Students at Toronto's Ryerson University staged a walkout during a vote on a resolution to commemorate Holocaust Education Week on campus.
The walkout, staged Tuesday by local members of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Ryerson Muslim Students Association (RMSA), was organized in response to a resolution submitted by a member of the Ryerson Hillel Jewish students’ group calling on the university's Student Union to offer annual Holocaust education programs to emphasize “the value of pluralism and the acceptance of diversity.”
The resolution apparently made no mention of Israel.
While it had been noted that the walkout was an unofficial move, Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights said it had been "premeditated" on the part of some members of SJP Ryerson and the RMSA.
“When they realized the original motion would likely pass as it was presented, [they]...got up and walked out as a way of removing quorum so that the motion couldn’t pass,” Hohmann said, according to the Toronto Sun newspaper. She called the move an act of anti-Semitism.
Ryerson SJP did not respond to a request for comment.
The Ryerson University Student Union voted to join the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in April 2014, preventing the university from having ties with companies that do business in Israel.
"What starts with BDS does not end with BDS," said Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “More often than not, BDS is simply a gateway drug to more blatant forms of antisemitism.”
(Staff with agencies)