February 10, 2017 12:23 am
Updated: February 10, 2017 12:38 am

‘Punch a Zionist Today’: McGill University student leader’s tweet condemned

WATCH ABOVE: B’nai Brith and students at McGill University are asking a student leader to step down after he apparently asked his followers on Twitter to “punch a Zionist today.” Global's Elysia Bryan-Baynes reports.

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A tweet by a McGill University student leader is being condemned by both students and Jewish groups.

Igor Sadikov posted “Punch a Zionist Today” on his Twitter feed.

Sadikov is a member of the Legislative Council and Board of Directors of the Students’ Society of McGill University.

The tweet has since been removed.

McGill student Simon Paransky noticed the tweet when it was first posted and is concerned about the message it sends.

“Ideas can be debated, but inciting violence is simply wrong,” Paransky told Global News Thursday.

B’nai Brith Canada wants the university to sanction Sadikov for the tweet.

“Someone who is preaching hate shouldn’t be in a position like that on the student’s council”, said Harvey Levine, Quebec regional director for B’nai Brith Canada.

READ MORE: Human rights complaint filed against controversial University of Lethbridge professor

But Sadikov is defending his choice of words.

In a statement to Global News he writes, “I want to be clear that this tweet was not an attack against Jewish students, but on the adherents of a political philosophy that has detrimental impacts on Palestinians on a daily basis. I believe, given my own Jewish heritage, that we must continue to disentangle Jewish identity from Zionism. Further, I neither condone nor advocate violence on the basis of membership in any identity group.”

McGill University says it’s aware of the incident.

READ MORE: York University fires faculty member after alleged anti-Semitic social media posts

“The University strongly condemns expressions of hatred or incitement to violence against any individual or group. Such statements do not represent the views or the values of the University and we believe they violate a number of our policies,” the university said in a statement.

The school also insists that if there is any disciplinary measure taken against Sadikov, it will be confidential.

Sadikov told Global News he has not yet decided whether to step down from his leadership role at the school.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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