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October 20, 2021 4:13 pm

In New Statement, University of Manitoba Student Union to Show ‘Solidarity’ with Israeli, Jewish Students

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

The administration building at the University of Manitoba. Photo Credit: Sancho McCann.

Several weeks after a contentious discussion surrounding a statement “in solidarity with Palestinian students,” the University of Manitoba Student Union (UMSU) will issue a second statement expressing support for Israeli and Jewish students on campus.

The Oct. 7 USMU board vote came after the earlier message was approved in September, after several hours of debate over whether it should specifically focus on Palestinian students or include broader language.

The new statement, The Daily Manitoban reported Tuesday, will declare “solidarity and support towards all students, staff and faculty at the University of Manitoba impacted by recent events in the Middle-East … In addition to reiterating the safe spaces, mental health and spiritual supports on campus for all Jewish, Israeli and other affected community members.”

During deliberations of the motion, the UMSU board heard testimony from students who had faced online bullying and threats. Ari Glikman, who introduced Motion 0521, told the newspaper, “I think it means that hate, hopefully, is being acknowledged.”

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“The antisemitism we’re facing, as well as the harassment that some of our students that came forward with the motion have faced, is going to be taken seriously,” he said.

In September, the UMSU Board had declined to approve a draft statement addressed to “all students affected by events in the Middle East” after some students analogized it to the “all lives matter” slogan.

Some Jewish and Israeli students backed message in solidarity with both sides of the Mideast conflict, the Manitoban reported at the time, with one saying, “We should be scared about the kind of precedent we set when we exclusively show support for one group over another when both are experiencing suffering from the same conflict.”

The earlier message as approved in September has not yet been released, according to the outlet.

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