Canadian University Investigating ‘Jews Are Rodents’ Facebook Post Rejects Student Group’s Charge of ‘Witch-Hunt, Racial Profiling’
A Canadian university investigating a Facebook post comparing Jews to rodents rejected the charge that it was conducting a “witch hunt” involving “racial profiling,” a spokesperson told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) vice president of external relations Susan McGovern said the inquiry into an online celebration earlier this month by suspected members of the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), following the covering up of an Israeli flag with its Algerian counterpart at an on-campus multicultural language festival, was “being done according to university policies.”
McGovern said part of the “democratic investigation process includes bringing in people from both sides, to ensure that we hear both sides of the story,” and that the administration has not made SJP and the Arab Students Association “subjects of racism and intimidation,” as SJP alleged in a statement posted Wednesday on Facebook.
In its statement, SJP also rejected that it or any of its members had any “part in the events that unfolded” at the festival or later on social media, where a Jewish student was told to “go back to Palestine,” according to the Jewish human rights group B’nai Brith Canada.
“We are speaking to those students identified as relevant,” McGovern explained. “And without speaking to everyone believed to be connected with this issue, we couldn’t get to the real face of the matter and determine if our university’s code of conduct has been breached.”
Judy Zelikovitz, vice president for university and local partner services at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, and Aidan Fishman, campus advocacy coordinator for B’nai Brith Canada both lauded UOIT for treating this incident with “the seriousness it deserves.”
“UOIT is pursuing the obvious leads in this investigation,” Fishman said.
Zelikovitz added that “anti-Israel groups on campus have a long track record of being fast and loose with the truth and so we are not surprised to see this hyperbolic attack against the UOIT administration.”
SJP did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner‘s request for comment.