intensifying and broadening their use of this dispute for political purposes.

I am surprised actually that Toronto Bob didn't mention Sid Ryan. Maybe that will be in his next post.

Rod Smelser