Statement on BDS motion at University of Toronto

Councillor Pasternak condemns shameful Student Union BDS motion at University of Toronto that targets and demonizes Israel, and its supporters.

City of Toronto Councillor James Pasternak has come out strongly against the University of Toronto Student Union’s ongoing anti-Israel stand as well as its obsession with Israel and the Jewish community while ignoring human rights violations in dozens of other countries.

“I strongly condemn University of Toronto Student Union’s decision to endorse the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion this week. This discriminatory move directs the Union to ‘wholly divert funds and further forbid investment to firms complicit in the occupation of Palestinian Territory,” says Councillor Pasternak.

“The Jewish community is deeply frustrated with this endless loop of hatred and the espousing of conspiracy theories about Israel and the Jewish community. The leadership at University of Toronto has let this go on long enough. I call on President Meric Gertler to take action against the growing tide of antisemitism on University of Toronto campuses. Several months ago U of T Scarborough Student Union passed a similar motion after which Mr. Gertler issued a statement saying that ‘the motions are specifically focussed on Israel in a way that is troubling to many members of the community.”

“Post-secondary institutions are expected to be places of learning, discovery and respect. These publicly funded institutions should not enable those who want to tear our city apart, spread falsehoods and launch economic hardships against people they do not agree with. 

At a recent City of Toronto Council meeting, Toronto’s largest city endorsed my motion to ask police services to put more resources into its Hate Crime Unit,” says Councillor Pasternak.

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