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Anti-Israel Activists Dupe Medical Student Societies

June 7, 2021

OTTAWA – Anti-Israel activists in Canada brazenly falsified the endorsements of three leading medical student organizations last week, B’nai Brith Canada has learned.

Early last week, medical student societies at Canadian universities, including McGill, Dalhousie and the University of Toronto, received an email from “National Advocacy for Palestine,” asking them to sign “a joint statement in support of the People of Palestine.” The student societies were told that the statement had been drafted by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), Ontario Medical Students Association (OMSA) and Black Medical Students’ Association of Canada (BMSAC).

In reality, the statement was not drafted by those three groups. In fact, in correspondence obtained by B’nai Brith, the President of the CFMS flatly denies that his group even endorsed the letter, and adds that it was written by an anonymous group of students. It remains unclear at this time who actually drafted the statement, or who is behind the anonymous “National Advocacy for Palestine” email account that perpetrated the scam.

On Thursday, the same account followed up with a “clarifying” document to the medical student societies, in which it cautioned them not to consult their membership about the statement, urging them to “think about how many students you may have in your student bodies who identify as Zionist.”

Over the past month, anti-Israel joint statements, open letters and petitions have circulated in various Canadian industries, including journalism, academia and the arts. The recent attempt by anti-Israel activists to dupe medical students calls into serious question the underpinnings of the other statements as well.

“No righteous cause would resort to falsifying endorsements in order to garner support,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “If those behind this deception are actually medical students, then it is doubtful whether they meet the high ethical standards required to practice medicine in Canada.

“This conduct is particularly deplorable at a time when Canadian Jewish university students, including medical students, are facing unprecedented hostility within their own places of learning.”

At the University of Toronto, Jewish medical students have called for the ouster of Dr. Ritika Goel, the recently appointed “Social Justice, Anti-Oppression and Advocacy Theme Lead.” On her social media, Dr. Goel has described support for Israel as “#BarbaricCulturalPractices,” and endorsed the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel. B’nai Brith has also written to the faculty of medicine, demanding action on this file.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ziad Solh, an assistant professor at Western University’s faculty of medicine, has publicly called for Jewish students to be boycotted and sanctioned “If their culture is Zionism at the expense of the Palestinian people.” Western has so far refused to take any corrective measures, characterizing Dr. Solh’s statements as nothing more than “unsettling ideas.”

B’nai Brith encourages members of the community suffering from antisemitism to contact [email protected] for incidents involving violence, vandalism or harassment in the “real world,” or [email protected] for incidents occurring online. You can also contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

If it’s a criminal matter, please call police first, then contact us at 1-800-892-2624.