Office of the President
1050 Kaneff Tower
4700 Keele Street
Dear Professor Lenton,
We, the undersigned, demand that the York University administration immediately revoke the club status of Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) York, pending a full investigation into the events of Nov. 20, 2019.
Swift remedial action should be taken against repeated attempts by this group to intimidate Jewish and Israeli students on campus.
SAIA York has been suspended at least twice before – in 2009 and 2013 – for violating University policy in its anti-Israel zeal. This group is ultimately to blame for the violence and disorder that tarnished York’s reputation on Nov. 20, having intentionally inflamed the campus atmosphere and attempted to block a lawful event.
Jewish and Israeli students have the right to host events on campus, in conformance with York’s policies, without having to worry about enraged mobs threatening to disrupt their gatherings or worse.
York University is located close to the heart of Toronto’s Jewish community. For decades, York and members of the community have enjoyed a positive relationship. But events like those of Nov. 20 put that relationship at risk.
We cannot allow a precedent to be set whereby the mere presence of Israelis who have performed their mandatory military service on campus becomes an excuse for violence and intimidation.
The “Viva, viva Intifada!” chant used by members of SAIA York is a veiled threat and a blatant glorification of the murder of Israelis, and those who participated in this chant should be probed for violations of York’s Guidelines on Hate Propaganda and Policy Concerning Racism.
The time is now to act against chaos and antisemitism at York University – before it’s too late.