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Friday, March 06, 2009

Jewish students assaulted in U. Toronto "Apartheid Week"

From Then There Was Light, quoting an eyewitness:

Tonight at the U of T [Israeli Apartheid Week] event, two Jewish students were assaulted by the Palestinian “Security” team for being “disruptive” (asking a legitimate question “does Israel have a right to exist”) The Palestinian “security” smacked a student in the head and grabbed him by his neck, while another “security” officer told a second Jewish student to “Shut the F**ck up or he’ll saw his head off”…All of this was done in a crowded lecture room with over 100 witnesses!!

I was there, there are no pictures, filming and taking pictures was prohibited (they seem to have a problem with the general public hearing what they say) it was reported to the police who chose (as usual) to do NOTHING…

And here is what the student who was assaulted wrote:
I attended the Israel Apartheid Week event with a few friends and was prepared to ask a couple questions. The girl sitting next to me asked a question to one of the speakers about the problems with Hamas’s Charter. The speaker answered the question by discussing occupation and Israel’s “racist” policies, etc, instead of actually addressing the issue of Hamas’s Charter and denial of Israel’s right to exist. A couple people in the crowd, including myself, shouted out to the speaker “answer the question!” (It is generally fair game at these events where there are more activists present than observers to request that the speaker focus on the question asked). At this point, one of the (probably unlicensed) private security guards hired by SAIA approached me from behind. When I turned around in my seat to look at him, he grabbed and squeezed the back of my neck and growled at me from about 10 inches in front of my face “you shut the fuck up! shut the fuck up!” At this point I kept my cool moved back and I was like “get away from me bro, don’t touch me!” One of the event organizers called for someone to ask the police standing outside in the hallway to come in to remove me for “causing a disruption” at which point I encouraged the police to come in to record the name and identity of the individual who assaulted me. I left the room promptly and reported the incident to the police. I will be filing a formal report later today with Metro Police.

I personally believe in freedom of speech and that students should be allowed to book lecture halls to present speakers who express radical, even extreme views. The presence, however, of (probably) unlicensed, private security gaurds wearing bullet proof vests and leather jackets who physicaly assault people who speak up against those radical, extreme views, must be confronted. SAIA must not be allowed to bring hired goons onto campus to intimidate people who oppose their views. I feel ashamed as a UofT alumnus.
Freedom of speech!
(h/t Israellycool)