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B’nai Brith, Student Plaintiff, Seek to Block Antisemitic Motions at McGill

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McGill University, EQRoy / Shutterstock

June 20, 2024

MONTREAL – B’nai Brith Canada is supporting a student plaintiff who is seeking to prevent ratification and implementation of antisemitic motions by the Post-Graduate Students Society (PGSS) of McGill University.

“If the PGSS motions were to be ratified, it would cause irreparable harm to the Jewish members of the McGill community as well as others,” said Richard Robertson, Director of Research and Advocacy for B’nai Brith Canada. “We feel it is absolutely necessary to support the plaintiff. The PGSS motions strike us as irrefutably inciteful. Our hope is that injunctive relief is provided and the potential for harm is mitigated.”

The plaintiff, represented by Fishman Flanz Meland Paquin LLP, is seeking to receive permission from the Court to remain unidentified for reasons of personal safety. The plaintiff is in pursuit of a provisional, interlocutory and permanent injunction.

In an application to the Superior Court, the plaintiff complains that the PGSS motions violate its own Equity and Diversity Policy as well as the Quebec Charter. “The PGSS Council Motion contains inflammatory statements concerning Israel’s military operations in Gaza since Oct. 7, 2023 but is completely silent as to what happened on Oct. 7. . . namely, that Hamas and other terrorist organizations unilaterally reignited hostilities against Israel when its forces committed a brutal massacre of more than 1,200 Israeli citizens, injuring thousands more and taking 250 hostages, all while committing unspeakable atrocities in the process, in the most heinous manner imaginable.”

The PGSS motions have infuriated many Jewish students at McGill as well as non-students in the Jewish community. The application argues that the motions “contain false, misleading facts and facts taken out of context, use inflammatory language and paint a distorted picture of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, which essentially paints all Jewish people and supporters of the State of Israel as being ‘complicit in settler-colonial violence and genocide against the Palestinian people.’ ”

The plaintiff adds that the PGSS motions are “antisemitic, divisive and pose a safety risk for McGill’s Jewish and Israeli students. . .by exacerbating the antisemitism that is already present on campus.”

“What we would like to see,” said Henry Topas, Quebec Regional Director for B’nai Brith Canada, “is McGill University standing up and stopping this endless nonsense being committed in its name by a student union. It would be nice if McGill stopped using words and showed some real action.”