Canadian university student union strips anti-Israel group of official status

( The University of Manitoba Student Union (UMSU) in Canada has become the first student group in North America to ban the anti-Israel “Israel Apartheid Week” and strip the anti-Israel “Students Against Israel Apartheid (SAIA)” group of official status.

The University of Manitoba logo. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The motion, which passed 19-15, bars SAIA from receiving student funding or using student activity space on campus, the Winnipeg Jewish Review reported.

Pro-Israel students argued that the anti-Israel student efforts violate university policy which protects the “dignity and self-esteem” of its students and prevents them from “discrimination or harassment.”

“According to the UMSU policy, I didn’t have to prove that IAW has actually incited hatred, but that it is likely to undermine the dignity or self- esteem of students on campus who are Zionists,” pro-Israel UM student activist Josh Morry told the Winnipeg Jewish Review.

The move at the University of Manitoba comes amid recent battles on North American college campuses between pro-Israel and anti-Israel students.

Last week, the student government at the University of California (UC), Santa Barbara rejected a resolution to divest from Israel, joining several other California schools—UC Riverside, UC Berkeley and Stanford University—who have rejected Israel divestment resolutions. But the student union at Toronto’s York University, Canada’s largest, recently endorsed an Israel divestment resolution.

Posted on April 15, 2013 .