Toronto university labor union under fire for anti-Semitic tweet

B’nai Brith Canada condemns labor union at University of Toronto following anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tweets.

Ben Ariel,

University of Toronto
University of Toronto
iStock

B’nai Brith Canada on Sunday condemned a labor union at the University of Toronto (U of T) following a series of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tweets issued by its official Twitter account.

On Friday, CUPE 3902 lashed out at Jagmeet Singh, leader of the Canadian NDP Party, lamenting the fact that his “recent rejection of the BDS movement is paying dividends with the Zionists!”

The union then targeted a Jewish NDP member who came to Singh’s defense, accusing him of “taking a murder-based approach to promoting peace in the Middle East.”

As part of the broader Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), CUPE 3902 is the mandatory trade union for over 10,000 contract academic workers at the U of T, according to its website.

CUPE 3902 officially endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel in 2015. Singh condemned BDS in December during a roundtable discussion with Jewish groups, B’nai Brith Canada noted in a statement.

The organization noted that the CUPE 3902 Twitter account has issued other controversial statements in the past. In July of 2019, it falsely alleged that B’nai Brith Canada was “a front organization for the Israeli apartheid state,” and described other Canadian Jewish groups as “agents working to interfere with Canadian politics at the behest of the Israeli state.”

“The anti-Semitic canard that Canadian Jews are agents of Israel who support ‘murder’ has no place in Canadian politics or the Canadian labour movement,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.

“CUPE leadership must speak out against this rising tide of bigotry, which threatens to overwhelm the Canadian left just as it devastated the UK Labour Party in that country’s recent election,” he added.

B’nai Brith noted it has written to CUPE 3902, the U of T and CUPE national leadership to demand an apology for the antisemitic tweets.

The University of Toronto has been in the headlines several times in recent months.

In September, CUPE 3902 attempted to host Issam al-Yamani, a Palestinian Arab terrorist facing deportation from Canada, as a speaker at a campus event. The event was nixed by U of T following complaints from B’nai Brith and other groups, but was relocated to CUPE 3902’s own offices instead.

In November, the Graduate Student Union at U of T refused to support a campaign by the school’s Hillel to make kosher food available on campus since it is “pro-Israel.” The union subsequently apologized.

In March of 2019, the Graduate Students’ Union approved a motion to make its Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee permanent.




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