Two clubs at Canada’s University of British Columbia have been denounced as promoting the “kinds of racist conspiracy theories that helped inspire the Holocaust” after posting on social media a list of 140 “Zionist crimes.”
Colour Connected Against Racism UBC and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights – UBC have been sharply condemned by a coalition of on-campus Jewish organizations for linking this week on their official Facebook pages to an article accusing Jews, Zionists, and Israel of orchestrating 9/11 and mass war, and “Jewish Big Money” of controlling American politics.
Leveraging the rhetoric of #MeToo, the article excoriated the “Western hypocrisy” of American politicians supporting “the criminal and genocidal Zionist colonial enterprise and a nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel,” while denouncing “non-deadly and non-illegal inappropriate behaviour to women.”
Titled “Palestinian Me Too: 140 Alphabetically-listed Zionist Crimes Expose Appalling Western Complicity & Hypocrisy,” the piece was published on an India-based conspiracy website called Counter Currents, and written by a Dr. Gideon Polya, who footnoted to his own pieces on the topic of Zionist-supported state terrorism.
Polya is a biological scientist who at one time worked at Australia’s La Trobe University, according to his LinkedIn profile.
A coalition of five Jewish campus organizations condemned the posts Wednesday and called for the UBC Alma Mater Society to review funding or status for clubs that promote racism.
The statement, signed by UBC Israel On Campus, Chabad Jewish Student Centre – Vancouver, UBC Jewish Students’ Association, Hillel BC Society, and AEPi UBC, called on the university to denounce the “odious rhetoric” spread by Colour Connected and SPHR.
Both clubs subsequently removed the posts from their Facebook pages and issued similar apologies claiming “a former member” or “individual who has access to our Facebook page” posted the article without prior review.
At least one other Counter Currents article remains on Colour Connected social media, and the very active Facebook pages of both clubs frequently post disreputably sourced accusations of Israeli crimes.
Last year, while campaigning for BDS on campus, SPHR sold scarves with Hamas insignia.
Aidan Fishman, director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, said this week’s incident was more of the same, noting that SPHR leaders never publicly apologized for hawking keffiyehs with the Arabic slogan, “Jerusalem is ours. We are coming.”
“We expect UBC administration to investigate this incident, in which case SPHR UBC would join anti-Israel clubs on other Canadian campuses such as McGill and McMaster in facing investigation due to their questionable activities,” said Fishman.