Student fines ‘unfair’

March 19, 2009

Jewish students at a top Canadian University are taking legal advice after being fined for “causing disruption to university life”.

Pro-Israel group Hasbara was fined $1,000 and suspended for 30 days, and student organisation Hillel was fined $500 by York University of Toronto.

The fines came after Jewish students demonstrated in protest about an incident where police were called to protect about 40 Jewish students who were allegedly chased and threatened by almost 100 pro-Palestinian supporters. The Jewish students were forced to barricade themselves into Hillel House centre to escape. Toronto police are still investigating the incident.

“We object to the moral equivalency reflected in the decision to suspend not just the groups that promote hatred and are the cause of agitation on campus, but also those who have been the targets of such aggression,” said Frank Dimant of B’nai Brith Canada, after Hasbara received the same sanctions as Students Against Israeli Apartheid.

Sam Katz of Hasbara, said: “We held a rally because the anti-Israel groups were already doing so.

A spokesman for the university said: “Members of the groups understood that any further disruption caused to academic life would lead to penalties.”

Last updated: 5:33pm, March 26 2009