update deskAntisemitism

Complaint claims teachers union in Canada ‘enabled’ antisemitism

“These teachers are extremely upset. They’re fearful,” said their Vancouver-based lawyer, Paul Pulver.

A copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Credit: Marc Lostracci/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.
A copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Credit: Marc Lostracci/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.

A group of Jewish teachers in British Columbia has filed a complaint with Canada’s Human Rights Tribunal, describing antisemitic instances by colleagues and the union representing them.

“They’re concerned about people retaliating against them. They’re concerned about what they’ve experienced already and the potential for that to get ratcheted up,” said Paul Pulver, the Vancouver-based labor lawyer representing the teachers, who announced the filing on Tuesday.

He added that “these teachers are extremely upset. They’re fearful.”

The complaint states that the BC Teachers Federation “engaged in and enabled antisemitism.”

The group B.C. Teachers Against Antisemitism said union leaders caused “trauma and fear,” that members had been “intimidated and shamed.”

Pulver disputed that any teachers in the group “would have difficulty with legitimate criticism of Israel in respect of its political or military decisions.”

He said the difficulty lies in “when it goes beyond that and into antisemitic conduct, which unfortunately is what these teachers feel they’re witnessing now.”

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