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April 14, 2017 6:04 pm

Concordia University Urged by Major Canadian Jewish Group to Take Action After Student Government ‘Exploits Passover’ With Anti-Israel Event

avatar by Rachel Frommer

The Loyola Campus of Concordia University in Montreal. Photo: Thomas1313 via Wikimedia Commons.

An official with a prominent Canadian Jewish group demanded on Friday that Concordia University administrators take action against the Montreal school’s student union (CSU) after it was involved in an anti-Israel event that he called an “exploitation of Passover.”

Aidan Fishman — campus advocacy director for B’nai Brith Canada — told The Algemeiner that the CSU should face “serious consequences for blatantly hijacking a Jewish holiday” by participating in a “Passover Against Apartheid” event on Thursday. The CSU provided space in its lounge for the program to be held in.

“The CSU is only able to collect mandatory student fees (through tuition) with the help of the Concordia administration,” Fishman said of the university’s role in regulating CSU behavior, and administrators’ right to interfere in the student government when necessary.

According to a promotional poster, the event included an art exhibit and a discussion period about Passover being a time to “practice solidarity with Palestinians.” The poster also posed questions for Jews to ponder, like what lines might “replace ‘Next year in Jerusalem'” in the Haggadah. Concordia’s chapter of Students for Palestinian Human Rights was among the backers of the event.

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Jonathan Mamane, vice president of Concordia student group Israel on Campus, told The Algemeiner, “Most Jews who saw the poster were angered by it, and thought it was disgusting to twist the Passover Seder in order to push a specific agenda.” He added that he believed the CSU agreed to be involved “since a Jewish student senator spearheaded this project [so] it’s seen as okay,” referring to Marion Miller, who refused a request from The Algemeiner for comment.

On social media, the campus Hasbara Fellow Eden Moalem blasted the event as a “disgrace” and “unacceptable.”

“Concordia university embarrasses themselves again,” she wrote. “I suppose cultural appropriation is condemned, unless it’s against the Jews?”

Fishman said this wasn’t the first time campus anti-Israel activists in Canada cleaved onto a Jewish holiday to push their agenda.

“In March of 2016, while McGill University was consumed with yet another attempt to pass BDS through its largest student union, certain anti-Israel activists began demanding that the campus Chabad and Hillel cancel their annual Purim party, on the grounds that it supposedly ‘appropriates’ Iranian culture,” he said. “This was an absurd demand that Chabad and Hillel rightly refused.”

Concordia University representatives did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.

As The Algemeiner reported on Friday, anti-Israel programming — including Israeli Apartheid Weeks and BDS campaigns — have been taking place throughout the Passover holiday on campuses across North America.

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