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June 8, 2021 4:57 pm
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Canadian Jewish Group: Activists Behind Pro-Palestinian Letter Falsely Claimed Endorsements From Medical Student Groups

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

The University of Toronto’s St. George campus. Photo: The City of Toronto / CC BY 2.0.

Canadian medical students were encouraged to sign a statement of solidarity with Palestinians using the “falsified endorsements” of leading medical student organizations, a leading Jewish group charged on Monday.

In a press release, B’nai Brith Canada said that “anti-Israel activists” had sent an email to medical student societies at Canadian universities including McGill, Dalhousie, and the University of Toronto, soliciting their signature on a “joint statement in support of the People of Palestine.”

It said the email came from a group calling itself “National Advocacy for Palestine” which claimed that the “Call for Solidarity” was drafted and endorsed by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), Ontario Medical Students Association, and the Black Medical Students’ Association of Canada.

A follow up email from the same account asked students not to bring the previous note up for a “town-hall type of discussion” because it could “make marginalized students feel more unsafe at their institutions.”

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B’nai Brith Canada said on Monday it had viewed emails from the head of the CFMS denying that he was ever aware of the letter.

“In reality,” the Jewish group said, “the statement was not drafted by those three groups. In fact, correspondence obtained by B’nai Brith, the President of the CFMS flatly denies that his group even endorsed the letter, and adds that it was written by an anonymous group of students.”

The CFMS did not immediately respond to an Algemeiner request for comment.

The statement of solidarity said that the “ongoing violence in Palestine represents an important public health concern,” and called on medical schools to advocate for Palestinian health and wellbeing.

“No righteous cause would resort to falsifying endorsements in order to garner support,” commented B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn. “If those behind this deception are actually medical students, then it is doubtful whether they meet the high ethical standards required to practice medicine in Canada.”

Continued Mostyn, “This conduct is particularly deplorable at a time when Canadian Jewish university students, including medical students, are facing unprecedented hostility within their own places of learning.”

Editor’s note: this article was updated to remove a mistaken reference to a student organization official

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