University of Toronto
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A paper in a Canadian medical journal slammed the University of Toronto medical school for increasing levels of antisemitism targeting Jewish students, faculty and staff.

The paper, which was described by Canadian advocacy organization Abraham Global Peace Initiative as “explosive,” detailed the experiences of Ayelet Kuper, who was appointed by the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine (TFOM) as a senior advisor on Antisemitism.

“Kuper had an insider's vantage point into the blunt academic antisemitism now raging on our campuses among faculty. She pinpointed the abusive antisemitic false tropes about Jewish people having money, power and and being racist when it comes to their Zionism,” the advocacy organization said in a statement.

Kuper wrote that she was appointed to the position in response to increasing antisemitism at the school among Jewish students, faculty and staff.

“Over my year as Senior Advisor on Antisemitism (from June 2021 to June 2022), I was told dozens of times that the current environment of growing antisemitism at TFOM was triggered by the war in Gaza in the spring of 2021, which implies (as was sometimes said to me explicitly) that the cause of TFOM’s ‘antisemitism problem’ is Israel government policy,” she wrote.

“However, this purported timeline, which also reproduces classic discriminatory victim blaming, has generally been suggested to me by non-Jews who did not themselves experience the rise in antisemitism. From my personal experience and that of Jewish friends and colleagues at TFOM with whom I used to commiserate prior to taking on the Senior Advisor role, hateful attitudes about Jews have been on the rise at TFOM for at least three years.”

According to her, “growing support for antisemitism at TFOM” has been “reframed” since 2021 as political activism against Israel and as a right under academic freedom.

“The resultant physician advocacy has, however, been rife with dog-whistles, traditional antisemitic tropes, and disingenuous claims of oppression. I personally experienced many instances of antisemitism, including being told that all Jews are liars; that Jews lie to control the university or the faculty or the world, to oppress or hurt others, and/or for other forms of gain; and that antisemitism can’t exist because everything Jews say are lies, including any claims to have experienced discrimination. More specifically, I experienced the now common strategy among those at TFOM who have made what I believe to be antisemitic statements to say that any Jew who calls them out is just racist and is lying in order to oppress Palestinians; this strategy was reportedly also explicitly taught to TFOM learners by faculty members during an off-campus event.”

Kuper pointed out may examples in the paper including that while giving a lecture on religious discrimination, "I was asked by non-Jewish learners why content about Jews was being forced on the students by the Jew who bought the faculty.”

“Even as an experienced educator, social justice scholar, and leader, I was frequently at a loss as to how to escape from the circular reasoning that dismissed my experience of discrimination while dehumanizing me, calling me out as racist for defending myself against racism, and ascribing to me sinister, hidden power. Although I am very practiced at speaking out against the oppression of members of many other social groups, it has sometimes been impossible to defend myself against those who twisted any form of defense against the oppression of Jews into ‘proof’ of a powerful and controlling Jewish cabal.”

She concluded: “I encourage all of you to… speak up, and to bravely stand with Jewish learners, staff, and faculty in combatting what has often been called the world’s oldest form of hate – a form of hate which has become increasingly apparent at TFOM and which is likely to continue resurfacing in other Canadian health professions education institutions.”

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)