Canadian school bans Israelis because of 'settlements'

Trade school in western Canada rescinds ban on Israeli applicants following intervention by the local community.

Elad Benari ,

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Canadian flag

A trade school in Canada which banned Israeli applicants due to Israel’s alleged “illegal settlement activity” rescinded the ban on Tuesday following an intervention by B’nai Brith Canada and members of the Canadian Jewish community.

Stav Daron, an Israeli engineering student and amateur carpenter, had hoped to take a course at the Island School of Building Arts (ISBA), located on Gabriola Island in the province of British Columbia. However, when he tried to confirm his registration in January, he was told via email that, “Due to the conflict and illegal settlement activity in the region, we are not accepting applications from Israel.”

B’nai Brith Canada noted in a statement on Tuesday that refusing to provide a service on grounds of race, religion, ancestry or place of origin is prohibited by the British Columbia Human Rights Code.

After receiving a legal letter from B’nai Brith, the school apologized for discriminating against Daron, noting that it had “decided to rescind any restriction placed on accepting students from Israel and apologize for any inconvenience.”

The school also pledged to publish an apology on its website, according to the B’nai Brith statement.

Also intervening was the Centre for Jewish and Israel Affairs (CIJA) which quickly contacted the school to express its concern over the ban.

Following the letter from CIJA, the school responded by saying that it had “decided to rescind any restriction placed on accepting students from Israel and apologize for any inconvenience.

“ISBA remains acceptant to all and will continue to do so without restrictions,” added the school.

Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, on Tuesday welcomed the speedy resolution.

“We would like to thank Mr. Daron for reaching out to us, as our team of experts deal with these types of incidents on a daily basis. We encourage anyone who has been the victim of discrimination or antisemitism to call our 24-7 Anti-Hate Hotline,” said Mostyn.

“The fact that an educational institution in Canada would have the temerity to hold such a discriminatory policy is outrageous,” he added. “The school’s immediate reversal, when confronted with the truth of its actions, only illustrates the immorality of anti-Israel bias.”