B’nai Brith Canada has removed an article from its website published Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016 headlined “Hitler Salutes, Swastikas Invade University of Toronto” after it was brought to our attention that the content in the story was misrepresented and incorrect.
On Friday, a source who has historically been credible and reliable presented B’nai Brith with a video depicting an individual outside a free speech rally at the University of Toronto’s downtown campus giving what we were told was a “Hitler salute.”
However, B’nai Brith later learned that the footage was only a clip of a longer video taken out of context. The full video shows that the student was actually giving the Roman Centurion salute, in response to several students who were satirically protesting the rally by comparing its supporters to proponents of Rome’s conquest of Carthage in 146 BCE.
In an email obtained by B’nai Brith, the student making the salute confirmed that he “grasped the satire presented by those in attendance” and demonstrated his support of their satire by making the salute.
Furthermore, several sources have confirmed that the student has “many Jewish friends” and is a supporter of Israel and the Jewish community in Toronto. He did not respond to B’nai Brith’s request for comment by deadline.
B’nai Brith apologizes to the student for mislabelling and misattributing his gesture without being fully aware of the context.