June 23, 2020
B’nai Brith Canada
TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada is calling on York University to ensure that a lecturer who smeared this country’s Jewish community during a recent online panel be disqualified from teaching a human-rights course.
Faisal Bhabha is an associate professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, where he teaches human rights, among other topics. On June 10, Bhabha told viewers of an online debate that “Zionism isn’t about self-determination, it’s about Jewish supremacy.” When challenged by another panelist, he doubled down, stating, “I’m equating white supremacy with Jewish supremacy.”
In fact, Zionism is the belief that there ought to be a Jewish State situated in the Land of Israel, the indigenous Jewish homeland. The 2018 Survey of Jews in Canada, co-authored by York’s own President and Vice-Chancellor, Rhonda Lenton, notes that Zionism is “the normative form of Canadian Jewish identification.”
Later in the same debate, Bhabha asserted that “Accusing Israel of exaggerating the Holocaust could be, for some, a plausible argument.” No evidence was provided for this bizarre allegation.
In a June 2 open letter, President Lenton stated: “York is not immune from antisemitism, nor are we unique in grappling with its manifestations within our community. The University has been clear: we condemn antisemitism in all its forms.”
“Now is the time for York to show that its commitment to fighting antisemitism includes concrete actions, not just words,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “In our opinion, someone who believes that the vast majority of Canadian Jews subscribe to ‘Jewish supremacy’ and that the Jewish State might ‘plausibly’ have exaggerated the Holocaust is clearly unfit to teach anyone about human rights.”
Earlier in June, York released the independent review by former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell of a Nov. 20, 2019 riot over the presence of former Israeli soldiers at a campus event.