Calgary University Hillel Members Angered by Board Delegate’s Anti-Israel Accusation (UPDATE)
Members of the Hillel at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University on Friday objected to a recently elected board delegate who has written on social media against Israel.
“As a member of Calgary Hillel and a proud Jew, I am deeply offended and appalled by the ignorant views and bias towards our state of Israel,” Jake Birrell, a Mount Royal student, told his colleagues at Hillel.
Birrell said that Kate Jacobson, a board member in charge of Israeli awareness and promotion at the Calgary Hillel, posted to Facebook that she “does not want her name tied to a child murdering country that is Israel.”
“Appalled, I quickly sought action from Calgary Hillel members, but my call for justice was revoked,” Birrell said.
Birrell said that he would step down from his involvement with Hillel if Jacobson remains in charge of the group’s Israel outreach.
Birrell told the other students involved with Hillel, “As a representative of Calgary Hillel, I believe that Kate Jacobson must retract her comments about the country that I love and Jews around the world depend on. Furthermore, I am disgusted that a person with views such as her own is representing me and other Zionist Jews in our community.”
“Personally, I believe that the Holocaust has taught us what can happen to our people as a result of no homeland and no ‘Jewish state,'” Birrell said. “With the increase in global anti-Semitism, I find it shocking that their are Jews who are trying to separate themselves from their ties to the peace seeking utopia which is Israel.”
“What sickens me the most is that young Calgarians, like Gabrielle Hashman, who is serving in the IDF, have to endure this lack of approval from certain representatives of a Jewish based organization,” he said.
“The Israeli government will continue to do what it takes to ensure the survival and prosperity of the Jewish people as a collective group, but it needs our support as Jews,” Birrell said. “The person who posted this along with her views are pathetic.”
Her post was flagged by CUWI, Calgarians United With Israel, which noted that Jacobson, a writer for school newspaper The Gauntlet, took an anti-Israel position in January, when the campus was alight with controversy when the student president of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights advocated violence against Jews.
Jacobson wrote: “The Israeli government has massacred children, and if we’re not willing to change – to give democratic and human rights to all people’s living in the area of Israel-Palestine, then I think we should question whether that’s a state we want the word ‘Jewish’ attached to.”
UPDATE: In an email to The Algemeiner a Hillel spokesman said that the group is looking into the comments.
“Hillel International is investigating the matter, which just came to our attention,” the spokesman said. “The views reportedly attributed to the student involved are repugnant and contrary to Hillel’s commitment to build an enduring connection between Jewish students and Israel.”