For Immediate Release
Montreal, QC—Last week on Twitter, McGill University Student Igor Sadikov called on others to “punch a zionist today”. In immediate response, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) provided support to Jewish students on campus to combat this hateful rhetoric and unacceptable call to violence. Since Thursday, there have been several developments. In response to those developments, Rabbi Reuben Poupko, Co-Chair of CIJA-QC, issued the following:
“Calling for violence against students is an egregious violation of basic ethics and is completely unacceptable. That the student in question is a member of the Students Society of McGill University (SSMU) makes this incident more troubling. This situation is a test for the student leadership at McGill who must decide what kind of campus they desire.
“We are very concerned that the SSMU leadership has yet to unequivocally condemn the actions of this student. We call on student leadership to ensure that a strong message is sent that incitement to violence is not acceptable. Sadikov is unfit for student leadership and should resign. If a call to violence is not sufficient reason to be removed from a leadership role then we are left to wonder, what is?
“We are grateful that the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) responded quickly to our concerns and asked Sadikov to resign. We call on SSMU to do the same.”
- The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) responded quickly to concerns and asked Igor Sadikov to resign, though he refused.
- McGill University issued a statement that clearly indicates their intention to take appropriate disciplinary action. The Dean of Students and Provost have reached out to offer their support to pro-Israel students on campus who are understandably shaken and anxious.
- The SSMU legislative council however demonstrated that they have failed to understand the gravity of the situation by using their Thursday night meeting to provide Sadikov a platform to further isolate and intimidate pro-Israel students on campus.
- One member in particular was left feeling completely abandoned and attacked by her peers. SSMU subsequently issued a statement which does not go far enough in addressing both the seriousness of a call to violence and the clear bias of SSMU leadership in choosing to insulate Sadikov instead of protecting all students on the campus they represent.