YUFA condemns rise of anti-Semitic incidents

An image of a poster with the caption, "No Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism: Students United, Canadian Federation of Students" An image of a poster with the caption, "No Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism: Students United, Canadian Federation of Students"

The York University Faculty Association (YUFA) condemns the recent rise of anti-Semitic incidents that have taken place in the United States and Canada, including at York University. These attacks are hate crimes that deliberately target the Jewish community: places of worship, community centres, cemeteries, neighbourhoods, and individual members on campus or at work. We oppose these attacks in the strongest terms possible.  At this troubling time, we stand against all forms of hate, racism and anti-Semitism.

These attacks are not happening in a vacuum. They have emerged in a period in which bigots, racists and anti-Semites increasingly feel emboldened to spread their hateful ideas and to commit acts of hate. Along with anti-Semitism, anti-Black racism and Islamophobia have also been on the rise. YUFA opposes all forms of hate and racism, and remains committed to supporting and defending any community under attack.

While acts of hate are meant to divide us from one another, they have, in some instances, achieved the opposite effect: a greater sense of unity among communities who resist. In the wake of the terror attack against a Quebec City mosque, in which six Muslim men were murdered, the Jewish community in Toronto was among the first to generate solidarity for the city’s Muslims—in several locations, organizing “rings of peace” around neighbourhood mosques during Friday prayers. Similarly, when Jewish cemeteries were recently desecrated in the United States, groups of Muslim activists raised tens of thousands of dollars to repair the damage.

All of us can play a role in generating solidarity, following the lead of our Jewish and Muslim colleagues and friends. As teachers and community leaders at York, faculty are well poised to speak out against hate whenever we or our students and colleagues encounter it. Indeed, we have a special responsibility to do so.

In the weeks and months ahead, let us do our part to counter and shift the broader political climate, and build the kind of community in which all its members enjoy the dignity and respect they deserve.

This statement is available in PDF. Please download and share widely.

Read “Unite against hate, racism and Islamophobia,” posted on January 30, 2017.

Read “After the US election: YUFA statement against all forms of oppression,” posted on November 17, 2016.