Second-year student Jordyn Wright, a member of the school’s student government was given a choice, either cancel your trip to Israel or resign from student government… If not we’ll impeach you.
That harsh ultimatum was given to Wright who happens to also be Jewish during a student government meeting on November 28th by members of the Science Executive Committee.
Wright claims she was told by a committee head, “Either I withdraw from the trip, or I resign from my position. If I do not resign, I am being implicitly threatened with impeachment upon my return.”
The McGill University student recounted the threat on her Facebook page along with the significance of “visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories to meet with politicians, journalists, and locals from all sides to better understand a very nuanced geopolitical conflict.”
Adding, “As a Jew, my connection to Israel is a core aspect of my identity, and I hoped that this trip would help me to experience Israel through a new lens.”
However, when members of the student government found out about the scheduled trip to Israel, they confronted Wright, threatening there would be consequences if she continued with her plan to go.
Wright had planned to go on winter break to Israel, which is being sponsored by Hillel Montreal called “Face to Face.”
“This is not the first time that Jewish students at McGill have been bullied out of student government,” Wright admitted in the post. “Two years ago, three students were voted off of the SSMU Board of Directors simply for being Jewish or connected to pro-Israel organizations. Last year, a Political Science summer exchange course taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was the source of a controversy in which pro-Israel students were harassed and cyber-bullied.”
The controversy between Wright and the student government has sparked a public debate on campus, in which the student government has been forced to defend their position, arguing through their news release that the real issue is about the free trip from Hillel Montreal, suggesting that Wright’s acceptance of such a gift “compromises student government representatives’ ability to be perceived as impartial when representing the entire student body on the Board of Directors.”
However not everyone agrees with the Board of Director’s contention. In an open letter, some students questioned the motives behind the extremely harsh ultimatum.
The letter defends Wright saying they “believe the direction of the debate was focused on a specific member, Jordyn Wright … in a way that was startling and unwarranted. We are not surprised that Councillor Wright subsequently expressed that she felt targeted and attacked during this session, and we agree that the nature of the motion and its amendments as adopted by the session were hostile, directed, and should be a matter of wider concern.”
The letter further calls the recent incident a “mistake” that must be “rectified.”
The school board said the controversy does not reflect the board’s “outlook or value system.”
While no one is suggesting that Anti-Semitism may be a part of what is taking place specifically at McGill University, the stark reality is Anti-Semitism on college campuses is rampant.
Recently, a Jewish psychology professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, who walked into her office in late November to find blooded swastikas and a slur, “Yid,” painted on her walls drew widespread attention and shock from the public.
In another incident, three swastikas were discovered at Cornell University. Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, put out a statement to “express his revulsion” at the symbols.
Then there’s Joan Terrell Paige, a member of the Jersey City Board of Education who unleashed a barrage of anti-Semitic hate on Facebook attempting to justify the bloodbath by a militant black group targeting a Jewish market that left three hostages dead and a police officer.