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B’nai Brith Condemns U of T Labour Union over Antisemitic Tweets

A recent tweet from the account of CUPE 3902 (Twitter)

January 5, 2020

B’nai Brith Canada

TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada is taking a labour union at the University of Toronto (U of T) to task over a series of anti-Israel and antisemitic tweets issued by its official Twitter account.

On Friday, CUPE 3902 lashed out at Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, lamenting the fact that his “recent rejection of the BDS movement is paying dividends with the Zionists!” The union then targeted a Jewish NDP member who came to Singh’s defence, accusing him of “taking a murder-based approach to promoting peace in the Middle East.”

As part of the broader Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), CUPE 3902 is the mandatory trade union for over 10,000 contract academic workers at the U of T, according to its website. CUPE 3902 officially endorsed the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel in 2015. Singh condemned BDS in December during a roundtable discussion with Jewish groups.

The CUPE 3902 Twitter account has issued other hair-raising statements as well. In July of 2019, it falsely alleged that B’nai Brith Canada was “a front organisation for the Israeli apartheid state,” and described other Canadian Jewish groups as “agents working to interfere with Canadian politics at the behest of the Israeli state.”

“The antisemitic canard that Canadian Jews are agents of Israel who support ‘murder’ has no place in Canadian politics or the Canadian labour movement,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “CUPE leadership must speak out against this rising tide of bigotry, which threatens to overwhelm the Canadian left just as it devastated the UK Labour Party in that country’s recent election.”

B’nai Brith has written to CUPE 3902, the U of T and CUPE national leadership to demand an apology for the antisemitic tweets.

In September, CUPE 3902 attempted to host Issam al-Yamani, a former Palestinian terrorist facing deportation from Canada, as a speaker at a campus event. The event did not take place at the U of T following complaints from B’nai Brith and other groups, but was relocated to CUPE 3902’s own offices instead.