Toronto students to commemorate Holocaust on campus

Toronto students to commemorate Holocaust on campus

Resolution at Ryerson receives unanimous approval, despite pro-Palestinian boycott effort earlier this month

Ryerson University  campus in Toronto (Screen capture: YouTube)
Ryerson University campus in Toronto (Screen capture: YouTube)

TORONTO — Students at Ryerson University in Toronto voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass a resolution to commemorate Holocaust education week on campus, after it was contested earlier this month.

Local members of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association reportedly staged a walkout during the semiannual general meeting of the Ryerson Student Union earlier this month, rather than vote on the resolution. The meeting lost its quorum, according to B’nai Brith Canada.

The resolution, which was submitted by a member of the Ryerson Hillel Jewish students’ group, called on the Student Union to offer annual Holocaust education programs to emphasize “the value of pluralism and the acceptance of diversity.” There was no mention of Israel.

Members of StandWithUs, a pro-Israel non-profit organization active on university campuses across North America, advocated for the resolution to be passed and believe that it will create a more inclusive atmosphere on campus.

“I am very happy that the RSU made the right decision” Tamar Lyons, StandWithUs Canada Emerson Fellow at Ryerson University, said in a statement released by StandWithUs Canada.

“This has been the second year in many that Jewish students can feel safer and included on campus. I am excited that my student union acknowledges the importance of education about the Holocaust and I could not be more proud” said Rebecca Katzman, president of Students Supporting Israel at Ryerson University and a StandWithUs Canada Emerson Fellow Alum.

The Ryerson Student Union voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel in April 2014. The resolution prohibits the student group from having ties with companies that do business in Israel, including Home Depot, Costco and Sears, and removed Sabra hummus from the campus cafeteria.

“What starts with BDS does not end with BDS,” said Amanda Hohmann, national director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights earlier this month. “More often than not, BDS is simply a gateway drug to more blatant forms of anti-Semitism.”

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