FSWC Welcomes U of T Decision to Withhold Funds from Student Union Over BDS Support

March 8, 2022

Toronto – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) welcomes the University of Toronto’s decision to withhold funds from the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) over its financial support for the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

According to a U of T press release, Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr said the university will be withholding $10,918 in student fees from the GSU, the amount that would have been allocated to the BDS caucus.

This decision comes more than a year after the Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies (CRCSS) ruled that the GSU must immediately cease using compulsory student fees to promote the antisemitic BDS movement, finding the student union's BDS caucus violated the school’s Anti-Discrimination Policy by engaging in discrimination based on nationality. The CRCSS had upheld a complaint made by Jewish graduate student Chaim Katz, whose campaign against GSU was supported by B’nai Brith Canada.

“This incredibly important decision by the University of Toronto sends a clear message that the BDS movement is discriminatory,” said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, FSWC Director of Policy. “Student unions should be using funds to support students, not discriminatory initiatives that feed hatred and hostility toward Jews on campus. This is a good step by the university, but it must take further decisive action to deal with its pervasive on-campus antisemitism problem, including adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism.”
Media Contact:
Avital Borisovsky
Associate Director, Communications
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center
(416) 864-9735 ext. 29

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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