Grassroots human rights advocacy and a lifeline for our community

Ryerson Students Walk Out on Holocaust Education Motion


By Aidan Fishman
Campus Advocacy Coordinator
B'nai Brith Canada

A motion to commemorate Holocaust Education Week failed at the semi-annual General Meeting of the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) on Tuesday night, after students opposed to the motion staged a walk-out that caused the meeting to lose quorum.

The motion in question, submitted by a member of Hillel Ryerson, would have committed the RSU to offering annual Holocaust education programs to emphasize “the value of pluralism and the acceptance of diversity.”

Ryerson student Aedan O’Connor, who attended the meeting, told B’nai Brith Canada that Jewish students promoting the Holocaust education motion were mocked by their non-Jewish peers, and that the walk-out was a premeditated tactic organized by local members of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association. She and other students have since gone to social media to condemn the walk-out.




Students for Justice in Palestine also put out a call to its members to attend the meeting, despite the fact the motion had nothing to do with Israel.

“This outrageous incident is emblematic of the kind of antisemitism and anti-Jewish sentiment that is rampant on Ontario campuses,” said Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “Jewish students need action, not just words, from the Government of Ontario, as much of this bigotry is funded by taxpayer dollars.”

The RSU endorsed the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel at a similar meeting in April of 2014. Jewish students were belittled and made to feel uncomfortable at that meeting as well. Then, in October, 2015, graffiti in a Ryerson washroom called for Jews and Israel to “burn in hell.”

“As we can see from this saga, as well as similar events recently at York University and Concordia University, what starts with BDS does not end with BDS,” added Hohmann. “More often than not, BDS is simply a gateway drug to more blatant forms of antisemitism.”

Published : Nov 30, 2016

Showing 5 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • commented 2016-12-01 23:41:16 -0500
    David Ross, that is the stupidest claptrap I have ever read. If you so desperately need attention, go see a shrink.
    As for the rest of you, the word ’anti-Semitic should be removed from your vocabularies. You abuse it on every turn, whenever someone is critical of the Israeli occupation. There are hundreds, if not thousands of progressive, young Jews who support the BDS movement. You dare to call them anti-Semites? Shame!! You insult the memory of those who perished.
  • commented 2016-12-01 23:12:04 -0500
    No evidence to support holocaust. Yes, Jews died in camps (aprox.20,000) but from Typhoid not gassing. Zyklon B gas makes walls turn blue. No walls have blue stain. Chimneys were erected AFTER the war ended. The calculations are if as many Jews were burned as they say with the few ovens they used…they would still be burning them today and well into the future. This is all fact. Look deeper into it and disregard what you’ve been taught because what you think you know is very inaccurate. However after the war, 1 million German soldiers died in fenced off fields known as the Eisenhower Death Camps. They were not even given water. Also 5 more million German citizens were starved to death in most German cities after the war by the allied forces. You do not hear about any of this in the education you have been indoctrinated with. You have been told lies by the ainstream media which is all owned by Jews. All news and all of Hollywood is run by Jews. Look into it. I’m not lying and I don’t hate the Jews. They are crafty. I’m just telling the truth. Almost everything you think you know is usually a lie. Take care.
  • commented 2016-12-01 07:36:03 -0500
    S. Cooper—your point being what? How did the modifications make this any less Antisemitic?
  • commented 2016-12-01 01:42:39 -0500
    The motion in the agenda was modified. The original motion as seen in Google doc was nulled, and five modifications were made. There was a seconder to the modifications. Which means this motion linked to the article was never discussed at the meeting.
  • commented 2016-11-30 17:59:38 -0500
    This is horrific. Action must be taken. This must be sent to all press
Have you experienced antisemitism, racism or discrimination? Report an Incident