OPINION: Western U doxxing the latest anti-Jewish crime on campus

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In the months following Hamas’ cold-blooded attacks on Oct. 7, 2023, Jewish students and their allies have been continuously targeted and discriminated against on every major university campus in Canada. Most of these incidents have been documented. University administrators have issued countless statements. There is a hostile campaign of intimidation against Jewish students and institutions led by radical faculty members, professors, and Marxist student clubs alike. It’s real.

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All over the country, academic institutions, clearly aware of this pervasive issue, are facing an immense ethical dilemma. Do they finally recognize the incessant attempts to silence Jewish students and their allies on campus and put measures into place to stop this Naziseque phenomenon?

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Or do they continue to maintain the status quo and allow these so-called activists to effectively cancel any student who dares disagree with them?

The war on campus today is eerily similar to the war that has taken place for decades between Israelis and Palestinians. You have one group (Jewish students and their allies) who are willing to coexist with their peers, even those who hate them and wish them dead. Then you have another group (Student Communists for Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine, Student Unions, etc.) who refuse to share a campus with their Zionist peers. Sound familiar?

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The fact that these students are in Canada, 9,584 kilometres from the Gaza Strip, and not actually involved in the war does not matter. To anti-Israel bullies, they will continue to protest, disrupt, intimidate, threaten, beat up, and everything in between. Because they can.

For the past few decades, anti-Israel students have waged a war against those who dare support the Jewish State, coexistence, peace, or any combination of the three. They’ve invited terrorist members and sympathizers to campus and do everything in their willpower to make Jewish students feel excluded from campus life.

Since October 7th, this campaign has amplified intensely. Due to the lack of many university administrations to discipline those who promote anti-Jewish propaganda on campus, students who support hateful fringe groups have been emboldened to spread their contempt consequence-free.

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These students have made their message clear that they own these campus halls and they condemn any student who does not fall in line. They’ve turned Canada’s academic institutions, once the bastions of critical thinking and freedom of expression, into communist Russia: agree with our thinking, or die.

This notion was corroborated last week at McGill University in Montreal and Western University in London, Ont. At McGill, student radicals blocked entrances to classrooms and intimidated the students inside. They made it clear they are not looking to “coexist” with those on campus who don’t share their ideology.

To its credit, McGill announced Friday that it is pressing charges and that Montreal Police made at least one arrest in connection with the demonstration. But it will not be enough to quell the anti-Israel radicals from trying a similar stunt.

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At Western University, parents and students are mortified after anti-Israel students publicly identified Jewish Canadian students on campus – all because they dared show support for their indigenous Jewish homeland. To openly allow the public vilification of students – simply because they are Jewish – is a new low for academic institutions in this country.

Will Western follow McGill’s example, set an important precedent, and severely reprimand the hateful individuals who looked to create an unsafe learning environment for their peers on campus? Will it recognize its commitment to protecting students from harm?

Some students at Western have already put together an open letter demanding that Western publicly denounce the incident. Canadians of conscience are encouraged to sign it.

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In my view, condemning the incident would not suffice. Those who openly violate the rules and regulations on fomenting hatred and discrimination on campus must face consequences, whether they are students or faculty.

Regarding the latter in particular, it’s time that universities stand up to tenured professors who have infected academia with their one-minded political agenda and refusal to embrace critical thinking and ideas different from their own.

Over the weekend, I had the chance to meet the students who were publicly identified and I was impressed that they were not intimidated whatsoever by this blatant attempt to cancel Jewish life on campus.

In fact, if I can speak from experience as the director of Allied Voices for Israel (AVI), which unites students of all backgrounds against anti-Semitism and hatred, Jewish students at Western will be even louder about Israel as an indisputable and integral aspect of their Jewish identity. They will shout it from the rooftops.

If Western University President Alan Shepard makes a public statement denouncing this incident, that’s a step in the right direction. But actions speak louder than words. Western must ensure students are not given free reign to openly disparage and intimidate those they disagree with on campus. It must set an important example here. Anything else will be yet another loss in the war against freedom of thought and expression on campus.

Daniel Koren is the Founder and Executive Director of Allied Voices for Israel (AVI)

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