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‘Everyone in Danger’: Concordia University Refuses to Investigate, Punish Antisemitic Assault and Harassment, Students Say

Illustrative: Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters, primarily university students, rally at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square on Oct. 28, 2023. Photo by Sayed Najafizada/NurPhoto

Jewish students at Concordia University in Montreal must fend for themselves when their anti-Zionist classmates resort to assault and harassment on campus, according to students who spoke with The Algemeiner.

No single incident, they said, evinced their alleged abandonment by school officials more than one on March 12 in which Jewish students were trapped in the school’s Hillel office while members of the anti-Zionist club Supporting Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), concealing their faces with keffiyehs and surgical masks, banged on its windows and doors and stomped on the floor of the room above it.

“It’s usually just a safe place for Jewish people to come and hang out,” Chana Leah Natanblut, president of Chabad Concordia, said of the Hillel office. “We were all doing our work and chilling, and all of a sudden we started hearing chanting, like screaming and stuff. We thought maybe it had something with the student strike going on, but then we started hearing people scream terrorists and banging on the ceiling. The Supporting Palestinian Human Rights club is directly above us.”

Seeking the source of the din exploding around them, Natanblut and her friends walked to the window, where they saw a crush of SPHR activists, some standing on the fire escape outside of it, others standing in the parking lot below.

“B—ch!” “Dog!” “Zionism is terrorism!” they screamed, while the person on the fire escape whacked away at the window. The rioters came from “all sides,” Natanblut explained, sprinting through the hallways to hammer the walls outside the club and setting off what felt like seismic shocks that shook the room. Amid the clatter, Natanblut noticed that a shopping bag hooked on a wall mount behind the door was swinging like a pendulum, as if to count down the time they had left before the worst occurred.

“We immediately locked the window and made sure that the door to the room was locked,” Natanblut continued. “We really felt trapped, and I couldn’t even leave to use the bathroom. I was wondering how would I get out and if I would be attacked if I did. So, I started to videotape what was going on, and I called my friend, the person in charged of advocacy for Hillel, telling him to come right away. Then I called security.”

Security arrived promptly, Natanblut said, and reprimanded the SPHR rioters. However, to Natanblut’s astonishment, they refused to discipline those involved in the disturbance on the grounds that Jewish students had contributed to instigating the incident.

According to Natanblut, the SPHR students told the officers that they behaved as they did because the Jewish students had filmed them. To no avail, Natanblut and her friends explained that they only began recording after the banging and screaming started and that they had all been minding their own business. Declining to privilege one account of what happened over the other, security took their statements and left, refusing to answer questions about next steps, including whether the rioters would be allowed back in the building.

“We only filmed because they were harassing us, for evidence, and we didn’t feel safe,” Natanblut said. “Security obviously told them to disperse and that they couldn’t act that way, but they didn’t say what would happen and it felt almost as if they had taken their side. Who’s to say they won’t do it again? What kind of message does it send to do nothing about it?”

Similar occurrences are the new normal for Jewish students attending Concordia University, Anastasia Zorchinsky, founder and president of The StartUp Nation, a pro-Israel club, told The Algemeiner. On Nov. 8, for example, just over a month after Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel, anti-Zionist protesters approached Jewish students and punched several in the face. No one was punished for these offenses, she explained, and the university has had the habit of refusing to denounce antisemitism as a stand-alone problem, always being sure to mention Islamophobia as well to insinuate that Jewish students are engaging in hateful behavior themselves. With several large anti-Zionist events coming up later this month and in April, she fears Jewish students will be targeted again and denied justice.

“The university must enforce its policies, which it’s not doing,” Zorchinsky said. “There’s a clear double standard when it comes to violence against Jewish students, and there must be investigations of these students and expulsions of any found to have committed antisemitic violence. We don’t need pro-Hamas students on our campus behaving this way. We don’t need students who support terrorism on campus. They’re a danger to everyone. Not just us.”

Concordia University did not respond to The Algemeiner‘s request for comment for this story.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post ‘Everyone in Danger’: Concordia University Refuses to Investigate, Punish Antisemitic Assault and Harassment, Students Say first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction

Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man for assault over an incident May 9 near the protest encampment at the University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle on its downtown campus.  Toronto Police Services (TPS) say they responded at 3:45 p.m. that day to a call for assault in the area of the road around […]

The post Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law? pic.twitter.com/eNIy2SU0Ep

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

The post ‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”? pic.twitter.com/FE0VbgmFLA

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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