Jewish York students flee from mob
Posted On 11/27/07
By: Atara Beck
TORONTO – York University saw the worst antisemitic display ever on that campus last week, said Ben Feferman, senior campus coordinator for the Canadian region of Hasbara Fellowships, an Israel advocacy organization spearheaded by Aish Hatorah.
The Betar-supported Campus Coalition of Zionists (CCZ), together with Hasbarah, manned a table in Vari Hall, with permission from the university, with pamphlets and brochures about the danger emanating from Iran.
However, the situation became very difficult for the students who participated. They were vastly outnumbered by pro-Arab students who surrounded them, and eventually the pro-Israel activists fled. As they left, there was cheering by the pro-Arab mob.
According to Feferman, “I’ve never seen anything like this at York. We weren’t even discussing the issues anymore. It was pure Jew hatred. That’s what it’s come to.”
In fact, Feferman noticed an acquaintance there and said hello, but received no acknowledgement. She emailed him later that day to apologize, explaining that she didn’t want everyone to know she was Jewish. To Feferman, this episode is a red light. “We know there’s a crisis when a student on campus is afraid to reveal she’s Jewish and feels unsafe,” he said.
Another disturbing issue that day, according to Feferman, was that a Hillel executive was standing nearby, watching. Feferman can’t understand why he didn’t take action or get his students to help out.
When asked why they didn’t offer to support Hasbarah and CCZ, Tilly Shames, associate director, Hillel of Greater Toronto, did not answer the question directly referencing a program Hillel had held previously that experienced no protest.
They fled?! What the hell is that?! What were they afraid of? A confrontation? A fistfight? Only those who flee can be sent to the gas chambers. And this headline is adding insult to injury. I just want to hang my head in shame.
Someone might ask me: "What would you do?" Well, this is one of few instances when I know exactly what I would do: I’ve been in situations like this one. Suffice it to say, I would not "flee", and neither would my friends.
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