An investigation has been launched by McGill University after a Jewish student claims he was targeted and voted out of the students’ society for being Jewish.
Noah Lew is a member of the board of directors at the Students’ Society of McGill University and was up for re-election on Monday.
He claims a student-led group called McGill BDS Action Network created a campaign to vote him out.
“In that campaign, I was personally mentioned and my affiliation with Jewish organization was personally mentioned,” Lew said. “I was therefore targeted for removal from office.”
BDS stands for boycott, divestment and sanctions. It’s a pro-Palestine movement that claims Israel has denied the rights of Palestinians.
The McGill BDS Action Network says they had nothing to do with Monday’s outcome.
“There was no rallying specifically to vote Noah Lew down,” Iris Madline, McGill BDS Action Network organizer, said. “It was not a pre-planned action.”
The president of the students’ society, Muna Tojiboeva, says she saw people actively campaigning against Lew.
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“It’s not something that I didn’t expect to happen because I saw people actually mobilize and distribute pamphlets as well as information,” Tojiboeva said.
In a statement, McGill’s principal and vice-chancellor Suzanne Fortier stated that “allegations have arisen that the votes against one or more of those directors were motivated by anti-Semitism.”
Fortier added that the university takes “such matters very seriously.”
They’ve also set-up a support line to report instances of “intolerance based on religion or ethnic origin occurring on our campuses.”
For the time being, Lew will remain on the board until his term runs out on November 14th.
“It’s definitely been an emotional ride and it has been very taxing,” Lew said. “I hope that I’m the last Jewish student who has to experience this on campus.”